Dutch researchers from the University Medical Centre of Utrecht have reported a connection between raised intraocular levels of interleukin (IL)-17 and other immune mediators in birdshot chorioretinopathy (Kuiper, JJ et al. 2011).
Aqueous humour (AqH) and serum samples were taken from 16 patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy and these were compared to aqueous humour samples taken from 11 age-related cataract control patients. A multiplex immunoassay was performed on the samples to determine the levels of 23 different immune mediators (T-cell, pro-inflammatory and vascular-active mediators).
The results showed that the T-cell mediators interleukin IL-2 and IL-17, and the proinflammatory mediators IL-1β, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor α, were significantly elevated in the aqueous humour samples from the birdshot patients compared with those from the control group. Also, the elevated aqueous humour levels of IL-1β, IL-17 and tumour necrosis factor α in the birdshot patients were higher than the levels in their serum samples. From these results, the researchers suggest the ‘novel concept’ that birdshot is an autoimmune inflammatory disease restricted to the eye and associated particularly with elevated IL-17 levels.
The link below goes to the article, which was published in 2011: