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Activated T lymphocytes in uveitis.
  1. J. Deschênes,
  2. D. H. Char and
  3. S. Kaleta
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


    Two colour flow cytometry techniques were used to assess the activation stages of peripheral and intraocular T lymphocytes in uveitis. Increased numbers of T lymphocytes bearing the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptors were found in intraocular fluids or peripheral blood or both of 35/51 patients with uveitis. This increased expression of IL-2 receptors on lymphocytes correlated with increased expression of other early T lymphocyte activation markers, HLA-DR and L-35. Both T helper cells (Leu-3A+) and suppressor cells (Leu 2A+) were activated in vivo. A positive correlation was seen between lymphocyte activation and clinical uveitis activity. In idiopathic uveitis activation of Leu-3A lymphocytes (helper/inducer) was significantly increased, and intraocular activation of the Leu-2A lymphocytes (cytotoxic/suppressor) was significantly decreased. These data show that some patients with idiopathic uveitis have a perturbation of T helper cells. Twenty-two of 31 patients with idiopathic uveitis, not associated with systemic disease, had increased peripheral T lymphocyte activation. This finding indicates that in some inflammations believed to be restricted to the eye an abnormal systemic immune activation exists.

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