The role of thrombin in proliferative vitreoretinopathy

Jeroen Bastiaans, Jan C van Meurs, Verena C Mulder, Nicole M A Nagtzaam, Marja Smits-te Nijenhuis, Diana C M Dufour-van den Goorbergh, P Martin van Hagen, Herbert Hooijkaas, Willem A Dik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: To determine the role of thrombin in the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR).

METHODS: Vitreous was collected from patients undergoing a vitrectomy (macular holes and puckers, n = 11 [controls]; retinal detachment without PVR development following vitrectomy, n = 15 [RRD1]; retinal detachment with PVR development within 6 months after vitrectomy, n = 11 [RRD2]; and established PVR, n = 14 [PVR]). Thrombin activity in vitreous was determined using a thrombin-specific chromogenic substrate. ARPE-19 cells were stimulated with 8× diluted vitreous samples in the presence and absence of hirudin. The samples were analyzed at t = 0 and t = 24 hours for the presence of 27 cytokines/chemokines and growth factors using a multiplex approach. In comparable studies, ARPE-19 cells were stimulated for 2 hours, and mRNA expression levels for CCL2, CXCL8, GMCSF, IL6, and PDGFB were determined by real-time quantitative (RQ)-PCR.

RESULTS: Thrombin activity was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in vitreous of the PVR group compared to the other groups. Proliferative vitreoretinopathy vitreous stimulated the production of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL)2, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL)8, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-6, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB by ARPE-19 to significantly (P < 0.05) higher levels than vitreous from the RRD1 and RRD2 groups. These effects of PVR vitreous were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by hirudin. These data were confirmed by mRNA studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Thrombin activity is increased in vitreous of patients with established PVR and is involved in the activation of proinflammatory and profibrotic pathways in RPE cells. Inhibition of thrombin activity may therefore represent a potential treatment option for proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4659-66
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2014


  • Aged
  • Cell Line
  • Cytokines/genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retinal Detachment/surgery
  • Retinal Perforations/surgery
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium/metabolism
  • Thrombin/physiology
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreoretinopathy, Proliferative/metabolism
  • Vitreous Body/metabolism


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