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Jared E. Knickelbein, Kristine-Ann Buela, Robert L. Hendricks; Antigen-Presenting Cells Are Stratified Within Normal Human Corneas and Are Rapidly Mobilized During Ex Vivo Viral Infection. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(2):1118-1123. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13523.
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To define the phenotype and location of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in normal donor human corneas, and to assess the response of APC to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection.
Donor human corneal tissue was analyzed by fluorescence confocal microscopy and flow cytometry to determine the phenotype and location of tissue-resident APCs. Confocal fluorescence microscopy was also utilized to investigate the response of corneal resident APCs to ex vivo infection with HSV-1.
CD11c+ dendritic cells (DCs) and CD207+ Langerhans cells (LCs) were situated predominantly in the basal epithelium and CD68+ macrophages in the anterior stroma of human corneas. The majority of DCs expressed major histocompatibility complex class II. Corneal resident APCs colocalized with HSV-1-infected corneal cells within 8 to 16 hours of ex vivo infection.
The stratification of APCs found in human corneas is very similar to that previously reported in mice, confirming the relevance of murine models for the study of corneal APCs. Furthermore, corneal resident APCs are capable of rapidly mobilizing to the site of trauma and HSV-1 infection within the cornea.
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