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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2000 Mar;20(3):309-10.

Interleukin-6 levels in tears of contact lens wearers.

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  • 1Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in basal tears of contact lens wearers (n = 18) and nonlens wearers (n = 25). Samples (5 microl) were collected with a microcapillary pipette and evaluated using PAGE electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis. Contact lens-wearing patients had a mean IL-6 level of 43.8 +/- 5.3 pg/5 microl compared with nondetectable IL-6 levels throughout the noncontact lens-wearing population. IL-6 in several patients removed from contact lens wear for 6 days became nondetectable. When these patients were returned to wearing lenses, IL-6 levels increased to their original levels within 24 h. The data presented indicate that an ocular medical device may stimulate IL-6 production.

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