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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1996 Jul;80(1):23-30.

The role of the innate immune system in the reconstituted SCID mouse model of herpetic stromal keratitis.

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Department of Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA.


Herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK) has an immunopathological basis, thought primarily to involve a CD4+ T cell-mediated immune response to viral antigen. Other cell types, however, particularly those involved in nonspecific immunity, such as natural killer (NK) cells or neutrophils, may also contribute to tissue destruction in the cornea. The reconstituted SCID mouse model of HSK provides a powerful system in which to study the interactions of the innate and adaptive immune responses to herpes simplex virus type 1 corneal infection. In the present study, reconstituted SCID mice depleted of NK cells had a reduced incidence and severity of clinical and histopathological HSK. The levels of T cell cytokine protein and message in restimulated splenocytes and cytokine message in corneas did not differ between experimental groups. However, significantly fewer neutrophils were seen within the inflamed corneas of NK-depleted SCID mice. Therefore, endogenous NK cells may indirectly influence the severity of HSK in reconstituted SCID mice by affecting neutrophil migration into the cornea.

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