Oral tolerance in a murine model of relapsing experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU): induction of protective tolerance in primed animals


Stephan R. Thurau MD Section of Immunobiology, University Eye Hospital, Mathildenstr. 8, D-80336 München, Germany.


Oral administration of uveitogenic retinal antigens suppresses the expression of EAU induced by a subsequent immunization with these antigens. Effectiveness and mechanisms of oral tolerance in EAU have mainly been studied in the acute, monophasic model in Lewis rats by feeding antigen prior to induction of disease. In this study we investigated the effect of oral tolerance induction in the acute as well as the chronic-relapsing models in the B10.A mouse. In acute murine EAU we could effectively suppress disease by induction of oral tolerance prior to immunization. In the chronic-relapsing EAU, antigen feeding was started only after the animals had recovered from their first attack of uveitis. Under these experimental conditions the subsequent relapse was largely prevented. These experiments demonstrate that oral tolerance may have practical clinical implications in uveitis, which is predominantly a chronic-relapsing condition in humans.