Localization of tumor necrosis factor receptor messenger RNA in normal and herpes simplex virus-infected mouse eyes

Emmett T. Cunningham, Anna Stalder, Pietro Paolo Sanna, Stephanie S. Liu, Floyd E. Bloom, Edward L. Howes, Iain L. Campbell, Todd P. Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose. To investigate the distribution of p75 and p55 tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) mRNA in normal mouse eyes and in mouse eyes acutely infected with McKrae strain herpes simplex virus (HSV). Methods. In situ hybridization with antisense 35S-labeled riboprobes for p55 and p75 TNFR subtypes was used in uninfected and HSV-infected mouse eyes. Controls included the use of sense riboprobes and corneas inoculated with vehicle alone. Results. In uninfected and infected mouse eyes, in situ hybridization produced an autoradiographic signal for mRNA, encoding both p75 and p55 over the corneal endothelium, iris, ciliary body, choroid, and arachnoid layers of the optic nerve sheath. In addition, the signal was observed over scattered cells at the vitreoretinal interface. Signal for p75, but not p55, was observed over cells in the retinal ganglion cell layer. Acute HSV infection was accompanied by an intense leukocytic infiltrate in the conjunctiva, the corneal subepithelium and stroma, the anterior and posterior chambers, the iris root and ciliary body, and the vitreous cavity. In this setting, increased p75 and p55 mRNA signal was correlated closely with the number and location of receptor-bearing white blood cells. Signal over control sections hybridized with sense p75 and p55 TNFR cRNA probes was comparable to background. Signal over control eyes inoculated with sterile vehicle showed slight increased signal in the immediate vicinity of the traumatic keratitis, but otherwise it was comparable to that observed in uninfected animals. Conclusions. The observed distribution of p75 and p55 TNFR mRNA in normal and acutely infected mouse eyes, and particularly over the heavily vascularized uveal tract and over cells at the vitreoretinal interface, supports a role for TNF as a mediator of intraocular inflammation, perhaps as a key regulator of the blood-ocular barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • choroid
  • iris
  • receptor
  • tumor necrosis factor
  • uveitis


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