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Sabine Wilson, Juliane Siebourg-Polster, Bjoern Titz, Zhiwen Jiang, Francois Bartolo, Vincent Lavergne, Javier Gayán, Justus G. Garweg, Sascha Fauser, Andreas Dieckmann; Correlation of Aqueous, Vitreous, and Serum Protein Levels in Patients With Retinal Diseases. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023;12(11):9. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.12.11.9.
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To further establish aqueous humor (AH) as a clinically suitable source of protein biomarkers in retinal diseases by evaluating the correlation of a large panel of proteins between AH, vitreous humor (VH), and serum (SE).
We enrolled 60 subjects (eyes) with various non-infectious retinal diseases. AH, VH, and SE proteins were analyzed using the Olink Target 96 platform (1196 protein assays in total). We compared these three matrices in terms of quantification overlap, principal component analysis, and correlation.
In the AH, VH, and SE samples, 841, 917, and 1133 proteins, respectively, were consistently quantified above the limit of detection in more than 30% of patients. AH and VH shared 812 of these proteins. AH and VH samples overlapped along principal component 1, but SE samples were distinct. We identified 490 proteins with significant (false discovery rate [FDR]-adjusted P < 0.05) and relevant correlations (correlation coefficient > 0.5) between AH and VH, compared to only 33 and 40 proteins for VH and SE and for AH and SE, respectively.
Due to a close correlation between protein concentrations in the AH and VH and a clear difference from the SE, AH has the potential to serve as a substitute for VH and may hold significance in identifying protein biomarkers and novel targets related to retinal diseases.
This study further supports AH as a clinically suitable source of protein biomarkers in retinal diseases. In addition, the identified AH and VH correlations can inform the selection of protein biomarker candidates in future translational research.
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