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Exp Eye Res. 2007 Oct;85(4):443-9. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Cytokines, chemokines and soluble adhesion molecules in aqueous humor of children with uveitis.

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F.C. Donders Institute of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Utrecht, E.03.136, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Uveitis in childhood is a visual threatening disease with a complication rate of more than 75%. Despite extensive research, the etiology of uveitis is still unclear although the general opinion is now that uveitis is a T-cell mediated disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate the profile of cytokines, chemotactic cytokines (chemokines) and soluble adhesion molecules in the aqueous humor (AqH) of children with uveitis in order to identify the factors that control the immune response in the eye. In this clinical laboratory investigation we analyzed, with a multiplex immunoassay, 16 immune mediators in the AqH of 25 children with uveitis and 6 children without uveitis. Increased levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IL-18, interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, RANTES, IL-8 and interferon-inducible 10-kDa protein were found in the AqH of children with uveitis compared with controls. No significant differences were found for IL-1 beta, IL-4, IL-12 p-70, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and Eotaxin. Lower levels of IL-10 and IL-8 were found in quiet stage uveitis (surgical) samples compared with active uveitis (diagnostic) samples and in samples of patients treated with methotrexate (MTX) compared with samples of patients not treated with MTX. Lower levels of IL-10 were as well found in samples taken during the first 3 months after the diagnosis of uveitis than samples taken later during the disease process. No significant differences were found between patients treated with or without topical or systemic (perioperative and long term) corticosteroids. In conclusion, in children with uveitis, multiple intraocular cytokines, chemokines and soluble adhesion molecules are increased in the AqH regardless of active or inactive inflammation. Whether the IL-8 and IL-10 levels in AqH of children with uveitis are correlated with uveitis activity, early or late phase of the course of the disease and systemic treatment with MTX needs further investigation in a bigger study population.

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