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Changes in multiple cytokine concentrations in the aqueous humour of neovascular age-related macular degeneration after 2 months of ranibizumab therapy


Purpose To determine changes in multiple cytokine concentrations in the anterior chamber during the induction phase of ranibizumab treatment in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods This prospective study included 48 treatment-naïve neovascular AMD eyes of 48 patients who received three consecutive monthly injections of ranibizumab at the Japan Community Health Care Organization Tokyo Shinjuku Medical Center between November 2010 and August 2012. We collected ~0.2 mL aqueous humour before the first and third (2 months later) injections. Controls were 80 eyes with cataracts without retinal disease. The cytokines C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1), interferon-γ-induced protein 10 (IP-10), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), CCL11, C-C motif chemokine ligand 11 (CCL11), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) were analysed using multiplex cytokine assays.

Results Mean ages of the patients with AMD and controls were 73 and 75 years, respectively, and 31 (65%) and 37 (46%) subjects were men, respectively. Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy was found in 27 eyes (56%). Mean concentrations of cytokines in aqueous humour in patients with neovascular AMD before the first and third ranibizumab injections were as follows (in pg/mL): CXCL1, 8.4 and 3.3; IP-10, 110 and 55; CXCL12, 480 and 240; CXCL13, 9.2 and 2.6; MCP-1, 620 and 220; CCL11, 7.1 and 2.8; IL-6, 5.9 and 1.6; IL-10, 0.15 and 0.015 (all p<0.0001), and MMP-9, 0.92 and 1.5 (p=0.0216), respectively. Concentrations of all cytokines decreased significantly after two consecutive ranibizumab injections, except for MMP-9, which increased significantly.

Conclusions After two monthly consecutive antivascular endothelial growth factor injections, inflammatory cytokine levels in the aqueous humour of the eyes with AMD were strongly suppressed, while MMP-9 levels increased.

  • aqueous humour
  • macula
  • inflammation
  • retina

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