Anterior uveitis in murine relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS)

Curr Eye Res. 2000 Jan;20(1):71-6.


Purpose: To investigate whether anterior uveitis (AU), which often accompanies central nervous system (CNS) and systemic inflammatory diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), also develops in a murine relapsing model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) closely resembling relapsing-remitting MS, induced by immunization with myelin basic protein (MBP) in mice.

Methods: (PL/J x SJL) F1 female mice were immunized with MBP in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) using Pertussis toxin as co-adjuvant. EAE was scored clinically on a scale of 0-5 based on the degree of paralysis. Uveitis was assessed by slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Histolological analysis of the CNS and eye were performed.

Results: All immunized mice developed a characteristic relapsing paralysis. Evidence of AU was present late in the course of EAE, only after the resolution of the first clinical relapse, in 4 of 5 mice (80%) (clinical evidence) and 5 of 5 (100%) (histological evidence). AU was mild to moderate with the exception of one animal, in which it was severe. Involvement was invariably bilateral. Histology showed mononuclear infiltrates in the iris and ciliary body. Bilateral secondary cataracts were observed in the animal with severe inflammation. Paralytic episodes and the AU did not coincide. There were no clinical or histological eye abnormalities in control mice, either non-immunized or immunized with CFA and Pertussis toxin only.

Conclusion: We report AU in a mouse model of EAE which strongly resembles relapsing MS. These results further suggest shared antigenic determinants between the CNS and the eye, which likely become exposed to the immune system late in the course of CNS inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis / complications*
  • Encephalomyelitis / pathology
  • Encephalomyelitis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting
  • Recurrence
  • Uveitis, Anterior / etiology*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / pathology
  • Uveitis, Anterior / physiopathology