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Features of ectopic lymphoid-like structures in human uveitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number107901
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Early online date23 Dec 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Dec 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2020


Persistent non-infectious uveitis has a significant morbidity, but the extent to which this is accompanied by inflammation driven remodelling of the tissue is unclear. To address this question, we studied a series of samples selected from two ocular tissue repositories and identified 15 samples with focal infiltration. Eleven of fifteen contained lymphocytes, both B cells (CD20 positive) and T cells (CD3 positive). In 20% of the samples there was evidence of ectopic lymphoid like structures with focal aggregations of B cells and T cells, segregated into anatomically different adjacent zones. To investigate inflammation in the tissue, an analysis of 520 immune relevant transcripts was carried out and 24 genes were differentially upregulated, compared with control tissue. Two of these (CD14 and fibronectin) were increased in ocular inflammation compared to control immune tissue (tonsil). We demonstrate that in a significant minority of patients, chronic persistent uveitis leads to dysregulation of ocular immune surveillance, characterized by the development of areas of local ectopic lymphoid like structures, which may be a target for therapeutic intervention directed at antibody producing cells.

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