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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2012, Article ID 197648, 6 pages
Research Article

The Role of M. leprae Hsp65 Protein and Peptides in the Pathogenesis of Uveitis

1Department of Ophthalmology, São Paulo Hospital, Federal University of São Paulo, R. Botucatu 820, 04023-062 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Avenue Albert Einstein 627-701, 2 Subsolo Bloco A, 05651-901 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Department of Immunology, University of São Paulo, R. Prof. Dr. Lineu Prestes 1730, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Center for Applied Toxinology (CAT/CEPID), Butantan Institute, Avenue Vital Brazil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5Immunochemistry Laboratory, Butantan Institute, Avenue Vital Brazil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 12 June 2012; Accepted 26 July 2012

Academic Editor: Kamal D. Moudgil

Copyright © 2012 Alessandra Gonçalves Commodaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a well established model for immune-mediated organ-specific disease. Our group has recently shown that the M. leprae Hsp65 aggravated the uveitis in mice; in the present study, we evaluated the action of M. leprae  K409A mutant protein and the synthetic peptides Leader pep and K409A pep (covering amino acids residues 352–371 of WT and K409A proteins of M. leprae Hsp65, resp.) on the pathogenesis of EAU. Mice received the 161–180 IRBP peptide and B. pertussis toxin followed by the intraperitoneal inoculation of K409A protein or the Leader pep or K409A pep. The Leader pep aggravated the disease, but mice receiving the K409A pep did not develop the disease and presented an increase in IL-10 levels by spleen cells and a decrease in the percentage of CD4+ IFN-γ+ T cells. Moreover, animals receiving the Leader pep presented the highest scores of the disease associated with increase percentage of CD4+ IFN-γ+ T cells. These results would contribute to understanding of the pathogenesis of EAU and support the concept that immune responses to Hsp are of potential importance in exacerbating, perpetuating, or even controlling organ-restricted autoimmune diseases, and it is discussed the irreversibility of autoimmune syndromes.