Birdshot chorioretinopathy (BSCR), a progressive form of non-infectious uveitis, is the strongest HLAassociated disease described to date, with >95% of the patients displaying HLA-A29. Since indirect evidence indicates the involvement of T cells in the etiopathology of the disease, we now isolated, cultured and analyzed the vitreous fluid-infiltrating T cells from two BSCR patients with respect to their phenotype, cytokine profile, clonal distribution and antigen specificity. Phenotypic analyses revealed the predominant presence of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in vitreous fluid. Further analyses on short term expanded and cloned T cells suggested that eye-infiltrating T cells generally displayed a Thl like cytokine profile with secretion of high levels of IFN-gamma and TNE-alpha. In one patient an oligoclonal CD4 (+)and CD8(+) T cell infiltration, with a moderate to strongly skewed TCR VII usage was suggestive for an antigen driven infiltration/expansion. Indeed, a number of intraocular CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells responded to crude retinal and choroidal lysates. These results, which demonstrate for the first time the existence of eye-antigen-specific T cells in the vitreous fluid of BSCR patients, substantiate the current view on the role of eye-antigen specific T cells in the etiopathology of BSCR. 2014 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- EMC OR-01-60-01