There is mounting evidence that the microbiome has potent immunoregulatory functions. We assessed the effects of intestinal dysbiosis in a model of Sjögren syndrome (SS) by subjecting mice to desiccating stress (DS) and antibiotics (ABX). We characterized the conjunctival, tongue and fecal microbiome profiles of patients with SS. Severity of ocular surface and systemic disease was graded. 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing characterized the microbiota. ABX + DS mice had a significantly worse dry eye phenotype compared to controls, a decrease in Clostridium and an increase in Enterobacter, Escherichia/Shigella, and Pseudomonas in stool after ABX + DS for 10 days. Goblet cell density was significantly lower in ABX treated groups compared to controls. Stool from SS subjects had greater relative abundances of Pseudobutyrivibrio, Escherichia/Shigella, Blautia, and Streptococcus, while relative abundance of Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, Faecalibacterium, and Prevotella was reduced compared to controls. The severity of SS ocular and systemic disease was inversely correlated with microbial diversity. These findings suggest that SS is marked by a dysbiotic intestinal microbiome driven by low relative abundance of commensal bacteria and high relative abundance of potentially pathogenic genera that is associated with worse ocular mucosal disease in a mouse model of SS and in SS patients.
to compare tear cytokine and chemokine concentrations in asymptomatic control and dysfunctional tear syndrome (DTS) patients and determine the correlations between tear inflammatory mediators and clinical severity.
Prospective observational cohort study
Concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF), interleukin (IL) - 1α, 1β, 6, 10, 12 and 13, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and chemokines: IL-8 (CXC), MIP-1α (CCL3) and RANTES (CCL5) were measured by a multiplex immunobead assay in an asymptomatic control group and DTS patients with and without MGD. Spearman correlations between tear cytokines and severity of irritation symptoms and ocular surface signs were calculated.
Tear concentrations of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α were significantly higher in DTS with and without MGD and EGF was significantly reduced in the DTS without MGD group compared to the control group. MIP-1α was greater in entire DTS and DTS without MGD groups than the control group and RANTES was greater in DTS with MGD than the control and DTS without MGD groups. IL-12 was significantly higher in the DTS with MGD than the DTS without MGD subgroup. Significant correlations were observed between IL-6 and irritation symptoms and between a number of cytokines and chemokines and clinical parameters.
As predicted, patients with DTS have higher levels of inflammatory mediators in their tears that show correlation with clinical disease parameters. Furthermore, different tear cytokine/chemokine profiles were observed in DTS patients with and without MGD groups.
Evidence strongly suggests that excessive or protracted signaling, or both, by cell-surface or intracellular innate immune receptors is central to the pathogenesis of most autoimmune and autoinflammatory rheumatic diseases. The initiation of aberrant innate and adaptive immune responses in autoimmune diseases can be triggered by microbes and, at times, by endogenous molecules—particularly nucleic acids and related immune complexes—under sterile conditions. By contrast, most autoinflammatory syndromes are generally dependent on germline or de novo gene mutations that cause or facilitate inflammasome assembly. The consequent production of proinflammatory cytokines, principally interferon-α/β and tumor necrosis factor in autoimmune diseases, and interleukin-lβ in autoinflammatory diseases, leads to the creation of autoamplification feedback loops and chronicity of these syndromes. These findings have resulted in a critical reappraisal of pathogenetic mechanisms, and provide a basis for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for these diseases.
Little is known about rates and determinants of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, an infection that is etiologically linked with oropharyngeal cancers.
A cohort of male university students (18–24 years of age) was examined every 4 months (212 men; 704 visits). Oral specimens were collected via gargle/rinse and swabbing of the oropharynx. Genotyping for HPV type 16 (HPV-16) and 36 other alpha-genus types was performed by PCR-based assay. Data on potential determinants was gathered via clinical examination, in-person questionnaire, and biweekly online diary. Hazard ratios (HR) were used to measure associations with incident infection.
Prevalence of oral HPV infection at enrollment was 7.5% and 12-month cumulative incidence was 12.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.0, 21.3). Prevalence of oral HPV-16 was 2.8% and 12-month cumulative incidence was 0.8% (CI: 0.1, 5.7). 28.6% of prevalent and none of incident oral HPV infections were detected more than once. In a multivariate model, incident oral HPV infection was associated with recent frequency of performing oral sex (≥1 per week: HR=3.7; CI: 1.4, 9.8), recent anal sex with men (HR=42.9; CI: 8.8, 205.5), current infection with the same HPV type in the genitals (HR=6.2; CI: 2.4, 16.4) and hyponychium (HR=11.8, CI: 4.1; 34.2).
Although nearly 20% of sexually active male university students had evidence of oral HPV infection within 12 months, most infections were transient. HPV-16 was not common. Sexual contact and autoinoculation appeared to play independent roles in the transmission of alpha-genus HPV to the oral cavity of young men.
HPV; oral HPV; young men; epidemiology
Dry eye is a common ocular surface inflammatory disease that significantly affects quality of life. Dysfunction of the lacrimal function unit (LFU) alters tear composition and breaks ocular surface homeostasis, facilitating chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Accordingly, the most effective treatments to date are geared towards reducing inflammation and restoring normal tear film. The pathogenic role of CD4+ T cells is well known, and the field is rapidly realizing the complexity of other innate and adaptive immune factors involved in the development and progression of disease. The data support the hypothesis that dry eye is a localized autoimmune disease originating from an imbalance in the protective immunoregulatory and proinflammatory pathways of the ocular surface.
autoimmunity; dry eye; inflammation; lacrimal functional unit; Sjögren's syndrome; T cell
Dry eye is a potent stimulus of both innate and adaptive immune systems. At the nexus of the dry eye inflammatory/immune response is the dynamic interplay between the ocular surface epithelia and the bone marrow–derived immune cells. On the one hand, ocular surface epithelial cells play a key initiating role in this inflammatory reaction. On the other hand, they are targets of cytokines produced by activated T cells that are recruited to the ocular surface in response to dry eye. This interaction between epithelial and immune cells in dry eye will be thoroughly reviewed.
dry eye; ocular surface epithelium; immune system
Conjunctiva-associated lymphoid tissue (CALT) is thought to play a key role in initiating ocular surface related immune responses. This study was planned to get first profound insights into the function of CALT related to development, cellular dynamics and morphological alteration using a novel mouse model.
Expression and morphology of CALT were investigated using BALB/c mice kept under different housing conditions, after topical antigen-stimulation and following lymphadenectomy and splenectomy. Particles and bacteria were applied topically to study antigen-transport. Intravital visualization was performed using two-photon microscopy.
Postnatal development and ultrastructure of CALT in the mouse is similar to humans. Topical antigen-challenge significantly alters CALT expression. Bacterial translocation is demonstrated via lymphoepithelium whereas cellular velocities within follicles were approximately 8 µm/min.
CALT in the mouse is an immunological interface of the ocular surface, featuring dynamic processes such as morphological plasticity, particle/bacteria transport and cellular migration.
A majority of experimental data on dry eye disease (DED) immunopathogenesis have been derived from a murine model of DED that combines desiccating environmental stress with systemic muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) inhibition. However, to our knowledge the effects of pharmacologic mAChR blockade on the pathogenesis of experimental DED have not been evaluated systemically. The purpose of our study was to investigate the differential effects of desiccating environmental stress and mAChR inhibition on the pathogenesis of DED.
DED was induced in female C57BL/6 mice by exposure to a desiccating environment in the controlled-environment chamber or to systemic scopolamine, or by performing extraorbital lacrimal gland excision. Clinical disease was assessed using corneal fluorescein staining (CFS) and the cotton thread test (CTT). Corneal CD11b+ and conjunctival CD3+ T-cell infiltration were evaluated by flow cytometry. T-cells from draining cervical lymph nodes (CLN) and distant inguinal lymph nodes (ILN) were analyzed for Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg responses by flow cytometry and ELISA.
Desiccating environmental stress and systemic mAChR blockade induced similar clinical signs of DED. However, desiccating environmental stress imparted higher conjunctival CD3+ T-cell infiltration, and greater Th17-cell activity and Treg dysfunction than mAChR blockade, while mAChR blockade decreased tear secretion to a greater extent than desiccating environmental stress. Systemic mAChR blockade attenuated Th17 activity and enhanced Th2 and Treg responses without affecting Th1 activity.
In vivo inhibition of mAChRs variably affects CD4+ T-cell subsets, and desiccating environmental stress and systemic mAChR blockade induce DED through different primary pathogenic mechanisms.
Desiccating environmental stress and systemic mAChR blockade induce similar dry eye signs through different primary pathogenic mechanisms involving CD4+ T-cell response and tear production.
dry eye disease; controlled-environment chamber; scopolamine; CD4+ T-cells
Invasive Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) can enter epithelial cells wherein they mediate formation of plasma membrane bleb-niches for intracellular compartmentalization. This phenotype, and capacity for intracellular replication, requires the ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPr) activity of ExoS, a PA type III secretion system (T3SS) effector protein. Thus, PA T3SS mutants lack these capacities and instead traffic to perinuclear vacuoles. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the T3SS, via the ADPr activity of ExoS, allows PA to evade acidic vacuoles that otherwise suppress its intracellular viability. The acidification state of bacteria-occupied vacuoles within infected corneal epithelial cells was studied using LysoTracker to visualize acidic, lysosomal vacuoles. Steady state analysis showed that within cells wild-type PAO1 localized to both membrane bleb-niches and vacuoles, while both exsA (transcriptional activator) and popB (effector translocation) T3SS mutants were only found in vacuoles. The acidification state of occupied vacuoles suggested a relationship with ExoS expression, i.e. vacuoles occupied by the exsA mutant (unable to express ExoS) were more often acidified than either popB mutant or wild-type PAO1 occupied vacuoles (p < 0.001). An exoS-gfp reporter construct pJNE05 confirmed that high exoS transcriptional output coincided with low occupation of acidified vacuoles, and vice versa, for both popB mutants and wild-type bacteria. Complementation of a triple effector null mutant of PAO1 with exoS (pUCPexoS) reduced the number of acidified bacteria-occupied vacuoles per cell; pUCPexoSE381D which lacks ADPr activity did not. The H+-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin rescued intracellular replication to wild-type levels for exsA mutants, showing its viability is suppressed by vacuolar acidification. Taken together, the data show that the mechanism by which ExoS ADPr activity allows intracellular replication by PA involves suppression of vacuolar acidification. They also show that variability in ExoS expression by wild-type PA inside cells can differentially influence the fate of individual intracellular bacteria, even within the same cell.
A survey was administered to male university students testing positive for high-risk human papillomavirus. Disclosure was more likely in men with fewer partners, in main partnerships, and in longer partnerships. Disclosure was associated with discussing the Pap test/HPV vaccine with female partners and not associated with a worsening relationship.
human papillomavirus; male; disclosure; sexually transmitted infection; sexual partnerships
Dry eye disease can cause ocular surface inflammation that disrupts the corneal epithelial barrier. While dry eye patients are known to have an increased risk of corneal infection, it is not known whether there is a direct causal relationship between these two conditions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that experimentally-induced dry eye (EDE) increases susceptibility to corneal infection using a mouse model. In doing so, we also examined the role of surfactant protein D (SP-D), which we have previously shown is involved in corneal defense against infection. Scopolamine injections and fan-driven air were used to cause EDE in C57BL/6 or Black Swiss mice (wild-type and SP-D gene-knockout). Controls received PBS injections and were housed normally. After 5 or 10 days, otherwise uninjured corneas were inoculated with 109 cfu of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1. Anesthesia was maintained for 3 h post-inoculation. Viable bacteria were quantified in ocular surface washes and corneal homogenates 6 h post-inoculation. SP-D was measured by Western immunoblot, and corneal pathology assessed from 6 h to 4 days. EDE mice showed reduced tear volumes after 5 and 10 days (each by ∼75%, p<0.001) and showed fluorescein staining (i.e. epithelial disruption). Surprisingly, there was no significant difference in corneal pathology between EDE mice and controls (∼10–14% incidence). Before bacterial inoculation, EDE mice showed elevated SP-D in ocular washes. After inoculation, fewer bacteria were recovered from ocular washes of EDE mice (<2% of controls, p = 0.0004). Furthermore, SP-D knockout mice showed a significant increase in P. aeruginosa corneal colonization under EDE conditions. Taken together, these data suggest that SP-D contributes to corneal defense against P. aeruginosa colonization and infection in EDE despite the loss of barrier function to fluorescein.
The role of circumcision in male HPV acquisition is not clear.
Male university students (18–20 years of age) were recruited from 2003–2009 and followed tri-annually. Shaft/scrotum, glans, and urine samples were tested for 37 alpha HPV genotypes. Cox proportional hazards methods were used to evaluate the association between circumcision and HPV acquisition. Logistic regression was used to assess whether number of genital sites infected at incident HPV detection or site of incident detection varied by circumcision status.
In 477 men, rates of acquiring clinically-relevant HPV types (high-risk types plus types 6 and 11) did not differ significantly by circumcision status (hazard ratio [HR] for uncircumcised relative to circumcised subjects: 0.9[95%CI:0.7–1.2]). However, compared to circumcised men, uncircumcised men were 10.1 (95%CI:2.9–35.6) times more likely to have the same HPV type detected in all 3 genital specimens than in a single genital specimen and were 2.7 (95%CI:1.6–4.5) times more likely to have an HPV-positive urine or glans specimen at first detection.
While the likelihood of HPV acquisition did not differ by circumcision status, uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have infections detected at multiple genital sites, which may have implications for HPV transmission.
HPV; human papilloma virus; circumcision; epidemiology; risk factors
The conjunctiva contains a specialized population of lymphocytes that reside in the epithelium, named intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL).
Here we characterized the IEL population prior to and after experimental desiccating stress (DS) for 5 or 10 days (DS5, DS10) and evaluated the effect of NK depletion on DS. The frequency of IELs in normal murine conjunctiva was CD3+CD103+ (∼22%), CD3+γδ+ (∼9.6%), CD3+NK+ (2%), CD3−NK+ (∼4.4%), CD3+CD8α (∼0.9%), and CD4 (∼0.6%). Systemic depletion of NK cells prior and during DS led to a decrease in the frequency of total and activated DCs, a decrease in T helper-17+ cells in the cervical lymph nodes and generation of less pathogenic CD4+T cells. B6.nude recipient mice of adoptively transferred CD4+T cells isolated from NK-depleted DS5 donor mice showed significantly less corneal barrier disruption, lower levels of IL-17A, CCL20 and MMP-3 in the cornea epithelia compared to recipients of control CD4+T cells.
Taken together, these results show that the NK IELs are involved in the acute immune response to desiccation-induced dry eye by activating DC, which in turn coordinate generation of the pathogenic Th-17 response.
TGF-β is a pleiotropic cytokine that can have pro- or anti-inflammatory effects depending on the context. Elevated levels of bioactive TGF-β1 in tears and elevated TGF-β1mRNA transcripts in conjunctiva and minor salivary glands of human Sjögren's Syndrome patients has also been reported. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response to desiccating stress (DS), an experimental model of dry eye, in dominant-negative TGF-β type II receptor (CD4-DNTGFβRII) mice. These mice have a truncated TGF-β receptor in CD4+ T cells, rendering them unresponsive to TGF-β.
DS was induced by subcutaneous injection of scopolamine and exposure to a drafty low humidity environment in CD4-DNTGFβRII and wild-type (WT) mice, aged 14 weeks, for 5 days. Nonstressed (NS) mice served as controls. Parameters of ocular surface disease included corneal smoothness, corneal barrier function and conjunctival goblet cell density. NS CD4-DNTGFβRII at 14 weeks of age mice exhibited a spontaneous dry eye phenotype; however, DS improved their corneal barrier function and corneal surface irregularity, increased their number of PAS+ GC, and lowered CD4+ T cell infiltration in conjunctiva. In contrast to WT, CD4-DNTGFβRII mice did not generate a Th-17 and Th-1 response, and they failed to upregulate MMP-9, IL-23, IL-17A, RORγT, IFN-γ and T-bet mRNA transcripts in conjunctiva. RAG1KO recipients of adoptively transferred CD4+T cells isolated from DS5 CD4-DNTGFβRII showed milder dry eye phenotype and less conjunctival inflammation than recipients of WT control.
Our results showed that disruption of TGF-β signaling in CD4+ T cells causes paradoxical improvement of dry eye disease in mice subjected to desiccating stress.
Orthogeriatric care; Therapeutic alternatives; Care models; Osteoporosis
It is now recognized that patients with the severe autoimmune dry eye condition Sjögren's syndrome have significantly higher levels of M3 acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies that have been shown to impair lacrimal gland secretion. The authors found that inhibition of mouse lacrimal secretory function by systemic cholinergic blockade resulted in massive glandular cellular infiltrate with an elevation of a mix of inflammatory cytokines.
To investigate the effects of cholinergic blockade on inflammatory cell infiltration and cytokine production in the mouse lacrimal gland (LG).
C57BL/6 mice were untreated (UT) or received subcutaneous injections of either scopolamine hydrobromide (SCOP; 0.5 mg/0.2 mL) or saline (SAL) four times daily for 2 or 5 days (2D, 5D). This was followed by a 7-day rest period in separate groups. Tear volume (cotton thread) and tear epidermal growth factor (EGF, by ELISA) concentrations were measured. Extraorbital LGs were surgically excised and sectioned or lysed for gene expression analysis. Immunohistochemistry evaluated immunophenotype of infiltrating cells. Expression of EGF and T helper (Th)-1, -2, and -17–associated cytokines in LGs was evaluated by real-time PCR. Goblet cell density was evaluated in periodic acid Schiff–stained conjunctival sections.
Tear volume and EGF protein levels were significantly reduced in SCOP5D mice compared with controls, indicating that cholinergic blockade decreased LG secretory function. LGs of SCOP2D and SCOP5D mice showed an increased density of CD4+, CD11c+, CD11b+, and myeloperoxidase+ cells compared with UT controls. At day 5, these cells were significantly elevated compared with SAL-treated counterparts. Elevated levels of IL-17A, IL-17R, IFN-γ, IL-12Rβ1, IL-2, IL-13, IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α transcripts were noted in SCOP2D mice and IFN-γ, TGF-β1, and IL-18R transcripts in SCOP5D mice.
Pharmacological blockade of lacrimal secretion induced a significant CD4+ infiltration in the LG, mimicking Sjögren's syndrome. The mRNA expression profile revealed elevations of a mix of inflammatory cytokines and Th-1–associated factors.
Objectives. IL-2rα (CD25)−/− mice develop autoimmunity and lymphoproliferative disorders, including SS-like disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the severity of corneal epithelial disease and T-cell cytokine profile in the ocular surface tissues of CD25KO mice.
Methods. CD25KO mice were evaluated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. Corneal epithelial smoothness and corneal permeability were measured. Phenotype of infiltrating lymphocytes was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Th-1, -2 and -17 associated factors were measured by real-time PCR in cornea and conjunctiva and by Luminex immunobead assay in tears.
Results. Compared with 8-week-old wild-type (WT) mice, CD25KO mice of the same age had significantly greater corneal irregularity and a significant increase in the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltrating the conjunctiva. CD25KO mice had significantly higher levels of IL-6, TGF-β1, IL-23R, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, CCL20, IL-10, GATA-3 and IFN-γ mRNA transcripts in their cornea and conjunctiva than WT mice at 8 weeks. IL-17A and IL-17F mRNA transcripts peaked at 12 weeks, whereas IFN-γ spiked at 16 weeks in CD25KO mice. Increased expression of IL-17A and IL-17F at 12 weeks in CD25KO mice was accompanied by a worsening of corneal surface parameters and an increase of CD4+ T cell infiltrating the cornea.
Conclusions. Disruption of IL-2 signalling in CD25KO mice results in age-dependent SS-like autoimmune lacrimal-keratoconjunctivitis. A mix of Th-1 and Th-17 cytokines was detected. The peak severity of corneal epithelial disease corresponded to the peak of IL-17 expression.
Sjögren’s syndrome; Dry eye; CD4+ T cell; IL-17; Th-17; Cytokines; IFN-γ
Inflammatory molecules have been demonstrated in the tear film of patients with severe dry eye disease (DED). However, little attention has been paid to the most frequent moderate forms of DED. This study analyzes tear cytokine levels and their clinical correlations in patients with moderate evaporative-type DED due to meibomian gland disease (MGD).
Twenty three evaporative-type DED patients (46 eyes) of mild-to-moderate intensity and nine healthy subjects (18 eyes) were recruited. Two symptom questionnaires were self-answered and multiple DED-related clinical tests were performed. Unstimulated tears from each eye were isolated and were not pooled. Levels of 15 cytokines and chemokines were measured by multiplex bead analysis, compared with control levels, and correlated with clinical tests.
Fourteen out of the 15 molecules were reliably detected in 1 μl of unstimulated tears from DED patients. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), fractalkine/CX3CL1, interleukin (IL) 1-receptor antagonist (Ra), IL-8/CXCL8, interferon inducible protein (IP)-10/CXCL10, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were found in 94%–100% of samples; IL-6 in 65% (significantly more detected in older patients); IL-1β, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and IL-10 in 30%–48%; IL-17 in 13%; granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in 2%–9%; and IL-5 was never detected. EGF, fractalkine/CX3CL1, IL-1Ra, IP-10/CXCL10, and VEGF levels were significantly increased compared to normal controls. Pain was correlated with IL-6 and IL-8/CXCL8. Tear break-up time correlated inversely with IL1-Ra. Schirmer test and tear lysozyme levels negatively correlated with IL-1Ra, IL-8/CXCL8, fracktalkine/CX3CL1, IL-6, IP-10/CXCL10, and VEGF had the same tendency. Conjunctival staining correlated negatively with EGF and positively with IL-6.
In this sample of moderate evaporative-type DED patients, five inflammatory molecules were elevated. Fracktalkine was demonstrated to be present and elevated in tears in human DED. IL-1Ra, IL-6, IL-8/CXCL8, and EGF levels correlated with pain and with clinical parameters measuring tear stability, tear production or ocular surface integrity. These results suggest that inflammation plays a role not only in severe DED but also in moderate evaporative DED.
IL-2 has classically been considered a cytokine that regulates T cell proliferation and differentiation, signaling through its heterotrimeric receptor (IL-2R) consisting of α (CD25), β (CD122), γ chains (CD132). Expression of IL-2R has also been detected in mucosal epithelial cells. Soluble IL-2Rα (CD25) has been reported as an inflammatory marker. We evaluated the expression of CD25 and CD122 in the ocular surface epithelium and investigated the mechanism of proteolytic cleavage of CD25 from these cells.
Desiccating stress (DS) was used as an inducer of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). DS was created by subjecting C57BL/6 and MMP-9 knockout (BKO) mice and their wild-type littermates (WT) mice to a low humidity and drafty environment for 5 days (DS5). A separate group of C57BL/6 mice was subjected to DS5 and treatment with topical 0.025% doxycycline, a MMP inhibitor, administered QID. The expression of CD25 and CD122 was evaluated in cryosections by dual-label laser scanning confocal microscopy. Western blot was used to measure relative levels of CD25 in epithelial lysates. Gelatinase activity was evaluated by in situ zymography. Soluble CD25 in tear fluid was measured by an immunobead assay.
CD25 and CD122 were abundantly expressed in cornea (all layers) and conjunctiva epithelia (apical and subapical layers) in nonstressed control mice. After desiccating stress, we found that immunoreactivity to CD25, but not CD122, decreased by the ocular surface epithelia and concentration of soluble CD25 in tears increased as MMP-9 staining increased. CD25 was preserved in C57BL/6 mice topically treated with an MMP-9 inhibitor and in MMP-9 knock-out mice. MMP-9 treatment of human cultured corneal epithelial cells decreased levels of CD25 protein in a concentration dependent fashion.
Our results indicate that functional IL-2R is produced by the ocular surface epithelia and that CD25 is proteolytic cleaved to its soluble form by MMP-9, which increases in desiccating stress. These findings provide new insight into IL-2 signaling in mucosal epithelia.
The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is prone to develop autoimmune disease, including Sjögren’s syndrome. The purpose of this study was to determine if desiccating environmental stress exacerbates the development of Sjögren’s syndrome-like lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis in the NOD.B10.H2b mouse. Four-week-old male mice were used as young controls. Sixteen-week-old male mice were untreated or subjected to desiccating stress with a fan alone or with a fan plus subcutaneous injections of the anticholinergic agent scopolamine for 5 or 10 days to inhibit tear production. Mice spontaneously developed Sjögren’s syndrome-like lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis as they aged. Desiccating stress increased CD4+ and CCR5+ cells and decreased CD8+ cells in the conjunctival epithelium and lacrimal gland. Intraepithelial γδ T cells significantly decreased after 5 days and returned to baseline levels after 10 days in both groups exposed to desiccating stress. These immunopathological changes were accompanied by a decrease in conjunctival goblet cell density. Greater matrix metalloproteinase-9 production, gelatinase activity and loss of epithelial cell membrane CD25 immunoreactivity was noted in the ocular surface epithelia of stressed mice. These findings indicate that desiccating environmental stress aggravates Sjögren’s syndrome-like lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis in the NOD mouse which has defective immunoregulation.
desiccating stress; lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis; non-obese diabetic mouse; Sjögren’s syndrome