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M Hingorani, V L Calder, R J Buckley, S Lightman; The immunomodulatory effect of topical cyclosporin A in atopic keratoconjunctivitis.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(2):392-399.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: To perform a detailed examination of the immunomodulatory effects of topical cyclosporin A (CsA) in conjunctival tissue from patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC). METHODS: Patients with active AKC were randomly allocated into two groups of four patients. For 3 months one group received 2% CsA drops, and the other group received placebo drops. Superior tarsal conjunctival biopsy specimens were harvested before and after treatment and examined by one- and two-color immunohistochemistry to compare leukocyte counts, HLA-DR+ and IL-2R+ cell counts, HLA-DR positivity of conjunctival epithelial cells, and counts of T cells expressing the cytokines interleukin (IL)-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, and interferon (IFN)-gamma. RESULTS: Posttreatment values were significantly less than pretreatment values for the total number of leukocytes and in the numbers of CD3+ T cells, CD4+ cells, CD8+ cells, CD20+ B cells, neutrophils, and macrophages, and there was a decrease in the CD4-CD8 ratio (P = 0.03) in the CsA group. There was a reduction from before CsA treatment to after CsA-treatment in the numbers of HLA-DR+ and IL-2R+ cells (P = 0.03), but the reduction in the epithelial cell HLA-DR expression did not reach significance. The number of T cells staining for IL-3 and IL-5 was reduced, although not to statistical significance, but there was a significant reduction in the number of T cells expressing IL-2 and IFN-gamma (P = 0.03) after CsA treatment compared with initial values. There were no statistically significant differences between pretreatment and posttreatment values in the placebo group. There was a clinical improvement in the CsA group and a clinical worsening in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: The in vitro effects of CsA translate into a reduction in T cells, a normalization of the CD4-CD8 ratio, a decrease in T-cell activation, and a reduction in T-cell cytokine expression, especially IL-2 and IFN-gamma. The decrease in HLA-DR expression may be mediated by the change in IFN-gamma. There were fewer B cells but not fewer plasma cells after CsA and no change in IL-4 expression, suggesting minimal effects on type I hypersensitivity responses. There was no significant reduction in mast cell or eosinophil numbers, but direct effects of topical CsA on their function may play a role in the therapy of ocular allergic disease. These results show that the beneficial effects of topical CsA in AKC are accompanied by important changes in conjunctival immune cell profiles.
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