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Jesse M. Smith, Nikhil Mandava, Vanessa Tirado-Gonzalez, Rodrigo Garcia-Santisteban, Matthew D. Geiger, Jennifer L. Patnaik, Ashley Frazer-Abel, Anne M. Lynch, Naresh Mandava, V. Michael Holers, Brandie D. Wagner, Idaira Sanchez-Santos, Daniela Meizner, Hugo Quiroz-Mercado, Alan G. Palestine; Correlation of Complement Activation in Aqueous and Vitreous in Patients With Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(4):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.4.13.
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A growing body of evidence suggests complement dysregulation is present in the vitreous of patients with diabetic eye disease. Further translational study could be simplified if aqueous—as opposed to vitreous—were used to sample the intraocular complement environment. Here, we analyze aqueous samples and assess whether a correlation exists between aqueous and vitreous complement levels.
We collected aqueous, vitreous, and plasma samples from patients with and without proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) undergoing vitrectomy. We assessed correlation between complement levels in aqueous and vitreous samples after using a normalizing ratio to correct for vascular leakage. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to assess the correlation between complement levels in the aqueous and vitreous.
Aqueous samples were obtained from 17 cases with PDR and 28 controls. In all patients, aqueous Ba, C3a, and albumin levels were strongly correlated with vitreous levels (Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.8 for Ba and C3a and 0.7 for albumin; all P values < 0.0001). In PDR eyes only, aqueous and vitreous C3a levels were significantly correlated (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.7; P = 0.002), whereas in control eyes, both Ba and C3a (Spearman correlation coefficients of 0.7; P < 0.0001) were significantly correlated.
A strong correlation exists between aqueous and vitreous complement levels in diabetic eye disease.
The results establish that accurate sampling of the intraocular complement can be done by analyzing aqueous specimens, allowing for the rapid and safe measurement of experimental complement targets and treatment response.
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