Intraocular interleukin-17 and proinflammatory cytokines in HLA-A29-associated birdshot chorioretinopathy

Am J Ophthalmol. 2011 Aug;152(2):177-182.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.01.031. Epub 2011 May 13.


Purpose: To determine the levels of 23 immune mediators in paired aqueous humor (AqH) and serum samples from patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy (BSCR).

Design: Single-centre case-control study.

Methods: A multiplex immunoassay was used to determine the levels of 23 immune mediators (T-cell, proinflammatory, and vascular-active mediators) in paired AqH and serum of 16 BSCR patients. The AqH of 11 age-related cataract controls served as controls.

Results: AqH levels of the T-cell mediators interleukin (IL)-2 (P=.044) and IL-17 (P=.039) and proinflammatory mediators IL-1β (P=.032), IL-6 (P=.034), and tumor necrosis factor α (P=.041) were elevated compared with that of age-related cataract controls. The elevated intraocular levels of IL-1β, IL-17, and tumor necrosis factor α in BSCR samples were higher than their concurrent serum levels. A significant positive correlation of intraocular mediators was noted between IL-17 and both IL-2 (r=0.744; P<.0001) and IL-23 (r=0.921; P<.0001) and between IL-2 and IL-23 (r=0.776; P<.0001). AqH levels of vascular-active mediators were not distinct between the groups.

Conclusions: BSCR patients have elevated intraocular levels of proinflammatory and T cell-associated cytokines. Our results suggest the novel pathogenic concept that BSCR is an autoimmune inflammatory disease restricted to the eye and associated with elevated IL-17.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chorioretinitis / blood
  • Chorioretinitis / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • HLA-A Antigens / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-A29 antigen
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha