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Mol Vis. 2016 Apr 22;22:352-61. eCollection 2016.

Aqueous humor cytokine profiling in patients with wet AMD.

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State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Retina Division, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 510060, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.



To investigate the chemokine expression profiles in the aqueous humor of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) patients and to correlate their levels with clinical findings.


Undiluted aqueous humor samples (100-200 μl) were obtained from 16 wet AMD eyes and 12 control eyes. Forty chemokines were measured using a multiplex method. A 6×6 mm area of the macular region centered on the fovea was examined using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).


The detection rates were 50% or more for 15 chemokines. Compared with the control group, the aqueous humor in wet AMD patients showed a significantly higher expression of CXCL10 (p=0.004), CCL14 (p=0.002), CXCL16 (p=0.013), CXCL7 (p=0.033), and CCL22 (p=0.037), while growth-related oncogene (GRO) was significantly decreased in the wet AMD patients (p=0.001). When compared with treatment-naïve patients, the recurrent group had significant upregulation of CXCL10 (p=0.012) and CCL22 (p=0.002). CXCL16 was positively correlated with lesion size, and CCL22 was higher in patients whose OCT images showed intraretinal fluid (IRF) or hyperreflective foci (HF).


Elevated levels of inflammation-related chemokines, including CXCL10, CCL14, CXCL16, CXCL7, and CCL22, in the aqueous humor of AMD patients may suggest a pathogenic role for inflammation. CXCL10 and CCL22 were more elevated in eyes with recurrent wet AMD than in treatment-naïve eyes. CXCL16 was positively correlated with lesion size. The increase in CCL22 was correlated with the presence of IRF or HF. These data may be of interest in the search for biomarkers associated with wet AMD and may potentially indicate different treatment strategies.

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