PURPOSE: The mechanisms involved in reactivations of latent ocular Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) infections in immunocompetent patients are poorly understood. In view of the possible role of T cells in the immunopathogenesis of the disease, ocular infiltrating T cells obtained from patients with recurrent ocular toxoplasmosis were characterized phenotypically and functionally.
METHODS: Ocular infiltrating T cells were recovered from vitreous fluid (VF) samples of 10 patients with active recurrent ocular toxoplasmosis. Two patients with uveitis of other origins were included as control subjects. T-cell lines (TCLs) were generated by mitogenic stimulation and tested for reactivity to Tg and human retinal protein extracts. The TCLs of three patients were cloned by limiting dilution. Tg-reactive T-cell clones (TCCs) were characterized with respect to their phenotype, T-cell receptor variable (TCR V)-beta gene usage, HLA restriction, and cytokine secretion profile.
RESULTS: Reactivity to Tg could be detected only in the TCLs of patients with ocular toxoplasmosis. None of the TCLs showed reactivity to human retinal antigens. All tested intraocular Tg-specific TCCs (n = 23) were CD3+CD4+ and displayed differential TCR Vbeta usage. Twenty-one TCCs were HLA-DR restricted and two TCCs were restricted by HLA-DP. The majority of the intraocular Tg-specific TCCs showed a bias toward a T-helper (Th)0-Th2 cytokine profile.
CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that T cells specific for the triggering microorganism infiltrate the eye of patients with recurrent ocular toxoplasmosis. The functional characteristics of the VF-derived Tg-specific T cells and their presence at the site of inflammation suggest their involvement in the local inflammatory response of ocular toxoplasmosis.
|Number of pages
|Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
|Published - Dec 2001
- CD3 Complex/analysis
- CD4 Antigens/analysis
- HLA Antigens/analysis
- Middle Aged
- Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/analysis
- Toxoplasmosis, Ocular/immunology
- Vitreous Body/immunology