The effect of interferon-gamma on the expression in situ of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products in human corneas was studied in vitro. Incubation for four days with 5 or 50 mg/l of Escherichia coli-derived recombinant human interferon-gamma resulted in the appearance de novo of MHC class II or HLA-DR antigens on variable numbers of corneal epithelial cells as well as on corneal endothelium, whereas it had no effect on the expression of MHC class I or HLA-ABC antigens. These results may help to explain the mechanism underlying the expression of HLA-DR antigens on corneal and limbal epithelium in various inflammatory eye diseases.
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