PloS one

CX3CL1/CX3CR1 and CCL2/CCR2 chemokine/chemokine receptor complex in patients with AMD.

PMID 25503251


The chemokine receptors CX3CR1 and CCR2 have been implicated in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The evidence is mainly derived from experimental cell studies and murine models of AMD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between expression of CX3CR1 and CCR2 on different leukocyte subsets and AMD. Furthermore we measured the plasma levels of ligands CX3CL1 and CCL2. Patients attending our department were asked to participate in the study. The diagnosis of AMD was based on clinical examination and multimodal imaging techniques. Chemokine plasma level and chemokine receptor expression were measured by flow-cytometry. A total of 150 participants were included. We found a significantly lower expression of CX3CR1 on CD8+ T cells in the neovascular AMD group compared to the control group (p = 0.04). We found a significant positive correlation between CCR2 and CX3CR1 expression on CD8+ cells (r = 0.727, p = 0.0001). We found no difference in plasma levels of CX3CL1 and CCL2 among the groups. Our results show a down regulation of CX3CR1 on CD8+ cells; this correlated to a low expression of CCR2 on CD8+ cells. Further studies are needed to elucidate the possible role of this cell type in AMD development.