Endotoxin-induced uveitis in the rat. The significance of intraocular interleukin-6

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992 Mar;33(3):532-9.


The potential role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) was studied as an inflammatory mediator of endotoxin (or lipopolysaccharide [LPS])-induced uveitis (EIU) in the rat. In young Lewis rats, levels of intraocular IL-6, but not serum IL-6, correlated with the severity of uveitis and with aqueous humor protein levels in response to foot pad injections of LPS (P less than 0.001). Adult Lewis rats did not develop uveitis and had no intraocular IL-6, although IL-6 was released systemically. Resistance to EIU and absence of IL-6 levels in the aqueous humor, despite the ability to release serum IL-6, also were observed in brown Norway rats, irrespective of age and weight. Intravitreal injection of as little as 1 ng of human recombinant IL-6 induced uveitis in young Lewis rats. In adult Lewis rats, and in young animals made tolerant to LPS, intravitreal IL-6 still caused substantial leakage of plasma proteins into the anterior chamber but no influx of inflammatory cells. As early as 2 hr after intravitreal injection of IL-6, immunohistochemical analysis showed invasion of the iris, corneal stroma, and anterior chamber by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) and expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen in the retina by large cells that were macrophage-marker ED2 negative. This was followed by massive PMN infiltration of the retinal layers and vitreous. The MHC class II antigen expression of ciliary and iris epithelium occurred at a later stage (greater than 8 hr).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Chamber / immunology
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology
  • Aqueous Humor / chemistry
  • Aqueous Humor / immunology
  • Endotoxins*
  • Eye Proteins / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Injections
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology*
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Retina / immunology
  • Retina / pathology
  • Salmonella*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / immunology*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / pathology


  • Endotoxins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Interleukin-6
  • Recombinant Proteins