Background: To investigate the growth factor activity in the aqueous humour of patients with exfoliation syndrome (XFS).
Methods: We collected 154 aqueous humour samples (69 from patients with XFS and 85 from age-matched controls) prior to routine extracapsular cataract surgery. Growth factor activity was investigated using a [3H]thymidine incorporation assay on McCoy cells that assesses DNA synthesis. Albumin concentration was measured by a radio-immunoassay as an index of blood aqueous barrier integrity. N-Acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) activity, a marker of cellular breakdown, was ascertained by a fluorometric method.
Results: XFS aqueous samples exhibited significantly higher growth factor activity than to the control samples (P<0.001). Albumin concentration was also higher in the XFS group. NAG activity was similar in the two groups. No relationship between growth factor activity and the other parameters investigated was found.
Conclusions: Increased growth factor activity was detected in the aqueous humour of patients with XFS. This finding may be related to the pathogenesis of XFS.