Cytokines in vitreous humor: interleukin-6 is elevated in proliferative vitreoretinopathy

D J Kauffmann, J C van Meurs, D A Mertens, E Peperkamp, C Master, M E Gerritsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: To measure the levels of interleukins (IL) 1 beta, 6, and 8, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) in the vitreous of patients with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), vitreous hemorrhage, and macular pucker.

METHODS: Vitreous samples were collected, undiluted, from patients with PVR, PDR of varying severity, and miscellaneous lesions (vitreous hemorrhage from trauma, macular degeneration, vein occlusion, and non-PVR patients with giant tear, retinal detachment, and macular pucker). Immunoreactive levels of the cytokines, IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF alpha were determined by enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assays, and samples were analyzed for protein and hyaluronic acid content using standard assays.

RESULTS: The levels of TNF alpha were below detection limits of the assay (< 3 pg/ml). In 45 of the 47 samples tested, IL-1 beta levels also were below detection limits of the assay (< 3 pg/ml). IL-6 levels ranged from < 30 to 5487 pg/ml, with the highest values observed in the PVR patients. IL-8 levels ranged from < 20 to 1900 pg/ml, and were consistently high in the miscellaneous group. Some of the PVR patients with C2 and C3 level severity also exhibited IL-8 levels exceeding 100 pg/ml. In a second study, IL-6 content of vitreous from miscellaneous and PVR patients was compared. In this study, significantly elevated levels of IL-6 were observed in the PVR patients (91.5 +/- 18 pg/ml) compared to the miscellaneous group (10.3 +/- 3.7 pg/ml)

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated levels of IL-6 in the vitreous occur in PVR, implicating a role for this cytokine in the pathogenesis of this ocular disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-6
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cytokines/analysis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy/immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Eye Diseases/immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6/analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Diseases/immunology
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body/immunology
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage/immunology


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