Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced by host phagocytes and play an important role in antimicrobial actions against various pathogens. Autoimmune uveitis causes blindness and severe visual impairment in humans at all ages worldwide. However, the role of ROS in autoimmune uveitis remains unclear. We used ROS-deficient (Ncf1−/− ) mice to investigate the role of ROS in experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Besides, we also used the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) treatment to evaluate the effect of suppression of ROS on EAU in mice. The EAU disease scores of Ncf1−/− mice were significantly lower than those of wild-type mice. EAU induction increased the levels of cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, IL-17, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α) and chemokines (monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1) in the retinas of wild-type mice but not in those of Ncf1−/− mice. EAU induction enhanced the level of NF-κB activity in wild-type mice. However, the level of NF-κB activity in Ncf1−/− mice with EAU induction was low. Treatment with the antioxidant NAC also decreased the severity of EAU in mice with reduced levels of oxidative stress, inflammatory mediators, and NF-κB activation in the retina. We successfully revealed a novel role of ROS in the pathogenesis of EAU and suggest a potential antioxidant role for the treatment of autoimmune uveitis in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry