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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 14

of 'Atopic keratoconjunctivitis'

Immunopathology of atopic keratoconjunctivitis.
Foster CS, Rice BA, Dutt JE
Ophthalmology. 1991;98(8):1190.
Conjunctival biopsies from 11 patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) and from 13 age-matched healthy individuals undergoing cataract surgery were analyzed by light microscopy and immunohistochemical techniques. Histology of AKC specimens showed goblet cell proliferation, epithelial pseudotubular formation, eosinophil and mast cell invasion of the epithelium, and pronounced mononuclear cell infiltration of the substantia propria, often with frank granuloma formation. Epithelium of AKC conjunctiva showed significantly more T cells (CD3+, CD5+), T-helper cells (CD4+), macrophages (Mac-1+, CD14+), activated T cells, (CD25+), and dendritic cells (CD1+), and a higher helper/suppressor ratio than did control subjects. In the substantia propria, AKC specimens showed dramatically increased inflammatory cell infiltration with significantly more cells staining, in order of frequency, for T-cells (CD3+, CD5+), T-helper cells (CD4+), T-suppressor/cytotoxic cells (CD8+), macrophages (CD14+, Mac-1+) activated T cells (CD25+), B cells (CD22+), and dendritic cells (CD1+, HLA-DR+). Fifty-three percent of T cells in the substantia propria expressed the interleukin-2 receptor protein (CD25+). These findings indicate that the chronic conjunctivitis of AKC is complex, with activated T-cells and macrophages dramatically participating in the process. Successful long-term control of the potentially binding conjunctival inflammation of this disease is likely to require therapeutic strategies directed toward more than just the mast cell component of the process.
Harvard Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 02114.