Inflammation and the Eye

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Anti-inflammation is as, or more important, than anti-oxidation. Put out the fire in the aging eyes!  Our optometrist and ophthalmologist colleagues  are valued colleagues because they and our dental colleagues “see illness first”; the back of the eye is superb tissue to predicting health and disease. The gums of teeth also serve this function.   So heal your eyes and your body will thrive!  Crushed whole, organic, non-GMO seeds are the most nutrient dense food on earth and if you choose anti-inflammatory seeds, then you are eating well indeed! (Many patients report their eye sight improving and the glasses prescription becoming less powerful!)



Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 Jul 17. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12819. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploring new ways of regulation by resveratrol involving miRNAs, with emphasis on inflammation.

Latruffe N1, Lançon A1, Frazzi R2, Aires V1,3, Delmas D1,3, Michaille JJ1, Djouadi F4, Bastin J4, Cherkaoui-Malki M1.


This review presents recent evidence implicating microRNAs (miRNAs) in the beneficial effects of resveratrol (trihydroxystilbene), a nonflavonoid plant polyphenol, with emphasis on its anti-inflammatory effects. Many diseases and pathologies have been linked, directly or indirectly, to inflammation. These include infections, injuries, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration, demyelination, and neurodegenerative diseases. Resveratrol can both decrease the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) and increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines; it also decreases the expression of adhesion proteins (e.g., ICAM-1) and leukocyte chemoattractants (e.g., MCP-1). Resveratrol’s primary targets appear to be the transcription factors AP-1 and NF-κB, as well as the gene COX2. Although no mechanistic link between any particular miRNA and resveratrol has been identified, resveratrol effects depend at least in part upon the modification of the expression of a variety of miRNAs that can be anti-inflammatory (e.g., miR-663), proinflammatory (e.g., miR-155), tumor suppressing (e.g., miR-663), or oncogenic (e.g., miR-21).



Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2015 Summer;55(3):63-78. doi: 10.1097/IIO.0000000000000073.

Inflammatory Mechanisms of Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Knickelbein JE, Chan CC, Sen HN, Ferris FL, Nussenblatt RB.




Acta Ophthalmol. 2015 May 28. doi: 10.1111/aos.12770. [Epub ahead of print]

Intraocular and systemic inflammation-related cytokines during one year of ranibizumab treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Fauser S1, Viebahn U1, Muether PS1.




To determine inflammation-related intraocular and systemic cytokine concentrations in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) compared with controls and to assess the influence of long-term intravitreal ranibizumab treatment over 1 year.



Prior to ranibizumab treatment, initiation aqueous humour levels of monocyte chemo-attractant protein (MCP)-1/CCL2 (p = 0.005) and vascular cell adhesin molecule (VCAM) (p = 0.002) were elevated in nAMD compared with controls. Other intraocular cytokines did not differ, including VEGF. In plasma, no differences between nAMD patients and controls were found at baseline. Pro re nata ranibizumab treatment over 12 months with 8 ± 2 injections reduced aqueous VEGF (p < 0.0001) with a trend to reduced VEGF plasma concentrations (p = 0.046), with all specimens taken at least 28 days after the previous injection. All other local and systemic cytokines remained unchanged.



Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is associated with local ocular MCP-1/CCL2 and VCAM elevations, suggesting a local inflammatory involvement in the pathophysiology of nAMD. We did not detect systemic differences. Ranibizumab treatment does not result in local or systemic changes of these cytokines, in contrast to VEGF suppression. MCP-1/CCL2 and VCAM may be potential additional treatment targets for nAMD.



Ophthalmology. 2015 Jun;122(6):e34-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.12.009.

Re: Kessel et al.: Post-cataract prevention of inflammation and macular edema by steroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory eye drops (Ophthalmology 2014;121:1915-24).

Kim SJ1.



Curr Eye Res. 2011 Jul;36(7):591-8. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2011.573898. Epub 2011 May 23.

Ameliorative effect of thymoquinone on ovalbumin-induced allergic conjunctivitis in Balb/c mice.



Thymoquinone (TQ) is an active and potent compound in the oil of Nigella sativa [black cumin seed], which has anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of TQ on ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic conjunctivitis (AC) in Balb/c.


Ocular symptoms of AC and other characteristics of allergic inflammation including IgE and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) level, recruitment of eosinophils, histamine level, mRNA expressions and protein level of cytokines were remarkably increased in OVA-exposed mice compared with the control groups. Administration of TQ suppressed the ocular symptoms, inflammatory cell infiltration in conjunctiva, blood and OLF, increased level of serum IgE and OVA-specific IgE, and OLF histamine level in OVA-exposed mice. Furthermore, TQ abrogated the mRNA expression and serum level of interleukin including 1L-4, IL-5, IL-13 and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) in mice immunized and exposed to OVA.


Administration of TQ significantly reduced the ocular symptoms in AC by attenuating the recruitment of eosinophils, level of IgE, histamine and cytokines. Our findings suggest that TQ might be a useful intimation for the treatment and future research for AC.

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