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Curr Eye Res. 1987 Jan;6(1):259-64.

Interferon production in inbred mice during herpetic eye disease.


Low levels (less than 5 units/eye) of interferon (IFN) were detected in the eyes of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice one to five days after instillation of 10(7) pfu/eye of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV) onto scarified corneas. This dose of virus produced herpetic keratitis characterized by dendritic epithelial lesions one day post infection in both strains of mice. The disease progressed to severe necrotizing stromal keratitis in the eyes of all BALB/c mice, but only three of 10 eyes of C57BL/6 mice by 21 days after infection. Footpad immunization 30 days prior to ocular infection protected both strains from stromal disease, but did not enhance IFN production in the eye. At lower inoculating doses of virus (less than or equal to 10(5) pfu/eye), C57BL/6 mice showed greater resistance to stromal disease and produced less virus over a shorter period of time than BALB/c mice. No IFN was detected at any time after infection with doses of virus less than 10(7) pfu/eye, nor was IFN detected in plasma of any infected mice. The failure to detect high levels of IFN in homogenates of eyes did not reflect an inability of ocular tissues to produce IFN since IFN-beta was detected as early as two hours after topical treatment with the potent IFN inducer, carboxymethylacridanone (CMA). The two mouse strains produced similar levels of IFN in the eye in response to CMA. These data indicated that the relative resistance of mice to HSV eye infection was not related to the rapid local production of IFN, nor was resistance related to systemic IFN production in plasma or spleen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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