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Primed Mycobacterial Uveitis (PMU) as a Model for Post-Infectious Uveitis

Sarah John1, Oliver H. Bell2, Leslie Wilson1, David A. Copland2, Kathryn L. Pepple1

Abstract

The term 'uveitis' describes a heterogeneous set of conditions that all feature intraocular inflammation. Broadly, uveitis is defined by etiology: infection or autoimmunity. Infectious uveitis requires treatment with the appropriate antimicrobial agents, while autoimmune uveitis requires treatment with corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive agents. Post-infectious uveitis is a form of chronic uveitis that requires corticosteroids to control immune sequela following the initial infection. Uveitis associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is a well-recognized form of post-infectious uveitis, but the mechanisms of disease are not fully understood. To understand the role mycobacterial antigens and innate ligands play in stimulating chronic ocular inflammation following mTB infection, the model Primed Mycobacterial Uveitis (PMU) was developed for use in mice. This manuscript outlines the methods for generating PMU and monitoring the clinical course of inflammation using color fundus and optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. PMU is induced by immunization with heat-killed mycobacterial extract followed by intravitreal injection of the same extract into one eye seven days later. Ocular inflammation is monitored longitudinally using in vivo imaging and followed by sample collection for a wide range of assays, including histology, flow cytometry, cytokine analysis, qPCR, or mRNA sequencing. The mouse model of PMU is a useful new tool for studying the ocular responses to mTB, the mechanism of chronic uveitis, and for preclinical effectiveness tests of new anti-inflammatory therapies.

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