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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1998;438:583-9.

A method to study induction of autoimmunity in vitro: co-culture of lacrimal cells and autologous immune system cells.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA.


Co-culturing autologous lacrimal gland cells and immune system cells can lead to spleen cell proliferation with a time course similar to that for proliferation in a typical heterologous MLR. Although these results are consistent with the hypothesis that lacrimal acinar cells are a source of antigen, and may or may not serve in part as an APC, future studies of this preparation are required to test these hypotheses. We are unaware of reports demonstrating that co-culturing control epithelial tissue and autologous splenic lymphocytes from apparently healthy animals leads to lymphocytic proliferation. Our results suggest that the appropriate co-culture of tissues and immune cells from healthy animals, perhaps such as detailed above, should help identify mechanisms contributing to the induction of autoimmune disease. Knowledge regarding such mechanisms should help efforts to prevent such disease, and perhaps reverse it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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