Higher concentration of transforming growth factor-beta in aqueous humor of glaucomatous eyes and diabetic eyes

Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2002 May-Jun;46(3):249-53. doi: 10.1016/s0021-5155(01)00523-8.


Purpose: Diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the primary causes of acquired blindness. Cytokines including transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta may be involved in these diseases. We therefore collected aqueous humor samples from patients with glaucoma and/or diabetes who were undergoing surgery, and determined the concentration of TGF-beta.

Methods: Aqueous humor samples were collected from 80 patients (84 eyes), including 19 eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), 22 eyes with diabetes, and 18 eyes with diabetes complicated with POAG. Twenty-five eyes with cataract served as controls. The concentration of TGF-beta1 or TGF-beta2 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: The concentration of TGF-beta1 was less than 0.1 pg/mL in all of the groups. In contrast to controls who had 1001.4 +/- 444.1 pg/mL, the concentration of total TGF-beta2 in the diabetes group was 1715.6 +/- 882.1 pg/mL, and that in the diabetes complicated with POAG group was 1692.9 +/- 361.9 pg/mL. These were significantly higher than that in controls. In contrast to the controls who had 321.2 +/- 197.9 pg/mL, the concentration of mature TGF-beta2 with POAG was 822.5 +/- 484.4 pg/mL, and that of diabetes complicated with POAG was 1058.9 +/- 648.4 pg/mL. These were significantly higher than that in the controls. The eyes with diabetes complicated with POAG also had a significantly higher concentration than the eyes with diabetes alone.

Conclusion: Total TGF-beta2 and mature TGF-beta2 in high concentration may correlate with progression of POAG, diabetes, and diabetes complicated with POAG.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Cataract / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / complications
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta2


  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • TGFB2 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta2