April 2014

Al-Moujahed A, Nicolaou F, Brodowska K, Papakostas TD, Marmalidou A, Ksander BR, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Uveal melanoma cell growth is inhibited by aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) partially through activation of AMP-dependent kinase. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(7):4175-85.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects and mechanism of aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), an AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) activator, on the growth of uveal melanoma cell lines. METHODS: Four different cell lines were treated with AICAR (1-4 mM). Cell growth was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell cycle analysis was conducted by flow cytometry; additionally, expression of cell-cycle control proteins, cell growth transcription factors, and downstream effectors of AMPK were determined by RT-PCR and Western blot. RESULTS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited cell growth, induced S-phase arrest, and led to AMPK activation. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was associated with inhibition of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-BP1 phosphorylation, a marker of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway activity. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was also associated with downregulation of cyclins A and D, but had minimal effects on the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 or levels of the macroautophagy marker LC3B. The effects of AICAR were abolished by treatment with dipyridamole, an adenosine transporter inhibitor that blocks the entry of AICAR into cells. Treatment with adenosine kinase inhibitor 5-iodotubericidin, which inhibits the conversion of AICAR to its 5'-phosphorylated ribotide 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-D-ribofuranosyl-5'-monophosphate (ZMP; the direct activator of AMPK), reversed most of the growth-inhibitory effects, indicating that some of AICAR's antiproliferative effects are mediated at least partially through AMPK activation. CONCLUSIONS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited uveal melanoma cell proliferation partially through activation of the AMPK pathway and downregulation of cyclins A1 and D1.
Cade F, Paschalis EI, Regatieri CV, Vavvas DG, Dana R, Dohlman CH. Alkali burn to the eye: protection using TNF-α inhibition. Cornea 2014;33(4):382-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate early retinal damage after induction of ocular surface alkali burns and the protective effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) blockade. METHODS: Alkali injury was induced in mouse corneas by using 1 N NaOH. Retinal damage was assessed using a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2'-deoxyuridine 5-triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, 15 minutes to 14 days postburn. Immune cell infiltration was assessed by CD45 immunolocalization. Retinal cytokines were quantified using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for interleukin (IL)1β, IL2, IL6, TNF-α, CCL5, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α. Protection against retinal damage was attempted with a single dose of either anti-TNF-α antibody (infliximab, 6.25 mg/kg) or control immunoglobulin G (IgG), administered intraperitoneally 15 minutes after the burn was inflicted. Corneal injury was evaluated by using TUNEL and CD45 immunolocalization and by quantifying corneal neovascularization. RESULTS: There was significant damage to the retina within 24 hours of the corneal burn being inflicted. TUNEL+ labeling was present in 80% of the retinal ganglion cells, including a few CD45+ cells. There was a 10-fold increase in the retinal inflammatory cytokines in the study groups compared with that in controls. A single intraperitoneal dose of anti-TNF-α antibody, administered 15 minutes after the burn, markedly reduced retinal TUNEL+, CD45+ labeling, and inflammatory cytokine expression, compared with that in the controls. Additionally, TNF-α blockade caused a marked reduction in corneal neovascularization, and in cornea TUNEL and CD45 labeling, 5 days after the burn. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that alkali corneal burns can induce significant retinal damage within 24 hours. A single dose of anti-TNF-α antibody, administered 15 minutes after inflicting the burn, provides significant retinal and corneal protection. This could lead to the discovery of novel therapies for patients with alkali injuries.
Chatterjee A, Villarreal G, Oh D-J, Kang MH, Rhee DJ. AMP-activated protein kinase regulates intraocular pressure, extracellular matrix, and cytoskeleton in trabecular meshwork. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(5):3127-39.Abstract
PURPOSE: In this study, we investigate how adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) affects extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular tone in the trabecular meshwork (TM), and examine how deletion of its catalytic α2 subunit affects IOP and aqueous humor clearance in mice. METHODS: Human TM tissue was examined for expression of AMPKα1 and AMPKα2, genomically distinct isoforms of the AMPK catalytic subunit. Primary cultured human TM cells were treated for 24 hours with the AMPK activator 5-amino-1-β-Dffff-ribofuranosyl-imidazole-4-carboxamide (AICAR), under basal or TGF-β2 stimulatory conditions. Conditioned media (CM) was probed for secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), and ECM proteins, and cells were stained for F-actin. Cells underwent adenoviral infection with a dominant negative AMPKα subunit (ad.DN.AMPKα) and were similarly analyzed. Intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness (CCT), and aqueous clearance were measured in AMPKα2-null and wild-type (WT) mice. RESULTS: Both AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 are expressed in TM. AICAR activated AMPKα and suppressed the expression of various ECM proteins under basal and TGF-β2 stimulatory conditions. AICAR decreased F-actin staining and increased the phospho-total RhoA ratio (Ser188). Transforming growth factor-β2 transiently dephosphorylated AMPKα. Infection with ad.DN.AMPKα upregulated various ECM proteins, decreased the phospho-total RhoA ratio, and increased F-actin staining. AMPKα2-null mice exhibited 6% higher IOP and decreased aqueous clearance compared with WT mice, without significant differences in CCT or angle morphology. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data identify AMPK as a critical regulator of ECM homeostasis and cytoskeletal arrangement in the TM. Mice that are AMPKα2-null exhibit higher IOPs and decreased aqueous clearance than their WT counterparts.
Cheng L, Desai J, Miranda CJ, Duncan JS, Qiu W, Nugent AA, Kolpak AL, Wu CC, Drokhlyansky E, DeLisle MM, Chan W-M, Wei Y, Propst F, Reck-Peterson SL, Fritzsch B, Engle EC. Human CFEOM1 mutations attenuate KIF21A autoinhibition and cause oculomotor axon stalling. Neuron 2014;82(2):334-49.Abstract
The ocular motility disorder "Congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1" (CFEOM1) results from heterozygous mutations altering the motor and third coiled-coil stalk of the anterograde kinesin, KIF21A. We demonstrate that Kif21a knockin mice harboring the most common human mutation develop CFEOM. The developing axons of the oculomotor nerve's superior division stall in the proximal nerve; the growth cones enlarge, extend excessive filopodia, and assume random trajectories. Inferior division axons reach the orbit but branch ectopically. We establish a gain-of-function mechanism and find that human motor or stalk mutations attenuate Kif21a autoinhibition, providing in vivo evidence for mammalian kinesin autoregulation. We identify Map1b as a Kif21a-interacting protein and report that Map1b⁻/⁻ mice develop CFEOM. The interaction between Kif21a and Map1b is likely to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of CFEOM1 and highlights a selective vulnerability of the developing oculomotor nerve to perturbations of the axon cytoskeleton.
Damico FM, Takahashi BS, Acquesta FB. Transscleral delivery of Nd: YLF laser at 1,047 nm causes vascular occlusion in experimental pigmented choroidal melanoma. Retina 2014;34(4):792-800.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to determine the scleral attenuation of focused neodymium: yttrium-lanthanum-fluoride laser at 1,047 nm applied transsclerally and whether transscleral delivery can close the vascular supply at the base of experimental choroidal melanoma in rabbits. METHODS: Fifty-two New Zealand albino rabbits were included. Scleral laser attenuation was measured across fresh sclera. B16F10 melanomas were established in the subchoroidal space of 49 rabbits. Twenty-one animals were killed immediately after transscleral treatment, 14 were followed for 2 weeks to 4 weeks, and 14 were followed without treatment. Ophthalmoscopy, fundus photographs, and fluorescein angiography were performed before treatment, immediately after, and weekly during the follow-up. Eyes were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS: Sclera attenuated laser energy by 31% ± 7%. Immediately after treatment, angiography showed diffuse hypofluorescence in 71% (15 of 21 rabbits). Light microscopy showed vascular occlusion extending at least two thirds of the tumor thickness from the base. Seven of the 14 tumors followed for 15 days ± 8 days were eradicated. There was no correlation between tumor height and eradication. CONCLUSION: Rabbit sclera attenuated 31% ± 7% of laser energy. A single transscleral treatment causes tumor vascular closure at the base and may serve as an adjuvant therapy to ensure destruction of deep and intrascleral tumor cells.
Grob S, Yonekawa Y, Eliott D. Multimodal imaging of adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy. Saudi J Ophthalmol 2014;28(2):104-10.Abstract
Adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy (AOFVD) is a clinically heterogeneous maculopathy that may mimic other conditions and be difficult to diagnose. It is characterized by late onset, slow progression and high variability in morphologic and functional alterations. Diagnostic evaluation should include careful ophthalmoscopy and imaging studies. The typical ophthalmoscopic findings are bilateral, asymmetric, foveal or perifoveal, yellow, solitary, round to oval elevated subretinal lesions, often with central pigmentation. The lesions characteristically demonstrate increased autofluorescence and hypofluorescent lesions surrounded by irregular annular hyperfluorescence on fluorescein angiography. Optical coherence tomography studies demonstrate homogenous or heterogeneous hyperreflective material between the retinal pigment epithelium and the neurosensory retina. The visual prognosis is generally favorable, but visual loss can occur from chorioretinal atrophy and choroidal neovascularization.
Hansen RM, Tavormina JL, Moskowitz A, Fulton AB. Effect of retinopathy of prematurity on scotopic spatial summation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(5):3311-3.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate scotopic retinal organization in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) through a study of spatial summation. METHODS: Thresholds for a range of stimulus diameters (0.4°-10°) were measured using a two alternative, spatial, forced choice psychophysical procedure. The critical diameter (DCRIT) for complete summation was estimated in subjects with a history of severe ROP (N = 7) and mild ROP (N = 17). Subjects who were born preterm and never had ROP (N = 16) and term-born subjects (N = 7) were also tested. The subjects ranged in age from 9 to 17 (median 13.5) years. RESULTS: Critical diameter for complete spatial summation was significantly larger in ROP subjects than in subjects who never had ROP and in term-born control subjects. Critical diameter varied significantly with severity of ROP. CONCLUSIONS: The larger DCRIT values in ROP are consistent with altered organization of the post receptor retina. This may offer the ROP retina a strategy for achieving noise reduction and good dark-adapted visual sensitivity.
Hsu S-M, Mathew R, Taylor AW, Stein-Streilein J. Ex-vivo tolerogenic F4/80⁺ antigen-presenting cells (APC) induce efferent CD8⁺ regulatory T cell-dependent suppression of experimental autoimmune uveitis. Clin Exp Immunol 2014;176(1):37-48.Abstract
It is known that inoculation of antigen into the anterior chamber (a.c.) of a mouse eye induces a.c.-associated immune deviation (ACAID), which is mediated in part by antigen-specific local and peripheral tolerance to the inciting antigen. ACAID can also be induced in vivo by intravenous (i.v.) inoculation of ex-vivo-generated tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells (TolAPC). The purpose of this study was to test if in-vitro-generated retinal antigen-pulsed TolAPC suppressed established experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Retinal antigen-pulsed TolAPC were injected i.v. into mice 7 days post-induction of EAU. We observed that retinal antigen-pulsed TolAPC suppressed the incidence and severity of the clinical expression of EAU and reduced the expression of associated inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, extract of whole retina efficiently replaced interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) in the preparation of TolAPC used to induce tolerance in EAU mice. Finally, the suppression of EAU could be transferred to a new set of EAU mice with CD8⁺ but not with CD4⁺ regulatory T cells (T(reg)). Retinal antigen-pulsed TolAPC suppressed ongoing EAU by inducing CD8⁺ T(reg) cells that, in turn, suppressed the effector activity of the IRBP-specific T cells and altered the clinical symptoms of autoimmune inflammation in the eye. The ability to use retinal extract for the antigen raises the possibility that retinal extract could be used to produce autologous TolAPC and then used as therapy in human uveitis.
Karamichos D, Hutcheon AEK, Rich CB, Trinkaus-Randall V, Asara JM, Zieske JD. In vitro model suggests oxidative stress involved in keratoconus disease. Sci Rep 2014;4:4608.Abstract
Keratoconus (KC) affects 1:2000 people and is a disorder where cornea thins and assumes a conical shape. Advanced KC requires surgery to maintain vision. The role of oxidative stress in KC remains unclear. We aimed to identify oxidative stress levels between human corneal keratocytes (HCKs), fibroblasts (HCFs) and keratoconus cells (HKCs). Cells were cultured in 2D and 3D systems. Vitamin C (VitC) and TGF-β3 (T3) were used for 4 weeks to stimulate self-assembled extracellular matrix (ECM). No T3 used as controls. Samples were analyzed using qRT-PCR and metabolomics. qRT-PCR data showed low levels of collagen I and V, as well as keratocan for HKCs, indicating differentiation to a myofibroblast phenotype. Collagen type III, a marker for fibrosis, was up regulated in HKCs. We robustly detected more than 150 metabolites of the targeted 250 by LC-MS/MS per condition and among those metabolites several were related to oxidative stress. Lactate levels, lactate/malate and lactate/pyruvate ratios were elevated in HKCs, while arginine and glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio were reduced. Similar patterns found in both 2D and 3D. Our data shows that fibroblasts exhibit enhanced oxidative stress compared to keratocytes. Furthermore the HKC cells exhibit the greatest level suggesting they may have a myofibroblast phenotype.
Radcliffe NM, Smith SD, Syed ZA, Park SC, Ehrlich JR, De Moraes CG, Liebmann JM, Ritch R. Retinal blood vessel positional shifts and glaucoma progression. Ophthalmology 2014;121(4):842-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the characteristics and significance of retinal blood vessel (RBV) positional shifts over time in a cohort of patients with progressive glaucoma. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Baseline and serial stereophotographs from 1 eye of 125 patients with open-angle glaucoma with ≥8 reliable Swedish interactive threshold algorithm standard visual fields (VFs) were included. On the basis of global rates of threshold sensitivity change, patients with glaucoma were divided into groups of minimal (<-0.02 decibels [dB]/year), moderate (-0.02 to -0.65 dB/year), or fast (≥-0.65 dB/year) progression. To determine whether graders' assessments of RBV positional shifts were false-positives, a control group consisting of 33 patients with glaucoma with 2 sets of photographs taken on the same day was included. METHODS: Masked graders reviewed serial photographs aligned with automated alternation flicker (EyeIC, Narbeth, PA) and assessed them for the presence of any discrete RBV positional shifts (2 graders) and for traditional measures of structural progression (2 graders), including neuroretinal rim loss, parapapillary atrophy progression, and disc hemorrhage (DH). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presence or absence of RBV positional shifts, rates of VF progression, and presence or absence of traditional measures of structural progression. RESULTS: A total of 158 image sets (125 longitudinal and 33 same-day controls) from patients with glaucoma were included. Retinal blood vessel shifts were noted in 33 of 125 (26.4%) longitudinally followed glaucomatous eyes and 2 of 33 (6%) same-day control patients (P = 0.01). Agreement between graders I and II was 90.4% (kappa=0.77; P< 0.001). Eyes with RBV positional change progressed more rapidly than those without (-0.55 vs. -0.29 dB/year; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03-0.48); P = 0.03). Retinal blood vessel shift was present in 12.1% of minimal progressors versus 31.5% of moderate and fast progressors (P = 0.04). Rate of VF progression was statistically associated with RBV shift (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.5; P = 0.03). Other variables significantly associated with RBV shift included neuroretinal rim loss (OR, 21.9; 95% CI, 5.7-83.6; P< 0.001) and DH (OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.5-15.5; P< 0.01). A multivariable model revealed that rim loss and DH, but not rate of functional change, were significantly associated with RBV shift. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal blood vessel positional shifts occurred in eyes with functionally progressive glaucoma, neuroretinal rim loss, and DH. This is a novel clinical finding that could help identify glaucoma progression or individuals at higher risk for future progression.
Stepp MA, Zieske JD, Trinkaus-Randall V, Kyne BM, Pal-Ghosh S, Tadvalkar G, Pajoohesh-Ganji A. Wounding the cornea to learn how it heals. Exp Eye Res 2014;121:178-93.Abstract
Corneal wound healing studies have a long history and rich literature that describes the data obtained over the past 70 years using many different species of animals and methods of injury. These studies have lead to reduced suffering and provided clues to treatments that are now helping patients live more productive lives. In spite of the progress made, further research is required since blindness and reduced quality of life due to corneal scarring still happens. The purpose of this review is to summarize what is known about different types of wound and animal models used to study corneal wound healing. The subject of corneal wound healing is broad and includes chemical and mechanical wound models. This review focuses on mechanical injury models involving debridement and keratectomy wounds to reflect the authors' expertise.
Vajaranant TS, Grossardt BR, Maki PM, Pasquale LR, Sit AJ, Shuster LT, Rocca WA. Risk of glaucoma after early bilateral oophorectomy. Menopause 2014;21(4):391-8.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Because early estrogen deficiency may increase the susceptibility of the optic nerve to glaucoma, we studied the association of early bilateral oophorectomy with glaucoma. METHODS: In the Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Oophorectomy and Aging, we studied the risk of glaucoma by comparing women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy from 1950 to 1987 with age-matched referent women who did not undergo unilateral or bilateral oophorectomy. Glaucoma diagnostic codes were identified in the records linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated during a median follow-up of 25.5 years. Analyses were stratified by age at the time of bilateral oophorectomy (in tertiles). RESULTS: Of 1,044 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before menopause, 147 developed glaucoma. Of 1,070 referent women, 133 developed glaucoma. Women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy showed no increased risk of glaucoma in the overall group (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.89-1.42). However, women who underwent oophorectomy before the age of 43 years (n = 344; first tertile) had a significantly increased risk of glaucoma (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.15-2.23). The results did not change after adjustment for hypertension, obesity, diabetes, or disorders of lipid metabolism at baseline. Approximately 11% of women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years were treated with estrogen up to the age of 50 years; however, treatment did not reduce the association (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.81-3.13). CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years may increase the risk of glaucoma, and estrogen treatment does not seem to attenuate the risk.
Wu DM, Fawzi AA, Recasens MA, Bertoni B, Chopra V, Rao NA, Eliott D. Good visual outcome after repair of a very large macular hole with neurosensory retinal operculum. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2014;8(2):138-40.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a favorable outcome after the surgical repair of a very large macular hole with a neurosensory operculum. METHODS: Case report. A 42-year-old man with a history of decreased vision for 3 months was found to have vision of 20/400, a very large macular hole (1159 μm in diameter), and an operculum suspended on the posterior hyaloid above the hole. RESULTS: Vitrectomy and internal limiting membrane peel were performed. The operculum was processed for histology and found to contain neurons and glial cells. Fourteen months later, the patient's vision improved to 20/60. CONCLUSION: Very large macular holes have traditionally been considered to have a poor prognosis. Here, we demonstrate that such large holes can be repaired with good visual outcome, even in the setting of an operculum consisting of avulsed neural retina.
Yu H, Vu THK, Cho K-S, Guo C, Chen DF. Mobilizing endogenous stem cells for retinal repair. Transl Res 2014;163(4):387-98.Abstract
Irreversible vision loss is most often caused by the loss of function and subsequent death of retinal neurons, such as photoreceptor cells-the cells that initiate vision by capturing and transducing signals of light. One reason why retinal degenerative diseases are devastating is that, once retinal neurons are lost, they don't grow back. Stem cell-based cell replacement strategy for retinal degenerative diseases are leading the way in clinical trials of transplantation therapy, and the exciting findings in both human and animal models point to the possibility of restoring vision through a cell replacement regenerative approach. A less invasive method of retinal regeneration by mobilizing endogenous stem cells is, thus, highly desirable and promising for restoring vision. Although many obstacles remain to be overcome, the field of endogenous retinal repair is progressing at a rapid pace, with encouraging results in recent years.