Complement and CD4+ T cells drive context-specific corneal sensory neuropathy.
Whether complement dysregulation directly contributes to the pathogenesis of peripheral nervous system diseases, including sensory neuropathies, is unclear. We addressed this important question in a mouse model of ocular HSV-1 infection, where sensory nerve damage is a common clinical problem. Through genetic and pharmacologic targeting, we uncovered a central role for C3 in sensory nerve damage at the morphological and functional levels. Interestingly, CD4 T cells were central in facilitating this complement-mediated damage. This same C3/CD4 T cell axis triggered corneal sensory nerve damage in a mouse model of ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, this was not the case in a T-dependent allergic eye disease (AED) model, suggesting that this inflammatory neuroimmune pathology is specific to certain disease etiologies. Collectively, these findings uncover a central role for complement in CD4 T cell-dependent corneal nerve damage in multiple disease settings and indicate the possibility for complement-targeted therapeutics to mitigate sensory neuropathies.
Royer, DJ; Echegaray-Mendez, J; Lin, L; Gmyrek, GB; Mathew, R; Saban, DR; Perez, VL; Carr, DJ
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