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Immune cells on the corneal endothelium of an allogeneic corneal transplantation rabbit model

Koudouna, Elena ORCID:, Okumura, Naoki, Okazaki, Yugo, Nakano, Shinichiro, Inoue, Ryota, Fullwood, Nigel J., Hori, Junko, Kinoshita, Shigeru and Koizumi, Noriko 2017. Immune cells on the corneal endothelium of an allogeneic corneal transplantation rabbit model. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 58 (1) , pp. 242-251. 10.1167/iovs.16-20019

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Purpose: Corneal endothelial cell density undergoes a progressive decrease for many years after transplantation, eventually threatening patients with late endothelial failure. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of an immunologic response in successfully grafted corneal endothelium. Methods: The corneal endothelium of patients who had undergone corneal transplantation was evaluated by specular microscopy. Rabbit models were subjected to penetrating keratoplasty (PK) with either syngeneic or allogeneic corneal transplants and Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) with allogeneic corneal transplants. The presence of immune cells and expression of proinflammatory cytokines were determined by immunostaining. The corneal endothelium and immune cells were also evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. Results: Scanning slit contact specular microscopy of patients with no features of graft rejection revealed cell-like white dots on the grafted corneal endothelium. The corneal endothelium of the allogeneic PK and DSEK rabbit models displayed the presence of immune cells, including CD4+ T-helper cells, CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, CD20+ B lymphocytes, CD68+ macrophages, and neutrophils, but these immune cells were rarely observed in the syngeneic PK model. These immune cells also produced proinflammatory cytokines. Notably, some of the corneal endothelial cells situated near these immune cells exhibited features of apoptosis. Conclusions: T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils are present on the grafted corneal endothelium in both PK and DSEK allogeneic rabbit models. The potential involvement of immune cells as an underlying pathophysiology for late endothelial failure deserves further examination.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
ISSN: 0146-0404
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 25 November 2016
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 18:54

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