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Ophthalmic Res. 2013;49(2):108-14. doi: 10.1159/000342977. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

High vitreous concentration of IL-6 and IL-8, but not of adhesion molecules in relation to plasma concentrations in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.



Inflammatory markers have been observed in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). We assessed vitreous concentrations of adhesion molecules and cytokines in PDR and non-diabetic controls and plasma concentrations to differentiate local inflammation from the breakdown of the blood-retina barrier.


38 patients with PDR and 16 controls with macular hole or epiretinal membrane underwent vitrectomy. Vitreous and plasma soluble adhesion molecules [sE-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1 and -3, platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (sPECAM)-1, sP-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1] and cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 (p70), tumour necrosis factor-α and -β, γ-interferon] were detected by the multiplex assay.


Levels of IL-6 and IL-8 were 26-fold (p = 0.001) and 6-fold higher (p = 0.001) in vitreous than in plasma in PDR. Vitreous IL-10 (p = 0.004), sPECAM-1, sE-selectin, sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 were higher in PDR than controls (p = 0.001 for all). Adhesion molecule concentrations in vitreous in PDR were less than 10% of those in plasma. IL-10 was lower in vitreous than plasma (3.0 vs. 12.8 pg/ml, p = 0.007), and the vitreous IL-10/IL-8 ratio was significantly lower in PDR than in controls (0.10 vs. 0.55 pg/ml, p = 0.003).


The elevated IL-6 and IL-8 levels in vitreous, but not in plasma, are evidence favouring local over systemic inflammation in PDR. Furthermore, there was imbalance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the vitreous.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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