Purpose: The chemokine receptor CXCR3 has been strongly related to inhibition of angiogenesis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between expression of CXCR3 on peripheral blood leukocytes and Age-related Wet Macular Degeneration (AMD). Furthermore, we measured the plasma concentration of the chemokines CXCL9-11. Methods: The study group consisted of patients with AMD attending our department. Patients referred for other reasons than AMD were enrolled as control persons. The expression of CXCR3 on T-cells and the plasma concentration of CXCL9-11 were measured using flow cytometry. Results: We looked at all CD8+ T-cells expressing CXCR3 and found a significant lower percentage of these cells in the neovascular AMD group compared to the age-matched control group (p=0.05). When dividing the CD8+ cells in functional groups according to their expression of CXCR3, we found a significant lower percentage of CD8+ CXCR3high cells in the group with neovascular AMD compared to the control group (p=0.038). We found a lower percentage of CD4+CD69+CXCR3+ T-cells in the group of patients with neovascular AMD, when compared to the age-matched control group. (p=0.052). Conclusions: Our results points towards a systemic dysregulation of CXCR3 in patients with neovascular AMD. Since there is evidence to suggest that CXCR3 is able to alter the response of VEGF the primary driver of CNV formation, low levels of CXCR3 could potentially drive some patients towards a more angiogenic profile leading to choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) formation and growth. CXCR3-enhancing molecules could therefore be a possible target for treatment of AMD.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 2014, Vol 55, Issue 7, p. 4050-4056