The diseases affecting the retina or uvea (iris, ciliary body, or choroid) generate changes in the biochemical or protein composition of ocular fluids/tissues due to disruption of blood-retinal barrier. Ocular infections and inflammations are sight-threatening diseases associated with various infectious and non-infectious etiologies. Several etiological entities cause uveitis, a complex intraocular inflammatory disease. These causes of uveitis differ in different populations due to geographical, racial, and socioeconomic variations. While clinical appearance is sufficiently diagnostic in many diseases, some of the uveitic entities manifest nonspecific or atypical clinical presentation. Identification of biomarkers in such diseases is an important aid in their diagnostic armamentarium. Different diseases and their different severity states release varying concentrations of proteins, which can serve as biomarkers. Proteomics is a high throughput technology and a powerful screening tool for serum biomarkers in various diseases that identifies proteins by mass spectrometry and helps to improve the understanding of pathogenesis of a disease. Proteins determine the biological state of a cell. Once identified as biomarkers, they serve as future diagnostic and pharmaceutical targets. With a potential to redirect the diagnosis of idiopathic uveitis, ocular proteomics provide a new insight into the pathophysiology and therapeutics of various ocular inflammatory diseases. Tears, aqueous and vitreous humor represent potential repositories for proteomic biomarkers discovery in uveitis. With an extensive proteomics work done on animal models of uveitis, various types of human uveitis are being subjected to proteome analysis for biomarker discovery in different ocular fluids (vitreous, aqueous, or tears).
Keywords: biomarkers; ocular inflammation; proteomics; uveitis; vitreous.
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