PURPOSE. Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells vital for initiating immune responses. In this study the authors examined the in vivo migratory capability of resident corneal DCs to various stimuli. METHODS. The authors used mice expressing enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (eYFP) under control of the CD11c promoter to visualize corneal DCs. To assess the distribution and mobility of DCs, normal corneas were imaged in vivo and ex vivo with fluorescence microscopy. Intravital microscopy was used to examine the responses of resident central and peripheral corneal DCs to silver nitrate injury, lipopolysaccharide, microspheres, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). In some experiments, TNF- α injection was used to first induce centripetal migration of DCs to the central cornea, which was subsequently reinjected with microspheres. RESULTS. In normal corneas, DCs were sparsely distributed centrally and were denser in the periphery, with epitheliallevel DCs extending into the epithelium. Videomicroscopy showed that though cell processes were in continuous movement, cells generally did not migrate. Within the first 6 hours after stimulation, neither central nor peripheral corneal DCs exhibited significant lateral migration, but central corneal DCs assumed extreme morphologic changes. An increased number of DCs in the TNF-α-stimulated central cornea were responsive to subsequent microsphere injection by adopting a migratory behavior, but not with increased speed. CONCLUSIONS. In vivo imaging reveals minimal lateral migration of corneal DCs after various stimuli. In contrast, DCs within the central cornea after initial TNF-α injection are more likely to respond to a secondary insult with lateral migration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience