PURPOSE. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells have an important role in the immune suppression associated with the immune privilege of the eye. Some aspects of this remain unclear and this study aimed to determine how RPE cells could influence the production of chemokines by T lymphocytes.
METHODS. T lymphocytes, separated from peripheral blood of normal volunteers, and RPE cells, cultured from donor eyes, were cultured separately and together, either in contact or in transwells. Supernatants were analyzed for CCL3, CCL4, and soluble CD54 (sCD54) by ELISA. Blocking agents were used to determine which soluble mediators were involved.
RESULTS. Coculture of RPE cells with activated lymphocytes resulted in a reduction in CCL3 and CCL4 production by lymphocytes, primarily by soluble mediators. Soluble CD54 was markedly increased on coculture of lymphocytes with RPE cells. Soluble CD54 reduced CCL3 and CCL4 production by RPE cells, and inhibition of CCL3 and CCL4 on coculture with RPE cells was reduced by anti-CD54. Blocking prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) abrogated the inhibition of CCL4, but not CCL3, by RPE cells. Blocking TGF beta and nitric oxide production had no effect.
CONCLUSIONS. RPE cells are able to down-regulate high levels of CCL3 and CCL4 production by T lymphocytes by using the soluble mediators sCD54 and PGE2. Reducing this production of CCL3 and CCL4 will dampen down the cascade effect and recruitment of more inflammatory cells, protecting the retina from an excessive immune response. (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013; 54: 722-730) DOI:10.1167/iovs.12-10602
- intercellular-adhesion molecule-1
- nitric-oxide synthase
- experimental autoimmune enecephalomyelitis
- function-associated antigen-1
- inflammatory protein-1-alpha
- immune privilege
- soluble ICAM-1