Qa-1, a nonclassical MHC molecule with immunomodulatory functions, is ubiquitously expressed in the immune-privileged anterior chamber of the eye.
PURPOSE: To determine whether the MHC class Ib gene, Qa-1, is expressed in the tissues that surround the immune-privileged anterior chamber (AC) of the murine eye. METHODS: Transcription of Qa-1 mRNA in BALB/c ocular tissues was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of Qa-1 protein was assessed on ocular frozen tissue sections by immunohistochemistry, and within aqueous humor by western blotting. RESULTS: Transcription of Qa-1 was found in all tissues surrounding the AC of the eye. Immunohistological staining revealed Qa-1 expression on corneal endothelium, corneal epithelium, and lens epithelium. No soluble Qa-1 was detected in aqueous humor. CONCLUSIONS: Qa-1, unlike other MHC class I molecules, is ubiquitously expressed in tissues surrounding the AC of the eye, raising the possibility that Qa-1 plays a role in creating and maintaining ocular immune privilege.
Kim, CY; Masli, S; Streilein, JW
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