Angiogenic and inflammatory biomarker levels in aqueous humor and vitreous of neovascular glaucoma and proliferative diabetic retinopathy

  • Chuan Sun
  • Hongsong Zhang
  • Jingjing Jiang
  • Yuxin Li
  • Chuang Nie
  • Jianwen Gu
  • Ling LuoEmail author
  • Zhijun WangEmail author
Original Paper



To explore the relationships between the aqueous and vitreous levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), interleukin-8 (IL-8), placental growth factor (PlGF) and erythropoietin (EPO) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and neovascular glaucoma (NVG).


Aqueous and vitreous samples were obtained from patients with PDR and NVG during surgery. Aqueous and vitreous concentrations of VEGF-A, IL-8, PlGF and EPO were measured via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


No correlation between the aqueous and vitreous levels of VEGF-A, IL-8, PlGF or EPO was found in both the PDR and the NVG eyes. Aqueous VEGF-A was significantly higher in the NVG group (317.55 ± 36.25 pg/ml, n = 15) than that in the PDR group (256.23 ± 46.11 pg/ml, n = 17, P < 0.001). The level of VEGF-A in aqueous (317.55 ± 36.25 pg/ml, n = 15) was significantly higher than that in vitreous (224.74 ± 60.32 pg/ml, n = 15, P < 0.001) in NVG patients. The level of IL-8 in aqueous (76.55 ± 10.88 pg/ml, n = 17) was significantly higher than that in vitreous (63.55 ± 10.74 pg/ml, n = 17, P = 0.001) in PDR patients. The level of EPO in aqueous (18.62 ± 2.87 mIU/ml, n = 15) was significantly higher than that in vitreous (15.97 ± 3.11 mIU/ml, n = 15, P = 0.022) in NVG patients. The ratio of aqueous versus vitreous for VEGF-A was significantly higher in the NVG group (1.475 ± 0.289, n = 15) than that in the PDR group (0.996 ± 0.227, n = 17, P < 0.001).


Aqueous levels of VEGF-A, IL-8, PlGF and EPO do not correlate with vitreous levels of those proteins. The relationship between protein levels in aqueous humor and vitreous might be dependent on different disease status or protein types investigated.


Neovascular glaucoma Proliferative diabetic retinopathy Angiogenesis Inflammation Aqueous humor Vitreous 



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. BWS12J019).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyChina-Japan Friendship HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryThe 306th Hospital of PLABeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyThe 306th Hospital of PLABeijingChina

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