Characterisation of rat corneal cells that take up soluble antigen: an in vivo and in vitro study

Paul G McMenamin, Jelena Kezic, Serge Camelo

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to determine the capacity of resident corneal and limbal dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages to capture antigen (Ag) in vivo and compare this to their capacity in vitro to take up Ag during organ culture conditions. To investigate Ag uptake in vivo 3 microl (30 microg) of fluorescently labelled Dextran, bovine serum albumin (BSA) or ovalbumin (OVA) were either placed on the intact ocular surface or injected into the anterior chamber (AC) or subconjunctival space of the Lewis rat eye. The presence of Ag+ cells in the cornea was assessed using intravital fluorescence video microscopy. Animals were sacrificed 24h after Ag injections or topical application and the distribution and phenotype of Ag+ cells were analysed ex vivo by fluorescence and confocal microscopic analysis of immunostained and unstained corneal tissue wholemounts or frozen sections. Corneal buttons and corneoscleral rims from naive Lewis rats were placed in organ culture conditions in the presence of LPS with or without FITC-Dextran for 48 h and 72 h. The explants were examined by epi-fluorescence microscopy and the phenotype of Ag+ cells in the supernatant from the organ cultures was analyzed by flow cytometry using a range of macrophage and DC markers. In vivo observations and microscopic examination of corneas 24h following Ag topical application failed to reveal evidence of Ag retention by ocular cells. Those in which Ag had been placed in the AC or subconjunctival space revealed Ag+ cells within the corneal stroma. The distribution of Ag+ cells displayed a centripetal gradient, the most marked uptake of Ag being by cells in the...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268 - 1280
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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