Date: 11 Oct 2005

Alteration of tear cytokine balance by eye closure: analysis by multicytokine assay

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To study the effects of eye closure on the balance of tear cytokines.


A total of 17 healthy volunteers with normal eyes were recruited. Tears (10 μl) were collected by capillary outflow at 09:00. The right eyes were closed with cotton bandages for 3 h, then tears were collected from each eye separately. The concentrations of inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured by cytometric bead array.


Although the concentration of each cytokine varied between eyes, the increasing ratio for 3 h showed a similar pattern in each cytokine. IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p70, and TNF-α increased and IL-8 decreased in normal eyes. After eye closure, the increase of IL-10 significantly diminished (P=0.037); however, the other cytokines were not affected.


Eye closure decreased the concentration of IL-10 in tears, which might cause a potentially pro-inflammatory status of the ocular surface.