November 1997
Volume 38, Issue 12
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Articles  |   November 1997
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II--positive dendritic cells in the rat iris. In situ development from MHC class II-negative precursors.
Author Affiliations
  • R J Steptoe
    TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Subiaco, Western Australia.
  • P G Holt
    TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Subiaco, Western Australia.
  • P G McMenamin
    TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Subiaco, Western Australia.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science November 1997, Vol.38, 2639-2648. doi:
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      R J Steptoe, P G Holt, P G McMenamin; Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II--positive dendritic cells in the rat iris. In situ development from MHC class II-negative precursors.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(12):2639-2648.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To examine the postnatal development of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-positive dendritic cells (DC) in the iris of the normal rat eye. METHODS: Single- and double-color immunomorphologic studies were performed on whole mounts prepared from rat iris taken at selected postnatal ages (2 to 3 days to 78 weeks). Immunopositive cells were enumerated, using a quantitative light microscope, and MHC class II expression on individual cells was assessed by microdensitometric analysis. RESULTS: Major histocompatibility class II-positive DCs in the iris developed in an age-dependent manner and reached adult-equivalent density and structure at approximately 10 weeks of age, considerably later than previously described in other DC populations in the rat. In contrast, the anti-rat DC monoclonal antibody OX62 revealed a population of cells present at adult-equivalent levels as early as 3 weeks after birth. Dual-color immunostaining and microdensitometric analysis demonstrated that during postnatal growth, development of the network of MHC class II-positive DCs was a consequence of the progressive increase in expression of MHC class II antigen by OX62-positive cells. CONCLUSIONS: During postnatal growth, the DC population of the iris develops initially as an OX62-positive-MHC class II-negative population, which then develops increasing MHC class II expression in situ and finally resembles classic DC populations in other tissue sites. Maturation of the iris DC population is temporally delayed compared with time to maturation in other tissue sites in the rat.

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