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Mohammed S. Razzaque, C. Stephen Foster, A. Razzaque Ahmed; Role of Enhanced Expression of m-CSF in Conjunctiva Affected by Cicatricial Pemphigoid. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(9):2977-2983.
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purpose. Local proliferation of macrophages has been reported to augment the inflammatory response in various human and experimental diseases. Macrophage accumulation in the submucosa is also an important feature in the pathogenesis of ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP). In the present study, the role of local proliferation of macrophages in conjunctiva affected by OCP and the relationship between local proliferation of macrophages and expression of macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (m-CSF) in such conjunctiva were examined.
methods. Biopsy specimens from the conjunctiva of 10 untreated patients with active OCP and from 5 normal subjects were studied for the expression of m-CSF, macrophages, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a cell cycle protein, by immunohistochemistry. Dual staining for CD68 (a cell surface marker for macrophages) and PCNA was also performed to identify proliferating macrophages. In addition, fibroblasts isolated from conjunctiva of normal individuals and from patients with OCP were studied for the expression of m-CSF by immunostaining and real-time PCR. To identify the factors that induce m-CSF in conjunctival fibroblasts, the fibroblasts were incubated with different concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1α and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and the levels of m-CSF mRNA were determined by real-time PCR and the amount of m-CSF produced was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
results. Normal conjunctiva showed weak expression of m-CSF in the conjunctival epithelial cells and stroma. Conjunctival expression of m-CSF protein was significantly (P < 0.0001) increased in conjunctival biopsy specimens from patients with OCP. m-CSF was detected in the infiltrating macrophages, stromal cells (presumably fibroblasts), and conjunctival epithelial cells. Compared with normal control conjunctival tissue, a 1.2-fold increase in the expression of mRNA for m-CSF was detected by real-time PCR in the conjunctival tissue obtained from patients with OCP. Increased expression of m-CSF correlated significantly (P < 0.0004) with an increased stromal accumulation of macrophages in conjunctival biopsy specimens of patients with OCP. A number of these accumulated macrophages (CD68-positive) were found to be proliferating (PCNA-positive). In addition, fibroblasts isolated and cultured from conjunctiva of patients with OCP showed significantly increased (1.7-fold) expression of m-CSF compared with normal conjunctival fibroblasts. When conjunctival fibroblasts were treated with IL-1α or TNF-α, real-time PCR and ELISA detected an increased level of m-CSF.
conclusions. An increased expression of m-CSF was observed in conjunctiva from patients with active OCP. There was a positive correlation between expression of m-CSF and accumulation of macrophages in conjunctival biopsy sections obtained from patients with OCP. Increased expression of m-CSF, mainly by conjunctival fibroblasts and infiltrating inflammatory cells, may play an important role in the regulation of local proliferation of macrophages in OCP. In the conjunctiva of patients with OCP, this process could augment or enhance the local inflammatory response and tissue injury consequent to it.
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