Interleukin-6 as a photoreceptor neuroprotectant in an experimental model of retinal detachment.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: To test the hypothesis that interleukin (IL)-6 prevents photoreceptor cell death during periods of retinal separation from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). METHODS: Retinal-RPE separation was created in wild-type C57BL mice, IL-6(-/-) mice, and Brown Norway rats by subretinal injection of 1% hyaluronic acid. In some animals, anti-IL-6 neutralizing antibody (NAB) or exogenous IL-6 was administered into the subretinal space at the time of separation or at specified times afterward. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) was performed 3 days after separation to detect apoptotic photoreceptors. Photoreceptor cell counts were performed after 1 and 2 months. RESULTS: Loss of IL-6 function through genetic ablation (IL-6(-/-) mice) or injection of anti-IL-6 NAB resulted in significantly increased levels of TUNEL-positive staining 3 days after retinal-RPE separation. One month after separation, outer nuclear layer (ONL) cell counts were significantly lower in IL-6(-/-) mice or in animals injected with anti-IL-6 NAB than in controls. Gain of IL-6 function through the addition of exogenous IL-6 resulted in significantly increased ONL counts at 1 month but not at 2 months. Reinjection of IL-6 at 1 month led to continued preservation of ONL counts compared with controls. A window of opportunity for treatment was detected because delaying injection of exogenous IL-6 to 2 weeks after retinal-RPE separation still resulted in significantly greater ONL cell counts compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: IL-6 may serve as a photoreceptor neuroprotectant in the setting of retinal-RPE separation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chong, DY; Boehlke, CS; Zheng, Q-D; Zhang, L; Han, Y; Zacks, DN

Published Date

  • July 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 3193 - 3200

PubMed ID

  • 18378582

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18378582

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-5783

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1167/iovs.07-1641


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States