Unlike Th1/Th17 cells, Th2/Th9 cells selectively migrate to the limbus/conjunctiva and initiate an eosinophilic infiltration process

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In this study we compared polarized mouse T-helper (Th) lymphocytes of four populations, sensitized against an ocular antigen, for their patterns of migration and induction of inflammatory processes in recipient mouse eyes expressing the target antigen. Th1, Th2, Th9 and Th17 cells transgenically expressing T-cell receptor (TCR) specific against hen egg lysozyme (HEL) were adoptively transferred to recipient mice expressing HEL in their eyes. Recipient eyes collected 4 or 7 days post injection were analyzed for histopathological changes. Th1 and Th17 cells induced moderate to severe intraocular inflammation in the recipient mouse eyes, but essentially did not migrate into the conjunctiva. In contrast, Th2 and Th9 cells invaded minimally the intraocular space of recipient eyes, but accumulated in the limbus and migrated into the conjunctiva of the recipient mice and initiated allergy-like inflammatory responses, as indicated by remarkable eosinophil involvement. These data thus shed new light on the differences between the migration patterns and ocular pathogenic processes mediated by Th1/Th17 and by Th2/Th9 populations.

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