Ocular surface inflammation associated with Sjögren's syndrome is characterized by a loss of secretory function and alteration in numbers of mucin secreting goblet cells. Such changes are a prominent feature of ocular surface inflammatory diseases and are attributed to inflammation; however, the exact effect of the inflammatory cytokines on conjunctival goblet cell function remains largely unknown. In this study, we developed a primary culture of mouse goblet cells from conjunctival tissue and evaluated the effects on their function by inflammatory cytokines detected in the conjunctiva of mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome (Thrombospondin-1 deficient mice). We found that apoptosis of goblet cells was primarily induced by TNF-α and IFN-γ. These two cytokines also inhibited mucin secretion by goblet cells in response to cholinergic stimulation, whereas IL-6 enhanced such secretion. No changes in secretory response were detected in the presence of IL-13 or IL-17. Goblet cells proliferated to varying degrees in response to all the tested cytokines with the greatest response to IL-13 followed by IL-6. Our results therefore reveal that inflammatory cytokines expressed in the conjunctiva during an ocular surface disease directly disrupt conjunctival goblet cell functions, compromising the protective function of tears, thereby contributing to ocular surface damage.
Aging of the ocular surface and corneal tissues, major components of the visual system, causes major eye disease and results in substantial cost in medical and social terms. These diseases include the highly prevalent dry eye disease that affects the ocular surface and its glands, leading to tear film alterations, discomfort, and decreased vision. Studies show that 14.4% of the population in the United States older than 50 years have dry eye disease and demonstrate that it is particularly prevalent among women. Annual medical costs per patient with dry eye in the United States are estimated at $783 per year, with an overall medical cost adjusted to prevalence of $3.84 billion per year. Societal costs, which include loss of productivity, are estimated per patient at $11,302 per year, with overall costs adjusted to prevalence of $55.4 billion per year. Because there are few effective treatments for the disease, more research on its etiology and mechanisms is warranted and needed. Increased public education about risk factors for the disease is also required. Another major age-related eye disease of the cornea that leads to vision impairment and potentially blindness if left untreated is Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy. This disease leads to loss of the endothelial cells on the internal side of the cornea that are responsible for keeping the cornea in the proper hydration state to ensure its transparency to light. The mechanism of cell loss is unknown, and the only treatment available to date is surgical transplantation of the cornea or inner part of the cornea. These medically costly procedures require donor corneas, eye banking, and medical follow-up, with accrued costs. Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy is a major cause of corneal transplantation in the United States; therefore, research support is needed to determine the mechanism of this age-related disease, to develop medical, nonsurgical methods for treatment.
The ocular surface including the cornea and conjunctiva and its overlying tear film are the first tissues of the eye to interact with the external environment. The tear film is complex containing multiple layers secreted by different glands and tissues. Each layer contains specific molecules and proteins that not only maintain the health of the cells on the ocular surface by providing nourishment and removal of waste products but also protect these cells from environment. A major protective mechanism that the corneal and conjunctival cells have developed is secretion of the innermost layer of the tear film, the mucous layer. Both the cornea and conjunctiva express membrane spanning mucins, whereas the conjunctiva also produces soluble mucins. The mucins present in the tear film serve to maintain the hydration of the ocular surface and to provide lubrication and anti-adhesive properties between the cells of the ocular surface and conjunctiva during the blink. A third function is to contribute to the epithelial barrier to prevent pathogens from binding to the ocular surface. This review will focus on the different types of mucins produced by the corneal and conjunctival epithelia. Also included in this review will be a presentation of the structure of mucins, regulation of mucin production, role of mucins in ocular surface diseases, and the differences in mucin production by the ocular surface, airways and gastrointestinal tract.
Vagococci are usually isolated from marine hosts and occasionally from endodontic infections. Using 16S rRNA gene comparison, the closest relatives are members of the genera Enterococcus and Carnobacterium. A draft sequence of Vagococcus lutrae was generated to clarify the relationship of Vagococcus to these and other related low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria.
Microglial cells, which are immunocompetent cells, are involved in all diseases of the central nervous system. During their activation in various diseases, a variety of soluble factors are released. In the present study, the correlation between cytokine levels and microglial cell migration in the course of retinal degeneration of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats was evaluated. MFG-E8 and CD11b were used to confirm the microglial cells. In the retina of RCS rats, the mRNA expression of seven genes (MFG-E8 and its integrins αυ and ß5, CD11b and the cytokines TNF-α, IL-1ß, and MCP-1) formed almost similar bimodal peak distributions, which were centred at P7 and P45 to P60. In contrast, in rdy rats, which comprised the control group, a unimodal peak distribution centred at P14 was observed. The gene expression accompanied the activation and migration of microglial cells from the inner to the outer layer of the retina during the process of degeneration. Principal component analysis and discriminant function analysis revealed that the expression of these seven genes, especially TNF-α and CD11b, positively correlated with retinal degeneration and microglial activity during retinal degeneration in RCS rats, but not in the control rats. Furthermore, linear regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between the expression of these genes and the activation of microglial cells in the dystrophic retina. Our findings suggest that the suppression of microglial cells and the blockade of their cytotoxic effects may constitute a novel therapeutic strategy for treating photoreceptor death in various retinal disorders.
Most isolates of Toxoplasma from Europe and North America fall into one of three genetically distinct clonal lineages, the type I, II and III lineages. However, in South America these strains are rarely isolated and instead a great variety of other strains are found. T. gondii strains differ widely in a number of phenotypes in mice, such as virulence, persistence, oral infectivity, migratory capacity, induction of cytokine expression and modulation of host gene expression. The outcome of toxoplasmosis in patients is also variable and we hypothesize that, besides host and environmental factors, the genotype of the parasite strain plays a major role. The molecular basis for these differences in pathogenesis, especially in strains other than the clonal lineages, remains largely unexplored. Macrophages play an essential role in the early immune response against T. gondii and are also the cell type preferentially infected in vivo. To determine if non-canonical Toxoplasma strains have unique interactions with the host cell, we infected murine macrophages with 29 different Toxoplasma strains, representing global diversity, and used RNA-sequencing to determine host and parasite transcriptomes. We identified large differences between strains in the expression level of known parasite effectors and large chromosomal structural variation in some strains. We also identified novel strain-specifically regulated host pathways, including the regulation of the type I interferon response by some atypical strains. IFNβ production by infected cells was associated with parasite killing, independent of interferon gamma activation, and dependent on endosomal Toll-like receptors in macrophages and the cytoplasmic receptor retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-I) in fibroblasts.
PURPOSE: To investigate the immunohistochemical features of ocular adnexal pleomorphic adenoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma. DESIGN: Retrospective clinicopathologic study. METHODS: Clinical records and microscopic slides of 7 cases of each tumor type were reviewed. Immunohistochemical probes for Ki-67 and p53, and newer nuclear markers MYB for adenoid cystic carcinoma and PLAG1 for pleomorphic adenoma, were employed. RESULTS: Pleomorphic adenomas were asymptomatic, whereas adenoid cystic carcinomas were painful. No pleomorphic adenomas recurred; 4 adenoid cystic carcinomas recurred, resulting in 3 deaths. Unusual histopathologic variants for which immunohistochemistry proved useful included a myoepithelioma, an atypical pleomorphic adenoma, tubular and solid/basaloid variants of adenoid cystic carcinoma, and a morphologically heterogeneous adenoid cystic carcinoma of a Wolfring gland. For the pleomorphic adenomas, the average Ki-67 proliferation index was 3.8%; p53 was weakly staining, with an average positivity of 18.5%; PLAG1 was strongly positive in all cases; MYB was negative in 5 cases and weakly focally positive in 2 cases. For the adenoid cystic carcinomas, the average Ki-67 proliferation index was 29.1%; p53 stained positively and strongly with an average of 39%; none stained positively for PLAG1; and 6 out of 7 were MYB positive. CONCLUSIONS: Between pleomorphic adenoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma, there was no overlap in Ki-67 positivity. Positivity for p53 showed overlap in only one lesion of each type. PLAG1 and MYB positivity were highly discriminating between pleomorphic adenoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma. Immunohistochemical analysis should be investigated further for its role in the evaluation of pleomorphic adenoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma.
PURPOSE: To present a case with bilateral choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis-associated choroiditis requiring immunomodulatory therapy for prevention of recurrence. METHODS: The clinical course of a patient diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, who developed bilateral choroiditis at the time of his neurologic diagnosis and bilateral CNV 6 years later, is reviewed. PATIENT: A 57-year-old man developed CNV in both eyes, 6 years after the initial diagnosis of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis-associated choroiditis. The patient was initially treated successfully with intravitreal bevacizumab injections and oral prednisone, but CNV recurred with steroid tapering. Mycophenolate mofetil was initiated as steroid-sparing immunomodulatory therapy. RESULTS: There was no CNV recurrence for 1.5 years without the need for additional antiangiogenic therapy. CONCLUSION: To our best knowledge, this is the first report of choroiditis and secondary CNV associated with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In cases of recurrent CNV associated with choroiditis, systemic therapy should be strongly considered in conjunction with antiangiogenic therapy. The recurrence of CNV with tapering of oral steroids and the remission of CNV with steroid-sparing immunomodulatory therapy support the role of ongoing inflammation in the pathogenesis.
Approximately one third of all cases of dermatomyositis may be associated with malignancy. We describe a patient with unexplained rash, joint pain, and muscle weakness, who subsequently developed a cavernous sinus syndrome due to a central nervous system chondrosarcoma. Discovery of this tumor and further dermatologic evaluation, including skin biopsy, resulted in diagnosis of paraneoplastic dermatomyositis due to cavernous sinus chondrosarcoma.
The recent emergence of highly virulent human adenoviruses (HAdVs) with new tissue tropisms underscores the need to determine their ontogeny. Here we report complete high quality genome sequences and analyses for all the previously unsequenced HAdV serotypes (n = 20) within HAdV species D. Analysis of nucleotide sequence variability for these in conjunction with another 40 HAdV prototypes, comprising all seven HAdV species, confirmed the uniquely hypervariable regions within species. The mutation rate among HAdV-Ds was low when compared to other HAdV species. Homologous recombination was identified in at least two of five examined hypervariable regions for every virus, suggesting the evolution of HAdV-Ds has been highly dependent on homologous recombination. Patterns of alternating GC and AT rich motifs correlated well with hypervariable region recombination sites across the HAdV-D genomes, suggesting foci of DNA instability lead to formulaic patterns of homologous recombination and confer agility to adenovirus evolution.
In this work we present the results of the cognitive impact evaluation regarding the use of Audiopolis, an audio and/or haptic-based videogame. The software has been designed, developed and evaluated for the purpose of developing orientation and mobility (O&M) skills in blind users. The videogame was evaluated through cognitive tasks performed by a sample of 12 learners. The results demonstrated that the use of Audiopolis had a positive impact on the development and use of O&M skills in school-aged blind learners.
IMPORTANCE: Total ophthalmoplegia can result from ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) mutations without overt associated skeletal myopathy. Patients carrying RYR1 mutations are at high risk of developing malignant hyperthermia. Ophthalmologists should be familiar with these important clinical associations. OBJECTIVE: To determine the genetic cause of congenital ptosis, ophthalmoplegia, facial paralysis, and mild hypotonia segregating in 2 pedigrees diagnosed with atypical Moebius syndrome or congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Clinical data including medical and family histories were collected at research laboratories at Boston Children's Hospital and Jules Stein Eye Institute (Engle and Demer labs) for affected and unaffected family members from 2 pedigrees in which patients presented with total ophthalmoplegia, facial weakness, and myopathy. INTERVENTION: Homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing were conducted to identify causative mutations in affected family members. Histories, physical examinations, and clinical data were reviewed. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: Mutations in RYR1. RESULTS: Missense mutations resulting in 2 homozygous RYR1 amino acid substitutions (E989G and R3772W) and 2 compound heterozygous RYR1 substitutions (H283R and R3772W) were identified in a consanguineous and a nonconsanguineous pedigree, respectively. Orbital magnetic resonance imaging revealed marked hypoplasia of extraocular muscles and intraorbital cranial nerves. Skeletal muscle biopsy specimens revealed nonspecific myopathic changes. Clinically, the patients' ophthalmoplegia and facial weakness were far more significant than their hypotonia and limb weakness and were accompanied by an unrecognized susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Affected children presenting with severe congenital ophthalmoplegia and facial weakness in the setting of only mild skeletal myopathy harbored recessive mutations in RYR1, encoding the ryanodine receptor 1, and were susceptible to malignant hyperthermia. While ophthalmoplegia occurs rarely in RYR1-related myopathies, these children were atypical because they lacked significant weakness, respiratory insufficiency, or scoliosis. RYR1-associated myopathies should be included in the differential diagnosis of congenital ophthalmoplegia and facial weakness, even without clinical skeletal myopathy. These patients should also be considered susceptible to malignant hyperthermia, a life-threatening anesthetic complication avoidable if anticipated presurgically.
PURPOSE: To examine trends in female first and last authors in clinical ophthalmology literature published from January 2000 to December 2009. METHODS: A total of 3760 articles in American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO), 2347 articles in Archives of Ophthalmology (Archives), and 3838 articles in Ophthalmology spanning 10 years of published ophthalmology peer-reviewed literature were examined. All original research articles and brief reports indexed online were included. Author gender was determined by an exhaustive Internet search. Articles were excluded if the sex of the author could not be determined or was not applicable (for example, articles by a study group rather than an individual author). RESULTS: Gender information was identified in 86.8% of articles for first authors and 86% for last authors. The number of female first authors (P < 0.0001) and last authors (P = 0.005) increased significantly in the study period in all journals examined, with a significant association between the sex of the first and last authors (OR = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.96-2.46; P < 0.0001), when examining all articles. Female representation increased for last authors significantly only in Ophthalmology. There was a significant correlation between gender of the first author and total number of authors that was not observed with last-author sex. CONCLUSIONS: Female first authorship has increased from 2000 to 2009 and is correlated with the gender of the last author; however, there were fewer female last authors compared to female first authors in the same period.