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Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012 Mar;31(2):182-94. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Interplay between innate and adaptive immunity in the development of non-infectious uveitis.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, CHU St-Pierre and Brugmann, Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


In vertebrates, the innate and adaptive immune systems have evolved seamlessly to protect the host by rapidly responding to danger signals, eliminating pathogens and creating immunological memory as well as immunological tolerance to self. The innate immune system harnesses receptors that recognize conserved pathogen patterns and alongside the more specific recognition systems and memory of adaptive immunity, their interplay is evidenced by respective roles during generation and regulation of immune responses. The hallmark of adaptive immunity which requires engagement of innate immunity is an ability to discriminate between self and non-self (and eventually between pathogen and symbiont) as well as peripheral control mechanisms maintaining immunological health and appropriate responses. Loss of control mechanisms and/or regulation of either the adaptive or the innate immune system lead to autoimmunity and autoinflammation respectively. Although autoimmune pathways have been largely studied to date in the context of development of non-infectious intraocular inflammation, the recruitment and activation of innate immunity is required for full expression of the varied phenotypes of non-infectious uveitis. Since autoimmunity and autoinflammation implicate different molecular pathways, even though some convergence occurs, increasing our understanding of their respective roles in the development of uveitis will highlight treatment targets and influence our understanding of immune mechanisms operative in other retinal diseases. Herein, we extrapolate from the basic mechanisms of activation and control of innate and adaptive immunity to how autoinflammatory and autoimmune pathways contribute to disease development in non-infectious uveitis patients.

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