Anti-inflammatory treatment of uveitis with biologicals: new treatment options that reflect pathogenetic knowledge of the disease

  • Arnd Heiligenhaus
  • Stephan Thurau
  • Maren Hennig
  • Rafael S. Grajewski
  • Gerhild Wildner
Review Article

Abstract

Background

Endogenous uveitis is a sight-threatening disease. In addition to corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents are commonly used to treat patients with severe course. Immunosuppressive drugs act nonspecifically, rather than providing a specific interaction with the critical pathogenetic pathways of uveitis. Better knowledge of the basic mechanisms underlying uveitis and of the molecules that are important for regulating inflammation has helped to create new and more specific treatment approaches. Biological therapy for inflammatory diseases employs substances that interfere with specific molecules or pathways induced in the body during the inflammatory process.

Methods

This review gives an overview on molecules that play a critical role in the pathogenetic process of uveitis, as has been observed in patients or the respective animal models, and summarizes the current experience with biologicals for the treatment of uveitis refractive to conventional immunosuppressives.

Keywords

Uveitis Inflammation Biologicals TNF inhibitors Autoimmune 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnd Heiligenhaus
    • 1
  • Stephan Thurau
    • 2
  • Maren Hennig
    • 1
  • Rafael S. Grajewski
    • 3
  • Gerhild Wildner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology at St. Franziskus HospitalUniversity Duisburg–EssenMuensterGermany
  2. 2.Section of Immunobiology, Department of OphthalmologyClinic of the University of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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