Measurement of IL-4 in tears of patients with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and vernal keratoconjunctivitis


Hiroshi Fujishima, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Dental College, 5–11–13 Sugano, khikawa, Chiba, Japan 272.


To elucidate the mechanism of ocular surface allergic disease, we focused on IL-4, which is one of the key factors in regulating IgE production, and thus determined the concentration of IL-4 in tears, IL-4 concentration was determined in the tears of 15 patients with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, 15 vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), 10 giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), 10 patients with non-allergic conjunctivitis and post-cataract surgical conjunctivitis as intermediate conjunctivitis, and 10 normal subjects using a highly sensitive sandwich ELISA. The mean level of IL-4 in normal controls was low, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, VKC and GPC showed a significant elevation (P < 0.05), respectively. IL-4 of VKC and GPC were also significantly higher than allergic conjunctivitis, and non-allergic conjunctivitis and post-cataract surgical conjunctivitis were not higher than normal. These results raise the possibility that the increased level of IL-4 in tears could play a role in allergic disease and its severity in patients.