Unilateral RLB affects both eyes

March 11, 2009

Laser burn to the retina of a single eye can compromise the immune privilege of the fellow eye.

Laser burn to the retina of a single eye can compromise the immune privilege of the fellow eye, concluded a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

Joan Stein-Streilein of Schepens Eye Research Institute, US and colleagues inflicted retinal laser burns (RLBs) on a single eye of 15 mice and injected both eyes with the antigen, Ovalbumin. Control mice, that had not been exposed to the laser burn, were also injected with Ovalbumin.

The immune privilege of both eyes was damaged six hours after RLB. This damage endured for up to 56 days. The control mice, however, experienced no inflammation, showing that the immune privilege of their eyes was not compromised. The team now intends to study the interactions between eyes to understand the novel mechanisms that allow for communication between the injured and non-injured eye.