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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1998 Dec;39(13):2659-65.

Analysis of immunoregulatory cytokines in ocular fluid samples from patients with uveitis.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To investigate the T-helper cell cytokine profiles in two well-defined clinical uveitis entities caused by an infectious mechanism.


Cytokines (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and interferon [IFN]-gamma) were measured in ocular fluid samples obtained from patients with herpes simplex- or varicella-zoster virus-induced acute retinal necrosis (ARN; n = 17) and toxoplasma chorioretinitis (n = 27) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques. The data were compared with data for 51 control samples taken during cataract surgery (n = 10), vitrectomy in diabetic retinopathy (n = 10), eye bank eyes (n = 10) and with samples from patients with "autoimmune" uveitis (n = 21).


Interleukin-6 was detected in 44 of 51 control samples and 43 of 44 eyes of patients with uveitis. The highest levels in the control samples were detected in 9 of 10 vitreous samples from patients with diabetic retinopathy (mean, 648 pg/ml). In 8 of 10 samples taken from patients during cataract surgery and in 7 of 10 eye bank eyes the amount of IL-6 was significantly lower (mean, 10 pg/ml and 136 pg/ml, respectively). Interleukin-6 levels in patients with ARN (mean, 1436 pg/ml) were significantly higher than in those with toxoplasma chorioretinitis (mean, 272 pg/ml). Interleukin-2 was detected in one of the samples from patients with toxoplasma chorioretinitis (1105 pg/ml) and in three samples from the control subjects suffering from Fuchs' heterochromic anterior uveitis (mean, 752 pg/ml). No IL-4 (<2 pg/ml) was detected either in patient or control samples. Interferon-gamma could be detected in 7 of 17 ARN patients (range, 277-3483 pg/ml), in 13 of 27 samples from patients with toxoplasma chorioretinitis (range, 12-250 pg/ml), and in 1 of 21 of the samples from control subjects with uveitis (31 pg/ml) but was absent in nonuveitic control samples. Interleukin-10 was detected in 10 of 17 ARN patients (range, 29-3927 pg/ml), in 13 of 27 samples from patients with toxoplasma chorioretinitis (range, 4-67 pg/ml), and in only 3 of 51 control samples (6 pg/ml, 16 pg/ml, and 20 pg/ml).


Various immunoregulatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-gamma) were detected in ocular fluid samples from patients with uveitis. A separate role for either a T-helper type 1 or T-helper type 2 response in the pathogenesis of clinical uveitis could not be proven.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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