The eye is protected by the ocular immunosurveillance system. We show that tear duct-associated lymphoid tissue (TALT) is located in the mouse lacrimal sac and shares immunological characteristics with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALTs), including the presence of M cells and immunocompetent cells for antigen uptake and subsequent generation of mucosal immune responses against ocularly encountered antigens and bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Initiation of TALT genesis began postnatally; it occurred even in germ-free conditions and was independent of signaling through organogenesis regulators, including inhibitor of DNA binding/differentiation 2, retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt, lymphotoxin (LT) α1β2-LTβR, and lymphoid chemokines (CCL19, CCL21, and CXCL13). Thus, TALT shares immunological features with MALT but has a distinct tissue genesis mechanism and plays a key role in ocular immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy