Serum cytokine alteration is associated with optic neuropathy in human primary open angle glaucoma

Ping Huang, Yue Qi, Yong Sheng Xu, Jiahao Liu, Duanping Liao, Samuel Shao Min Zhang, Chun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare human serum levels of TH1 and TH2 cytokines between 2 stages of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and nonglaucomatous controls. METHODS: Thirty-two patients with primary POAG and 26 normal control subjects were enrolled into this study. The 32 patients with POAG were divided into 2 subgroups according to their mean defect (MD) with MD better than -12dB and worse than -12dB on the visual field. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to assay for the levels of TH1 cytokines serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R), interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12p40, IL-12p70, IL-23, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interferon-gamma, and TH2 cytokines IL-4, IL-6 in the peripheral serum. RESULTS: Patients with mild glaucomatous neuropathy exhibited significant elevations in IL-4 (P<0.0001) and IL-6 (P=0.0302) compared with the controls, whereas higher concentrations of IL-4 (P<0.0001) and IL-6 (P=0.0084) were found in patients with severe glaucomatous neuropathy. The level of IL-12p70 was significantly increased in both the MD 12dB (P<0.0001) and MD <12dB (P<0.0001) groups. A significant decrease in TNF-alpha levels were observed in MD <12dB group compared with the controls (P=0.0464), and TNF-alpha levels in MD <12dB group were lower than MD 12dB group (P=0.0328). No significant differences in serum concentrations of IL-2, sIL-2R IL-12p40, IL-23 and interferon-gamma were found between MD <12dB group, MD 12dB group, and control group. CONCLUSIONS: Significant alterations of serum TH1 and TH2 cytokines are associated with glaucoma, suggesting the possibility that abnormal immune environments contribute to the glaucomatous neuropathy of POAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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