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J. Bourges, F. Valamanesh, M. Savoldelli, D. Ben-Ezra, Y. De Kosak, G. Renard, F. Behar-Cohen; Kinetics of Cell Reactions and Death during Corneal Graft Rejection . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):911.
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Purpose: To analyze the cell reactions and death in the time-course of corneal graft rejection in the rat. Methods: Lewis rats received perforating corneal allografts from Brown-Norway donor rats. Animals were sacrificed at 2, 5,10, and 14 days after transplantation. The eyes were cryo-sectionned for immunohistochemistry using CD3, OX42, ED1, NOSII, Anti nitrotyrosine, Von Willbrand antibodies and for TUNEL assay. Results: Infiltrating cells, CD3 and OX42, but no ED1 were observed as early as day 2, mostly in the host cornea. At day 5, numerous OX42 and DC3 positive cells were detected in both the recipient and the graft cornea. At day 10, the number of CD3 positive cells decreased within the graft while the OX42 positive cells were still present in large number. NOSII was expressed from day 2 to 14 only in the anterior stroma of the recipient and was closely associated with Von Willbrand positive cells. In the graft however, NOSII expression started only on day 5 and was observed in all graft layers. Anti nitrotyrosine labeling was particularly observed within endothelial cells at Day 10 and in a few sub-epithelial infiltrating cells of the host cornea.Interestingly, no TUNEL positive cells were observed within the graft at any time. Conclusions: NOSII is expressed in the time course of graft rejection and may be involved in both the vascular endothelial cell reaction and the rejection mechanism of the grafted cornea including all cellular layers. Cell death within the graft is not associated with TUNEL reaction and may occur through a caspase-independent apoptotic mechanism.
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