Immunology

A site for sore eyes

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Science  29 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6396, pp. 1417
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6396.1417-a

Damage to one eye causes harmful responses in the uninjured eye.

PHOTO: JENA ARDELL

Mucosal tolerance arises when exposure to foreign antigens at mucosal sites results in suppressed immune responses mediated by regulatory T cells and tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells (APCs). In mammals, immune responses of the retina and cornea in both eyes are interdependent: Damage in one eye causes a response in the uninjured eye, too. Using a mouse model of ocular injury, Guzmán et al. show that damage to the conjunctival mucosa in one eye also leads to a loss of mucosal tolerance in the opposite, undamaged conjunctiva. TRPV1 channels in the injured eye signal via the central nervous system, which leads to the neuropeptide substance P being released in the uninjured eye. Consequently, epithelial nuclear factor κB signaling and APC maturation direct antigen-specific T cells to an effector phenotype and potentially damaging inflammation in the intact eye.

Mucosal Immunol. 10.1038/s41385-018-0040-5 (2018).

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