Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease is an autoimmune systemic disorder. In Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, inflammatory disorders occur in multiple organs containing melanocytes, including uvea (resulting in acute bilateral panuveitis), skin (resulting in vitiligo and alopecia), central nervous system (resulting in meningitis) and inner ears (resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus). These inflammatory aspects are attributed to the destruction of melanocytes through immunological mechanisms. Studies have been carried out to elucidate the exact etiology and target autoantigen in Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, but much remains to be investigated. Identification of target autoantigen is important to understand the etiology of autoimmune diseases, and for development of antigen-specific immuno-modulation therapy. To identify the target autoantigens in Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, we made use of an immunoscreening of a bovine uveal cDNA expression library with serum samples obtained from patients with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease. We identified an immunoreactive cDNA clone that encodes bovine lens epithelium derived growth factor. mRNA of human lens epithelium derived growth factor was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and it was expressed in human uvea, retina and melanocytes. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies were quantitated in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, using recombinant human lens epithelium derived growth factor. The prevalence of IgG anti-lens epithelium derived growth factor autoantibodies in patients with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (66.7% versus 21.6%, P<0.001). On the other hand, the prevalence of the autoantibody in patients with panuveitis of other etiology, Behçet's disease and sarcoidosis, was almost same as that in healthy controls. These results suggest that the humoral immune response agonist lens epithelium derived growth factor is not a mere secondary phenomena caused by uveal tissue damage.