Hepatocyte growth factor is increased in the aqueous humor of glaucomatous eyes

J Glaucoma. 2001 Jun;10(3):152-7. doi: 10.1097/00061198-200106000-00002.


Purpose: To assess the concentrations of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in the aqueous humor of eyes with glaucoma compared with control eyes with cataract only.

Methods: Concentrations of HGF were measured in aqueous humor aspirates taken during anterior segment surgery from 84 patients, of whom 72 had glaucoma (38 cases of primary open-angle glaucoma, 17 angle-closure glaucoma, and 17 exfoliative glaucoma) and 12 had cataract only, using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.

Results: Hepatocyte growth factor was detected in all samples. The concentration in eyes with cataract only was 563.3 +/- 178.8 pg/mL (mean +/- standard deviation), which was significantly lower than that in eyes with glaucoma (967.1 +/- 514.7 pg/mL, P < 0.01). Eyes with exfoliative glaucoma had significantly higher HGF concentrations (1,425.5 +/- 586.7 pg/mL) than did eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma (855.0 +/- 341.5 pg/mL) and angle-closure glaucoma (759.4 +/- 511.4 pg/mL) (P < 0.01). There was no effect of age, sex, or history of medical, laser, or surgical treatment on the aqueous humor HGF concentration (P > 0.05). Aqueous humor and plasma HGF concentrations were measured and compared in 28 patients. The aqueous humor HGF concentration (908 +/- 586.2 pg/mL) was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than the plasma concentration (521.3 +/- 183.1 pg/mL). No significant correlation could be found between aqueous humor and plasma HGF concentrations.

Conclusions: The relatively high concentration of HGF in human aqueous humor suggests that HGF may play an important role in ocular physiology and disease. The higher concentration in patients with glaucoma may indicate a response to injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Cataract / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exfoliation Syndrome / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / metabolism*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / metabolism*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Eye Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor