[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Corneal antigen-presenting cells (APC), including dendritic cells (DC), were thought to reside exclusively in the peripheral cornea. Here, we present recent data from our group demonstrating that the central cornea is indeed endowed with a heterogeneous population of epithelial and stromal DC, which function as APC. Although the corneal periphery contains mature and immature resident bone marrow-derived CD11c(+) DC, the central cornea is endowed exclusively with immature and precursor DC, both in the epithelium and the stroma, wherein Langerhans cells and monocytic DC reside, respectively. During inflammation, a majority of resident DC undergo maturation by overexpressing major histocompatibility complex class II and B7 (CD80/CD86) costimulatory molecules. In addition to the DC, macrophages are present in the posterior corneal stroma. In transplantation, donor-derived DC are able to migrate to host cervical lymph nodes and activate host T cells via the direct pathway when allografts are placed in inflamed host beds. These data revise the tenet that the cornea is immune-privileged as a result of lack of resident lymphoreticular cells and suggest that the cornea is capable of diverse cellular mechanisms for antigen presentation.
Journal of Leukocyte Biology 09/2003; 74(2):172-8. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors investigated the progressive changes in the distribution of corneal Langerhans cells (LC) after reactivation of latent herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in mice.
After corneal inoculation of National Institutes of Health inbred mice with HSV-1 and the establishment of latency, viral reactivation was induced by irradiating the ocular surface with 250 mJ/cm2 of ultraviolet B (UV-B) light.
Subsequent viral replication in the cornea was followed by the migration of the LC toward the paracentral and central corneal epithelium. These areas are normally devoid of LC. The number of LC in the paracentral and central regions of the eye reached a peak at day 14 post-UV-B irradiation. After UV-B irradiation of mice latently infected with HSV-1, the development of corneal stromal opacification and neovascularization closely followed the migration of LC toward the central cornea and paralleled the influx of T-cells into the corneal stroma. This pattern was not observed in irradiated uninfected mice.
LC migrate centrally in the corneal epithelium after viral reactivation. There is a direct correlation between the number of LC in the cornea and the degree of persistent stromal opacification.
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