Serum profiles of proinflammatory cytokines in patients with diabetic retinopathy

  • Marta Horecha
  • Lyubov Lapovets Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University
  • Viorika Akimova Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University
  • Nataliia Lapovets
  • Olha Martianova
Keywords: diabetic retinopathy, proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, TNF-α.


Background and aims: Due to the steadily increasing numbers of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), the prevalence of diabetic
complications is also on the rise. One of the most prognostically adverse complications is diabetic retinopathy (DR), which leads to blindness and vision disability of employable population. Cytokine imbalance is one of the factors in the development of DR.  The aim was to study the changes in IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α levels in biological fluids of patients with DR, as these cytokines are produced by endothelial cells, fibroblasts, monocytes/macrophages and by other cells in response to pathogens. Material and method: The objective of this work was to assess serum levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α in 130 patients with diabetic retinopathy (70 patients with decompensated diabetes mellitus [Group 1] and 60 patients with compensated diabetes mellitus [Group 2]). The age of patients ranged from 20 to 55 years. The laboratory results were compared with respective values in the control group, which included 30 virtually healthy individuals. Interleukin levels were determined using reagent kits manufactured by ‘VECTOR-
BEST Ukraine’ on a ‘STAT FAX 303 plus’ analyzer. Results: The levels of IL-6 in groups of patients with DR with both uncompensated
and compensated diabetes were not significantly different from the respective levels in the control group. The level of IL-8 in patients of the first group of study subjects was increased 8-fold compared to the control group and was 1.4 times higher than the respective level in patients of the second group. The level of IL-8 in patients of Group 2 was 5.6 times higher than in the control group. The concentration of TNF-α in both groups of patients with DR was 8 times higher than in the control group. Conclusions:
As a result of our study, we have found patients with diabetic retinopathy (both with compensated and decompensated DM) to have increased serum levels of TNF-α and IL-8. The level of IL-8 in the blood of patients with DR is a potential diagnostic marker for decompensation of diabetes mellitus.

How to Cite
Horecha, Marta, Lyubov Lapovets, Viorika Akimova, Nataliia Lapovets, and Olha Martianova. 2021. “Serum Profiles of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Patients With Diabetic Retinopathy”. Romanian Journal of Diabetes Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases 28 (3), 296-300.