BACKGROUND: A study was performed to compare the effects of immunization with ragweed pollen (RW) in two different adjuvants on the characteristics of a previously described model of experimental immune-mediated blepharoconjunctivitis (EC) in rats. METHODS: Lewis or Brown Norway (BN) rats were immunized with 100 microg of RW in emulsion with aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH)3] or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Three weeks later, the animals were challenged with eye drops containing RW in PBS. Twenty-four hours after topical challenge, eyes, blood, and lymph nodes were obtained for histology, measurement of antigen-specific antibodies, and proliferation or cytokine assays, respectively. In addition to active immunization, recipients of RW-primed lymph node cells were challenged and evaluated as above. RESULTS: RW in both adjuvants induced infiltration with predominantly mononuclear cells in Lewis rats and eosinophils in BN rats. As well as active immunization, eosinophils were detected only in BN rats by adoptive transfer of cells. Lymphocyte proliferative responses to RW were high in immunized Lewis rats when CFA was used as an adjuvant. In contrast, proliferative responses in BN rats were higher when Al(OH)3 was used. RW-specific IgE was detected only in BN rats. There were no significant differences in RW-specific IgG1/IgG2a ratio among the four groups. Lewis rats had higher level of RW-specific interferon-gamma in the culture supernatant. CONCLUSIONS: The characteristics of EC are different in Lewis and BN rats, dependent on the genetic background of the rat strains. The response to RW was similar to other previously used antigens, such as ovalbumin.
PURPOSE: Experimental immune-mediated blepharoconjunctivitis (EC) was induced in Lewis rats by immunization with ovalbumin (OVA) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH)3]. To investigate the affect of genetic factors on the susceptibility of EC, we tested different strains of rats for the development of EC. METHODS: Lewis and Brown Norway (BN) rats were immunized once with 100 microg of OVA in CFA or Al(OH)3. Three weeks later they were challenged with OVA in eye drops; 24 hours after the challenge they were sacrificed and their eyes, blood, and lymph nodes were harvested for histological studies, measurement of OVA-specific antibodies (IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgE), and proliferation or cytokine assay, respectively. ELISA was used to detect OVA-specific IgG; passive cutaneous anaphylaxis was used for detecting IgE. RESULTS: EC, OVA-specific IgG, and cellular immunity were induced in Lewis rats by using either adjuvant, whereas IgE was not produced by either adjuvant. In contrast, IgE was produced in BN rats using either adjuvant, whereas cellular immunity was evoked only when CFA was used. Less cellular infiltration as well as cellular proliferation was detected in BN rats immunized with Al(OH)3. In both strains, Al(OH)3 induced a higher IgG1/IgG2a ratio than did CFA. More interferon-gamma by stimulation with OVA was noted in Lewis rats compared to BN rats, whereas interleukin-4 was detected only in BN rats. CONCLUSIONS: The severity of EC evaluated by cellular infiltration was dependent on OVA-specific cellular immunity. Genetic background is more important than adjuvants in determining the nature of EC and immunity.