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Mol Vis. 2013 Aug 4;19:1734-46. Print 2013.

Study of 27 aqueous humor cytokines in patients with type 2 diabetes with or without retinopathy.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.



To compare the changes in the levels of 27 aqueous humor cytokines between nondiabetic controls and patients with type 2 diabetes and to ascertain the association of these cytokines with diabetic retinopathy (DR).


Undiluted aqueous humor samples were obtained from 102 nondiabetic patients (102 eyes) and 136 consecutive diabetic patients (136 eyes) who were divided into nine groups according to the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity scale. The concentrations of 27 cytokines in the aqueous humor samples were measured using a multiplex bead immunoassay.


Compared with the nondiabetic controls, the diabetic patients had significantly higher concentrations of interleukin-1β (IL-1β; p<0.001), IL-6 (p<0.001), IL-8 (p<0.001), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (p<0.001), interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (p<0.001), and vascular endothelial growth factor (p<0.001) in the aqueous humor. However, the IL-10 (p=0.002) and IL-12 (p=0.013) concentrations were significantly lower for the diabetic patients. There were no significant differences in the concentrations of other cytokines between the diabetic patients and the controls. The IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interferon gamma-induced protein-10 levels in the aqueous humor increased as the severity of DR increased. The correlation was significant. However, the vascular endothelial growth factor concentration was not correlated with the severity of DR. In addition, the IL-10 and IL-12 levels in the aqueous humor decreased as the severity of DR increased, and this negative correlation was significant.


Various cytokines associated with inflammation and angiogenesis may contribute to the pathogenesis of DR, and chemokines may be more closely related to the development of this disease.

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