Aims To evaluate the efficacy of spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in monitoring the development of mouse experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) as an animal model of endogenous uveitis, and to develop an OCT-based grading system for EAU severity.
Methods C57BL/6 mice were immunised with human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (amino acid sequence 1–20) peptide and complete Freund's adjuvant to induce EAU. The development of EAU was monitored by SD-OCT serially throughout the disease course, and the images were graded from 1 to 4 and compared with the clinical and histopathological grades.
Results SD-OCT images depicted retinal lamella structures including the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) line in normal mice. Retinal structural changes were observed on SD-OCT images in mice that developed EAU clinically scored as grade 1 or higher, which precisely corresponded to the pathological findings. The SD-OCT images of EAU were graded as follows: grade 1, a few infiltrating cells in the vitreous and retina; grade 2, increased vitreous cells, retinal vasculitis, and granulomatous lesion; grade 3, cell infiltration into the whole retina, disappearance of IS/OS line, and destruction of the retinal layer structure; and grade 4, disappearance of the outer retina. The SD-OCT grade of EAU based on these criteria correlated significantly with both the clinical grade (R2=0.282, p<0.005) and histopathological grade (R2=0.846, p<0.0001).
Conclusions SD-OCT is useful for evaluating the development and severity of mouse EAU. The SD-OCT scoring system we developed accurately reflects clinical and histopathological changes.
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