Cytokine levels in human vitreous in proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Dean F. Loporchio, Emily K. Tam, Jane Cho, Jaeyoon Chung, Gyungah R. Jun, Weiming Xia, Marissa G. Fiorello, Nicole H. Siegel, Steven Ness, Thor D. Stein, Manju L. Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this study, we compare the vitreous cytokine profile in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) to that of patients without PDR. The identification of novel cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of PDR provides candidate therapeutic targets that may stand alone or work synergistically with current therapies in the management of diabetic retinopathy. Undiluted vitreous humor specimens were collected from 74 patients undergoing vitrectomy for various vitreoretinal disorders. Quantitative immunoassay was performed for a panel of 36 neuroinflammatory cytokines in each specimen and assessed to identify differences between PDR (n = 35) and non-PDR (n = 39) patients. Levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), IL-15, IL-16, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-D, c-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid-A (SAA), and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) were significantly increased in the vitreous of PDR patients compared to non-PDR patients (p < 0.05). We report novel increases in IL-15 and IL-16, in addition to the expected VEGF, in the human vitreous humor of patients with PDR. Additionally, we confirm the elevation of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, SAA, IL-8 and CRP in the vitreous of patients with PDR, which has previously been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1069
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 30 2021


  • Basic fi-broblast growth factor
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Interleukin-15
  • Interleukin-16
  • Interleukin-8
  • Neuroinflammatory markers
  • Quantitative immunoassay
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Vitreous cytokines
  • Interleukins/metabolism
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Diabetic Retinopathy/metabolism
  • Male
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
  • Female
  • Vitreous Body/metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein/metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2/metabolism
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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