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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 294046, 5 pages
Review Article

Analysis of the Pathogenesis of Experimental Autoimmune Optic Neuritis

Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-7-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Received 31 August 2010; Accepted 13 October 2010

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2011 Takeshi Kezuka 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.


Optic neuritis associated with multiple sclerosis has a strong association with organ-specific autoimmune disease. The goal of our research is to establish an optimal organ-specific animal model to elucidate the pathogenetic mechanisms of the disease and to develop therapeutic strategies using the model. This paper is divided into five sections: (1) clinical picture of optic neuritis associated with multiple sclerosis, (2) elucidation of pathogenesis using animal models with inflammation in optic nerve and spinal cord, (3) clinical relevance of concurrent encephalomyelitis in optic neuritis model, (4) retinal damage in a concurrent multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis model, and (5) development of novel therapies using mouse optic neuritis model. Advanced therapies using biologicals have succeeded to control intractable optic neuritis in animal models. This may ultimately lead to prevention of vision loss within a short period from acute onset of optic neuritis in human. By conducting research flexibly, ready to switch from the bench to the bedside and from the bedside to the bench as the opportunity arises, this strategy may help to guide the research of optic neuritis in the right direction.