Cytokine changes in tears and relationship to contact lens discomfort

Mark D P Willcox*, Zhenjun Zhao, Thomas Naduvilath, Percy Lazon La De Jara

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To determine the reproducibility of a multiplex bead assay for measuring cytokines in tears and correlations between ocular discomfort with or without contact lens wear and the concentration of cytokines in tears. Methods: Ninety participants (divided into two groups) were enrolled in this prospective study. They were asked to rate their ocular comfort and collect their tears in the morning and just before sleep for 10 days with or without contact lenses. The participants collected their tears using a glass microcapillary tube for both stages. Galyfilcon A lenses were worn on a daily disposable basis during the contact lens stage, and comfort scores and tears were collected before lens insertion and prior to lens removal at the end of the day. Tears were analyzed for cytokine concentrations using a 27-plex multibead assay. Correlations were sought between cytokine concentrations and comfort. Results: There was a significant (p<0.022) decrease in ocular comfort over the day with or without lens wear. The magnitude of ocular discomfort was significantly greater (p<0.009) with lens wear. The concentrations of 12 cytokines differed significantly between the groups; thus, these cytokines were not analyzed further. For the remaining 15 cytokines, interleukin-8 (IL-8) was the only cytokine that changed in both groups during the day without (reduced by >-0.5 Log pg/ml, p<0.001) or with lens wear (reduced by >-0.2 Log pg/ml, p<0.001). The change in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentration only in tears was correlated to ocular comfort, but this was not changed by contact lens wear. Conclusions: Ocular comfort during the day is magnified by contact lens wear. However, the increase in the change in comfort during lens wear was not associated with changes in 15 cytokines in the tear film.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-305
    Number of pages13
    JournalMolecular Vision
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015


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