Immunoreactive vasoactive intestinal peptide contributes to the immunosuppressive activity of normal aqueous humor.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Suppression of immune-mediated inflammation within the normal anterior chamber (AC) of the eye is in part the result of active suppression of effector T cell activities by immunosuppressive cytokines found in aqueous humor (AqH), the fluid filling the AC. There are immunosuppressive factors found in the low m.w. fraction (< 5 kDa) of AqH, including the neuropeptide alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). In seeking other factors, we now report that the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is also present in normal AqH. VIP immunoreactivity was found in normal rabbit eyes at a concentration of 12 +/- 1 nM. At this intraocular concentration, VIP suppressed Ag-stimulated lymph node cell (LNC) proliferation and IFN-gamma production in vitro. Although suppression of LNC proliferation was not neutralized by absorption of VIP from the low m.w. fraction of AqH, removal of VIP did neutralize suppression of IFN-gamma production by this fraction of AqH. Absorption of both VIP and alpha-MSH from this fraction of AqH permitted production of IFN-gamma by Ag-stimulated LNC that was no different than absorbing VIP alone. The low m.w. fraction of AqH absorbed of either alpha-MSH and VIP lost its ability to suppress local adoptive transfer of delayed-type hypersensitivity. The results suggest that VIP is an important immunosuppressive neuropeptide in AqH. Neuropeptides play an important role in ocular immune privilege and creation of an intraocular immunosuppressive microenvironment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Taylor, AW; Streilein, JW; Cousins, SW

Published Date

  • August 1, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 153 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1080 - 1086

PubMed ID

  • 8027541

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States