Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis (EAU) in Mice and Rats

Uveitis is a sight-threatening condition caused by intraocular inflammation and retinal tissue destruction. Diagnosis is performed by a funduscopic exam where the pupil is dilated with eye drops, and then a light is shown through using an ophthalmoscope to observe the back of the eye.

Charles River has developed acute models of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) by challenging mice or rats with retinal antigens such as interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) peptide or retinal soluble antigen (S-Ag). This model is also offered in transgenic mice to create a humanised model. In these models, Th1 CD4+ T cells are directed toward retinal antigens to produce cytokines that activate resident and infiltrating mononuclear cells leading to tissue destruction. The rat model can be used to study anterior- and posterior chamber-dependent EAU. The mouse model can be used to study posterior chamber-dependent EAU.

Readouts include in-life topical endoscopic fundal imaging (TEFI) in the posterior chamber of both rat and mouse models and anterior chamber examination in the rat model. Eye histopathology and retina, aqueous, and vitreous humour cytokine analysis can also be performed.

Autoimmune Uveitis Study Endpoints

  • Posterior and/or anterior EAU clinical scores (using TEFI)
  • PK/PD blood, retina, and aqueous/vitreous humour
  • Total cell counts
  • Histopathological evaluation 
  • Cytokine analysis
  • T cell proliferation

Validation Data

Figure 1: posterior uveitis clinical scores in the mouse model of EAU determined by TEFI

Graph showing posterior uveitis clinical scores in the mouse determined by TEFI


Figures 2: Experimental autoimmune uveitis in mice following TEFI analysis

Inflammation of optic disc, cuffing of blood vessels, and retinal folding can be seen.


Figure 3: T cell proliferation in cervical lymph nodes in EAU models

Graph showing T cell proliferation in cervical lymph nodes

Cervical lymph node cells can be isolated from animals challenged with IRBP and cultured in the presence and absence of IRBP peptide in vitro to access T cell proliferation using thymidine incorporation.


Figure 4: Posterior uveitis clinical score in the rat determined by TEFI

Posterior uveitis clinical score in the rat determined by TEFI.


Figure 5: Anterior uveitis clinical score in the rat determined by TEFI

Anterior uveitis clinical score in the rat, determined by TEFI.