Correlation of axial length and myopic macular degeneration to levels of molecular factors in the aqueous
Wong C.W., Yanagi Y., Tsai A.S.H., Shihabuddeen W.A. , Cheung N., Lee S.Y., Jonas J.B., Cheung C.M.G. Scientific Reports (9): 15708-15 (2019)
Degeneration of the macular region of the eye’s retina is one of the most common causes of blindness worldwide. The role of biomarkers e.g. VEGF-A in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is well investigated. However, the mechanisms leading to an irreversible sight loss in extremely short-sighted patients, named myopic macular degeneration (MMD), need to be clarified. Short-sighted MMD patients typically have longer eyeballs than control groups.
A research group at the Singapore Eye Research Institute published a paper in Scientific Reports taking advantage of sample availability from a retrospective clinic-based case control study with patients that underwent routine cataract surgery.
Wong and coworkers compared concentrations of a variety of biomarkers found in aqueous humor with clinical parameters, e.g. severity of myopia, eyeball length and others. Most of the biomarkers tested did not correlate with the diagnosis of MMD. VEGF-A and MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase 2) showed a linear correlation with axial length of the eyeballs, but only MMP-2 indicated a causative role for eyes associated with myopic macular degeneration.
Pivotal to the study was the quantification of multiple biomarkers including VEGF-A using the LUNARIS™ Human 11-Plex Ophthalmology Kit requiring only 3 µL of eye liquid taken from patients’ eyes. Thus, exploitation of the low volume analysis capabilities of the LUNARIS™ platform was key to the success of the study.