Two different regulatory T cell populations that promote corneal allograft survival

Khrishen Cunnusamy, Kathryn Paunicka, Nancy Reyes, Wanhua Yang, Peter W. Chen, Jerry Y. Niederkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To compare and contrast the T regulatory cells (Tregs) induced by anterior chamber (AC) injection of antigen with those induced by orthotopic corneal allografts. METHODS. Anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID) Tregs were induced by injecting C57BL/6 spleen cells into the AC of BALB/c mice. Delayed-type hypersensitivity responses to C57BL/6 alloantigens were evaluated by a conventional ear swelling assay. Corneal allograft Tregs were induced by applying orthotopic C57BL/6 corneal allografts onto BALB/c hosts. The effects of anti-CD25, anti-CD8, anti-interferon-γ (IFN-γ), anti-IL-17A, or cyclophosphamide treatments on corneal allograft survival and ACAID were evaluated. RESULTS. Administration of either anti-CD25 or anti-IFN-γ antibodies prevented the expression of ACAID and abolished the immune privilege of corneal allografts. By contrast, in vivo treatment with anti-CD8 antibody abrogated ACAID but had no effect on corneal allograft survival. Further discordance between ACAID and corneal allograft survival emerged in experiments in which the induction of allergic conjunctivitis or the administration of anti-IL-17A abolished the immune privilege of corneal allografts but had no effect on the induction or expression of ACAID. CONCLUSIONS. Although orthotopic corneal allografts are strategically located for the induction of ACAID by the sloughing of corneal cells into the AC, the results reported here indicate that the Tregs induced by orthotopic corneal allografts are remarkably different from the Tregs that are induced by AC injection of alloantigen. Although both of these Treg populations promote corneal allograft survival, they display distinctly different phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6566-6574
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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