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Ben J. Kim, Zhuqing Li, Robert N. Fariss, De Fen Shen, Sankaranarayana P. Mahesh, Charles Egwuagu, Cheng-Rong Yu, Chandrasekharam N. Nagineni, Chi-Chao Chan, Robert B. Nussenblatt; Constitutive and Cytokine-Induced GITR Ligand Expression on Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Photoreceptors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(9):3170-3176. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.03-0919.
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purpose. The glucocorticoid-induced TNF-related receptor (GITR) plays a pivotal role in regulating the suppressive function of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. GITR is also involved in the inhibition of T-cell receptor–induced apoptosis and the upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). GITR expression on CD4+ T cells has been shown to correlate with the disease course of noninfectious uveitis. The current study was conducted to examine the expression of glucocorticoid-induced TNF-related receptor ligand (GITRL) and its regulation by ocular tissue.
methods. Immunohistochemistry and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy were performed on human ocular tissue to examine the in vivo protein expression of GITRL. The regulation of GITRL was investigated by culturing retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) with proinflammatory cytokines and performing immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The in vivo mRNA expression of GITRL was studied by RT-PCR on RNA from microdissected tissue sections.
results. Both immunohistochemistry and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that GITRL was expressed constitutively on RPE and photoreceptor inner segments. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that in vitro stimulated RPE cells expressed GITRL at the protein level, and RT-PCR showed that GITRL was upregulated at 24 hours by proinflammatory cytokines. Constitutive GITRL mRNA expression in vivo was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis of microdissected tissue.
conclusions. GITRL is expressed constitutively on RPE and in high levels on photoreceptor inner segments. The upregulation of GITRL by proinflammatory cytokines suggests that GITRL may play an important role in ocular immunity. The high level of constitutive GITRL expression on photoreceptor inner segments suggests that photoreceptors participate in the regulation of ocular inflammation.
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