Purpose: To investigate the role of Foxp3-positive regulatory T cells in the development of experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU). Methods: B10RIII mice were immunized with 50 mu g IRBP161-180 in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) to induce EAU. EAU was evaluated clinically and pathologically on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28. Foxp3 mRNA levels were detected using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and the frequencies of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells in splenocytes were assessed by flow cytometry at the aforementioned time points. Results: The first clinical signs of EAU were observed on day 8-9, worsened up to day 14, and then gradually resolved. Histopathologic results showed that inflammatory signs occurred on day 7, reached their peak on day 14, and then gradually decreased. The levels of Foxp3 mRNA and the frequencies of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells in splenocytes increased on day 7, reached a peak on day 14, and then maintained at a high level until day 28. Conclusion: An upregulation of Foxp3 expression is induced. in EAU and paralleled with disease activity, suggesting a role for this lymphocyte subpopulation in the regression of this experimental uveitis model.
- regulatory T cells