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P B Silver, L V Rizzo, C C Chan, L A Donoso, B Wiggert, R R Caspi; Identification of a major pathogenic epitope in the human IRBP molecule recognized by mice of the H-2r haplotype.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(5):946-954.
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PURPOSE: Mice of the H-2b, H-2k, and H-2r haplotypes develop experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) after immunization with interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) of bovine or monkey origin. The purpose of this study was to identify putative pathogenic epitope(s) of IRBP and to establish their immunodominance within the IRBP molecule. METHODS: Overlapping 20-amino acid peptides, spanning the entire human IRBP molecule, were synthesized and used to immunize C57BL/10 (H-2b), B10.BR (H-2k), and B10.RIII (H-2r) mice. Bovine IRBP was used as a positive control. Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis was examined by histopathology 21 days after immunization. Immunologic responses were assessed by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DH) and lymphocyte proliferation assays. RESULTS: Peptide 161-180, spanning the sequence SGIPYIISYLHPGNTILHVD, was found to be highly pathogenic for B10.RIII mice but not for the other strains. A dose-response curve showed that peptide 161-180 was maximally pathogenic at 50 micrograms, but incidence and scores were reduced at 10 micrograms. The truncated 13-mer 165-177 was also highly pathogenic (100 to 200 micrograms), suggesting that it contained the pathogenic epitope. Mice immunized with the peptide, or with whole IRBP, had positive DH and lymphocyte responses to the immunizing as well as to the reciprocal antigen. A cell line derived to peptide 161-180 was also pathogenic for B10.RIII mice after adoptive transfer and responded (proliferation) to native IRBP. CONCLUSIONS: High incidence and high severity scores, as well as immunologic cross-recognition of peptide 161-180 and native IRBP in vivo and in vitro, suggest that this peptide contains a major epitope recognized as pathogenic by B10.RIII mice.
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