The immune privilege that exists in the eye is maintained by various mechanisms. One of the best studied is a form of systemic tolerance termed anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID). We have investigated the mechanisms by which ocular inflammation associated with the vitreous cavity (VC) is reduced, by injecting either ovalbumin (OVA) or allogeneic splenocytes into the VCs of mice, and assessed the effect of this on delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses. After antigen inoculation into the VC, antigen-specific DTH responses were significantly impaired and we named this phenomenon 'vitreous cavity-associated immune deviation' (VCAID). VCAID could also be induced by inoculating antigen-pulsed macrophages into the VC. However, VCAID did not develop either in mice with inflamed eyes, whether as a result of experimental autoimmune uveitis or coadministration of interleukin (IL)-6 in the VC, or in knockout mice deficient for natural killer T (NKT) cells. Finally, we found that so-called 'hyalocytes' are the only cells present in the VCs of normal mice, uniformly distributed on the retinal surface. Interestingly, they express F4/80, suggesting that hyalocytes are candidate antigen-presenting cells (APCs) responsible for mediating VCAID. As for the anterior chamber model, systemic tolerance can be induced in the VC in non-inflamed eyes and in the presence of invariant NKT cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy