A large body of evidence suggests that corneal allograft rejection is mediated by a type 1 Th cell response and that deviation toward type 2 immunity favors graft survival. However, clinical observations indicate that patients with severe ocular allergies have increased risk of corneal allograft rejection. We used a mouse model of atopic conjunctivitis to evaluate the effects of Th2 immune deviation on corneal allograft survival and possible mechanisms of graft rejection. Our results reveal the following novel findings: 1) atopic conjunctivitis promotes systemic Th2 immune responses to corneal graft donor alloantigens; 2) corneal allografts in atopic host eyes have an increased incidence and swifter tempo of rejection; 3) increased rejection is associated with alterations in systemic T cell-mediated responses to donor alloantigens; and 4) corneal allograft rejection in atopic hosts does not require the direct involvement of infiltrating eosinophils.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy