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Sherrie J. Divito, Robert L. Hendricks; Activated Inflammatory Infiltrate in HSV-1-Infected Corneas without Herpes Stromal Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(4):1488-1495. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1107.
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purpose. To investigate herpes stromal keratitis (HSK) immunopathology by studying HSV-1-infected corneas that fail to develop HSK.
methods. Plaque assay quantified HSV-1 in the tear film of infected mice. FACS analysis enumerated corneal leukocytic infiltrate and characterized infiltrate phenotypically after staining for activation and regulatory T cell (Treg) markers and for markers of antigen-presenting cell (APC) maturation. Treg cells were depleted in vivo using anti-CD25 mAb. Luminex analysis quantified the amount of cytokines and chemokines expressed in corneal tissue homogenate.
results. Infected corneas without HSK exhibited a pronounced leukocytic infiltrate containing a significantly higher proportion and nearly identical absolute number of activated CD4+ T cells 15 days after infection when compared with those with HSK. Moreover, the frequency and absolute number of regulatory CD4+ T cells (Tregs) was lower in nondiseased corneas, and Treg depletion did not influence HSK incidence. The frequency of mature, immunogenic DCs and the ratio of mature DCs to CD4+ T cells were nearly identical in corneas with and without HSK. The authors observed a reduced population of neutrophils and reduced expression of neutrophil chemoattractants MIP-1β and keratinocyte chemoattractant and the neutrophil-attracting cytokine IL-6 in corneas without HSK.
conclusions. These findings demonstrate that HSV-1-infected corneas can retain clarity in the presence of a substantial secondary leukocytic infiltrate, that activated CD4+ T cells, while necessary, are not sufficient for HSK development, that susceptibility to HSK is not determined by Tregs, and that clinical disease correlates with the accumulation of a critical mass of neutrophils through chemoattraction.
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