S-antigen (S-Ag), a major protein on the retinal photoreceptor cell, can induce experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). We have previously detected S-Ag and its mRNA in irises of chronic uveitis patients receiving long-term steroid therapy. To further investigate the effect of steroid therapy on ocular tissue, we compared levels of S-Ag and its mRNA in EAU rats with and without steroid treatment. EAU was induced in 72 Lewis rats by two footpad injections of S-Ag. The rats were then treated with Depo-Medrol or phosphate-buffered saline by intramuscular injection. Eyes were collected at different time points. S-Ag mRNA was detected in the lens epithelium, trabecular meshwork, iris, and ciliary body of 47.2% of the steroid-treated group vs 22.2% of the controls. S-antigen was also detected in 30.6% of the eyes of the treated group vs 16.7% of the controls. S-Ag and its mRNA was found only in the retina of normal rats. These results support the hypothesis that prolonged corticosteroid therapy in uveitic patients might enhance the expression of S-Ag in nonretinal ocular tissues and might contribute to the ocular side effects of corticosteroid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry