The aim of this study was to investigate the T lymphocyte subsets involved in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) by quantifying the numbers of cells expressing mRNA for each of the lymphokines interferon gamma, interleukin 2, interleukin 4, and lymphotoxin throughout the disease process. Lewis rats were immunised with retinal S-antigen to provide a model of inflammatory eye disease. In situ hybridisation using cDNA probes specific for interferon gamma, IL2, IL4, and lymphotoxin mRNA were utilised to localise lymphokine mRNA expression by infiltrating cells and the numbers of positive cells counted. Localisation of mRNA for all four probes was found on increasing cell numbers as the disease process progressed. Similar numbers of cells expressed mRNA for each lymphokine, generally a small percentage of the T lymphocyte total. Activated cells within the eye express mRNA for interferon gamma, IL2, IL4, and lymphotoxin in EAU suggesting a mixed population of T lymphocyte subsets.
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