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Sebastian E. Siebelmann, Uta Gehlsen, Salvatore Grisanti, Maya Mueller, Philipp Steven; Development, Antigen-Related Modulation And Long Term Persistence Of Conjunctiva-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (CALT). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1939.
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Conjunctiva-associated lymphoid tissue (CALT) clinically demonstrates an increase in number and size of follicles during ocular infection, allergy and dry eye. However no detailed structural investigations of CALT exist concerning structural changes either during postnatal development, following antigen-contact or long term persistence. The present study was set up to characterize CALT in our mouse model during normal postnatal development and compare its ultrastructure to mice that were repeatedly challenged with different antigens.
Eyes from unstimulated Balb/c mice were collected at different time points from postnatal day 10 up to 6 months of age and screened for CALT. Cellular composition, goblet cell density and presence of lymphoid and blood vessels were characterized by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, 12 week old Balb/c mice were repeatedly stimulated with different antigens and CALT was investigated up to 2 months after the last challenge.
During normal postnatal development no organized follicles were present before 8 weeks of age. The expression of CALT increased to a maximum of 73% at 6 months of age without topical stimulation. After repeated antigen-challenge CALT expression increased to appr. 100%. Organized follicles consisted of B- and T-Zone, follicular dendritic cells and regulatory T-cells. Antigen-challenge induced enlargement of B- and T-zone. Follicles remained present until 2 months after the last antigen-challenge.
This is the first study to demonstrate the postnatal development of CALT under normal laboratory conditions without artificial antigen challenge. Moreover CALT responds to antigen-challenge by increase in expression and changes in structure and degree of organisation. Further experiments are in progress to investigate the allocation and expression of lymphocyte migration receptors during early development and antigen-stimulation.
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