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Ulrike Kaufmann, Maria Diedrichs-Möhring, Gerhild Wildner; Intraocular T Cell Responses In Monophasic vs. Relapsing Rat EAU. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2927.
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The course of EAU in the rat can be monophasic or relapsing, depending on the antigen peptide used for induction. Retinal S-Antigen peptide PDSAg induces monophasic, IRBP peptide R14 relapsing disease. Recently we described differences in gene and protein expression of PDSAg- and R14-specific T cell lines, including IFN-γ and IL-17. Here we investigate Th1 and Th17 cells among intraocular T cells of both specificities.
EAU was induced by immunization with PDSAg or R14 in CFA. Intraocular cells were collected at various time points and stimulated with antigen or ConA. After in vitro stimulation for 3 days cells were stained for TCRαβ, IL-17 and IFN-γ expression.
Intracellular staining for IFN-γ and IL-17 revealed a major intraocular IFN-γ+ and a minor IL-17+ population, of the latter the majority of cells were IFN-γ/IL-17 double positive. In R14-induced EAU up to 50% IL-17+ cells were found only at onset of EAU, they decreased during the course of intraocular inflammation and did not increase at relapses. In PDSAg-induced disease IL-17+ and double positive cells increased to more than 20% when intraocular inflammation subsided. Numbers of IFN-γ+ cells remained stable during R14-induced EAU, but decreased during the course of PDSAg-mediated disease. During spontaneous relapses of R14-induced EAU most intraocular IFN-γ+ T cells were antigen-specific, while the majority of IL-17+ cells was Ag non-specific (ConA stimulation).
Intraocular T cells in rat EAU were IFN-γ+, IL-17+ and IFN-γ+IL-17+. Depending of the antigen-specificity of the autoimmune response the populations varied and IL-17+ and IFN-γ/IL-17 double positive cells appeared in the eye at different stages during disease, suggesting that IL-17+ cells in monophasic PDSAg-mediated EAU might have regulatory functions, while IL-17+ cells in R14-induced EAU might play a role in infiltration of specific T cells or unspecific inflammatory cells.
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