69 Scopus citations


Ag presentation via the anterior chamber of the eye results in a form of immune deviation termed anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID). The hallmarks of this response are the suppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity with simultaneous induction of Ab production. In this study, we examined the role of the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and substance P (SP) and found that the levels of these two peptides are controlled by neurogenic stimulation of the eye by light, and that these molecules determine the outcome of Ag presentation in the eye. Mice reared under diurnal conditions had VIP in the iris and ciliary body (not free in aqueous humor) and low levels of SP. Mice that were reared in the dark (or dark-adapted) did not contain detectable levels of VIP but had high levels of SP. The adaptation of diurnal mice to the dark eliminated VIP and increased SP, while adapting dark-reared mice to the diurnal cycle increased VIP and reduced SP. We then tested the hypothesis that immune reactions resulting from Ag presentation in the eye were linked to SP and VIP. We found that a VIP receptor antagonist, when injected into the eye with Ag, reversed ACAID in diurnal mice, while a SP receptor antagonist restored ACAID to dark- adapted mice. We further determined that injection of Ag or TNF-α induced VIP release, while SP was liberated into the aqueous humor following reexposure of dark-reared mice to light. Our results demonstrate a close linkage of intraocular immune reactions to neuropeptide levels in the eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1746-1756
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995


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