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The immunological role of conjunctival epithelial cells

Zhan, Hong; (2003) The immunological role of conjunctival epithelial cells. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Previous studies have shown that activated CD4+ T cells infiltrate the conjunctival subepithelial layer during chronic allergic eye disease (CAED). The effectiveness of steroids and cyclosporin A (CsA) in treating the disease suggests an important immunological role for CD4+ T cells in CAED. There is some evidence supporting a role for epithelial cells in regulating T cell function in allergic disease, but little is known about the role of conjunctival epithelial cells. This study has investigated whether conjunctival epithelial cells are able to modulate T cell responses. Existing research with superficial conjunctival epithelial cells has been reported using impression cytology flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. Biopsy derived conjunctival epithelial cells have only been studied using immunocytochemical methods. In this study, techniques for isolation, expansion and characterisation of conjunctival epithelial cells from biopsies has been estabilished and optimized for quantitative analysis by flow cytometry. The expression of HLA-DR and costimulatory molecules (ICAM-1, CD80, CD86, and CD40) on normal conjunctival epithelial cells and a human conjunctival epithelial cell line (ChWK) after treatment with various cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4 and IL-13) were determined using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The antigen presentation function of conjunctival epithelial cells was assessed by their ability to support T lymphocyte proliferation using ChWK in mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR). These studies suggest conjunctival epithelial cells can potentially act as antigen presenting cells (APC) and are involved in recruiting T cells to the subepithelial layer during CAED.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The immunological role of conjunctival epithelial cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences; Epithelial cells
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101358
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