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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2007, Article ID 92196, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Serum TNF-Alpha Level Predicts Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy in Children

1Department of Immunology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Dębinki 1, Gdańsk 80-210, Poland
2Diabetological Department, Clinic of Pediatrics, Hematology, Oncology and Endocrinology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk 80-210, Poland
3Department and Clinic of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk 80-210, Poland

Received 16 November 2006; Revised 28 February 2007; Accepted 1 March 2007

Copyright © 2007 Katarzyna Zorena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was identification of the immunologic markers of the damage to the eye apparatus at early stages of diabetes mellitus (DM) type 1 children. One hundred and eleven children with DM type 1 were divided into two groups: those with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and without retinopathy. All the children had their daily urine albumin excretion, HbA1c, C-peptide measured, 24-hour blood pressure monitoring, and ophthalmologic examination. Levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-12 in serum were measured by ELISA tests (Quantikine High Sensitivity Human by R&D Systems, Minneapolis, Minn, USA). The NPDR children demonstrated a significantly longer duration of the disease in addition to higher HbA1c, albumin excretion rate, C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, as well as TNF-α and IL-6 levels than those without retinopathy. The logistic regression revealed that the risk of NPDR was strongly dependent on TNF-α [(OR 4.01; 95%CI 2.01–7.96)]. TNF-α appears to be the most significant predictor among the analyzed parameters of damage to the eye apparatus. The early introduction of the TNF-α antagonists to the treatment of young patients with DM type 1 who show high serum activity of the TNF-α may prevent them from development of diabetic retinopathy.