Author(s): Reyes NJ, Chen PW, Niederkorn JY
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Abstract Allergic diseases rob corneal allografts of immune privilege and increase immune rejection. Corneal allograft rejection in BALB/c allergic hosts was analyzed using a short ragweed (SWR) pollen model of allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis did not induce exaggerated T-cell responses to donor C57BL/6 (B6) alloantigens or stimulate cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Allergic conjunctivitis did affect T regulatory cells (Tregs) that support graft survival. Exogenous IL-4, but not IL-5 or IL-13, prevented Treg suppression of CD4(+) effector T cells isolated from naïve mice. However, mice with allergic conjunctivitis developed Tregs that suppressed CD4(+) effector T-cell proliferation. In addition, IL-4 did not inhibit Treg suppression of IL-4Rα(-/-) CD4(+) T-cell responses, suggesting that IL-4 rendered effector T cells resistant to Tregs. SRW-sensitized IL-4Rα(-/-) mice displayed the same 50\% graft survival as nonallergic WT mice, that was significantly less than the 100\% rejection that occurred in allergic WT hosts, supporting the role of IL-4 in the abrogation of immune privilege. Moreover, exacerbation of corneal allograft rejection in allergic mice was reversed by administering anti-IL-4 antibody. Thus, allergy-induced exacerbation of corneal graft rejection is due to the production of IL-4, which renders effector T cells resistant to Treg suppression of alloimmune responses. © Copyright 2013 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
This article was published in Am J Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology