Identification of cell type-specific regulatory elements (CREs) is crucial for understanding development and disease, although identification of functional regulatory elements remains challenging. We hypothesized that context-specific CREs could be identified by context-specific non-coding RNA (ncRNA) profiling, based on the observation that active CREs produce ncRNAs. We applied ncRNA profiling to identify rod and cone photoreceptor CREs from wild-type and mutant mouse retinas, defined by presence or absence, respectively, of the rod-specific transcription factor (TF) -dependent ncRNA expression strongly correlated with epigenetic profiles of rod and cone photoreceptors, identified thousands of candidate rod- and cone-specific CREs, and identified motifs for rod- and cone-specific TFs. Colocalization of NRL and the retinal TF CRX correlated with rod-specific ncRNA expression, whereas CRX alone favored cone-specific ncRNA expression, providing quantitative evidence that heterotypic TF interactions distinguish cell type-specific CRE activity. We validated the activity of novel -dependent ncRNA-defined CREs in developing cones. This work supports differential ncRNA profiling as a platform for the identification of cell type-specific CREs and the discovery of molecular mechanisms underlying TF-dependent CRE activity.
PURPOSE: To review the published literature assessing the efficacy of binocular therapy for the treatment of amblyopia compared with standard treatments. METHODS: Literature searches with no date restrictions and limited to the English language were conducted in January 2018 and updated in April 2019 in the PubMed database and the Cochrane Library database with no restrictions. The search yielded 286 citations, and the full text of 50 articles was reviewed. Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria for this assessment and were assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. Six studies were rated level I, 1 study was rated level II, and 13 studies were rated level III because of the impact on the development and popularization of this technology. RESULTS: Two of the level I and II studies reviewed described a significant improvement in visual acuity in the binocular group versus standard patching standard treatment (the total number of patients in these 2 studies was 147). However, the 5 studies that failed to show a visual improvement from binocular therapy compared with standard treatments were larger and more rigorously designed (the total number of patients in these 5 studies was 813). Level I and II studies also failed to show a significant improvement over baseline in sensory status, including depth of suppression and stereopsis of those treated with binocular therapy. Several smaller level III case series (total number of patients in these 13 studies was 163) revealed more promising results than the binocular treatments studied in the level I and II studies, especially using treatments that are more engaging and are associated with better compliance. CONCLUSIONS: There is no level I evidence to support the use of binocular treatment as a substitute for current therapies for amblyopia (including patching and optical treatment). Furthermore, 2 large randomized controlled trials showed inferior performance compared with standard patching treatment. On the basis of this review of the published literature, binocular therapy cannot be recommended as a replacement for standard amblyopia therapy. However, more research is needed to determine the potential benefits of proposed binocular treatments in the future.
Retinol dehydrogenase 12, RDH12, plays a pivotal role in the visual cycle to ensure the maintenance of normal vision. Alterations in activity of this protein result in photoreceptor death and decreased vision beginning at an early age and progressing to substantial vision loss later in life. Here we describe 11 patients with retinal degeneration that underwent next-generation sequencing (NGS) with a targeted panel of all currently known inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) genes and whole-exome sequencing to identify the genetic causality of their retinal disease. These patients display a range of phenotypic severity prompting clinical diagnoses of macular dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset severe retinal dystrophy all attributed to biallelic recessive mutations in We report 15 causal alleles and expand the repertoire of known mutations with four novel variants: c.215A > G (p.Asp72Gly); c.362T > C (p.Ile121Thr); c.440A > C (p.Asn147Thr); and c.697G > A (p.Val233Ille). The broad phenotypic spectrum observed with biallelic mutations has been observed in other genetic forms of IRDs, but the diversity is particularly notable here given the prior association of primarily with severe early-onset disease. This breadth emphasizes the importance of broad genetic testing for inherited retinal disorders and extends the pool of individuals who may benefit from imminent gene-targeted therapies.
Circadian clocks regulate multiple physiological processes in the eye, but their requirement for retinal health remains unclear. We previously showed that Drosophila homologs of spliceosome proteins implicated in human retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the most common genetically inherited cause of blindness, have a role in the brain circadian clock. In this study, we report circadian phenotypes in murine models of RP. We found that mice carrying a homozygous H2309P mutation in () display a lengthened period of the circadian wheel-running activity rhythm. We show also that the daily cycling of circadian gene expression is dampened in the retina of H2309P mice. Surprisingly, molecular rhythms are intact in the eye cup, which includes the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), even though the RPE is thought to be the primary tissue affected in this form of RP. Downregulation of , another RNA splicing factor implicated in RP, leads to period lengthening in a human cell culture model. The period of circadian bioluminescence in primary fibroblasts of human RP patients is not significantly altered. Together, these studies link a prominent retinal disorder to circadian deficits, which could contribute to disease pathology.
The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) on retinal vascular leakage utilizing machine learning and to clarify the mechanism underlying the protection. To assess the effect on retinal vascular leakage, C57BL/6J mice were pre-treated with long-acting FGF21 analog or vehicle (Phosphate Buffered Saline; PBS) intraperitoneally (i.p.) before induction of retinal vascular leakage with intravitreal injection of mouse (m) vascular endothelial growth factor 164 (VEGF164) or PBS control. Five hours after mVEGF164 injection, we retro-orbitally injected Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) -dextran and quantified fluorescence intensity as a readout of vascular leakage, using the Image Analysis Module with a machine learning algorithm. In FGF21- or vehicle-treated primary human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs), cell permeability was induced with human (h) VEGF165 and evaluated using FITC-dextran and trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER). Western blots for tight junction markers were performed. Retinal vascular leakage in vivo was reduced in the FGF21 versus vehicle- treated mice. In HRMECs in vitro, FGF21 versus vehicle prevented hVEGF-induced increase in cell permeability, identified with FITC-dextran. FGF21 significantly preserved TEER compared to hVEGF. Taken together, FGF21 regulates permeability through tight junctions; in particular, FGF21 increases Claudin-1 protein levels in hVEGF-induced HRMECs. Long-acting FGF21 may help reduce retinal vascular leakage in retinal disorders and machine learning assessment can help to standardize vascular leakage quantification.
PURPOSE: To determine the indications, findings, and outcomes of patients with open globe injury (OGI) requiring pars plana vitrectomy (PPV). DESIGN: Retrospective, single-vitreoretinal surgeon case series. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-one consecutive eyes with OGI that required PPV. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of consecutive patients who underwent PPV after OGI between March 1, 2011, and August 1, 2017, at Massachusetts Eye and Ear by 1 surgeon. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Final visual acuity and rates of recurrent retinal detachment (RD) and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). RESULTS: Sixty-one eyes of 61 consecutive patients underwent PPV after sustaining OGI. Mean follow-up was 12.8±12.1 months (range, 0.5-65 months). At the time of presentation after OGI, 64% of eyes showed light perception or worse vision. The indications for PPV, which was performed on average of 15 days after injury, included RD without retinal incarceration (39%), RD with retinal incarceration in the scleral or corneal wound or both (13%), media opacity without RD (28%), vitreous traction without RD (11%), intraocular foreign body (5%), and endophthalmitis (3%). At the time of PPV, substantial comorbidities were noted, including corneal trauma (20%), hyphema (41%), iris trauma (62%), lens expulsion (54%), subretinal hemorrhage (51%), and choroidal hemorrhage (30%). Using multivariate analysis, factors associated with RD after initial PPV were preoperative subretinal hemorrhage (odds ratio [OR], 5.73; P = 0.03), PVR found at initial PPV (OR, 11.94; P = 0.021), and retinectomy (OR, 17.88; P = 0.003). No patients were inoperable, because all patients left the operating room with complete retinal reattachment. Of 35 eyes that showed RD, 19 (54%) redetached as a result of PVR. In 80% of eyes with RD at initial presentation (28/35 eyes), the retina remained completely attached at last follow-up, and 5 additional eyes remained partially attached (33/35 [94%]). Of 61 total eyes included in this study, 89% remained completely attached, and 42 (69%) achieved visual acuity of 20/200 or better at last follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Despite substantial ocular comorbidities, PPV can result in retinal reattachment in even the most severe cases. Good visual outcomes can be achieved for most patients who undergo vitreoretinal surgery after open globe trauma.
A growing body of evidence implicates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Here, we demonstrate that the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα stimulates matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) at the ocular surface through a c-Fos-dependent mechanism of ER stress. We found positive reactivity of the molecular chaperone BiP/GRP78 in conjunctival epithelium of patients with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid and increased levels of BiP/GRP78, sXBP1 and GRP94 in human corneal epithelial cells treated with TNFα. Pharmacological blockade of ER stress in vitro using dexamethasone or the chemical chaperones TUDCA and 4PBA attenuated MMP9 expression and secretion in the presence of TNFα. Moreover, expression analysis of genes associated with inflammation and autoimmunity identified the c-Fos proto-oncogene as a mediator of ER stress responses in epithelial cells. Substantially less TNFα-induced MMP9 expression occurred when c-Fos signaling was suppressed with a function-blocking antibody. Taken together, these results indicate that activation of ER stress contributes to promote inflammation-mediated proteolytic activity and uncovers a target for restoring tissue homeostasis in ocular autoimmune disease.