2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
9 Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
Chapter 4: Special Topics in Ocular Immunology
Animal Models of Human Uveitis
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.