Neuropeptides influence the expression of MHC antigens and ICAM-1 on the RPE

D. Lahiri-Munir, S. Cumber-Khawaja, C. A. Garcia, T. M. Martin, B. Susskind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the effect of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pancreatic adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP) on expression of MHC class I and II and ICAM-1 on the RPE. Methods: Fetal RPE cells from gestational ages 12-16 weeks were cultured for 4 days following treatment with γ interferon (103 units/ml), VIP (5X10-3μg/ml), PACAP (0.1mg/ml). The cultures were subjected to immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis for ICAM-1, MHC class I and II. RPE cells were haplotyped for DR and DQ antigens using PCR amplification using sequence specific primers. RPE cultures treated with VIP were also examined for TGF-β by an ELISA assay. Results: Definitive expression of ICAM-1 and MHC II was induced on fetal RPE calls by γ-interferon, VIP and PACAP. MHC I was expressed at a low level in non-stimulated control RPE and its expression was greatly increased after treatment with the above agents. The stimulation of MHC class II antigen was confirmed by Western blots. DNA typing of RPE revealed haplotypes DRβ 1*15 and 5; DQβ 1*0601 and 0602. VIP treated cultures demonstrated a decrease in the elaboration of TGF-β. Conclusion: These studies demonstrate that VIP and PACAP mediate the upregulation of ICAM-1, and MHC antigens on the RPE and VIP down-regulates the production TGF-β. Also, RPE cells can be used to determine HLA haplotypes. Therefore, these neuropeptides are possibly instrumental in mediating inflammatory processes in the eye and may be important in management of inflammatory diseases of the eye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S545
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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