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Junko Hori, Nancy Joyce, J. Wayne Streilein; Epithelium-Deficient Corneal Allografts Display Immune Privilege beneath the Kidney Capsule. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(2):443-452.
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purpose. To determine whether corneal tissue as an allograft displays immune
privilege in a nonprivileged site and, if so, whether CD95 ligand
expression contributes to the privileged status.
methods. Syngeneic and allogeneic corneal tissues deprived of epithelium were
transplanted beneath the kidney capsule of normal mice. Syngeneic
BALB/c, allogeneic C57BL/6, and allogeneic B6Smn.C3H-gld (CD95 ligand–deficient) mice were used as donors for BALB/c
recipients, and syngeneic C3H/HeJ-gld (CD95
ligand–deficient) mice were used for normal C3H/HeJ recipients.
Allogeneic conjunctival segments served as positive grafting controls.
Graft fate was assessed by visual inspection at 4, 7, 14, and 21 days
and was confirmed by histologic study. Viability of graft endothelium
was assessed by immunocytochemical analysis.
results. Syngeneic corneas and C57BL/6 corneas survived almost indefinitely
beneath the kidney capsule. Both the stroma and the endothelial layers
remained healthy and intact. Allogeneic conjunctiva evoked a strong
inflammatory response attended by neovascularization. Similarly,
B6-gld corneas deficient in CD95 ligand expression
showed acute destruction beneath the kidney capsule. Circumstantial
evidence implicates alloimmune rejection as the mechanism.
conclusions. Epithelium-deprived corneas from normal mice possess inherent immune
privilege that protects them from alloimmune rejection even at
nonprivileged sites. Constitutive expression of CD95 ligand contributes
to the privileged status. It is inferred that the extraordinary success
of orthotopic corneal allografts owes as much to the qualities of the
graft as an immune-privileged tissue as to the qualities of the eye as
an immune-privileged site.
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