Aim: The current study was designed to determine whether intravitreal injection of tacrolimus (FK506) modulates the gene expression of neurotrophic factor-related molecules in the retina from eyes with induced experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) in rats.
Methods: Rats were immunized with interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP) peptide (R14) and given intravitreal injection of tacrolimus on day 12 after immunization. As control, immunized rats received intravitreal injection of vehicle. On day 15 after immunization, changes in the genetic program associated with neuroprotection and inflammatory responses in the retinas from both groups were determined by DNA microarray analyses and confirmed by RT-PCR analyses.
Results: The gene expression of inflammatory responses was markedly reduced in tacrolimus-treated eyes. Genes for molecules associated with neuroprotection (estrogen receptor, erythropoietin receptor, GABA receptor, protein kinase C, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor receptor, fibroblast growth factor, and neuropeptide Y receptor) were upregulated in the retinas from tacrolimus-treated eyes.
Conclusions: Intravitreal injection of tacrolimus modulated the genes related to neuroprotection in the retina during the ongoing process of EAU. This treatment may be useful for the neuroprotection of retina with severe uveitis as well as for immunosuppression in the uveitic eyes.
- DNA microarray