Gallium nitrate (GN) has been shown to inhibit T cell-mediated inflammatory disease. The purpose of our study was to test the effect of gallium nitrate (GN) on experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Experimental autoimmune uveitis was induced in male Lewis rats immunized with retinal S-antigen. Rats received subcutaneous injections of GN or saline one day prior to immunization and 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19 days after immunization. Ocular inflammation was graded clinically and histologically by masked observers, and in vitro assays of cell-mediated and humoral immunity were performed. GN significantly inhibited the development of EAU graded clinically (P = 0.001) and histologically (P = 0.002). Treatment with GN also resulted in a small (30-41%) decrease in the lymphocyte responses to retinal S-Antigen and a small (12-37%) reduction in antibody production to S-antigen. These data show that GN suppresses the development of EAU, and inhibits both lymphocyte proliferative responses to antigen and antibody production.