Inflammation inside the eye is called uveitis. It is the third leading cause of vision loss in the United States. While most uveitis responds to steroid therapy, 20% do not, and the uveitis becomes chronic. Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have found that there may be a way of developing long-term suppression of uveitis by using specific proteins always found in the healthy eye. These proteins stop immune cells from making inflammation, and make the immune cells themselves control each other from making inflammation.
BU has demonstrated that they can make this target only the eye. This prevents accidently stopping other immune cells fighting infection; this is something that current therapies cannot do. Researchers are now collecting immune cells from uveitis patients to see whether the immune cells respond to these proteins, and control themselves. The goal is to find a way to suppress inflammation within the eye to preserve vision in patients with chronic uveitis.