Melanin can deplete immunosuppressive substances from the aqueous humor

C. J. Siegfried, R. L. Hendricks

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Heavily pigmented eyes tend to experience greater inflammation than lightly pigmented eyes following trauma and surgery. Moreover, we observed significantly greater intraocular inflammation after inoculation of antigen plus melanin, compared to antigen alone into the anterior chamber of sensitized mice. The purpose of these studies was to test the possibilities that melanin augments T-cell-mediated inflammatory responses in the anterior chamber by depleting or neutralizing anti-inflammatory substances that are normally present in the aqueous humor. The capacity of melanin-adsorbed and nonadsorbed rabbit aqueous humor to inhibit the proliferative response of the T-cell line D10.G4.1 to IL-1 was tested with a tritiated thymidine (3H-thy) incorporation assay. Nonadsorbed aqueous humor inhibited T-cell proliferation to the background level in unstimulated cultures, whereas melanin-adsorbed aqueous humor enhanced the proliferation of stimulated, but not resting, T cells. Our findings are consistent with the notion that melanin can augment intraocular inflammation by depleting or neutralizing the inhibitory components of normal aqueous humor, possibly exposing stimulatory components that are normally masked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-89
Number of pages5
JournalRegional Immunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


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