Autoimmune Regulator–Deficient Mice
The transcription factor AIRE (for autoimmune regulator) is used by the thymus in the process of establishing thymic tolerance. Early in life, the thymus expresses many cell-type–specific proteins; T-cell clones reactive to these proteins are deleted. This mechanism is important in the development of self-tolerance. Mice deficient in AIRE do not express these proteins during development; thus, autoreactive T cells escape deletion, and the mice spontaneously develop a posterior uveitis. Recent work has suggested that the major antigen targeted in this autoimmune uveitis is IRBP—the same protein used to generate mouse models of EAU.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 9 - Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.