TGFp and immune privilege

Recent evidence supports the view that immune privilege is an active process and that its creation results from local tissue factors that interact with and alter the functional programs of cells of the immune system. Locally produced and released immunosuppressive cytokines constitute, besides neuropeptides, factors which maintain immune privilege. Intraocular fluid contains significant amounts of TGFp, which accounts in part for the immunosuppressive activities of the fluid.

Immunoreactive TGFp has been identified in CSF and in amniotic fluid. As these fluids are also considered to represent immune privileged sites, the possibility exists that TGFp contributes to a common strategy designed to modulate immunity at such sites. In culture, microglia express the immunosuppressive cytokines TGFp, and interleukin 10 (II.-10) to a greater degree than proinflammatory cytokines. High TGFp levels could reflect one mechanism for immune privilege within the brain. Stimulation with LI'S or IFNy led to shift toward proinflammatory cytokine mRNA profiles in microglia, providing insight into the mechanism by which LPS and IFNy act in inflammatory diseases of the CNS.

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