Tyrosinase family proteins are antigens specific to Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease

J Immunol. 2000 Dec 15;165(12):7323-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.165.12.7323.


Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease (and sympathetic ophthalmia) is an ocular inflammatory disease that is considered to be a cell-mediated autoimmune disease against melanocytes. The purpose of this study was to determine the Ags specific to VKH disease and to develop an animal model of VKH disease. We found that exposure of lymphocytes from patients with VKH disease to peptides (30-mer) derived from the tyrosinase family proteins led to significant proliferation of the lymphocytes. Immunization of these peptides into pigmented rats induced ocular and extraocular changes that highly resembled human VKH disease, and we suggest that an experimental VKH disease was induced in these rats. We conclude that VKH disease is an autoimmune disease against the tyrosinase family proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Male
  • Meninges / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / immunology*
  • Multigene Family
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Pineal Gland / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Skin / pathology
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / immunology*
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / pathology


  • Antigens
  • Epitopes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase