In vivo molecular analysis of cytokines in a murine model of ocular onchocerciasis. I. Up-regulation of IL-4 and IL-5 mRNAs and not IL-2 and IFN gamma mRNAs in the cornea due to experimental interstitial keratitis.
Sclerosing keratitis is the major cause of blindness due to onchocerciasis which results from chronic infection with the filarial parasite Onchocerca volvulus. Using a murine model of onchocercal sclerosing keratitis, we have demonstrated previously that predominantly (> 85%) CD3 + /CD4+ T-cells as well as the IL-2 receptor bearing cells infiltrate into the cornea in vivo during development and progress of the disease. The identification of CD4+ subsets TH1 and TH2 based on the cytokine secretion patterns of murine T-lymphocytes has been useful for understanding the immune basis of resistance and pathogenesis in murine models of several parasitic diseases. The present investigation was carried out to demonstrate whether the local immune response at the corneal lesion due to onchocercal interstitial keratitis correlated with such distinct patterns of cytokine production. For that purpose, mRNA was extracted separately from corneas obtained from the diseased eyes and the normal eyes of A/J mice with onchocercal interstitial keratitis, reverse transcribed and amplified by the polymerase chain reaction with four different cytokine specific primers. In corneas obtained from the eyes affected with onchocercal interstitial keratitis, mRNAs coding for IL-4 and IL-5 were up-regulated compared to the normal eyes having no lesions from the same animals. However, the levels of mRNAs for IL-2 and IFN gamma were found to be the same in the diseased and normal eyes. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-4 and IL-5 producing TH2-lymphocytes are active at the corneal lesion due to onchocercal interstitial keratitis.
Chakravarti, B; Lagoo-Deenadayalan, S; Parker, JS; Whitfield, DR; Lagoo, A; Chakravarti, DN
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