Purpose: To study the expression and functional characteristics of programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligands in the spleens of mice undergoing anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID).
Methods: ACAID was induced in BALB/c mice by intracameral injection of ovalbumin (OVA). The expression of PD-1 and its ligands in the spleens of ACAID mice was determined by quantitative real-time PCR, Western blotting, and flow cytometry. In vitro proliferation assays, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and adoptive transfer assays were used to investigate the functional characteristics of splenic CD4+PD-1+ T cells of ACAID mice.
Results: Both mRNA and protein of PD-1, PD-L1, and PD-L2 were markedly upregulated in the spleens of ACAID mice compared with controls. CD4+PD-1+ T cells from ACAID mice produced large amounts of IL-10 and exhibited in vitro antigen-specific suppressive activity. CD4+PD-1+ T cells from ACAID mice were able to significantly inhibit the antigen-specific, delayed-type hypersensitivity response when adoptively transferred to naive mice.
Conclusions: CD4+PD-1+ T cells from ACAID mice, as regulatory cells, are involved in the induction of antigen-specific suppression in association with enhanced expression of IL-10. CD4+PD-1+ T cells in the murine spleen may represent a substantial population of regulatory T cells possibly responsible for the induction of ACAID after intracameral injection of antigen.