Animal Models of Human Uveitis
Animal models of uveitis use a variety of species, antigens, adjuvants, and protocols to produce disease that ranges from transient to persistent and mild to severe. None is an exact corollary to human disease, but all have contributed substantially to the understanding of ocular immunology.
Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis
Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) is the most widely used and well-studied animal model of human uveitis. In the original model, a retinal extract administered intradermally with Freund complete adjuvant in rats and rabbits resulted in a panuveitis approximately 1–2 weeks later. Features include inflammation in the anterior segment, vitreous, and choroid. Refinements of the model have occurred over time. Purified arrestin (also called S-antigen) has been used in rats, and the model was expanded to include mice, using immunization with IRBP-derived peptides. Depending on the peptide dose used to induce disease, this mouse model can show monophasic active inflammation with vasculitis, papillitis, and intraretinal infiltration that can result in retinal degeneration or a lower grade chronic inflammation with perivascular cuffing and choroidal infiltrates.
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.