February 2018

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Bailey JCN, Gharahkhani P, Kang JH, Butkiewicz M, Sullivan DA, Weinreb RN, Aschard H, Allingham RR, Ashley-Koch A, Lee RK, Moroi SE, Brilliant MH, Wollstein G, Schuman JS, Fingert JH, Budenz DL, Realini T, Gaasterland T, Scott WK, Singh K, Sit AJ, Igo RP, Song YE, Hark L, Ritch R, Rhee DJ, Vollrath D, Zack DJ, Medeiros F, Vajaranant TS, Chasman DI, Christen WG, Pericak-Vance MA, Liu Y, Kraft P, Richards JE, Rosner BA, Hauser MA, Craig JE, Burdon KP, Hewitt AW, Mackey DA, Haines JL, Macgregor S, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR, and of Consortium ANZRAG (ANZRAG). Testosterone Pathway Genetic Polymorphisms in Relation to Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: An Analysis in Two Large Datasets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(2):629-636.Abstract
Purpose: Sex hormones may be associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), although the mechanisms are unclear. We previously observed that gene variants involved with estrogen metabolism were collectively associated with POAG in women but not men; here we assessed gene variants related to testosterone metabolism collectively and POAG risk. Methods: We used two datasets: one from the United States (3853 cases and 33,480 controls) and another from Australia (1155 cases and 1992 controls). Both datasets contained densely called genotypes imputed to the 1000 Genomes reference panel. We used pathway- and gene-based approaches with Pathway Analysis by Randomization Incorporating Structure (PARIS) software to assess the overall association between a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in testosterone metabolism genes and POAG. In sex-stratified analyses, we evaluated POAG overall and POAG subtypes defined by maximum IOP (high-tension [HTG] or normal tension glaucoma [NTG]). Results: In the US dataset, the SNP panel was not associated with POAG (permuted P = 0.77), although there was an association in the Australian sample (permuted P = 0.018). In both datasets, the SNP panel was associated with POAG in men (permuted P ≤ 0.033) and not women (permuted P ≥ 0.42), but in gene-based analyses, there was no consistency on the main genes responsible for these findings. In both datasets, the testosterone pathway association with HTG was significant (permuted P ≤ 0.011), but again, gene-based analyses showed no consistent driver gene associations. Conclusions: Collectively, testosterone metabolism pathway SNPs were consistently associated with the high-tension subtype of POAG in two datasets.
Bauer CM, Cabral HJ, Killiany RJ. Multimodal Discrimination between Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease and Prediction of Cognitive Decline. Diagnostics (Basel) 2018;8(1)Abstract
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are associated with widespread changes in brain structure and function, as indicated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) morphometry and 18-fluorodeoxyglucose position emission tomography (FDG PET) metabolism. Nevertheless, the ability to differentiate between AD, MCI and normal aging groups can be difficult. Thus, the goal of this study was to identify the combination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism and neuropsychological test scores to that best differentiate between a sample of normal aging subjects and those with MCI and AD from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The secondary goal was to determine the neuroimaging variables from MRI, FDG PET and CSF biomarkers that can predict future cognitive decline within each group. To achieve these aims, a series of multivariate stepwise logistic and linear regression models were generated. Combining all neuroimaging modalities and cognitive test scores significantly improved the index of discrimination, especially at the earliest stages of the disease, whereas MRI gray matter morphometry variables best predicted future cognitive decline compared to other neuroimaging variables. Overall these findings demonstrate that a multimodal approach using MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism, neuropsychological test scores and CSF biomarkers may provide significantly better discrimination than any modality alone.
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Cao J, Brouwer NJ, Jordanova ES, Marinkovic M, van Duinen SG, de Waard NE, Ksander BR, Mulder A, Claas FHJ, Heemskerk MHM, Jager MJ. HLA Class I Antigen Expression in Conjunctival Melanoma Is Not Associated With PD-L1/PD-1 Status. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(2):1005-1015.Abstract
Purpose: Antitumor T cells need expression of HLA class I molecules but can be inhibited by ligands such as programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). We determined expression and regulation of these molecules in human conjunctival melanoma (CM) samples, cell lines, and murine xenografts. Methods: Immunofluorescence staining was performed to examine the expression of HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) in 23 primary CM samples. HLA class I expression was compared with clinicopathologic characteristics, the presence of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, and PD-L1/PD-1 status. The effect of interferon γ (IFN-γ) on HLA class I expression was tested on three CM cell lines using quantitative PCR and flow cytometry. Furthermore, HLA class I expression was determined in CM cell line-derived murine xenografts. Results: One third of tumors had positive HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and B2M expression. A positive expression was especially seen in thin and epibulbar tumors but was not associated with recurrences. HLA class I expression was correlated with M2 macrophage density and tended to associate with CD8+ T-cell density but was independent of PD-L1 or PD-1 expression. IFN-γ upregulated HLA class I expression and genes involved in HLA transcription and transportation on CM cell lines. Murine xenografts showed a comparable HLA class I expression as their respective cell lines. Conclusions: Our data indicate that subsets of CM have positive HLA class I expression, and HLA class I and PD-L1/PD-1 are expressed independently. When one considers immunotherapy, one should also analyze HLA class I expression, whose downregulation can limit the efficacy of T cell-mediated therapies.
Cattaneo Z, Lega C, Rinaldi L, Fantino M, Ferrari C, Merabet LB, Vecchi T. The Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes does not depend on a normal visual experience: A study with early blind individuals. Atten Percept Psychophys 2018;80(4):813-821.Abstract
Converging evidence suggests that the perception of auditory pitch exhibits a characteristic spatial organization. This pitch-space association can be demonstrated experimentally by the Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes (SMARC) effect. This is characterized by faster response times when a low-positioned key is pressed in response to a low-pitched tone, and a high-positioned key is pressed in response to a high-pitched tone. To investigate whether the development of this pitch-space association is mediated by normal visual experience, we tested a group of early blind individuals on a task that required them to discriminate the timbre of different instrument sounds with varying pitch. Results revealed a comparable pattern in the SMARC effect in both blind participants and sighted controls, suggesting that the lack of prior visual experience does not prevent the development of an association between pitch height and vertical space.
Chen X, Liu Y, Zhang Y, Kam WR, Pasquale LR, Sullivan DA. Impact of aromatase absence on murine intraocular pressure and retinal ganglion cells. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):3280.Abstract
We hypothesize that aromatase, an enzyme that regulates estrogen production, plays a significant role in the control of intraocular pressure (IOP) and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). To begin to test our hypothesis, we examined the impact of aromatase absence, which completely eliminates estrogen synthesis, in male and female mice. Studies were performed with adult, age-matched wild type (WT) and aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice. IOP was measured in a masked fashion in both eyes of conscious mice at 12 and 24 weeks of age. Retinas were obtained and processed for RGC counting with a confocal microscope. IOP levels in both 12- and 24-week old female ArKO mice were significantly higher than those of age- and sex-matched WT controls. The mean increase in IOP was 7.9% in the 12-week-, and 19.7% in the 24-week-old mice, respectively. These changes were accompanied by significant 9% and 7% decreases in RGC numbers in the ArKO female mice, relative to controls, at 12- and 24-weeks, respectively. In contrast, aromatase deficiency did not lead to an increased IOP in male mice. There was a significant reduction in RGC counts in the 12-, but not 24-, week-old male ArKO mice, as compared to their age- and sex-matched WT controls. Overall, our findings show that aromatase inhibition in females is associated with elevated IOP and reduced RGC counts.
Chen X, Sullivan DA, Sullivan AG, Kam WR, Liu Y. Toxicity of cosmetic preservatives on human ocular surface and adnexal cells. Exp Eye Res 2018;Abstract
Cosmetic products, such as mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner and eye makeup remover are used extensively to highlight the eyes or clean the eyelids, and typically contain preservatives to prevent microbial growth. These preservatives include benzalkonium chloride (BAK) and formaldehyde (FA)-releasing preservatives. We hypothesize that these preservatives, at concentrations (BAK = 1 mg/ml; FA = 0.74 mg/ml) approved for consumer use, are toxic to human ocular surface and adnexal cells. Accordingly, we tested the influence of BAK and FA on the morphology, survival, and proliferation and signaling ability of immortalized human meibomian gland (iHMGECs), corneal (iHCECs) and conjunctival (iHConjECs) epithelial cells. iHMGECs, iHCECs and iHConjECs were cultured with different concentrations of BAK (5 μg/ml to 0.005 μg/ml) or FA (1 mg/ml to 1 μg/ml) under basal, proliferating or differentiating conditions up to 7 days. We used low BAK levels, because we found that 0.5 mg/ml and 50 μg/ml BAK killed iHMGECs within 1 day after a 15 min exposure. Experimental procedures included analyses of cell appearance, cell number, and neutral lipid content (LipidTox), lysosome accumulation (LysoTracker) and AKT signaling in all 3 cell types. Our results demonstrate that BAK and FA cause dose-dependent changes in the morphology, survival, proliferation and AKT signaling of iHMGECs, iHCECs and iHConjECs. Many of the concentrations tested induced cell atrophy, poor adherence, decreased proliferation and death, after 5 days of exposure. Cellular signaling, as indicated by AKT phosphorylation after 15 (FA) or 30 (BAK) minutes of treatment, was also reduced in a dose-dependent fashion in all 3 cell types, irrespective of whether cells had been cultured under proliferating or differentiating conditions. Our results support our hypothesis and demonstrate that the cosmetic preservatives, BAK and FA, exert many toxic effects on cells of the ocular surface and adnexa.
Cheng L, Wong LJ, Yan N, Han RC, Yu H, Guo C, Batsuuri K, Zinzuwadia A, Guan R, Cho K-S, Chen DF. Ezh2 does not mediate retinal ganglion cell homeostasis or their susceptibility to injury. PLoS One 2018;13(2):e0191853.Abstract
Epigenetic predisposition is thought to critically contribute to adult-onset disorders, such as retinal neurodegeneration. The histone methyltransferase, enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), is transiently expressed in the perinatal retina, particularly enriched in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We previously showed that embryonic deletion of Ezh2 from retinal progenitors led to progressive photoreceptor degeneration throughout life, demonstrating a role for embryonic predisposition of Ezh2-mediated repressive mark in maintaining the survival and function of photoreceptors in the adult. Enrichment of Ezh2 in RGCs leads to the question if Ezh2 also mediates gene expression and function in postnatal RGCs, and if its deficiency changes RGC susceptibility to cell death under injury or disease in the adult. To test this, we generated mice carrying targeted deletion of Ezh2 from RGC progenitors driven by Math5-Cre (mKO). mKO mice showed no detectable defect in RGC development, survival, or cell homeostasis as determined by physiological analysis, live imaging, histology, and immunohistochemistry. Moreover, RGCs of Ezh2 deficient mice revealed similar susceptibility against glaucomatous and acute optic nerve trauma-induced neurodegeneration compared to littermate floxed or wild-type control mice. In agreement with the above findings, analysis of RNA sequencing of RGCs purified from Ezh2 deficient mice revealed few gene changes that were related to RGC development, survival and function. These results, together with our previous report, support a cell lineage-specific mechanism of Ezh2-mediated gene repression, especially those critically involved in cellular function and homeostasis.
Chwalisz BK, Bouffard MA, Prasad S, Cestari DM. Neuroimaging diagnostic and monitoring approaches in ophthalmology. Curr Opin Neurol 2018;31(1):66-73.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review new applications of optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology in neuro-ophthalmology. We also describe new technologies for visualizing the extracranial vessels in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). RECENT FINDINGS: Newer OCT modalities are expanding the evaluation of the optic disc, and are being applied to a number of neurologic conditions such as demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease. Swept-source OCT and enhanced-depth imaging OCT are refining the fine-grained analysis of the optic nerve head in the diagnosis of papilledema and optic nerve drusen. OCT-angiography is opening up new avenues to the study of the vasculature of the optic nerve head and its disorders, including ischemic optic neuropathy. Newer technologies in the diagnosis of GCA include vascular ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the extracranial vasculature and PET imaging of the large vessels. SUMMARY: OCT and several of its derivations are advancing diagnosis, and in some cases prognostication, in a variety of inflammatory, ischemic and compressive optic neuropathies. These technologies hold potential in the laboratory as well, yielding insights into the mechanisms of a variety of neurological conditions. In addition, further developments in MRI and ultrasonography techniques are shaping the approach to the diagnosis of GCA.
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Deiner MS, McLeod SD, Chodosh J, Oldenburg CE, Fathy CA, Lietman TM, Porco TC. Clinical Age-Specific Seasonal Conjunctivitis Patterns and Their Online Detection in Twitter, Blog, Forum, and Comment Social Media Posts. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(2):910-920.Abstract
Purpose: We sought to determine whether big data from social media might reveal seasonal trends of conjunctivitis, most forms of which are nonreportable. Methods: Social media posts (from Twitter, and from online forums and blogs) were classified by age and by conjunctivitis type (allergic or infectious) using Boolean and machine learning methods. Based on spline smoothing, we estimated the circular mean occurrence time (a measure of central tendency for occurrence) and the circular variance (a measure of uniformity of occurrence throughout the year, providing an index of seasonality). Clinical records from a large tertiary care provider were analyzed in a similar way for comparison. Results: Social media posts machine-coded as being related to infectious conjunctivitis showed similar times of occurrence and degree of seasonality to clinical infectious cases, and likewise for machine-coded allergic conjunctivitis posts compared to clinical allergic cases. Allergic conjunctivitis showed a distinctively different seasonal pattern than infectious conjunctivitis, with a mean occurrence time later in the spring. Infectious conjunctivitis for children showed markedly greater seasonality than for adults, though the occurrence times were similar; no such difference for allergic conjunctivitis was seen. Conclusions: Social media posts broadly track the seasonal occurrence of allergic and infectious conjunctivitis, and may be a useful supplement for epidemiologic monitoring.
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Fu Z, Wang Z, Liu C-H, Gong Y, Cakir B, Liegl R, Sun Y, Meng SS, Burnim SB, Arellano I, Moran E, Duran R, Poblete A, Cho SS, Talukdar S, Akula JD, Hellström A, Smith LEH. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Protects Photoreceptor Function in Type 1 Diabetic Mice. Diabetes 2018;67(5):974-985.Abstract
Retinal neuronal abnormalities occur before vascular changes in diabetic retinopathy. Accumulating experimental evidence suggests that neurons control vascular pathology in diabetic and other neovascular retinal diseases. Therefore, normalizing neuronal activity in diabetes may prevent vascular pathology. We investigated whether fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) prevented retinal neuronal dysfunction in insulin-deficient diabetic mice. We found that in diabetic neural retina, photoreceptor rather than inner retinal function was most affected and administration of the long-acting FGF21 analog PF-05231023 restored the retinal neuronal functional deficits detected by electroretinography. PF-05231023 administration protected against diabetes-induced disorganization of photoreceptor segments seen in retinal cross section with immunohistochemistry and attenuated the reduction in the thickness of photoreceptor segments measured by optical coherence tomography. PF-05231023, independent of its downstream metabolic modulator adiponectin, reduced inflammatory marker interleukin-1β (IL-1β) mRNA levels. PF-05231023 activated the AKT-nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathway and reduced IL-1β expression in stressed photoreceptors. PF-05231023 administration did not change retinal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A, suggesting a novel therapeutic approach for the prevention of early diabetic retinopathy by protecting photoreceptor function in diabetes.
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Gharahkhani P, Burdon KP, Cooke Bailey JN, Hewitt AW, Law MH, Pasquale LR, Kang JH, Haines JL, Souzeau E, Zhou T, Siggs OM, Landers J, Awadalla M, Sharma S, Mills RA, Ridge B, Lynn D, Casson R, Graham SL, Goldberg I, White A, Healey PR, Grigg J, Lawlor M, Mitchell P, Ruddle J, Coote M, Walland M, Best S, Vincent A, Gale J, RadfordSmith G, Whiteman DC, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Mackey DA, Wiggs JL, Macgregor S, Craig JE, Craig JE. Analysis combining correlated glaucoma traits identifies five new risk loci for open-angle glaucoma. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):3124.Abstract
Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. To identify new risk loci for OAG, we performed a genome-wide association study in 3,071 OAG cases and 6,750 unscreened controls, and meta-analysed the results with GWAS data for intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic disc parameters (the overall meta-analysis sample size varying between 32,000 to 48,000 participants), which are glaucoma-related traits. We identified and independently validated four novel genome-wide significant associations within or near MYOF and CYP26A1, LINC02052 and CRYGS, LMX1B, and LMO7 using single variant tests, one additional locus (C9) using gene-based tests, and two genetic pathways - "response to fluid shear stress" and "abnormal retina morphology" - in pathway-based tests. Interestingly, some of the new risk loci contribute to risk of other genetically-correlated eye diseases including myopia and age-related macular degeneration. To our knowledge, this study is the first integrative study to combine genetic data from OAG and its correlated traits to identify new risk variants and genetic pathways, highlighting the future potential of combining genetic data from genetically-correlated eye traits for the purpose of gene discovery and mapping.
Guo C, Cho K-S, Li Y, Tchedre K, Antolik C, Ma J, Chew J, Utheim TP, Huang XA, Yu H, Malik MTA, Anzak N, Chen DF. IGFBPL1 Regulates Axon Growth through IGF-1-mediated Signaling Cascades. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):2054.Abstract
Activation of axonal growth program is a critical step in successful optic nerve regeneration following injury. Yet the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate this developmental transition are not fully understood. Here we identified a novel regulator, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-like 1 (IGFBPL1), for the growth of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons. Expression of IGFBPL1 correlates with RGC axon growth in development, and acute knockdown of IGFBPL1 with shRNA or IGFBPL1 knockout in vivo impaired RGC axon growth. In contrast, administration of IGFBPL1 promoted axon growth. Moreover, IGFBPL1 bound to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and subsequently induced calcium signaling and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) phosphorylation to stimulate axon elongation. Blockage of IGF-1 signaling abolished IGFBPL1-mediated axon growth, and vice versa, IGF-1 required the presence of IGFBPL1 to promote RGC axon growth. These data reveal a novel element in the control of RGC axon growth and suggest an unknown signaling loop in the regulation of the pleiotropic functions of IGF-1. They suggest new therapeutic target for promoting optic nerve and axon regeneration and repair of the central nervous system.
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Han X, Liu Y, Kam WR, Sullivan DA. Effect of brimonidine, an α2 adrenergic agonist, on human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2018;170:20-28.Abstract
We recently discovered that the anti-glaucoma pharmaceuticals timolol, a β adrenergic antagonist, and pilocarpine, a cholinergic compound, negatively influence the morphology, proliferative capacity and survival of human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). We hypothesize that another class of anti-glaucoma drugs, the α2 adrenergic agonists, also acts directly on HMGECs to affect their structure and function. We tested this hypothesis. Immortalized (i) HMGECs were cultured with brimonidine, as well as clonidine (α2 agonist), phenylephrine (α1 agonist), RX821002 (inverse α2 agonist) and MK912 (neutral α2 agonist) for up to 7 days. Cells were counted with a hemocytometer, and evaluated for morphology, signaling pathway activity, protein biomarker expression, and the accumulation of neutral lipids, phospholipids and lysosomes. Our findings demonstrate that brimondine treatment induces a dose-dependent decrease in Akt signaling and proliferation of iHMGECs. In contrast, brimonidine also promotes a dose-dependent differentiation of iHMGECs, including an increase in neutral lipid, phospholipid and lysosome levels. These effects were paralleled by an inhibition of p38 signaling, and duplicated by cellular exposure to clonidine, but not phenylephrine. Brimonidine also enhanced the cellular content of sterol regulatory binding protein-1, a master regulator of lipid synthesis. Of particular interest, the putative α2 antagonists, RX821002 and MK912, did not interfere with brimonidine action, but rather stimulated IHMGEC differentiation. Our results support our hypothesis and demonstrate that α2 adrenergic agonists act directly on iHMGECs. However, these compounds do not elicit an overall negative effect. Rather, the α2 agonists promote the differentiation of iHMGECs.
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Ismail AM, Cui T, Dommaraju K, Singh G, Dehghan S, Seto J, Shrivastava S, Fedorova NB, Gupta N, Stockwell TB, Madupu R, Heim A, Kajon AE, Romanowski EG, Kowalski RP, Malathi J, Therese KL, Madhavan HN, Zhang Q, Ferreyra LJ, Jones MS, Rajaiya J, Dyer DW, Chodosh J, Seto D. Genomic analysis of a large set of currently-and historically-important human adenovirus pathogens. Emerg Microbes Infect 2018;7(1):10.Abstract
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are uniquely important "model organisms" as they have been used to elucidate fundamental biological processes, are recognized as complex pathogens, and are used as remedies for human health. As pathogens, HAdVs may effect asymptomatic or mild and severe symptomatic disease upon their infection of respiratory, ocular, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary systems. High-resolution genomic data have enhanced the understanding of HAdV epidemiology, with recombination recognized as an important and major pathway in the molecular evolution and genesis of emergent HAdV pathogens. To support this view and to actualize an algorithm for identifying, characterizing, and typing novel HAdVs, we determined the DNA sequence of 95 isolates from archives containing historically important pathogens and collections housing currently circulating strains to be sequenced. Of the 85 samples that were completely sequenced, 18 novel recombinants within species HAdV-B and D were identified. Two HAdV-D genomes were found to contain novel penton base and fiber genes with significant divergence from known molecular types. In this data set, we found additional isolates of HAdV-D53 and HAdV-D58, two novel genotypes recognized recently using genomics. This supports the thesis that novel HAdV genotypes are not limited to "one-time" appearances of the prototype but are of importance in HAdV epidemiology. These data underscore the significance of lateral genomic transfer in HAdV evolution and reinforce the potential public health impact of novel genotypes of HAdVs emerging in the population.
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Jakobiec FA, Ma L, Wolkow N, Cameron DJ, Maltry AC. Osseous and Adipocytic Differentiations in the Intraocular Lens and Vitreous. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;186:77-88.Abstract
PURPOSE: To analyze 3 unusual mesenchymal transformations within the eye: adipose or osseous metaplasia of the lens and adipose tissue in the vitreous cavity. DESIGN: Observational case series. METHODS: Reevaluation of clinicopathologic diagnoses and histopathologic findings in sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) reaction, and Masson trichrome method. RESULTS: The 3 cases of mesenchymal transformation occurred in microphthalmic eyes with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (more recently termed persistent fetal vasculature). In 1 case there was total lens replacement with lamellar bone; in another, total replacement of the crystalline lens by adipose tissue; and in a third, an anomalous pocket of adipose tissue in the central vitreous. Multifocal remnants of the lens capsule were seen in the osseous case but were absent from the adipocytic cases. The vitreous adipose tissue was surrounded by an elaborate capillary plexus with an empty, collapsed PAS-positive lens capsule in the pupillary region. Anterior pigmented neuroectodermal disorganization, dysgenesis of angle structures, and a hypoplastic or disorganized iris were also observed in the 3 cases. CONCLUSIONS: After review of the literature, it appears that lenticular osseous replacement occurs more often than adipocytic. In addition to vascularization of the lens through a capsular dehiscence, other causes are explored, including direct epithelial-mesenchymal transformations of the lens epithelium or, less likely, of the disorganized adjacent neuroectoderm. The focus of vitreous adipose tissue may represent a transformed luxated lens extruded from its capsule, which was left behind in the pupillary zone.
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Katikireddy KR, White TL, Miyajima T, Vasanth S, Raoof D, Chen Y, Price MO, Price FW, Jurkunas UV. NQO1 downregulation potentiates menadione-induced endothelial-mesenchymal transition during rosette formation in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Free Radic Biol Med 2018;116:19-30.Abstract
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is a genetic and oxidative stress disorder of post-mitotic human corneal endothelial cells (HCEnCs), which normally exhibit hexagonal shape and form a compact monolayer compatible with normal corneal functioning and clear vision. FECD is associated with increased DNA damage, which in turn leads to HCEnC loss, resulting in the formation rosettes and aberrant extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition in the form of pro-fibrotic guttae. Since the mechanism of ECM deposition in FECD is currently unknown, we aimed to investigate the role of endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in FECD using a previously established cellular in vitro model that recapitulates the characteristic rosette formation, by employing menadione (MN)-induced oxidative stress. We demonstrate that MN treatment alone, or a combination of MN and TGF-β1 induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell death, and EMT in HCEnCs during rosette formation, resulting in upregulation of EMT- and FECD-associated markers such as Snail1, N-cadherin, ZEB1, and transforming growth factor-beta-induced (TGFβI), respectively. Additionally, FECD ex vivo specimens displayed a loss of organized junctional staining of plasma membrane-bound N-cadherin, with corresponding increase in fibronectin and Snail1 compared to ex vivo controls. Addition of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) downregulated all EMT markers and abolished rosette formation. Loss of NQO1, a metabolizing enzyme of MN, led to greater increase in intracellular ROS levels as well as a significant upregulation of Snail1, fibronectin, and N-cadherin compared to normal cells, indicating that NQO1 regulates Snail1-mediated EMT. This study provides first line evidence that MN-induced oxidative stress leads to EMT in corneal endothelial cells, and the effect of which is further potentiated when redox cycling activity of MN is enhanced by the absence of NQO1. Given that NAC inhibits Snail-mediated EMT, this may be a potential therapeutic intervention for FECD.
Keohane CE, Steele AD, Fetzer C, Khowsathit J, Van Tyne D, Moynié L, Gilmore MS, Karanicolas J, Sieber SA, Wuest WM. Promysalin Elicits Species-Selective Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Targeting Succinate Dehydrogenase. J Am Chem Soc 2018;140(5):1774-1782.Abstract
Natural products have served as an inspiration to scientists both for their complex three-dimensional architecture and exquisite biological activity. Promysalin is one such Pseudomonad secondary metabolite that exhibits narrow-spectrum antibacterial activity, originally isolated from the rhizosphere. We herein utilize affinity-based protein profiling (AfBPP) to identify succinate dehydrogenase (Sdh) as the biological target of the natural product. The target was further validated in silico, in vitro, in vivo, and through the selection, and sequencing, of a resistant mutant. Succinate dehydrogenase plays an essential role in primary metabolism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as the only enzyme that is involved both in the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) and in respiration via the electron transport chain. These findings add credence to other studies that suggest that the TCA cycle is an understudied target in the development of novel therapeutics to combat P. aeruginosa, a significant pathogen in clinical settings.
Kines RC, Varsavsky I, Choudhary S, Bhattacharya D, Spring S, McLaughlin R, Kang SJ, Grossniklaus HE, Vavvas D, Monks S, MacDougall JR, de Los Pinos E, Schiller JT. An Infrared Dye-Conjugated Virus-like Particle for the Treatment of Primary Uveal Melanoma. Mol Cancer Ther 2018;17(2):565-574.Abstract
The work outlined herein describes AU-011, a novel recombinant papillomavirus-like particle (VLP) drug conjugate and its initial evaluation as a potential treatment for primary uveal melanoma. The VLP is conjugated with a phthalocyanine photosensitizer, IRDye 700DX, that exerts its cytotoxic effect through photoactivation with a near-infrared laser. We assessed the anticancer properties of AU-011utilizing a panel of human cancer cell lines andusing murine subcutaneous and rabbit orthotopic xenograft models of uveal melanoma. The specificity of VLP binding (tumor targeting), mediated through cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG), was assessed using HSPG-deficient cells and by inclusion of heparin instudies. Our results provide evidence of potent and selective anticancer activity, bothandAU-011 activity was blocked by inhibiting its association with HSPG using heparin and using cells lacking surface HSPG, indicating that the tumor tropism of the VLP was not affected by dye conjugation and cell association is critical for AU-011-mediated cytotoxicity. Using the uveal melanoma xenograft models, we observed tumor uptake following intravenous (murine) and intravitreal (rabbit) administration and, after photoactivation, potent dose-dependent tumor responses. Furthermore, in the rabbit orthotopic model, which closely models uveal melanoma as it presents in the clinic, tumor treatment spared the retina and adjacent ocular structures. Our results support further clinical development of this novel therapeutic modality that might transform visual outcomes and provide a targeted therapy for the early-stage treatment of patients with this rare and life-threatening disease..
Kloek CE, Jeng-Miller KW, Jacobs DS, Dunn IF. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Treatment of Ocular Surface Disease After Skull Base Tumor Resection. World Neurosurg 2018;110:e124-e128.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment is an effective, nonsurgical therapeutic option for patients with ocular surface disease related to cranial nerve deficits secondary to skull base tumor resection. METHODS: This case series describes the impact of PROSE treatment in patients with symptomatic exposure keratopathy or neurotrophic keratitis after skull base tumor surgery. RESULTS: All patients improved symptomatically and functionally with PROSE treatment, and have had sustained improvement for as long as 3 years. CONCLUSIONS: In postneurosurgical cases in which neurologic function may recover, PROSE treatment offers a safe, nonsurgical treatment option to support the ocular surface during the period of observation awaiting neurologic recovery.
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Laíns I, Kelly RS, Miller JB, Silva R, Vavvas DG, Kim IK, Murta JN, Lasky-Su J, Miller JW, Husain D. Human Plasma Metabolomics Study across All Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Identifies Potential Lipid Biomarkers. Ophthalmology 2018;125(2):245-254.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the plasma metabolomic profile of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using mass spectrometry (MS). DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. PARTICIPANTS: We prospectively recruited participants with a diagnosis of AMD and a control group (>50 years of age) without any vitreoretinal disease. METHODS: All participants underwent color fundus photography, used for AMD diagnosis and staging, according to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification scheme. Fasting blood samples were collected and plasma was analyzed by Metabolon, Inc. (Durham, NC), using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution MS. Metabolon's hardware and software were used to identify peaks and control quality. Principal component analysis and multivariate regression were performed to assess differences in the metabolomic profiles of AMD patients versus controls, while controlling for potential confounders. For biological interpretation, pathway enrichment analysis of significant metabolites was performed using MetaboAnalyst. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measures were levels of plasma metabolites in participants with AMD compared with controls and among different AMD severity stages. RESULTS: We included 90 participants with AMD (30 with early AMD, 30 with intermediate AMD, and 30 with late AMD) and 30 controls. Using UPLC and MS, 878 biochemicals were identified. Multivariate logistic regression identified 87 metabolites with levels that differed significantly between AMD patients and controls. Most of these metabolites (82.8%; n = 72), including the most significant metabolites, belonged to the lipid pathways. Analysis of variance revealed that of the 87 metabolites, 48 (55.2%) also were significantly different across the different stages of AMD. A significant enrichment of the glycerophospholipids pathway was identified (P = 4.7 × 10) among these metabolites. CONCLUSIONS: Participants with AMD have altered plasma metabolomic profiles compared with controls. Our data suggest that the most significant metabolites map to the glycerophospholipid pathway. These findings have the potential to improve our understanding of AMD pathogenesis, to support the development of plasma-based metabolomics biomarkers of AMD, and to identify novel targets for treatment of this blinding disease.

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