Mineral dust induced pneumoconiosis: a pivotal role for the inflammasome

P.M. Peeters

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Pneumoconiosis is the world’s most common disease caused by the inhalation of dust. Pneumoconiosis is usually caused by exposure to crystalline mineral fibres and particles. This dissertation explores which genes are activated or eliminated after lung cell exposure to asbestos or coal mine dust and which mechanisms play a role in the development of such diseases. The ‘inflammasome’ protein was found to play an important role in the inflammation underlying this disease. In addition, it was shown that activation of this protein in lung cells in turn triggers reactions associated with tissue stiffening, a feature of occupational asbestosis and silicosis. Furthermore, it was found that this protein can also play a role in the development of the disease in miners suffering from pneumoconiosis. This study may contribute to the development of new drugs.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Wouters, Emiel, Supervisor
  • Mosman, B.T., Supervisor, External person
  • Reynaert, Niki, Co-Supervisor
Award date29 May 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461594426
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • asbestosis
  • silicosis
  • pathogenic mechanisms

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