Purpose: To evaluate levels of complement factors in human vitreous of eyes with retinal detachments (RDs) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) eyes.
Methods: Human vitreous samples were collected from eyes undergoing routine vitrectomy at the University of Colorado Health Eye Center (Aurora, CO). Complement factor D, component C5/C5a, and component C9 levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and multiplex assays. Retinal detachment and PDR eyes were compared with controls, which were defined as eyes with macular holes or epiretinal membranes.
Results: The levels of complement factor D in PDR (mean = 2,110.0 ng/mL, P = 0.001) and RD (mean = 660.9 ng/mL, P = 0.03) eyes were statistically significantly higher than controls (mean = 290.5 ng/mL). The levels of complement component C9 were also more elevated in PDR (P = 0.004) compared with control but not in RD eyes.
Conclusion: Elevated complement factors, particularly of the alternative pathway, were noted in PDR and RD eyes compared with controls. One potential explanation for this is that the oxidative stress in RD and PDR eyes leads to complement dysregulation and alternative complement upregulation.