September 2022

Chwalisz BK, Levy M. The Treatment of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Disease: A State-of-the-Art Review. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(3):292-296.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) is an important etiology of neurologic morbidity and specifically, atypical, and relapsing optic neuritis. This review summarizes acute treatment and long-term prevention approaches in MOGAD. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed and Google Scholar databases were manually searched and reviewed. RESULTS: We review the evidence base for acute treatment of MOGAD with corticosteroids and adjunct therapies, such as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and plasma exchange. We discuss the utility of prolonged corticosteroid tapering after the acute attack. We then summarize the commonly used disease-modifying treatments for relapsing MOGAD, including chronic low-dose corticosteroids, classic antirheumatic immune suppressants, biologic agents, and IVIg. CONCLUSIONS: While acute MOGAD attacks are usually treated with high-dose IV corticosteroids, longer oral corticosteroid tapers may prevent rapid relapse. Multiple long-term treatment strategies are being employed in recurrent MOGAD, with IVIg is emerging as probably the most effective therapy.
Shi H, Yin Z, Koronyo Y, Fuchs D-T, Sheyn J, Davis MR, Wilson JW, Margeta MA, Pitts KM, Herron S, Ikezu S, Ikezu T, Graham SL, Gupta VK, Black KL, Mirzaei M, Butovsky O, Koronyo-Hamaoui M. Regulating microglial miR-155 transcriptional phenotype alleviates Alzheimer's-induced retinal vasculopathy by limiting Clec7a/Galectin-3+ neurodegenerative microglia. Acta Neuropathol Commun 2022;10(1):136.Abstract
Single cell RNA sequencing studies identified novel neurodegeneration-associated microglial (MGnD/DAM) subtypes activated around cerebral amyloid plaques. Micro-RNA (miR)-155 of the TREM2-APOE pathway was shown to be a key transcriptional regulator of MGnD microglial phenotype. Despite growing interest in studying manifestations of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the retina, a CNS organ accessible to noninvasive high-resolution imaging, to date MGnD microglia have not been studied in the AD retina. Here, we discovered the presence and increased populations of Clec7a+ and Galectin-3+ MGnD microglia in retinas of transgenic APPSWE/PS1L166P AD-model mice. Conditionally targeting MGnD microglia by miR-155 ablation via the tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2 system in APPSWE/PS1L166P mice diminished retinal Clec7a+ and Galectin-3+ microglial populations while increasing homeostatic P2ry12+ microglia. Retinal MGnD microglia were often adhering to microvessels; their depletion protected the inner blood-retina barrier and reduced vascular amyloidosis. Microglial miR-155 depletion further limits retinal inflammation. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed enhanced retinal PI3K-Akt signaling and predicted IL-8 and Spp1 decreases in mice with microglia-specific miR-155 knockout. Overall, this study identified MGnD microglia in APPSWE/PS1L166P mouse retina. Transcriptional regulation of these dysfunctional microglia mitigated retinal inflammation and vasculopathy. The protective effects of microglial miR-155 ablation should shed light on potential treatments for retinal inflammation and vascular damage during AD and other ocular diseases.
Dohlman C. The Boston Keratoprosthesis-The First 50 Years: Some Reminiscences. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2022;8:1-32.Abstract
Millions of people worldwide are bilaterally blind due to corneal diseases including infectious etiologies, trauma, and chemical injuries. While corneal transplantation can successfully restore sight in many, corneal graft survival decreases in eyes with chronic inflammation and corneal vascularization. Additionally, the availability of donor cornea material can be limited, especially in underdeveloped countries where corneal blindness may also be highly prevalent. Development of methods to create and implant an artificial cornea (keratoprosthesis) may be the only option for patients whose eye disease is not suitable for corneal transplantation or who live in regions where corneal transplantation is not possible. The Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) is the most commonly implanted keratoprosthesis worldwide, having restored vision in thousands of patients. This article describes the initial design of the B-KPro and the modifications that have been made over many years. Additionally, some of the complications of surgical implantation and long-term care challenges, particularly complicating inflammation and glaucoma, are discussed.
Bharti K, den Hollander AI, Lakkaraju A, Sinha D, Williams DS, Finnemann SC, Bowes-Rickman C, Malek G, D'Amore PA. Cell culture models to study retinal pigment epithelium-related pathogenesis in age-related macular degeneration. Exp Eye Res 2022;222:109170.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula - the central part of the retina. It is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly. AMD onset is marked by the presence of lipid- and protein-rich extracellular deposits beneath the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a monolayer of polarized, pigmented epithelial cells located between the photoreceptors and the choroidal blood supply. Progression of AMD to the late nonexudative "dry" stage of AMD, also called geographic atrophy, is linked to progressive loss of areas of the RPE, photoreceptors, and underlying choriocapillaris leading to a severe decline in patients' vision. Differential susceptibility of macular RPE in AMD and the lack of an anatomical macula in most lab animal models has promoted the use of in vitro models of the RPE. In addition, the need for high throughput platforms to test potential therapies has driven the creation and characterization of in vitro model systems that recapitulate morphologic and functional abnormalities associated with human AMD. These models range from spontaneously formed cell line ARPE19, immortalized cell lines such as hTERT-RPE1, RPE-J, and D407, to primary human (fetal or adult) or animal (mouse and pig) RPE cells, and embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived RPE. Hallmark RPE phenotypes, such as cobblestone morphology, pigmentation, and polarization, vary significantly betweendifferent models and culture conditions used in different labs, which would directly impact their usability for investigating different aspects of AMD biology. Here the AMD Disease Models task group of the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research (RIMR) provides a summary of several currently used in vitro RPE models, historical aspects of their development, RPE phenotypes that are attainable in these models, their ability to model different aspects of AMD pathophysiology, and pros/cons for their use in the RPE and AMD fields. In addition, due to the burgeoning use of iPSC derived RPE cells, the critical need for developing standards for differentiating and rigorously characterizing RPE cell appearance, morphology, and function are discussed.
Fickweiler W, Park H, Park K, Mitzner MG, Chokshi T, Boumenna T, Gautier J, Zaitsu Y, Wu I-H, Cavallerano J, Aiello LP, Sun JK, King GL. Elevated Retinol Binding Protein 3 Concentrations Are Associated With Decreased Vitreous Inflammatory Cytokines, VEGF, and Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetes Care 2022;45(9):2159-2162.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To correlate inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in vitreous and plasma with vitreous retinol binding protein 3 (RBP3), diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, and DR worsening in a population with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: RBP3, VEGF, and inflammatory cytokines were measured in plasma and vitreous samples (n = 205) from subjects of the Joslin Medalist Study and Beetham Eye Institute. RESULTS: Higher vitreous RBP3 concentrations were associated with less severe DR (P < 0.0001) and a reduced risk of developing proliferative DR (PDR) (P < 0.0001). Higher RBP3 correlated with increased photoreceptor segment thickness and lower vitreous interleukin-12 (IL-12), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and TNF-β (P < 0.05). PDR was associated with lower vitreous interferon-γ and IL-10 and higher VEGF, IL-6, and IL-15 (P < 0.05), but was not associated with their plasma concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Higher vitreous RBP3 concentrations are associated with less severe DR and slower rates of progression to PDR, supporting its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic agent for preventing DR worsening, possibly by lowering retinal VEGF and inflammatory cytokines.
Sepulveda-Falla D, Sanchez JS, Almeida MC, Boassa D, Acosta-Uribe J, Vila-Castelar C, Ramirez-Gomez L, Baena A, Aguillon D, Villalba-Moreno ND, Littau JL, Villegas A, Beach TG, White CL, Ellisman M, Krasemann S, Glatzel M, Johnson KA, Sperling RA, Reiman EM, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kosik KS, Lopera F, Quiroz YT. Distinct tau neuropathology and cellular profiles of an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote protected against autosomal dominant Alzheimer's dementia. Acta Neuropathol 2022;144(3):589-601.Abstract
We describe in vivo follow-up PET imaging and postmortem findings from an autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD) PSEN1 E280A carrier who was also homozygous for the APOE3 Christchurch (APOE3ch) variant and was protected against Alzheimer's symptoms for almost three decades beyond the expected age of onset. We identified a distinct anatomical pattern of tau pathology with atypical accumulation in vivo and unusual postmortem regional distribution characterized by sparing in the frontal cortex and severe pathology in the occipital cortex. The frontal cortex and the hippocampus, less affected than the occipital cortex by tau pathology, contained Related Orphan Receptor B (RORB) positive neurons, homeostatic astrocytes and higher APOE expression. The occipital cortex, the only cortical region showing cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), exhibited a distinctive chronic inflammatory microglial profile and lower APOE expression. Thus, the Christchurch variant may impact the distribution of tau pathology, modulate age at onset, severity, progression, and clinical presentation of ADAD, suggesting possible therapeutic strategies.
Gong Y, Tomita Y, Edin ML, Ren A, Ko M, Yang J, Bull E, Zeldin DC, Hellström A, Fu Z, Smith LEH. Cytochrome P450 oxidase 2J inhibition suppresses choroidal neovascularization in mice. Metabolism 2022;134:155266.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) leads to blindness. It has been widely reported that increased intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) diets reduce CNV. Of the three major pathways metabolizing ω-3 (and ω-6 LCPUFA), the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways generally produce pro-angiogenic metabolites from ω-6 LCPUFA and anti-angiogenic ones from ω-3 LCPUFA. Howevehr, cytochrome P450 oxidase (CPY) 2C produces pro-angiogenic metabolites from both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA. The effects of CYP2J2 products on ocular neovascularization are still unknown. Understanding how each metabolic pathway affects the protective effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on retinal neovascularization may lead to therapeutic interventions. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of LCPUFA metabolites through CYP2J2 pathway and CYP2J2 regulation on CNV both in vivo and ex vivo. METHODS: The impact of CYP2J2 overexpression and inhibition on neovascularization in the laser-induced CNV mouse model was assessed. The plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites were measured by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy. The choroidal explant sprouting assay was used to investigate the effects of CYP2J2 inhibition and specific LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolites on angiogenesis ex vivo. RESULTS: CNV was exacerbated in Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice and was associated with increased levels of plasma docosahexaenoic acids. Inhibiting CYP2J2 activity with flunarizine decreased CNV in both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA-fed wild-type mice. In Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice, flunarizine suppressed CNV by 33 % and 36 % in ω-6, ω-3 LCPUFA diets, respectively, and reduced plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites. The pro-angiogenic role of CYP2J2 was corroborated in the choroidal explant sprouting assay. Flunarizine attenuated ex vivo choroidal sprouting, and 19,20-EDP, a ω-3 LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolite, increased sprouting. The combined inhibition of CYP2J2 with flunarizine and CYP2C8 with montelukast further enhanced CNV suppression via tumor necrosis factor-α suppression. CONCLUSIONS: CYP2J2 inhibition augmented the inhibitory effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on CNV. Flunarizine suppressed pathological choroidal angiogenesis, and co-treatment with montelukast inhibiting CYP2C8 further enhanced the effect. CYP2 inhibition might be a viable approach to suppress CNV in AMD.
Moos WH, Faller DV, Glavas IP, Harpp DN, Kamperi N, Kanara I, Kodukula K, Mavrakis AN, Pernokas J, Pernokas M, Pinkert CA, Powers WR, Sampani K, Steliou K, Tamvakopoulos C, Vavvas DG, Zamboni RJ, Chen XH. Treatment and prevention of pathological mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal degeneration and in photoreceptor injury. Biochem Pharmacol 2022;203:115168.Abstract
Pathological deterioration of mitochondrial function is increasingly linked with multiple degenerative illnesses as a mediator of a wide range of neurologic and age-related chronic diseases, including those of genetic origin. Several of these diseases are rare, typically defined in the United States as an illness affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. population, or about one in 1600 individuals. Vision impairment due to mitochondrial dysfunction in the eye is a prominent feature evident in numerous primary mitochondrial diseases and is common to the pathophysiology of many of the familiar ophthalmic disorders, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinopathy of prematurity - a collection of syndromes, diseases and disorders with significant unmet medical needs. Focusing on metabolic mitochondrial pathway mechanisms, including the possible roles of cuproptosis and ferroptosis in retinal mitochondrial dysfunction, we shed light on the potential of α-lipoyl-L-carnitine in treating eye diseases. α-Lipoyl-L-carnitine is a bioavailable mitochondria-targeting lipoic acid prodrug that has shown potential in protecting against retinal degeneration and photoreceptor cell loss in ophthalmic indications.
Feldman RM, Chuang AZ, Mansberger SL, Tanna AP, Blieden LS, Bell NP, Gross RL, Pasquale LR, Greenfield DS, Liebmann JM, Weinreb RN, Weinreb RN. Outcomes of the Second Aqueous Shunt Implant Versus Transscleral Cyclophotocoagulation Treatment Study: A Randomized Comparative Trial. J Glaucoma 2022;31(9):701-709.Abstract
PRCIS: Short-term overall success rates were high with either SGDD or CPC. However, SGDD was associated with more clinic visits and an increased risk of additional glaucoma surgery. Both treatments were reasonable options for eyes with inadequately controlled IOP after a single GDD. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the implantation of a second glaucoma drainage device (SGDD) and transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (CPC) in eyes with inadequately controlled intraocular pressure (IOP), despite the presence of a preexisting glaucoma drainage device. METHODS: Patients with inadequately controlled IOP, despite the medical therapy and a preexisting glaucoma drainage device, were enrolled at 14 clinical centers and randomly assigned to treatment with a SGDD or CPC. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Surgical failure was defined as: (1) IOP ≤5 mm Hg or >18 mm Hg or <20% reduction below baseline on maximum tolerated topical ocular hypotensive therapy, (2) reoperation for glaucoma, or (3) loss of light perception. The primary outcome measure was overall success with or without adjunctive medical therapy. RESULTS: Forty-two eyes of 42 participants were randomized to SGDD (n=22) or CPC (n=20). Mean duration of follow-up was 18.6 (±12.1; range: 1.1-38.6) months. The cumulative success rate was 79% for SGDD and 88% for CPC at 1 year ( P =0.63). Although the study was underpowered, no significant differences in IOP, postoperative number of IOP-lowering medications, or adverse events were observed. The number of additional glaucoma surgeries ( P =0.003), office visits during the first 3 months ( P <0.001), and office visits per month after month 3 ( P <0.001) were greater in the SGDD group. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term overall success rates were high with either SGDD or CPC. However, SGDD was associated with more clinic visits and an increased risk of additional glaucoma surgery.
Wang Z, Wiggs JL, Aung T, Khawaja AP, Khor CC. The genetic basis for adult onset glaucoma: Recent advances and future directions. Prog Retin Eye Res 2022;90:101066.Abstract
Glaucoma, a diverse group of eye disorders that results in the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells, is the world's leading cause of irreversible blindness. Apart from age and ancestry, the major risk factor for glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure (IOP). In primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the anterior chamber angle is open but there is resistance to aqueous outflow. In primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), crowding of the anterior chamber angle due to anatomical alterations impede aqueous drainage through the angle. In exfoliation syndrome and exfoliation glaucoma, deposition of white flaky material throughout the anterior chamber directly interfere with aqueous outflow. Observational studies have established that there is a strong hereditable component for glaucoma onset and progression. Indeed, a succession of genome wide association studies (GWAS) that were centered upon single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have yielded more than a hundred genetic markers associated with glaucoma risk. However, a shortcoming of GWAS studies is the difficulty in identifying the actual effector genes responsible for disease pathogenesis. Building on the foundation laid by GWAS studies, research groups have recently begun to perform whole exome-sequencing to evaluate the contribution of protein-changing, coding sequence genetic variants to glaucoma risk. The adoption of this technology in both large population-based studies as well as family studies are revealing the presence of novel, protein-changing genetic variants that could enrich our understanding of the pathogenesis of glaucoma. This review will cover recent advances in the genetics of primary open-angle glaucoma, primary angle-closure glaucoma and exfoliation glaucoma, which collectively make up the vast majority of all glaucoma cases in the world today. We will discuss how recent advances in research methodology have uncovered new risk genes, and how follow up biological investigations could be undertaken in order to define how the risk encoded by a genetic sequence variant comes into play in patients. We will also hypothesise how data arising from characterising these genetic variants could be utilized to predict glaucoma risk and the manner in which new therapeutic strategies might be informed.
Halawa OA, Sekimitsu S, Boland MV, Zebardast N. Sex-Based Differences in Medicare Reimbursements among Ophthalmologists Persist across Time. Ophthalmology 2022;129(9):1056-1063.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate differences in Medicare reimbursements between male and female ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Ophthalmologists receiving Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019. METHODS: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File was used to determine total reimbursements and number of services submitted by ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. Reimbursements were standardized to account for geographic differences in Medicare reimbursement per service. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) were used to determine socioeconomic characteristics (unemployment, poverty, income, and education) by zip code for the location of each physician's practice. A multivariate linear regression model was used to evaluate differences in annual reimbursements by sex, accounting for calendar year, years of experience, total number of services, ACS zip code data, and proportion of procedural services. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual Medicare reimbursement and use of billing codes (e.g., outpatient office visits and eye examinations, diagnostic testing, laser treatment, and surgery). RESULTS: Among 20 281 ophthalmologists who received Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019, 15 451 (76%) were men. The most common billing codes submitted were for outpatient visits and eye examinations (13.8 million charges/year), diagnostic imaging of the retina (5.6 million charges/year), intravitreal injections (2.9 million charges/year), and removal of cataract with insertion of lens (2.4 million charges/year). Compared with men, female ophthalmologists received less in median annual reimbursements (median, $94 734.21 [interquartile range (IQR), $30 944.52-$195 701.70] for women vs. $194 176.90 [IQR, $76 380.76-$355 790.80] for men; P < 0.001) and billed for fewer annual median services (median, 1228 [IQR, 454-2433] vs. 2259 [IQR, 996-4075, respectively]; P < 0.001). After adjustment for covariates, female ophthalmologists billed for 1015 fewer services (95% confidence interval [CI], 1001-1029; P < 0.001) and received $20 209.12 less in reimbursements than men (95% CI, -$21 717.57 to -$18 700.66; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Female ophthalmologists billed for fewer services and received less in reimbursement from Medicare than men over time and across all categories of billing codes. Disparities persisted after controlling for physician and practice characteristics.
Zabaleta N, Bhatt U, Hérate C, Maisonnasse P, Sanmiguel J, Diop C, Castore S, Estelien R, Li D, Dereuddre-Bosquet N, Cavarelli M, Gallouët A-S, Pascal Q, Naninck T, Kahlaoui N, Lemaitre J, Relouzat F, Ronzitti G, Thibaut HJ, Montomoli E, Wilson JM, Le Grand R, Vandenberghe LH. Durable immunogenicity, adaptation to emerging variants, and low-dose efficacy of an AAV-based COVID-19 vaccine platform in macaques. Mol Ther 2022;30(9):2952-2967.Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating consequences on health and economy, even after the approval of safe and effective vaccines. Waning immunity, the emergence of variants of concern, breakthrough infections, and lack of global vaccine access and acceptance perpetuate the epidemic. Here, we demonstrate that a single injection of an adenoassociated virus (AAV)-based COVID-19 vaccine elicits at least 17-month-long neutralizing antibody responses in non-human primates at levels that were previously shown to protect from viral challenge. To improve the scalability of this durable vaccine candidate, we further optimized the vector design for greater potency at a reduced dose in mice and non-human primates. Finally, we show that the platform can be rapidly adapted to other variants of concern to robustly maintain immunogenicity and protect from challenge. In summary, we demonstrate this class of AAV can provide durable immunogenicity, provide protection at dose that is low and scalable, and be adapted readily to novel emerging vaccine antigens thus may provide a potent tool in the ongoing fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Lin LY, Reshef ER, Lansberg MP, Barshak MB, Chwalisz BK, Holbrook EH, Wolkow N. Posterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy in the Setting of Cocaine-Induced Orbital and Sinonasal Inflammation. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(5):e141-e144.Abstract
Intranasal cocaine abuse can lead to significant sinus and orbital complications, including optic neuropathy. A 46-year-old man with a history of recurrent cocaine-induced sino-orbital inflammation and infection with bony destruction presented with acute, painless, vision loss. Examination revealed no light perception vision. MRI of the orbits demonstrated new restricted diffusion of the right optic nerve on diffusion-weighted imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient sequences, consistent with posterior ischemic optic neuropathy. This is the first among cases of cocaine-induced optic neuropathy in the literature to illustrate ischemic changes on MRI in the optic nerve, highlighting the utility of diffusion-weighted imaging/apparent diffusion coefficient sequences when optic neuropathy is suspected and further suggesting an underlying ischemic etiology in similar cases.

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