Purpose: To evaluate the immune cell subsets in conjunctival mucosa-associated-lymphoid-tissue (C-MALT) following challenge with antigen. Methods: Ten adult female Lewis rats were studied. Five rats received one drop (5 µL) of retinal S-antigen (500 µg/mL in phosphate buffered saline, PBS) instilled into the lower fornix twice daily for 10 consecutive days. Five rats received PBS only and served as controls for the experiment. Two days after the last instillation the animals were sacrificed and the orbital contents prepared for immunohistological staining. A panel of monoclonal antibodies was used: CD5, CD4, CD8, CD25, and CD45RA. The number of positive cells were counted in sections of epibulbar, forniceal, and tarsal conjunctiva. Results: There was a significant increase in the number of CD8 T lymphocytes in the conjunctiva of animals receiving retinal S-antigen when compared to control animals. Conclusion: Conjunctival instillation of retinal S-antigen causes an immune response in the C-MALT with a significant increase in the CD8 T lymphocyte subset in this tissue. This response may be involved in the induction of tolerance to the encountered antigen.
Gormley, P. D., Powell-Richards, A. O. R., Azuara-Blanco, A., Donoso, L. A., & Dua, H. S. (1998). Lymphocyte subsets in conjunctival mucosa-associated-lymphoid-tissue after exposure to retinal-S-antigen. International ophthalmology, 22(2), 77-80. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006191022900