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Stephanie C Joachim, Sandra Kuehn, Gesa Stute, Nikolaos Tsiampalis, Minh-Khoa Vu, Teresa Tsai, Vinodh Kakkassery, Burkhard Dick; Anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in diabetic retinopathy patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5217.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Diabetic retinopathy, a frequent complication of diabetes, is a leading cause of blindness in western countries. Currently, anti-VEGF monotherapy is well established and has the best treatment success. However, many treatments are necessary and about 30% of diabetic retinopathy patients fail to respond. Therefore, an additive or alternative therapy is needed as well as greater knowledge of the disease. Aim of this study was to identify possible cytokine alterations due to diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Vitreous samples were collected from patients with DR (mean age: 73±9) and patients with macular hole or macular pucker (control group; mean age: 62±12) during vitrectomy (n=18/group). Patients with current or past anti-VEGF therapy or similar diseases like retinal vascular occlusion were excluded from the study. Levels of pro-inflammatory, IL-1ß, IL-6 and interferon-γ (INF- γ), and pleiotropic cytokines, IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13, were quantified using commercially available ELISA kits. Additionally, the level of VEGF and VEGF A as well as PGF was measured.
Regarding pro-inflammatory cytokines, a tendency to higher expression levels was noted in the DR group (IL-1ß: p=0.12; IL-6: p=0.21; INF-γ: p=0.08). A trend towards a IL-4 upregulation was also observed in DR samples (p=0.32). IL-2 (p=0.68) and IL-13(p=0.22) levels were comparable in both groups. VEGF levels were upregulated (p=0.003), also increased levels of VEGF A were detected in DR patients (p=0.002). PGF (p=0.04) was upregulated, too.
This project aimed to identify possible cytokine alterations in vitreous due to diabetic retinopathy. Upregulation of INF-γ, VEGF and PGF was seen in DR samples. Especially, all analyzed angiogenic factors were increased in DR patients. Further identification of cytokine alterations in DR might lead to additive treatment options in the future.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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