S-antigen is a highly pathogenic retinal autoantigen for the induction of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). EAU is predominately a T cell mediated autoimmune disease of the uveal tract and retina of the eye and the pinealocytes of the pineal gland. Using synthetic peptides it has been possible to identify several B cell and T cell epitopes in the molecule. In addition, synthetic peptides derived from proteins of diverse origin with amino acid sequence homology to pathogenic regions of S-antigen induce an EAU which is indistinguishable from the disease induced by native S-antigen. These studies aid in the understanding of immune mechanisms in EAU and provide a basis for the pathogenesis of uveitis in humans.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Retina Service of Wills Eye Hospital, (Drs. Annesley, Sarin and Tasman, Directors), NIH Grant EY 5095, EY 5510, EY 7610, the Crippled Childrens’ Vitreo-Retinal Research Foundation (Dr Meyer, Director), Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Lions Eye Research Foundation, the Fannie Rippel Foundation provided support for these studies. Then Elizabeth King Trust and the Harry Wright fund provided support for Dr Sery. Dr. Gregerson is a Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator. Dr. Donos0 is the Thomas D. Duane Professor of Ophthalmology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University and the recipient of a Manpower Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.