Corneal tissue-resident memory T cells form a unique immune compartment at the ocular surface

Joon Keit Loi, Yannick O. Alexandre, Kirthana Senthil, Dominik Schienstock, Sarah Sandford, Sapna Devi, Susan N. Christo, Laura K. Mackay, Holly R. Chinnery, Peregrine B. Osborne, Laura E. Downie, Erica K. Sloan, Scott N. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


The eye is considered immune privileged such that immune responses are dampened to protect vision. As the most anterior compartment of the eye, the cornea is exposed to pathogens and can mount immune responses that recruit effector T cells. However, presence of immune memory in the cornea is not defined. Here, we use intravital 2-photon microscopy to examine T cell responses in the cornea in mice. We show that recruitment of CD8+ T cells in response to ocular virus infection results in the formation of tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells. Motile corneal TRM cells patrol the cornea and rapidly respond in situ to antigen rechallenge. CD103+ TRM cell generation requires antigen and transforming growth factor β. In vivo imaging in humans also reveals highly motile cells that patrol the healthy cornea. Our study finds that TRM cells form in the cornea where they can provide local protective immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110852
Number of pages18
JournalCell Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Corneal tissue-resident memory T cells form a unique immune compartment at the ocular surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this