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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 2939370, 15 pages
Research Article

SOCS1 Mimetic Peptide Suppresses Chronic Intraocular Inflammatory Disease (Uveitis)

1Molecular Immunology Section, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China
3Immunoregulation Section, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
4Department of Microbiology & Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Received 26 February 2016; Revised 12 May 2016; Accepted 7 June 2016

Academic Editor: Hannes Neuwirt

Copyright © 2016 Chang He 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.


Uveitis is a potentially sight-threatening disease characterized by repeated cycles of remission and recurrent inflammation. The JAK/STAT pathway regulates the differentiation of pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells that mediate uveitis. A SOCS1 mimetic peptide (SOCS1-KIR) that inhibits JAK2/STAT1 pathways has recently been shown to suppress experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). However, it is not clear whether SOCS1-KIR ameliorated uveitis by targeting JAK/STAT pathways of pathogenic lymphocytes or via inhibition of macrophages and antigen-presenting cells that also enter the retina during EAU. To further investigate mechanisms that mediate SOCS1-KIR effects and evaluate the efficacy of SOCS1-KIR as an investigational drug for chronic uveitis, we induced EAU in rats by adoptive transfer of uveitogenic T-cells and monitored disease progression and severity by slit-lamp microscopy, histology, and optical coherence tomography. Topical administration of SOCS1-KIR ameliorated acute and chronic posterior uveitis by inhibiting Th17 cells and the recruitment of inflammatory cells into retina while promoting expansion of IL-10-producing Tregs. We further show that SOCS1-KIR conferred protection of resident retinal cells that play critical role in vision from cytotoxic effects of inflammatory cytokines by downregulating proapoptotic genes. Thus, SOCS1-KIR suppresses uveitis and confers neuroprotective effects and might be exploited as a noninvasive treatment for chronic uveitis.