The Effects of CX3CR1 Deficiency and Irradiation on the Homing of Monocyte-Derived Cell Populations in the Mouse Eye

Jelena M. Kezic, Paul G. McMenamin

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16 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined whether CX3CR1 deficiency altered monocytic cell replenishment dynamics in ocular tissues in the context of radiation chimeras. Long-term effects of irradiation and effects of sublethal irradiation on ocular macrophages were also assessed. Bone marrow from BALB/c Cx3cr1+/gfp or Cx3cr1gfp/gfp mice was used to reconstitute full body irradiated WT mice and donor cell densities in the uveal tract were compared at 4 and 8 weeks post-transplantation. BALB/c and C57BL/6J chimeric mice were examined at 6 months of age to determine strain-related differences in microglial replenishment and radiation sensitivity. A separate cohort of mice were sublethally irradiated (5.5 Gy) and retinal tissue assessed 8 and 12 weeks later. CX3CR1 deficiency altered the early replenishment of monocytes in the posterior iris but not in the iris stroma, choroid or retina. In six month old chimeric mice, there were significantly higher GFP+ cell densities in the uveal tract when compared to non-irradiated 8-12 week old Cx3cr1+/gfp mice. Additionally, MHC Class II expression was upregulated on hyalocytes and GFP+ cells in the peripheral retina and the repopulation of microglia appeared to be more rapid in C57BL/6J mice compared to BALB/c mice. Transient expression of MHC Class II was observed on retinal vasculature in sublethally irradiated mice. These data indicate CX3CR1-deficiency only slightly alters monocyte-derived cell replenishment in the murine uveal tract. Lethal irradiation leads to long-term increase in monocytic cell density in the uveal tract and retinal microglial activation, possibly as a sequelae to local irradiation induced injury. Microglial replenishment in this model appears to be strain dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere68570
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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