PURPOSE: A majority of experimental data on dry eye disease (DED) immunopathogenesis have been derived from a murine model of DED that combines desiccating environmental stress with systemic muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) inhibition. However, to our knowledge the effects of pharmacologic mAChR blockade on the pathogenesis of experimental DED have not been evaluated systemically. The purpose of our study was to investigate the differential effects of desiccating environmental stress and mAChR inhibition on the pathogenesis of DED. METHODS: DED was induced in female C57BL/6 mice by exposure to a desiccating environment in the controlled-environment chamber or to systemic scopolamine, or by performing extraorbital lacrimal gland excision. Clinical disease was assessed using corneal fluorescein staining (CFS) and the cotton thread test (CTT). Corneal CD11b(+) and conjunctival CD3(+) T-cell infiltration were evaluated by flow cytometry. T-cells from draining cervical lymph nodes (CLN) and distant inguinal lymph nodes (ILN) were analyzed for Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg responses by flow cytometry and ELISA. RESULTS: Desiccating environmental stress and systemic mAChR blockade induced similar clinical signs of DED. However, desiccating environmental stress imparted higher conjunctival CD3(+) T-cell infiltration, and greater Th17-cell activity and Treg dysfunction than mAChR blockade, while mAChR blockade decreased tear secretion to a greater extent than desiccating environmental stress. Systemic mAChR blockade attenuated Th17 activity and enhanced Th2 and Treg responses without affecting Th1 activity. CONCLUSIONS: In vivo inhibition of mAChRs variably affects CD4(+) T-cell subsets, and desiccating environmental stress and systemic mAChR blockade induce DED through different primary pathogenic mechanisms.
Abnormal lipid metabolism has been linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD); choroidal neovascularization in late AMD commonly causes blindness. Sene et al. (2013) now demonstrate that in aged macrophages decreased ABCA1 expression, regulated by liver X receptor and miR-33, impairs export of intracellular cholesterol, which promotes neovascular AMD.
AIM: To report the incidence rate of acute postoperative endophthalmitis secondary to therapeutic intravitreal injections. METHODS: A retrospective review of all consecutive eyes after intravitreal injections was performed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2011. RESULTS: During the 5-year study interval, 10 208 intravitreal injections were performed. The overall incidence rate of endophthalmitis was 0.029% per injection (3 of 10 208 injections). In the three cases, in our series, the endophthalmitis occurred at an average of seven injections, which lies within the SD of the mean number of injections received by each eye in this study, suggesting approximately equal probability of infection for each eye after receiving multiple, sequential injections. Bacterial cultures and Gram stain revealed coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species (n=1), moderate bacteria with negative culture (n=1) and moderate Staphylococcus epidermidis (n=1). All cases were successfully treated using either intravitreal antibiotics and steroids or pars plana vitrectomy. Best-corrected visual acuity reduction was not clinically significant at the last visit (>7 months for all cases). CONCLUSIONS: Acute endophthalmitis is a rare potential complication after intravitreal injection. Further studies are required to elucidate the best prophylactic and aseptic techniques to prevent this rare complication.
PURPOSE: An increased aqueous level of TGF-β2 has been found in many primary open-angle glaucoma patients. Secreted Protein, Acidic, and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC)-null mice have a lower intraocular pressure. The mechanistic relationship between SPARC and TGF-β2 in trabecular meshwork (TM) is unknown. We hypothesized that TGF-β2 upregulates SPARC expression in TM. METHODS: Cultured TM cells were incubated with selective inhibitors for p38 MAP kinase (p38), Smad3, p42, JNK, RhoA, PI3K, or TGF-β2 receptor for 2 hours, and then TGF-β2 was added for 24 hours in serum-free media. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunoblot analysis were performed. Immunofluorescent microscopy was used to determine nuclear translocation of signaling proteins. Ad5.hSPARC and Lentiviral shRNA for p38 and Smad3 were constructed, and infected human TM cells. RESULTS: SPARC was upregulated by TGF-β2 in the human TM cells (3.8 ± 1.7-fold, n = 6, P = 0.01 for protein and 7.1 ± 3.7-fold, n = 6, P = 0.01 for mRNA), while upregulation of SPARC had no effect on TGF-β2. TGF-β2-induced SPARC expression was suppressed by inhibitors against p38 (-40.3 ± 20.9%, n = 10, P = 0.0001), Smad3 (-56.2 ± 18.9%, n = 10, P = 0.0001), JNK (-49.1 ± 24.6%, n = 10, P = 0.0001), and TGF-β2 receptor (-83.6 ± 14.4%, n = 6, P = 0.003). Phosphorylation and translocation of Smad3, p38, and MAPKAPK2 were detected at 30 minutes and 1 hour, respectively, following TGF-β2 treatment. Phosphorylation of JNK and c-jun was detected before TGF-β2 treatment. SPARC was suppressed 31 ± 13% (n = 5, P < 0.0001) by shRNA-p38 and 41 ± 3% (n = 5, P < 0.0001) by shRNA-Smad3. CONCLUSIONS: TGF-β2 upregulates SPARC expression in human TM through Smad-dependent (Smad2/3) or -independent (p38) signaling pathways. SPARC may be a downstream regulatory node of TGF-β2-mediated IOP elevation.
PURPOSE: To determine the intracellular signaling pathways that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) uses to stimulate high molecular weight glycoconjugate secretion from cultured rat conjunctival goblet cells. METHODS: Goblet cells from rat bulbar and forniceal conjunctiva were grown in organ culture. Presence and localization of VIP receptors (VPAC1 and 2) were determined by RT-PCR, immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot analysis. Intracellular [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)]i) was measured using fura-2. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 activity was determined by Western blot analysis. High molecular weight glycoconjugate secretion was measured with an enzyme-linked lectin assay on cultured goblet cells that were serum-starved for 2 hours before stimulation with VIP, VPAC1-, or VPAC2-specific agonists. Inhibitors were added 30 minutes prior to VIP. Activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was measured by immunoprecipitation using an antibody against pTyr followed by Western blot analysis with an antibody against EGFR. RESULTS: Both VIP receptors were present in rat conjunctiva and cultured goblet cells. VIP- and VPAC-specific agonists increased [Ca(2+)]i and secretion in a concentration-dependent manner. VIP also increased ERK1/2 activity, VIP-stimulated increase in [Ca(2+)]i. Secretion, but not ERK1/2 activity, was inhibited by the protein kinase A inhibitor, H89. VIP-stimulated secretion was inhibited by siRNA for ERK2 but not by siRNA for EGFR. VIP did not increase the phosphorylation of the EGFR. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, in cultured rat conjunctival goblet cells, VPAC1 and 2 receptors are functional. VIP stimulates a cAMP-dependent increase in [Ca(2+)]i and glycoconjugate secretion, but not ERK1/2 activation. VIP does not activate with EGFR.
UNLABELLED: For DNA viruses, genetic recombination, addition, and deletion represent important evolutionary mechanisms. Since these genetic alterations can lead to new, possibly severe pathogens, we applied a systems biology approach to study the pathogenicity of a novel human adenovirus with a naturally occurring deletion of the canonical penton base Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) loop, thought to be critical to cellular entry by adenoviruses. Bioinformatic analysis revealed a new highly recombinant species D human adenovirus (HAdV-D60). A synthesis of in silico and laboratory approaches revealed a potential ocular tropism for the new virus. In vivo, inflammation induced by the virus was dramatically greater than that by adenovirus type 37, a major eye pathogen, possibly due to a novel alternate ligand, Tyr-Gly-Asp (YGD), on the penton base protein. The combination of bioinformatics and laboratory simulation may have important applications in the prediction of tissue tropism for newly discovered and emerging viruses. IMPORTANCE: The ongoing dance between a virus and its host distinctly shapes how the virus evolves. While human adenoviruses typically cause mild infections, recent reports have described newly characterized adenoviruses that cause severe, sometimes fatal human infections. Here, we report a systems biology approach to show how evolution has affected the disease potential of a recently identified novel human adenovirus. A comprehensive understanding of viral evolution and pathogenicity is essential to our capacity to foretell the potential impact on human disease for new and emerging viruses.
Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive commensal member of the gut microbiota of a wide range of organisms. With the advent of antibiotic therapy, it has emerged as a multidrug resistant, hospital-acquired pathogen. Highly virulent strains of E. faecalis express a pore-forming exotoxin, called cytolysin, which lyses both bacterial and eukaryotic cells in response to quorum signals. Originally described in the 1930s, the cytolysin is a member of a large class of lanthionine-containing bacteriocins produced by Gram-positive bacteria. While the cytolysin shares some core features with other lantibiotics, it possesses unique characteristics as well. The current understanding of cytolysin biosynthesis, structure/function relationships, and contribution to the biology of E. faecalis are reviewed, and opportunities for using emerging technologies to advance this understanding are discussed.