Background: To determine plasma Ephrin-A1 and VEGF 165 levels in a cohort of diabetic retinopathy patients.
Methods: Plasma ephrin-A1 and VEGF 165 levels in fifty-five subjects including 19 individuals without diabetes (non-DM), 16 patients with diabetes (DM) but without diabetic retinopathy, and 20 patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), were determined by ELISA. Serum creatinine, total cholesterol, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c were also measured. Mann-Whitney U analysis, independent sample T analysis and Spearman correlation coefficient analysis were used for data analysis.
Results: Ephrin-A1 expression could be detected in human plasma with an average of 1.52 ± 0.43 (mean ± SEM) ng/ml. In DR subjects, the plasma ephrin-A1concentration was 3.63 ± 4.63 ng/ml, which was significantly higher than that of the other two groups (non-DM: 0.27 ± 0.13 ng/ml, DM: 0.35 ± 0.34 ng/ml). The expression of VEGF 165 in human plasma was 34.00 ± 42.55 pg/ml, with no statistical difference among the three groups. There was no correlation between Ephrin-A1 and VEGF 165 in human plasma.
Conclusions: Plasma ephrin-A1 was highly expressed in patients with diabetic retinopathy, and there was no difference of plasma VEGF 165 expression in patients with diabetic retinopathy compared to the other two groups, suggesting that changes of plasma ephrin-A1 may be a more sensitive biomarker than plasma VEGF 165 in detecting diabetic retinopathy.