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Georges M. G. M. Verjans, Lies Remeijer, Cornelia M. Mooy, Albert D. M. E. Osterhaus; Herpes Simplex Virus–Specific T Cells Infiltrate the Cornea of Patients with Herpetic Stromal Keratitis: No Evidence for Autoreactive T Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(9):2607-2612. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
purpose. Herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK) is a T-cell–mediated inflammatory
disease initiated by a herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection of the
cornea. Recently, studies in the HSK mouse model have shown that the
immunopathogenic T cells are directed against the HSV protein UL6
cross-reacting with an unknown corneal autoantigen. Whether
this type of autoimmunity plays a role in human HSK was analyzed.
methods. T-cell lines (TCLs) were generated from corneal buttons of 12 patients
with different clinical stages of HSV-induced necrotizing stromal
keratitis (n = 9) or immune stromal keratitis
(n = 3). The initiating virus was identified by
polymerase chain reaction and immunohistology performed on the corneal
buttons. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated, and
B cell lines (BLCLs) were generated by transformation with Epstein-Barr
virus. Proliferative responses of these intracorneal TCLs were
determined by culturing T cells with autologous BLCLs infected with
HSV-1, HSV-2, wild-type vaccinia virus (VV-WT), or VV expressing HSV-1
UL6 (rVV-UL6). Alternatively, T cells were incubated with PBMCs pulsed
with human cornea protein extract.
results. Irrespective of clinical diagnosis or treatment, T cells were recovered
from the corneal buttons of all the 12 HSK patients. The intracorneal
TCLs of 9 of the 12 HSK patients showed HSV-specific T-cell reactivity.
In none of the TCLs, T-cell reactivity against HSV-1 UL6 or human
corneal antigens was detected.
conclusions. These data suggest that the potentially immunopathogenic intracorneal
T-cell response in HSK patients is directed to the initiating virus and
not to a human corneal autoantigen or HSV-1
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