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Synthesis of interleukin-1 and prostaglandin E2 by lens epithelial cells of human cataracts.
  1. O. Nishi,
  2. K. Nishi and
  3. M. Imanishi
  1. Nishi Eye Hospital, Osaka, Japan.


    To test our hypothesis that pseudophakic inflammation, including the fibrin reaction, may be caused by cytokines, prostaglandins (PG), or both, synthesised by residual lens epithelial cells (LECs), we measured interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha) and PGE2 in the incubation medium of cultures of human LECs obtained by capsulotomy during cataract surgery. After 1 week radioimmunoassay showed that there were 1.46 (0.62) ng of PGE2/10(6) cells (mean (SD) six cultures), and after 4 weeks, there were 5.50 (2.20) ng of PGE2/10(6) cells (seven cultures). During culture the cells proliferated and underwent fibroblast-like cell changes on exposure to the plastic of the wells. In the medium of control plates to which sodium diclofenac had been added PGE2 was not detected. Some IL-1 alpha was found in four of 10 samples, each of which contained media from 12 cultures; 207 pg/10(6) cells in one of the two pools of 2-week cultures, 120 pg/10(6) cells in one pool and 139 pg/10(6) cells in another of the three pools of 3-week cultures, and 111 pg/10(6) cells in the one pool of 4-week cultures. PGE2 and IL-1 alpha may therefore be produced in vivo by residual LECs after cataract surgery, and may be involved in postoperative inflammation, including the fibrin reaction.

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