Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) is an organ-specific T cell-mediated disease induced by immunizing mice with interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP). Autoaggressive CD4+ T cells are the major pathogenic population for EAU. We investigated the contribution of Notch signaling in T cells to EAU pathogenesis because Notch signaling regulates various aspects of CD4+ T cell functions. Rbpj is required for Notch signaling, and Rbpj deficiency in T cells inhibited EAU disease severity. The amelioration of EAU in T cell-specific Rbpj-deficient mice correlated with low levels of IL-22 production from CD4+ T cells, although IRBP-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation and Th17 differentiation were unaffected. Administration of recombinant IL-22 during the late phase, but not the early phase, of EAU increased EAU clinical scores in T cell-specific Rbpj-deficient mice. Notch inhibition in mice immunized with IRBP with a c-secretase inhibitor (GSI) suppressed EAU progression, even when GSI was administered as late as 13 days after IRBP immunization. Our data demonstrate that Rbpj/Notch-mediated IL-22 production in T cells has a key pathological role in the late phase of EAU, and suggest that Notch blockade might be a useful therapeutic approach for treating EAU. © 2014 Bhuyan et al.
Bhuyan, Z. A., Asanoma, M., Iwata, A., Ishifune, C., Maekawa, Y., Shimada, M., & Yasutomo, K. (2014). Abrogation of Rbpj attenuates experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis by inhibiting IL-22-producing CD4+ T cells. PLoS ONE, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0089266