CD8 + T cells suppress viral replication in the cornea but contribute to VEGF-C-induced lymphatic vessel genesis

Christopher D. Conrady, Min Zheng, Donald U. Stone, Daniel J.J. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

HSV-1 is the leading cause of infectious corneal blindness in the industrialized world. CD4 + T cells are thought to be the major leukocyte population mediating immunity to HSV-1 in the cornea as well as the likely source of immunopathology that reduces visual acuity. However, the role of CD8 + T cells in immune surveillance of the cornea is unclear. Thus, we sought to evaluate the role of CD8 + T cells in ocular immunity using transgenic mice in which >98% of CD8 + T cells are specific for the immunodominant HSV-1 epitope (gBT-I.1). We found a significant reduction in virus, elevation in HSV-specific CD8 + T cell influx, and more CD8 + T cells expressing CXCR3 in the cornea of transgenic mice compared with those in the cornea of wild-type controls yet similar acute corneal pathology. However, by day 30 postinfection, wild-type mice had drastically more blood and lymphatic vessel projections into the cornea compared with gBT-I.1 mice, in which only lymphatic vessel growth in response to VEGF-C could be appreciated. Taken together, these results show that CD8 + T cells are required to eliminate virus more efficiently from the cornea but play a minimal role in immunopathology as a source of VEGF-C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume189
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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