Correlation of the aqueous humor total antioxidant capacity, total oxidant status, and levels of IL-6 and VEGF with diabetic retinopathy status

ABSTRACT Purpose: We aimed to compare the aqueous humor total oxidant status, total antioxidant capacity, and levels of interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor between patients with diabetic retinopathy and controls and to correlate these levels with the DR status. Methods: Patients who underwent cataract surgery were enrolled. The first group (control group) comprised patients without diabetes; the second group comprised diabetic patients without retinopathy; the third group comprised patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy; and the fourth group comprised patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. All patients underwent full ophthalmologic examination before cataract surgery. Prior to surgery, samples of aqueous humor sampling were obtained and stored at -80 °C. Total antioxidant capacity, total oxidant status, and levels interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor were investigated in these samples and correlated with diabetic retinopathy status. Results: This study analyzed 86 pairs of eyes of 86 patients. All groups were statistically similar in age and sex, but the total antioxidant capacity was lowest in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, the total oxidant status and levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and interleukin-6 were found to slightly increase according to the retinopathy status. Conclusion: Oxidative stress, interleukin-6, and vascular endothelial growth factor in the aqueous humor seem to play important roles in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy, especially in the proliferative type.