Deletion of the Chemokine Receptor CCR1 Prolongs Corneal Allograft Survival

Laboratory of Immunology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Ophthalmology, Boston, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science (Impact Factor: 3.4). 04/2007; 48(3):1228-36. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.05-1483
Source: PubMed


Many corneal grafts undergo immune rejection, and current therapies are associated with many side effects. The purpose of this study was to identify critical chemokine pathways involved in generating the alloimmune response to corneal transplants.
Orthotopic corneal transplantation was performed in fully mismatched strains. Cytokine and chemokine receptor gene expression was determined by the RNase protection assay. Knockout (KO) strains for chemokine-chemokine receptors that are upregulated after transplantation underwent corneal transplantation. Results derived from KO murine hosts were compared with cyclosporine (Cy) therapy. In addition to graft survival, graft infiltration, allospecific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), and cytokine expression were compared among the recipient groups.
Initial experiments revealed gene upregulation of the chemokine receptors CCR1, -2, and -5 after corneal allorejection. Although CCR1 KO hosts showed a significant increase in graft survival compared with wild-type (WT) hosts, allografts in CCR5, CCR2/CCL3(MIP-1alpha), CXCR3, CXCL10/IP-10, and CCL3/MIP-1alpha KO mice did not show a significant improvement in graft survival. Further, CCR1 KO hosts showed a significantly higher survival rate than with systemic Cy therapy in WT hosts. Moreover, graft infiltration by leukocytes and gene expression of proinflammatory cytokines were reduced in CCR1 KO mice compared with both Cy treated and untreated WT mice, as was the induction of allospecific DTH.
These studies provide, for the first time, evidence that targeting of specific chemokine pathways can significantly promote survival of corneal transplants, and suggest that select deletion or suppression of CCR1 can be a useful therapeutic target in corneal transplant immunity.

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    • "LAT assays were performed twice, and each group consisted of n=5 mice. In both LAT assays, ear thickness was measured 48 h after cells were injected in a masked fashion using a micrometer (Mitutoyo; MTI, Paramus, NJ) [16]. "
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