Uveitis and retinal vasculitis in acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in the Lewis rat: an ultrastructural study.
The histopathological features of uveitis and retinal vasculitis in acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) were investigated using light and electron microscopy. Lewis rats were immunized by spinal cord homogenate, complete Freund's adjuvant and Bordetella pertussis. The eyes of rats with EAE exhibited vasculitis in the iris, trabeculitis and endothelial abnormalities in the retinal vessels; vasculitis was observed in the optic nerve and brain. Endothelial cells in the vessels in the iris, retina, optic nerve and central nervous system were noted to be elevated (high endothelial-like venules, or HELV). Inflammatory cells in the vascular lumen were attached to the surface of endothelial cells in abnormal areas in the iris. By comparison with the findings in the iris and retina, there were no significant changes in the vessels of the ciliary body and choroid. The ultrastructural features indicated that anterior uveitis in acute EAE resulted from vasculitis in the iris due to changes of the endothelial cells and was not due to a reaction against the myelinated nerves or any other particular components of the iris. In addition, our results suggested that vasculitis in the iris was consequent upon specialized changes of the endothelial cells similar to HELV which were responsible for the transcellular emigration of lymphocytes in other inflammatory diseases or in experimental models. HELV change plays an important role in the perivascular inflammatory process in the iris, retina, optic nerve and central nervous system in EAE and possibly in multiple sclerosis.
Shikishima, K; Lee, WR; Behan, WM; Foulds, WS
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