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Rose Mathew, Amirah Mohd Zaki, Grazyna Galatowicz, Virginia Calder, Daniel Saban; CCR7 Expression Profiles in Conjunctival Biopsies from Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivtis Patients Following Challenge. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2549.
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It has recently been demonstrated that CCR7-expressing dendritic cells contribute to the immunopathogenesis of allergic conjunctivitis in the mouse model. However, whether CCR7 plays a similar role in the human condition is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate conjunctival expression of CCR7 following allergen challenge in seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) patients.
Human anonymised conjunctival tissue biopsies (3 micron) were obtained from SAC donors (n=7, from all males; age: 18-65 years) at 8 hr post allergen challenge. Control, non-inflamed, conjunctival tissues collected from anonymised human donors (n=5 from 3 males; age: 31-57) were also examined. Donor tissues were collected after obtaining informed consent and Local Research Ethics approval in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Tissue sections were stained for anti-human CCR7 (eBioscience), anti-human neutrophil elastase (DAKO), or isotype-matched control rat IgG2a kappa antibody (eBioscience and visualized with a DAB staining kit (Vectastain). Two independent, masked observers enumerated positively stained cells per biopsy area (at least three fields).
CCR7-expressing cells were detected mainly within the subepithelium and stromal areas. Over 70% of tissues from SAC patients stained positive for CCR7, compared to only 20% from control patients. The numbers of CCR7-expressing cells did not appear to correlate with neutrophil numbers, as the difference in the number of neutrophils between control (mean: 44.0 ± 14.0 cells per biopsy) and SAC (mean 82.9 ± 117.8 cells per biopsy) patients was not statistically significant.
CCR7-expressing cells are detectable in human conjunctival tissues and appear to be upregulated during acute inflammation in SAC.
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