Background: Uveitis is often associated with a systemic inflammatory disease such as ankylosing spondylitis. Our understanding of the eye's susceptibility to immune-mediated uveitis as in the apparent absence of infection has been limited by a relative lack of experimental models. Here we sought to assess whether ocular inflammation occurs in a previously described murine model of proteoglycan-induced spondylitis, wherein mice develop progressive spondylitis, sacroiliitis and peripheral arthritis - features common to the clinical presentations of ankylosing spondylitis. Methods: Using intravital microscopy we examined the ocular inflammatory response after the onset of arthritis in mice that overexpressed the T cell receptor (TCR) specific for a dominant arthritogenic epitope of cartilage proteoglycan [TCR-Tg (transgenic) mice] or BALB/c controls. Results: Immunized TCR-Tg mice showed a significant increase in the number of rolling and adhering cells within the iris vasculature compared to adjuvant control mice. Cellular infiltration within the iris tissue, as assessed by intravital microscopy and histology, was also increased. Our initial temporal analysis has revealed that immunized TCR-Tg mice show a significant increase in intravascular inflammation by 2 weeks after immunization, but it diminishes at 4 weeks after immunization. Conclusions: Although these data are preliminary, this model has the potential to clarify the mechanisms accounting for the coexistence of eye and sacroiliac inflammation as occurs in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience