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Animal Models for Ocular Autoimmune Diseases

The development of animal models has greatly increased our knowledge in understanding the entire mechanism of human disease development at the molecular and genetic levels. Our company is dedicated to providing animal models for ocular autoimmune diseases, including non-infectious chronic uveitis and keratoconjunctivitis. Our animal modeling services help our clients broaden their understanding of disease pathogenesis and conduct preclinical drug screening and efficacy assessments.

Background

Non-infectious chronic uveitis and keratoconjunctivitis are two ocular autoimmune diseases designated as orphan diseases. Both diseases have an idiopathic etiology; however, the inflammatory processes during the disease are associated with immunological perturbations. The relevance of animal models of non-infectious chronic uveitis and keratoconjunctivitis depends on pathophysiological and immune components. Animal species sensitized to allergens have been used for proof-of-concept studies. In these animal models of ocular autoimmune diseases, clinical features are closely related to the specific genetic background of the model.

Fig. 1 Induced and spontaneous models of autoimmune uveitis.

Fig. 1 Induced and spontaneous models of autoimmune uveitis. (Horai R, et al., 2019)

Disease Modeling Services for Non-Infectious Chronic Uveitis

Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) is an animal disease model of human endogenous uveitis. Currently, we have established animal models of EAU in multiple species and strains using specific immune protocols with the following retinal-specific autoantigens: S antigen, S arrestin (also known as retinal S antigen), antigenic interphotoreceptor retinoid-like binding protein (IRBP; also known as RBP3), recoverin, rhodopsin, and phosducin. Although no animal model by itself can represent the complete spectrum of human uveitis, each model has an individual feature that makes it suitable for studying specific disease aspects. We offer the following animal models for non-infectious chronic uveitis:

  • EAU rat model induced by synthetic peptides derived from rhodopsin sequences mixed in complete Freund's adjuvant. This animal model features complete destruction of the photoreceptor cell layer and an increase in specific antibody titers.
  • EAU rat and mouse models induced by immunization with IRBP in complete Freund's adjuvant. These animal models have the characteristic of ocular inflammation and photoreceptor destruction.
  • EAU rat model induced by S-arrestin. This animal model is suitable for adoptive transfer experiments (transfection of T cells from immunized rats to naive animals).
  • NOD2-deficient mouse, which is a natural model with a genetic mutation background.

Disease Modeling Services for Keratoconjunctivitis

We provide our clients with models of atopic keratoconjunctivitis including BALB/c mice actively immunized with allergens. Mice sensitized and challenged with allergens show characteristics similar to human allergic conjunctivitis. Our mouse models of experimental allergic conjunctivitis are the preferred species for ocular allergy models.

In addition to animal models, we also offer various services to support research into ocular autoimmune diseases. We provide customized experimental designs, histopathological analysis, and immunohistochemistry services to meet our client's specific needs.

Our team of experts is dedicated to providing high-quality services and support to facilitate research into ocular autoimmune diseases. Our animal models are highly reproducible, reliable, and customizable, providing researchers with the tools they need to make significant advances in the field. If you are interested in our animal modeling services, please contact us for more information.

Reference

  • Horai, R.; Caspi, R. R. Microbiome and autoimmune uveitis. Frontiers in immunology, 2019, 10: 232.

All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.

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