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Eric J. Feron, Vincent N. A. Klaren, Eddy A. Wierenga, Georges M. G. M. Verjans, Aize Kijlstra; Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii–Specific T Cells Recovered from Vitreous Fluid of Patients with Ocular Toxoplasmosis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(13):3228-3232.
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purpose. The mechanisms involved in reactivations of latent ocular Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) infections in immunocompetent
patients are poorly understood. In view of the possible role of T cells
in the immunopathogenesis of the disease, ocular infiltrating T cells
obtained from patients with recurrent ocular toxoplasmosis were
characterized phenotypically and functionally.
methods. Ocular infiltrating T cells were recovered from vitreous fluid (VF)
samples of 10 patients with active recurrent ocular toxoplasmosis. Two
patients with uveitis of other origins were included as control
subjects. T-cell lines (TCLs) were generated by mitogenic stimulation
and tested for reactivity to Tg and human retinal protein extracts. The
TCLs of three patients were cloned by limiting dilution. Tg-reactive
T-cell clones (TCCs) were characterized with respect to their
phenotype, T-cell receptor variable (TCR V)-β gene usage, HLA
restriction, and cytokine secretion profile.
results. Reactivity to Tg could be detected only in the TCLs of patients with
ocular toxoplasmosis. None of the TCLs showed reactivity to human
retinal antigens. All tested intraocular Tg-specific TCCs (n= 23) were CD3+CD4+ and displayed
differential TCR Vβ usage. Twenty-one TCCs were HLA-DR restricted and
two TCCs were restricted by HLA-DP. The majority of the
intraocular Tg-specific TCCs showed a bias toward a T-helper (Th)0-Th2
conclusions. The data indicate that T cells specific for the triggering
microorganism infiltrate the eye of patients with recurrent ocular
toxoplasmosis. The functional characteristics of the VF-derived
Tg-specific T cells and their presence at the site of inflammation
suggest their involvement in the local inflammatory response of ocular
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