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Ophthalmic Res. 2006;38(4):182-8. Epub 2006 May 5.

Enhanced release of IL-6 and IL-8 into tears in various anterior segment eye diseases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Medical and Health Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Nagyerdei krt. 98, HU-4012 Debrecen, Hungary.



To determine the levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 8 (IL-8/CXCL-8) in tears collected from the eyes of normal individuals and of patients with different irritative eye diseases, in order to acquire information on the immunological changes occurring during the early postoperative period following various forms of eye surgery, including penetrating keratoplasty (PKP).


IL-6 and IL-8 levels were measured with the aid of human ultrasensitive ELISA kits in the non-stimulated tears of patients in the early postoperative period following PKP or cataract operation, and of patients with acute bacterial conjunctivitis or with a corneal foreign body. The IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations, the total amounts released in a given time and the rates of their release were calculated.


A significant increase in IL-6 release was observed in all patient groups compared with the normal controls (p < or = 0.003). The IL-8 release levels were significantly higher in the tears of all patient groups (p < or = 0.03), except for the cataract operation group, where the IL-8 release was not significantly higher (p = 0.053) than in the control samples. No significant differences in IL-6 or IL-8 release were observed when the various patient groups were compared with each other.


The release of IL-6 and IL-8 into the tears is enhanced in various anterior segment eye diseases, and this may be used as an indicator of various inflammatory reactions in the early postoperative period.

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