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Eales disease (ED) is an idiopathic, inflammatory, venoocclusive disorder of peripheral retina resulting in retinal angiogenesis and vitreous hemorrhage. The objective of the present study is to investigate the expression and activation of gelatinase associated with the retinal neovascularization in ED and the relation between the levels of gelatinase and the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α, known to upregulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression on various cells.Vitreous and serum samples from 19 patients with ED who underwent retinal surgery were estimated for levels of MMP-2, MMP-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, and tumor necrosis factor-α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 and MMP-9 activities in serum and vitreous samples were evaluated by gelatin zymography method. Vitreous samples from 16 patients with macular hole undergoing vitrectomy were used as controls.Among the 2 gelatinase examined in vitreous and serum samples, only level and activity of MMP-9 were significantly higher in serum (P = 0.0001) and vitreous (P = 0.0002) samples of patients with ED than those of control subjects. Simultaneously, a positive correlation was found between intraocular tumor necrosis factor-α and MMP-9 concentration (Spearman correlation coefficient, r = 0.7040, P = 0.0023) in patients with ED.Increase in MMP-9 activity and its concentration in serum and vitreous of patients with ED compared with that of control subjects and correlation between intraocular levels of MMP-9 and tumor necrosis factor-α in patients with ED seem to provide a plausible explanation for inflammation-mediated angiogenesis during the development of this condition.