Tissue resident memory T cells in the human conjunctiva and immune signatures in human dry eye disease
Chandy, Kanianthara George
Date of Issue2017
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Non-recirculating resident memory (TRM) and recirculating T cells mount vigorous immune responses to both self and foreign antigens in barrier tissues like the skin, lung and gastrointestinal tract. Using impression cytology followed by flow cytometry we identified two TRM subsets and four recirculating T-subsets in the healthy human ocular surface. In dry eye disease, principal component analysis (PCA) revealed two clusters of patients with distinct T-cell signatures. Increased conjunctival central memory and naïve T cells characterized Cluster-1 patients, and increased CD8+ TRMs and CD4+ recirculating memory T cells characterized Cluster-2 patients. Interestingly these T-cell signatures are associated with different clinical features: the first signature correlated with increased ocular redness, and the second with reduced tear break up times. These findings open the door to immune-based characterization of dry eye disease and T-subset specific immunotherapies to suppress T-subsets involved in disease. They may also help with patient stratification during clinical trials of immunomodulators.
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