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J Leukoc Biol. 2007 Mar;81(3):786-92. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

CXCL1/KC and CXCL5/LIX are selectively produced by corneal fibroblasts and mediate neutrophil infiltration to the corneal stroma in LPS keratitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7286, USA.


The severity of corneal inflammation depends on the activity of infiltrating neutrophils responding to chemotactic factors such as CXC chemokines. This study examines the relative contribution of CXCL1/keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC), CXCL2/monocyte-inhibitory protein-2 (MIP-2), and CXCL5/LPS-induced chemokine (LIX) in neutrophil recruitment to the corneal stroma during LPS keratitis, where neutrophils infiltrate the corneal stroma at 6 h after LPS injection and peak at 24 h. Consistent with this timeframe, KC was detected after 3 h, reached peak levels at 24 h, and decreased thereafter. In contrast, LIX production was not detected until 8 h after injection and peaked at 24 h. MIP-2 was detected at 3 h but did not reach the levels of KC and LIX. Cell types associated with corneal inflammation produced markedly different chemokines in vitro: Murine corneal fibroblasts (MK/T-1) produced LIX and KC in response to LPS but did not produce MIP-2, whereas peritoneal macrophages and neutrophils produced MIP-2 and KC but did not produce LIX. To determine the role of these chemokines in neutrophil recruitment to the cornea, anti-LIX, anti-KC, or anti-MIP-2 was injected into the corneal stroma of enhanced GFP chimeric mice prior to LPS, and total cell and neutrophil infiltration was examined. Antibody to LIX and KC, injected individually or in combination, significantly inhibited neutrophil recruitment to the cornea, whereas anti-MIP-2 had no inhibitory effect. Together, these findings demonstrate cell-specific production of CXC chemokines and show that LIX and KC mediate neutrophil recruitment into the cornea during LPS keratitis.

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