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Judith Lechner, Mei Chen, Usha Chakravarthy, Heping Xu; Innate immune activation in neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):85.
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To compare white blood cell populations from persons with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) with that of age-matched controls.
Immunophenotyping for white blood cell populations (including CD14++CD16-, CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocytes, CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocytes, CD56 natural killer cells, CD19 B-lymphocytes and CD16+HLA-DR- neutrophils), chemokine receptor expression analysis (CX3CR1 and CCR2) as well as cell activation analysis (MHC-II, HLA-DR, CD62L, STAT3) was performed using samples of peripheral blood from nAMD patients and age- and gender-matched controls.
The percentage of CD4+ T cells was significantly reduced while the percentage of CD11b+ cells and CD16+HLA-DR- neutrophils was significantly increased in nAMD patients compared to controls. The percentage of classical (CD14++CD16-), intermediate (CD14++CD16+) and non-classical (CD14+CD16++) monocytes was similar between nAMD patients and controls, however there was a significant increase of CX3CR1 on the intermediate monocyte subset and on CD16+HLA-DR- neutrophils in nAMD compared to controls. HLA-DR was significantly increased in all monocyte subsets in nAMD compared to controls. Activation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) was significantly increased in nAMD patients compared to controls following stimulation with IL6.
Our results suggest an increased activation of the innate immune system in patients with nAMD. A better understanding of the role of the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of nAMD may help identify novel biomarkers and thus development of improved therapeutic strategies.
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