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Mariana Borges Oliveira, Jose Paulo C Vasconcellos, Vital P Costa, Monica B Melo; Inflammatory Cytokines in Aqueous Humor and Plasma are associated with Primary Open angle Glaucoma in a Brazilian population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5711.
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the aqueous humor and plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines in patients with glaucoma submitted to trabeculectomy, in a Brazilian population, in order to investigate their role in glaucoma pathogenesis.
This case-control study recruited 31 POAG patients submitted to trabeculectomy and 34 controls who underwent cataract surgery, as control group. The plasma and the aqueous humor were collected pre and intra-operatively, respectively. The inflammatory cytokines IL-α, IL1-β, IL-6, TNF-α, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the adhesion molecule E-selectin (Sel-E) were measured by flow cytometry, using the cytometric bead array flex set. The TGF-β2 levels were determined by ELISA. The associations related above were evaluated using Mann-Whitney test. P-values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Concentrations of IL1-β and TGF-β2 were below limits of detection of the method and were not evaluated. There was no difference between cases and controls when comparing VEGF and Sel-E in both plasma and aqueous humor samples. IL-α and TNF-α cytokines were elevated in plasma of glaucomatous patients when compared to controls (p=0,0037 and p=0,0233, respectively), but this difference could not be observed in the aqueous humor (p=0.3564 and p=0.7767, respectively). The IL-6 cytokine was significantly lowered in the aqueous humor of POAG patients, when compared to controls (p=0,001), but its levels were below limits of detection in plasma samples.
This study suggests differences in cytokine levels in plasma and aqueous humor of glaucomatous patients when compared to controls. Specifically IL-α and TNF-α were higher in plasma and IL-6 was lower in the aqueous humor among POAG patients. This cytokine profile may represent an abnormal inflammatory and immune environment, which could be contributing to glaucomatous pathogenesis.
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