Retinal antigen specific lymphocytes, TCR-gamma delta T cells and CD5+ B cells cultured from the vitreous in acute sympathetic ophthalmitis

Autoimmunity. 1993;15(4):257-66. doi: 10.3109/08916939309115747.


CD5+ B lymphocytes and TCR gamma-delta T lymphocytes, phenotypes implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, were isolated from the vitreous in a case of acute sympathetic ophthalmitis. These cells were obtained using a method which allows the selective maintainance in vitro of in vivo activated T lymphocytes. Dual colour flow cytometry showed that after 3 days culture in IL-2 containing medium 61% of cells were CD5/CD19 + ve and 41% CD3/TCR gamma delta + ve. Of the total CD3 + ve population, 15% were gamma/delta negative. These cells formed a population which also responded in a proliferation assay to retinal antigens. Histologically the eye showed a marked mononuclear cell infiltration of the retina, ciliary body and choroid. Granulomatous lesions within the choroid contained lymphocytes, plasma cells and multinucleate giant cells. Immunocytochemistry showed lymphocyte populations to be predominantly CD2 + ve CD3 + ve T lymphocytes of the CD4 sub-set. Distribution of monocytes/macrophages throughout the lesions and restriction of B-lymphocytes to granulomata were all consistent with a DTH type reaction. Despite immunosuppressive therapy, the expression of activation antigens HLA-DR and ICAM-1 on infiltrating and resident ocular tissue cells was high, although IL-2 receptor (CD25) expression was virtually absent. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood cells prior to treatment with Cyclosporin-A showed systemic activation of lymphocytes, with high levels of HLA-DR and CD25 expression and a raised CD4/CD8 ratio.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Arrestin
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / chemistry
  • CD5 Antigens
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endophthalmitis / immunology*
  • Endophthalmitis / pathology
  • Eye Proteins / immunology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / analysis*
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma
  • Vitreous Body / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, CD
  • Arrestin
  • CD5 Antigens
  • Eye Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma
  • interstitial retinol-binding protein