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B R Konda, G Pararajasegaram, G S Wu, D Stanforth, N A Rao; Role of retinal pigment epithelium in the development of experimental autoimmune uveitis.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(1):40-47.
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PURPOSE: To determine the role of retinal pigment epithelium in the induction of S-antigen-induced uveitis by administration of sodium iodate (NaIO3) to selectively damage the retinal pigment epithelium. METHODS: Forty-four Lewis rats were injected with 60 micrograms of S antigen in complete Freund's adjuvant. On postimmunization day 9 the rats were separated into four groups: three groups received NaIO3 at doses of 50, 25, and 10 mg/kg body weight, respectively, and the fourth group (control) received diluent. In addition, separate groups of animals (three in each group) received various doses of NaIO3 or diluent. All of the animals were killed on day 6 after NaIO3 injection, and the eyes were enucleated and submitted for light and electron microscopic examination. In addition, two groups of Lewis rats (6 in each group) were immunized with 0.5 ml of guinea pig spinal cord homogenate in complete Freund's adjuvant to induce experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. On postimmunization day 7, one group received NaIO3 at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, whereas the other group received diluent. All animals were killed between days 12 and 14, and spinal cord sections were obtained for microscopic examination. RESULTS: In the control group immunized with S antigen, severe (2+ to 4+) uveoretinitis developed in 70% of the animals. In contrast, only 18% of the animals injected with NaIO3 at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight exhibited disease, and this was a mild (1+) form. The groups injected with 25 mg/kg (1+ to 2+) and with 10 mg/kg (2+ to 3+) of NaIO3 showed a mild to moderate degree of uveoretinitis in 27% and 50% of the animals, respectively. In the remainder of the animals there was no evidence of uveoretinitis. All of the NaIO3-treated animals showed selective necrosis of the retinal pigment epithelium; this was extensive in the higher dose group and focal in the lower dose groups. In the experimental allergic encephalomyelitis model there was no significant difference in incidence or histologic appearance of demyelinating disease in NaIO3- vs diluent-treated groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the retinal pigment epithelium may play a role in the initiation and perpetuation of uveitis after sensitization with S antigen. The effect of NaIO3 appears to be localized to the retinal pigment epithelium; it had no effect on immune reactive cells, as evidenced by the development of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in animals treated with NaIO3.
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