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A. Bruscolini, M. Accorinti, A. Lambiase, M. Pirraglia, S. Bonini, P. Pivetti Pezzi; Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Cytokines in Behçet Disease (BD) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4607.
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the circulating levels of NGF, IL-2, IL-10, IFN-γ, TGF-ß in patients affected by BD with ocular involvement and to compare the values with normal subjects. Patients and Methods: Ten patients with inactive Behçet disease (8 M, 2 F; mean age 37.9 + 9.6 years), and 10 healthy controls (5 M, 5 F; mean age 38.2 + 5.2 years) were selected for the study. All the patients were affected by diffuse uveitis with retinal vasculitis, eight tested positive for HLA B51 antigen, and four had also displayed a neurologic involvement. Blood samples were collected and evaluated by specific ELISA for NGF, IL-2, IL-10, IFN-γ and TGF-ß Diagnosis of Beçhet was made on the basis of history of recurrences, clinical evaluation and detection of HLA-B51 antigen. Patients had a mean duration of disease of 12+ 4,8 years. Seven patients were treated with systemic cyclosporine at the time of blood sample collection. Statistical analyses were performed by Mann-Whitney U test and by Spermann rho test. Result: Patients with Beçhet disease had a statistically significant decrease of NGF levels (37 + 34.75 versus 98.40 + 83.40 pg/ml p=0,0426) while IFN-γ (3968.25 + 2785.13 versus 1382,52 ± 272,38 p=0.05) and IL-2 (357.97 + 194.46 versus 136.50 + 117.08 pg/ml p=0,05) serum levels values were significantly increased in patients when compared to controls. Conclusion: This study shows the presence of a variation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2 and IFN-γ)in the inactive phase of BD. Moreover this data suggest a role of NGF as modulating neurotrophin in Beçhet disease.
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