Correlation of axial length and myopic macular degeneration to levels of molecular factors in the aqueous

Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 31;9(1):15708. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52156-y.


To elucidate the molecular processes associated with the development of myopic macular degeneration (MMD), we measured the intraocular concentrations of molecular factors in emmetropic and myopic eyes. This is a retrospective clinic-based case-control study that included eyes undergoing routine cataract surgery whereby aqueous humour samples were obtained. We measured the concentrations of pigment epithelium derived factor(PEDF), matrix metalloproteinase 2(MMP-2), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase(TIMP-2), vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A(VEGF-A), interleukin 8(IL-8), interleukin 6(IL-6), C-reactive protein(CRP), angiopoietin 2(Ang2), and amphiregulin. 38 eyes (axial length (AL): 22.4-32.4 mm), including 12 highly myopic (HM) eyes (AL ≥ 26.5 mm) without MMD and 12 HM eyes with MMD but without neovascularization were included. Eyes with MMD were found to have significantly lower VEGF-A levels (p = 0.007) and higher MMP-2 levels (p = 0.02) than control eyes after adjusting for age and gender. MMP-2 levels correlated positively (r = 0.58, p = 0.002), while VEGF-A levels correlated negatively with longer axial length (r = -0.75, p < 0.001). Both the concentrations of VEGF-A (P = 0.25) and MMP-2 (P = 0.69) were not significantly associated with MMD after adjusting for AL. These findings suggest that the predominant mechanism underlying the development of non-neovascular MMD may be axial elongation, driven in part by MMP-2 related mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / enzymology
  • Macular Degeneration / metabolism
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / complications
  • Myopia / enzymology
  • Myopia / metabolism
  • Myopia / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies