Statistical correlations between the expression of various HLA antigens and certain autoimmune diseases have been observed for both HLA class I and II antigens. Autoimmune diseases like spondyloarthropathies and anterior uveitis are associated with HLA-B27, but uveitis in Behçet's disease with HLA-B51. We describe a peptide from disease-associated HLA class I antigens sharing sequence homologies with a highly uveitogenic epitope from the retinal autoantigen S-antigen. S-antigen induces autoimmune uveitis in the animal model and is a major autoantigen in human disease. The HLA peptide induced uveitis in the Lewis rat and, moreover, suppressed S-antigen-induced disease when administered orally. Patients' PBL cross-reacted with the HLA- and corresponding retinal peptide, explaining the organ specificity of the disease.