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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Macrophage subpopulations and RPE elimination in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune pigment epithelial protein-induced uveitis (EAPU).

Experimental autoimmune pigment epithelial protein-induced uveitis (EAPU) is a new type of disease that destroys the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and exhibits a hitherto unknown form of progressive chorioretinal dystrophy in which neuroretinal inflammatory foci are absent. The present study was aimed at studying the expression of adhesion molecules, and the kinetics of the appearance of the main types of macrophages and other intraocular immunocompetent cell populations in the various stages of this disease. EAPU was evoked in Lewis rats by immunization with the membrane protein from bovine RPE cells containing PEP-65 as main constituent. In the uvea, increased expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, of class II major histocompatibility complex antigen, and of ED2 macrophage reactivity were observed closely before the onset of EAPU. Expression of these reactivities was also slightly elevated by injections of the applied adjuvants alone. The onset of EAPU was mainly characterized by initial uveal infiltrations of ED1+ macrophages and a minor population of CD4 T cells, and an increase in ED3, ED7 and perivascular ED2 reactive macrophages. This was followed by the development of focal accumulations of ED1+ cells at both sides of the Bruch's membrane-RPE layer (Dálen-Fuchs nodules) which was permeated and disintegrated at these sites. The outer choroidal layer, the anterior iridal surface, and the base of the ciliary body more frequently contained active inflammatory cells than the other uveal areas. Lymphoid cells were found scattered through the uvea, aqueous and vitreous. The sites of increased activity of ED2+ and ED3+ cells in the uvea were rather similar to those of ED1 macrophages in the various stages of EAPU. Starting from multiple foci, the process of the formation of plaque-shaped cell accumulations in severe EAPU progressed along the RPE and exhibited a chronic character. The results of this study show that ED1+, ED2+, ED3+ and ED7+ subpopulations of macrophages are actively involved in an immunopathological process in which the RPE is the target. The thickening of the plaque-shaped cell accumulations stops if the integrity of all RPE cells at that site has been affected. We postulate that this is the result of antigen elimination while additional influence of the abrogation of RPE cytokine production is presumed.[1]


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