Severing corneal nerves in one eye induces sympathetic loss of immune privilege and promotes rejection of future corneal allografts placed in either eye

K. J. Paunicka, J. Mellon, D. Robertson, M. Petroll, J. R. Brown, J. Y. Niederkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Less than 10% of corneal allografts undergo rejection even though HLA matching is not performed. However, second corneal transplants experience a threefold increase in rejection, which is not due to prior sensitization to histocompatibility antigens shared by the first and second transplants since corneal grafts are selected at random without histocompatibility matching. Using a mouse model of penetrating keratoplasty, we found that 50% of the initial corneal transplants survived, yet 100% of the subsequent corneal allografts (unrelated to the first graft) placed in the opposite eye underwent rejection. The severing of corneal nerves that occurs during surgery induced substance P (SP) secretion in both eyes, which disabled T regulatory cells that are required for allograft survival. Administration of an SP antagonist restored immune privilege and promoted graft survival. Thus, corneal surgery produces a sympathetic response that permanently abolishes immune privilege of subsequent corneal allografts, even those placed in the opposite eye and expressing a completely different array of foreign histocompatibility antigens from the first corneal graft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1501
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Fingerprint

Allografts
Transplants
Histocompatibility Antigens
Substance P
Penetrating Keratoplasty
Histocompatibility
Graft Survival
Regulatory T-Lymphocytes

Keywords

  • Basic (laboratory) research/science
  • corneal transplantation/ophthalmology
  • immune regulation
  • rejection
  • tolerance: experimental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

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abstract = "Less than 10{\%} of corneal allografts undergo rejection even though HLA matching is not performed. However, second corneal transplants experience a threefold increase in rejection, which is not due to prior sensitization to histocompatibility antigens shared by the first and second transplants since corneal grafts are selected at random without histocompatibility matching. Using a mouse model of penetrating keratoplasty, we found that 50{\%} of the initial corneal transplants survived, yet 100{\%} of the subsequent corneal allografts (unrelated to the first graft) placed in the opposite eye underwent rejection. The severing of corneal nerves that occurs during surgery induced substance P (SP) secretion in both eyes, which disabled T regulatory cells that are required for allograft survival. Administration of an SP antagonist restored immune privilege and promoted graft survival. Thus, corneal surgery produces a sympathetic response that permanently abolishes immune privilege of subsequent corneal allografts, even those placed in the opposite eye and expressing a completely different array of foreign histocompatibility antigens from the first corneal graft.",
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AU - Mellon, J.

AU - Robertson, D.

AU - Petroll, M.

AU - Brown, J. R.

AU - Niederkorn, J. Y.

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N2 - Less than 10% of corneal allografts undergo rejection even though HLA matching is not performed. However, second corneal transplants experience a threefold increase in rejection, which is not due to prior sensitization to histocompatibility antigens shared by the first and second transplants since corneal grafts are selected at random without histocompatibility matching. Using a mouse model of penetrating keratoplasty, we found that 50% of the initial corneal transplants survived, yet 100% of the subsequent corneal allografts (unrelated to the first graft) placed in the opposite eye underwent rejection. The severing of corneal nerves that occurs during surgery induced substance P (SP) secretion in both eyes, which disabled T regulatory cells that are required for allograft survival. Administration of an SP antagonist restored immune privilege and promoted graft survival. Thus, corneal surgery produces a sympathetic response that permanently abolishes immune privilege of subsequent corneal allografts, even those placed in the opposite eye and expressing a completely different array of foreign histocompatibility antigens from the first corneal graft.

AB - Less than 10% of corneal allografts undergo rejection even though HLA matching is not performed. However, second corneal transplants experience a threefold increase in rejection, which is not due to prior sensitization to histocompatibility antigens shared by the first and second transplants since corneal grafts are selected at random without histocompatibility matching. Using a mouse model of penetrating keratoplasty, we found that 50% of the initial corneal transplants survived, yet 100% of the subsequent corneal allografts (unrelated to the first graft) placed in the opposite eye underwent rejection. The severing of corneal nerves that occurs during surgery induced substance P (SP) secretion in both eyes, which disabled T regulatory cells that are required for allograft survival. Administration of an SP antagonist restored immune privilege and promoted graft survival. Thus, corneal surgery produces a sympathetic response that permanently abolishes immune privilege of subsequent corneal allografts, even those placed in the opposite eye and expressing a completely different array of foreign histocompatibility antigens from the first corneal graft.

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