June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Impact of microbiome on ocular immunity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mihaela G Gadjeva
    Medicine, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Abirami Kugadas
    Medicine, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Laura Ruiz
    Department of Ophthalmology, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Sharmila Masli
    Department of Ophthalmology, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Mihaela Gadjeva, None; Abirami Kugadas, None; Laura Ruiz, None; Sharmila Masli, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 4845. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Mihaela G Gadjeva, Abirami Kugadas, Laura Ruiz, Sharmila Masli; Impact of microbiome on ocular immunity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):4845.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: How microbiome affects the ocular immunity is at its early stage of accumulating experimental evidence. Here, we carried out experiments to evaluate the repertoire of ocular commensals in healthy mice, and autoimmune-prone mice. To determine the significance of microbiome in promoting health, we compared the susceptibility to infection of germ-free (GF) mice, conventional mice, and GF mice reconstituted with murine or human microbiota.

Methods: To characterize the ocular commensals in healthy mice and mice that develop Sjögren syndrome-like disease, conjunctival swabs were collected from the conventionally bred wild type (C57BL6) mice and thrombospondin-1 (Tsp-1 -/-) deficient mice and plated on selective agar media. To evaluate the ocular immune status of the different groups of mice, quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of ocular surface proteomes were carried out. To evaluate the impact of microbiome on sensitivity to infection, mice were challenged with P. aeruginosa 6294, bacterial presence in the cornea and the degree of developed ocular pathology during keratitis were quantified.

Results: We found that the repertoire of the ocular microbiota in mice was limited to Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus coagulase negative sp, and Streptococcus sp. The Tsp-1-/- mice showed significant increase in Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus coagulase negative sp ocular commensals, suggestive of a defect in the clearance mechanisms. Quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of ocular surface proteomes demonstrated that in the absence of commensals, the tear-film components were altered. For example, complement pathway components and iron-scavenging proteins were significantly reduced in the GF animals. In agreement with this finding, the GF mice were more sensitive to ocular P. aeruginosa-induced keratitis than the conventional mice. This was exemplified by increased bacterial presence and elevated corneal pathology. Upon reconstitution of GF mice with either mouse or human microbiota, the resistance to infection and the levels of ocular innate immune mediators were recovered.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that tonic signals from local commensal flora continuously induce increased synthesis of ocular innate immune effectors to limit microbial presence at the ocular surfaces. Furthermore, when the host fails to limit commensal outgrowth, autoimmune disease states could occur.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.