While the lens is an avascular tissue with an immune-privileged status, studies have now revealed that there are immune responses specifically linked to the lens. The response to lens injury, such as following cataract surgery, has been shown to involve the activation of the resident immune cell population of the lens and the induction of immunomodulatory factors by the wounded epithelium. However, there has been limited investigation into the immediate response of the lens to wounding, particularly those induced factors that are intrinsic to the lens and its associated resident immune cells. Using an established chick embryo ex vivo cataract surgery model has made it possible to determine the early immune responses of this tissue to injury, including its resident immune cells, through a transcriptome analysis. RNA-seq studies were performed to determine the gene expression profile at 1 h post wounding compared to time 0. The results provided evidence that, as occurs in other tissues, the resident immune cells of the lens rapidly acquired a molecular signature consistent with their activation. These studies also identified the expression of many inflammatory factors by the injured lens that are associated with both the induction and regulation of the immune response.
DeDreu, JodiRae; Basta, Morgan; Walker, Janice; and Menko, Sue, "Immune Responses Induced at One Hour Post Cataract Surgery Wounding of the Chick Lens" (2023). Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 412.
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