September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Cytokine abundancies in the vitreous of patients with epiretinal fibrosis: chronic inflammatory activity?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Souska Zandi
    Ophthalmology, Swiss Eye Institute, Bern, Switzerland
  • Christoph Tappeiner
    Ophthalmology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • Isabel Pfister
    Ophthalmology, Swiss Eye Institute, Bern, Switzerland
  • Justus Garweg
    Swiss Eye Institute and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Souska Zandi, None; Christoph Tappeiner, None; Isabel Pfister, None; Justus Garweg, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 2064. doi:
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      Souska Zandi, Christoph Tappeiner, Isabel Pfister, Justus Garweg; Cytokine abundancies in the vitreous of patients with epiretinal fibrosis: chronic inflammatory activity?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2064.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Cytokines play a major role in cell signalling and they are key players in inflammatory and immunoregulatory processes. Fibroblasts and glial cells are an important source of these mediators within the posterior segment of the eye and are implicated in the progression of different diseases.
Idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERM) represent a slowly progressing type of scar tissue. Here, we compared the cytokine profiles in this pathology to that in idiopathic full-thickness macular holes (MH) which are expected to develop in consequence of acute traction within the vitreoretinal interface but do not progress over time.

Methods : During vitrectomy for the treatment of macular pathologies, native vitreous samples were collected after informed consent had been obtained and were then stored at -80° until use for cytokine quantification using the Bio-Plex® multiplex cytokine analysis system. This system enables the parallel quantification of multiple analytes, such as cytokines within a single sample. Here we screened vitreous samples for 40 different cytokines. For statistical purposes, the lower cut off was defined as the lowest measured value. The study adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the local University ethics board.

Results : Sixty one vitreous samples (31 in the ERM and 30 in the MH group) were included. In contrast to TGF beta 1 und 3, the TGF beta 2 concentration was comparably upregulated in both groups. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6 concentrations in contrast were 10fold above the cut off in the epiretinal membrane group, whereas no detectable levels were measured in 83% (IL-1β) and 63% (IL-6) of samples in the MH group. In 55% of ERM samples, TNF alpha concentration ranged 10 fold above the cut off compared to only 3% in the MH samples. Finally, Interferon-y levels ranged above cut off in 71% of ERM samples but not in any MH sample, indicating that epiretinal membranes, but not macular holes present cytokine profile changes in line with inflammatory and/or fibrotic activity.

Conclusions : At the time of surgery vitreous samples from eyes with MH do not show evidence for glial of fibroblast activity, whereas in ERM fibrotic and /or inflammatory changes seem to be a driving force for the clinically observed slow progression.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.


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