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Don Yuen, Guangyu Li, Lu Chen; Novel Characterization of MHC-Class II Positive Cells in Embryonic Cornea during Spontaneous Lymphatic Events. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2097.
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We recently reported that unlike the adult cornea which is devoid of lymphatic vessels, the immature cornea is supplied by lymphatics which undergo spontaneous regression during development. Since lymphatic vessels mediate antigen presenting cell trafficking during an immune response, this study is to investigate whether the distribution of dendritic cells in immature cornea differs from the adult stage and how it correlates with the lymphatic events.
Corneal samples of different developmental stages were isolated from C57B6 mice and stained with a panel of specific markers for MHC-Class II, CD45, CD11c, and LYVE-1 for immunofluorescent microscopic assays.
In contrast to the adult cornea where MHC Class II positive cells were found in the peripheral area, embryonic cornea at E16.5 also exhibited these cells in the central area. The cells expressed CD45 and CD11c as well. As the cornea became mature and underwent spontaneous lymphatic formation and regression, the MHC Class II positive cells were more restricted to the peripheral area.
Our findings have shown, for the first time, MHC Class II positive cells are present in the central cornea during development. Further investigation on this new phenomenon may provide novel insights into corneal embryogenesis as well as the creation and regulation of immune privilege in the cornea.
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