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      Cytokine profiles in the aqueous humor and serum of patients with dry and treated wet age-related macular degeneration

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          To identify disease-specific cytokine profile differences in the aqueous humor (AH) (other than the vascular endothelial growth factor) between patients with dry and treated wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and healthy controls.

          Methods

          This retrospective study drew on a case-series of patients diagnosed with dry AMD ( n = 25) and treated wet AMD ( n = 19), as well as on healthy controls (no systemic therapy; n = 20) undergoing phacoemulsification or vitrectomy. Samples of AH and serum were collected in parallel at the beginning of surgery. The levels of 43 cytokines were simultaneously determined using the Bio-Plex® multiplex beads system. Differences between the three groups were statistically compared using the Kruskal-Wallis H-Test after applying the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons ( p<0.0012).

          Results

          The concentrations of three cytokines were elevated in the AH of patients with dry AMD (CXCL6; p = 0.00067) and treated wet AMD (CXCL5, CXCL6, MIG/XCXL; all p<0.001) relative to those in the healthy controls. No other differences between the three groups were identified. The AH levels of seven cytokines (16%), including CXCL6, ranged below the lower limit of quantitation of the assay. Without the correction for multiple comparisons ( p<0.05), the levels of 31 of the 43 cytokines in the AH of patients with AMD would have differed significantly from those in the control. The systemic cytokine profiles (serum) were similar in all three groups.

          Conclusions

          No systematic differences in the AH cytokine environment were identified between patients with dry AMD and those with treated wet AMD. This finding might indicate that AMD is either the result of a persistent imbalance in the physiological tissue milieu, or that the localized process induces no significant change in the cytokine environment of the anterior ocular segment.

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          Most cited references 67

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          Vascular endothelial growth factor: basic science and clinical progress.

          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell-specific mitogen in vitro and an angiogenic inducer in a variety of in vivo models. Hypoxia has been shown to be a major inducer of VEGF gene transcription. The tyrosine kinases Flt-1 (VEGFR-1) and Flk-1/KDR (VEGFR-2) are high-affinity VEGF receptors. The role of VEGF in developmental angiogenesis is emphasized by the finding that loss of a single VEGF allele results in defective vascularization and early embryonic lethality. VEGF is critical also for reproductive and bone angiogenesis. Substantial evidence also implicates VEGF as a mediator of pathological angiogenesis. In situ hybridization studies demonstrate expression of VEGF mRNA in the majority of human tumors. Anti-VEGF monoclonal antibodies and other VEGF inhibitors block the growth of several tumor cell lines in nude mice. Clinical trials with various VEGF inhibitors in a variety of malignancies are ongoing. Very recently, an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody (bevacizumab; Avastin) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with chemotherapy. Furthermore, VEGF is implicated in intraocular neovascularization associated with diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
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            An integrated hypothesis that considers drusen as biomarkers of immune-mediated processes at the RPE-Bruch's membrane interface in aging and age-related macular degeneration.

             G. Hageman (2001)
            Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a blinding disease that afflicts millions of adults in the Western world. Although it has been proposed that a threshold event occurs during normal aging which leads to AMD, the sequelae of biochemical, cellular, and/or molecular events leading to the development of AMD are poorly understood. Although available data provide strong evidence that a significant proportion of AMD has a genetic basis, no gene(s) has yet been identified that causes a significant proportion of AMD. Moreover, no major molecular pathways involved in the etiology of this disease have been elucidated.Drusen, pathological deposits that form between the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane, are significant risk factors for the development of AMD. In our view, the development of testable new hypotheses of drusen origins has been hindered significantly by the absence of a comprehensive profile of their molecular composition. In this review, we describe an integrated ultrastructural, histochemical, molecular biological, and biochemical approach to identify specific molecular pathways associated with drusen biogenesis. The implicit assumption underlying these recent investigations has been that a thorough understanding of the composition of drusen and source(s) of drusen-associated material is likely to provide fresh insight into the pathobiology underlying AMD. Significantly, these studies have revealed that proteins associated with inflammation and immune-mediated processes are prevalent among drusen-associated constituents. Transcripts that encode a number of these molecules have been detected in retinal, RPE, and choroidal cells. These data have also lead to the observations that dendritic cells, potent antigen-presenting cells, are intimately associated with drusen development and that complement activation is a key pathway that is active both within drusen and along the RPE-choroid interface. We propose herein a unifying hypothesis of drusen biogenesis that attempts to incorporate a large body of new and previously published structural, histochemical, and molecular data pertaining to drusen composition and development. This theory is put forth with the acknowledgment that numerous AMD genotypes may exist. Thus, only some aspects of the proposed hypothesis may be involved in any given AMD genotype. Importantly, this hypothesis invokes, for the first time, the potential for a direct role of cell- and immune-mediated processes in drusen biogenesis. We acknowledge that the proposed hypothesis clearly represents a paradigm shift in our conceptualization pertaining to pathways that participate in the development of drusen and age-related macular degeneration. It is our hope that other investigators will test, validate and/or refute various aspects of this hypothesis, and in so doing, increase our overall understanding of the biological pathways associated with early AMD.
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              Mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration.

              Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive condition that is untreatable in up to 90% of patients, is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. The two forms of AMD, wet and dry, are classified based on the presence or absence of blood vessels that have disruptively invaded the retina, respectively. A detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wet AMD has led to several robust FDA-approved therapies. In contrast, there are no approved treatments for dry AMD. In this review, we provide insight into the critical effector pathways mediating each form of the disease. A recurring theme that spans most aspects of AMD pathogenesis is defective immune modulation in the classically immune-privileged ocular haven. Interestingly, the latest advances in AMD research also highlight common molecular disease pathways with other neurodegenerative disorders. Finally, the therapeutic potential of intervening at known mechanistic steps of AMD pathogenesis is discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: SoftwareRole: Visualization
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Visualization
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                29 August 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Swiss Eye Institute and Berner Augenklinik am Lindenhofspital, Bern, Switzerland
                [2 ] University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
                University of Tennessee Health Science Center, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have the following interests: JGG acts as an advisor for several pharmaceutical companies (Novartis, Bayer, Allergan, Alcon, AbbVie) and contributes to a number of industry-sponsored international multicenter studies. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

                Article
                PONE-D-18-16178
                10.1371/journal.pone.0203337
                6114931
                30157273
                © 2018 Spindler et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 5, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                The manuscript was partially funded by a grant from the Scientific Funds of the Lindenhof Foundation without commercial interests. There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
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