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H. Takase, B.P. Vistica, J. Chen, D.I. Ham, E.F. Wawrousek, S. Durum, C.C. Chan, I. Gery; Localized T–lymphoid infiltration in eyes of transgenic mice expressing IL–7 selectively in their lens: a new model of ocular inflammation . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):562.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Transgenic expression in the eye of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin–1 (IL–1) or interferon–γ induce severe inflammation (Egwuagu CE et al. IOVS 1994: 332–41, Lai JC et al. Cytokine 1996: 288–93). IL–7 is a lymphotrophic cytokine, essential for the survival of several lymphoid cell subsets. In this study we examined the effects of IL–7 when it is expressed transgenically in the lens. METHODS: Transgenic mice were generated by placing the IL–7 gene under control of the αA–crystallin promoter. The kinetics of ocular changes were evaluated by routine histological analysis from 1 day after birth through 3 months of age. Phenotypic analysis of ocular infiltrating lymphocytes was performed using immunofluorescent and immunoperoxidase staining techniques. RESULTS: No apparent systemic changes were observed in the IL–7 transgenic mice, whereas their eyes demonstrated a unique pattern of cellular infiltration. The earliest ocular changes were detected on day 5, and consisted of lymphocyte infiltration, mainly in the limbus and iris surrounding the lens. The lymphocyte numbers increased rapidly, reaching their peak at 3–5 weeks, and gradually declining thereafter. The infiltration was accompanied by severe morphological changes in the mouse eyes, including cataract formation and phthisis bulbi. The majority of the infiltrating cells were CD8– or CD4– positive T–lymphocytes, at different stages of maturation. CONCLUSIONS: This line of IL–7 transgenic mice provides a new form of ocular inflammation, which is under additional investigation.
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