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Experimental models of autoimmune inflammatory ocular diseases

DOI: 10.1590/S0004-27492012000200016

Keywords: animal models, uveitis [etiology], autoimmune diseases, inflammation.

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Abstract:

ocular inflammation is one of the leading causes of blindness and loss of vision. human uveitis is a complex and heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by inflammation of intraocular tissues. the eye may be the only organ involved, or uveitis may be part of a systemic disease. a significant number of cases are of unknown etiology and are labeled idiopathic. animal models have been developed to the study of the physiopathogenesis of autoimmune uveitis due to the dif?culty in obtaining human eye inflamed tissues for experiments. most of those models are induced by injection of speci?c photoreceptors proteins (e.g., s-antigen, interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, rhodopsin, recoverin, phosducin). non-retinal antigens, including melanin-associated proteins and myelin basic protein, are also good inducers of uveitis in animals. understanding the basic mechanisms and pathogenesis of autoimmune ocular diseases are essential for the development of new treatment approaches and therapeutic agents. the present review describes the main experimental models of autoimmune ocular inflammatory diseases.

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