PURPOSE: Mutations in genes encoding proteins from the tri-snRNP complex of the spliceosome account for more than 12% of cases of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). Although the exact mechanism by which splicing factor defects trigger photoreceptor death is not completely clear, their role in retinitis pigmentosa has been demonstrated by several genetic and functional studies. To test for possible novel associations between splicing factors and adRP, we screened four tri-snRNP splicing factor genes (EFTUD2, PRPF4, NHP2L1, and AAR2) as candidate disease genes. METHODS: We screened up to 303 patients with adRP from Europe and North America who did not carry known RP mutations. Exon-PCR and Sanger methods were used to sequence the NHP2L1 and AAR2 genes, while the sequences of EFTUD2 and PRPF4 were obtained by using long-range PCRs spanning coding and non-coding regions followed by next-generation sequencing. RESULTS: We detected novel missense changes in individual patients in the sequence of the genes PRPF4 and EFTUD2, but the role of these changes in relationship to disease could not be verified. In one other patient we identified a novel nucleotide substitution in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of NHP2L1, which did not segregate with the disease in the family. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of clearly pathogenic mutations in the candidate genes screened in our cohort suggests that EFTUD2, PRPF4, NHP2L1, and AAR2 are either not involved in adRP or are associated with the disease in rare instances, at least as observed in this study in patients of European and North American origin.
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disorder in which degenerating retinal ganglion cells (RGC) produce significant visual disability. Clinically, glaucoma refers to an array of conditions associated with variably elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) that contributes to RGC loss via mechanical stress, vascular abnormalities, and other mechanisms, such as immune phenomena. The clinical diagnosis of glaucoma requires assessment of the ocular anterior segment with slit lamp biomicroscopy, which allows the clinician to recognize signs of conditions that can produce elevated IOP. After measurement of IOP, a specialized prismatic lens called a gonioscope is used to determine whether the angle is physically open or closed. The structural manifestation of RGC loss is optic nerve head atrophy and excavation of the neuroretinal rim tissue. Treatment is guided by addressing secondary causes for elevated IOP (such as inflammation, infection, and ischemia) whenever possible. Subsequently, a variety of medical, laser, and surgical options are used to achieve a target IOP.
PURPOSE: To investigate biomarker differences in routine preoperative blood tests performed on primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) case and control patients presenting for anterior segment eye surgery. METHODS: POAG cases and age-related cataract surgery patients (controls) who underwent anterior segment surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear from January 2009 through March 2012 were identified by retrospective record review. Patients with diabetes mellitus, secondary glaucoma, and cataract due to trauma or steroid exposure were excluded. Data on demographic features, preoperative ophthalmological and medical diagnosis, blood pressure, anthropometric measures, basic metabolic panel, and complete blood count were extracted from the medical records. Univariate differences in lab values between POAG cases and controls were assessed using unpaired t tests. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was completed to determine the independent associations of biomarkers with POAG. RESULTS: A total of 150 cases and 150 age-related controls were included. In multivariate analysis, higher AG was inversely associated with POAG (odds ratio [OR] = 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-1.00), and higher Cl- level was positively associated with POAG (OR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.29). The lower AG in POAG patients could be explained by higher IgG levels as the available data in post hoc analysis showed a nonsignificant trend toward higher IgG in cases compared to controls (17 vs 23; 1142 ± 284 mg/dl vs 1028 ± 291 mg/dl; P = 0.22). Furthermore, in multivariable analysis, a higher red blood cell count was also associated with POAG (OR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.11-3.28). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with POAG presenting for anterior segment surgery had a lower AG compared to age-related cataract surgery patients. The etiology of this reduced gap is unclear but the possible contribution of IgG warrants further exploration. The etiology of higher red blood cell counts in POAG cases is unknown and deserves further exploration.
Although adjustable sutures are considered a standard technique in adult strabismus surgery, most surgeons are hesitant to attempt the technique in children, who are believed to be unlikely to cooperate for postoperative assessment and adjustment. Interest in using adjustable sutures in pediatric patients has increased with the development of surgical techniques specific to infants and children. This workshop briefly reviews the literature supporting the use of adjustable sutures in children and presents the approaches currently used by three experienced strabismus surgeons.
Silicone oil continues to be an important aid in retinal detachment surgery. We report a case in which disparate responses to silicone oil were noted in the conjunctiva and intraocularly. Intraocularly, the oil permeated a fibrous membrane that formed behind a keratoprosthesis, the first example of this phenomenon. We detail the histological response to the oil at this site as well as a distinctly different reaction present to oil in the conjunctiva of the same eye. The divergence of histological responses provides a demonstration of the eye's apparent retained capacity to protect against intraocular inflammation, despite multiple previous surgeries.
Membrane-anchored mucins are present in the apical surface glycocalyx of mucosal epithelial cells, each mucosal epithelium having at least two of the mucins. The mucins have been ascribed barrier functions, but direct comparisons of their functions within the same epithelium have not been done. In an epithelial cell line that expresses the membrane-anchored mucins, MUC1 and MUC16, the mucins were independently and stably knocked down using shRNA. Barrier functions tested included dye penetrance, bacterial adherence and invasion, transepithelial resistance, tight junction formation, and apical surface size. Knockdown of MUC16 decreased all barrier functions tested, causing increased dye penetrance and bacterial invasion, decreased transepithelial resistance, surprisingly, disruption of tight junctions, and greater apical surface cell area. Knockdown of MUC1 did not decrease barrier function, in fact, barrier to dye penetrance and bacterial invasion increased significantly. These data suggest that barrier functions of membrane-anchored mucins vary in the context of other membrane mucins, and MUC16 provides a major barrier when present.
Intermittent Horner syndrome is uncommon in both the adult and pediatric population. We describe a case of a pediatric patient with an intermittent Horner syndrome. Infrared photography and videography were used to help establish the diagnosis.
Kang JH, Loomis SJ, Yaspan BL, Bailey JC, Weinreb RN, Lee RK, Lichter PR, Budenz DL, Liu Y, Realini T, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Friedman DS, McCarty CA, Moroi SE, Olson L, Schuman JS, Singh K, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Brilliant M, Sit AJ, Christen WG, Fingert J, Forman JP, Buys ES, Kraft P, Zhang K, Allingham RR, Pericak-Vance MA, Richards JE, Hauser MA, Haines JL, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR. Vascular tone pathway polymorphisms in relation to primary open-angle glaucoma. Eye (Lond) 2014;28(6):662-71.Abstract
AIMS: Vascular perfusion may be impaired in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG); thus, we evaluated a panel of markers in vascular tone-regulating genes in relation to POAG. METHODS: We used Illumina 660W-Quad array genotype data and pooled P-values from 3108 POAG cases and 3430 controls from the combined National Eye Institute Glaucoma Human Genetics Collaboration consortium and Glaucoma Genes and Environment studies. Using information from previous literature and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, we compiled single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 186 vascular tone-regulating genes. We used the 'Pathway Analysis by Randomization Incorporating Structure' analysis software, which performed 1000 permutations to compare the overall pathway and selected genes with comparable randomly generated pathways and genes in their association with POAG. RESULTS: The vascular tone pathway was not associated with POAG overall or POAG subtypes, defined by the type of visual field loss (early paracentral loss (n=224 cases) or only peripheral loss (n=993 cases)) (permuted P≥0.20). In gene-based analyses, eight were associated with POAG overall at permuted P<0.001: PRKAA1, CAV1, ITPR3, EDNRB, GNB2, DNM2, HFE, and MYL9. Notably, six of these eight (the first six listed) code for factors involved in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity, and three of these six (CAV1, ITPR3, and EDNRB) were also associated with early paracentral loss at P<0.001, whereas none of the six genes reached P<0.001 for peripheral loss only. DISCUSSION: Although the assembled vascular tone SNP set was not associated with POAG, genes that code for local factors involved in setting vascular tone were associated with POAG.
PURPOSE: To measure binocular interaction in amblyopes using a rapid and patient-friendly computer-based method, and to test the feasibility of the assessment in the clinic. METHODS: Binocular interaction was assessed in subjects with strabismic amblyopia (n = 7), anisometropic amblyopia (n = 6), strabismus without amblyopia (n = 15) and normal vision (n = 40). Binocular interaction was measured with a dichoptic phase matching task in which subjects matched the position of a binocular probe to the cyclopean perceived phase of a dichoptic pair of gratings whose contrast ratios were systematically varied. The resulting effective contrast ratio of the weak eye was taken as an indicator of interocular imbalance. Testing was performed in an ophthalmology clinic under 8 mins. We examined the relationships between our binocular interaction measure and standard clinical measures indicating abnormal binocularity such as interocular acuity difference and stereoacuity. The test-retest reliability of the testing method was also evaluated. RESULTS: Compared to normally-sighted controls, amblyopes exhibited significantly reduced effective contrast (∼20%) of the weak eye, suggesting a higher contrast requirement for the amblyopic eye compared to the fellow eye. We found that the effective contrast ratio of the weak eye covaried with standard clincal measures of binocular vision. Our results showed that there was a high correlation between the 1st and 2nd measurements (r = 0.94, p<0.001) but without any significant bias between the two. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that abnormal binocular interaction can be reliably captured by measuring the effective contrast ratio of the weak eye and quantitative assessment of binocular interaction is a quick and simple test that can be performed in the clinic. We believe that reliable and timely assessment of deficits in a binocular interaction may improve detection and treatment of amblyopia.
PURPOSE: The clinical phenotype of advanced stage retinopathy of prematurity (ROP, stages 4 and 5) cannot be replicated in an animal model. To dissect the molecular events that can lead up to advanced ROP, we examined subretinal fluid (SRF) and surgically dissected retrolental membranes from patients with advanced ROP to evaluate its influences on cell proliferation, angiogenic properties, and macrophage polarity. METHODS: We compared our findings to SRF collected from patients with uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RD) without proliferative vitreoretinopathy and surgically dissected epiretinal membrane from eyes with macular pucker. All subretinal fluid samples were equalized for protein. The angiogenic potential of SRF from ROP eyes was measured using a combination of capillary cord formation in a fibrin clot assay, and its proliferative effect was tested with a DNA synthesis of human retinal microvascular endothelial cells. Findings were compared with SRF collected from participants with uncomplicated rhegmatogenous RD without proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The ability of SRF to induce nitric oxide production was measured in vitro using murine J774A.1 macrophages. Cytokine profiles of SRF from ROP and RD eyes were measured using a multienzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Fluorescent immunohistochemistry of retrolental membranes from ROP was performed to detect the presence of leukocytes and the composition of tissue macrophages using markers for M1 and M2 differentiation. RESULTS: The cytokine composition in SRF revealed that in ROP, not only were several proangiogenic factors were preferentially elevated but also the profile of proinflammatory factors was also increased compared to the RD eyes. SRF from ROP eyes supported cell proliferation and endothelial cord formation while SRF from RD eyes had inhibitory effects. SRF from eyes with ROP but not RD robustly induced nitric oxide production in macrophages. Furthermore, fluorescent immunostaining revealed a preponderance of M1 over M2 macrophages in retrolental fibrous membranes from ROP eyes. The cytokine profile and biologic properties of SRF in ROP promote a proangiogenic environment, which supports the maintenance and proliferation of fibrous membranes associated with advanced stages of ROP. In contrast, SRF from RD eyes exhibits a suppressive environment for endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Our investigation demonstrates that the microenvironment in advanced ROP eyes is proangiogenic and proinflammatory. These findings suggest that management of advanced ROP should not be limited to the surgical removal of the fibrovascular membranes and antiangiogenic therapy but also directed to anti-inflammatory therapy and to promote M2 activation over M1 activity.
PURPOSE: Loss of corneal strength is a central feature of keratoconus progression. However, it is currently difficult to measure corneal mechanical changes noninvasively. The objective of this study is to evaluate if Brillouin optical microscopy can differentiate the mechanical properties of keratoconic corneas versus healthy corneas ex vivo. METHODS: We obtained eight tissue samples from healthy donor corneas used in Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) and 10 advanced keratoconic corneas from patients undergoing deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). Within 2 hours after surgery, a confocal Brillouin microscope using a monochromatic laser at 532 nm was used to map the Brillouin frequency shifts of the corneas. RESULTS: The mean Brillouin shift in the anterior 200 μm of the keratoconic corneas at the cone was measured to be 7.99 ± 0.10 GHz, significantly lower than 8.17 ± 0.06 GHz of the healthy corneas (P < 0.001). The Brillouin shift in the keratoconic corneas decreased with depth from the anterior toward posterior regions with a steeper slope than in the healthy corneas (P < 0.001). Within keratoconic corneas, the Brillouin shift in regions away from the apex of the cone was significantly higher than within the cone region (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Brillouin measurements revealed notable differences between healthy and keratoconic corneas. Importantly, Brillouin imaging showed that the mechanical loss is primarily concentrated within the area of the keratoconic cone. Outside the cone, the Brillouin shift was comparable with that of healthy corneas. The results demonstrate the potential of Brillouin microscopy for diagnosis and treatment monitoring of keratoconus.
The pathogenesis of immune-mediated lacrimal gland (LG) dysfunction in Sjögren's syndrome has been thoroughly studied. However, the majority of dry eye (DE) is not related to Sjögren type, and its pathophysiology remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine and investigate the protective mechanisms against DE stress in mice. DE induced prominent blood vessel loss without apoptosis or necrosis in the LG. Autophagic vacuoles, distressed mitochondria, and stressed endoplasmic reticulum were observed via electron microscopy. Immunoblotting confirmed the increase in autophagic markers. Glycolytic activities were enhanced with increasing levels of succinate and malate that, in turn, activated hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α. Interestingly, the areas of stable HIF-1α expression overlapped with COX-2 and MMP-9 upregulation in LGs of DE-induced mice. We generated HIF-1α conditional knockout (CKO) mice in which HIF-1α expression was lost in the LG. Surprisingly, normal LG polarities and morphologies were completely lost with DE induction, and tremendous acinar cell apoptosis was observed. Similar to Sjögren's syndrome, CD3(+) and CD11b(+) cells infiltrated HIF-1α CKO LGs. Our results show that DE induced the expression of HIF-1α that activated autophagy signals to prevent further acinar cell damage and to maintain normal LG function.
PURPOSE: Transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma through extracellular matrix (ECM) alteration among various mechanisms. Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a matricellular protein that regulates ECM within the trabecular meshwork (TM), and is highly upregulated by TGF-β2. We hypothesized that, in vivo, SPARC is a critical regulatory node in TGF-β2-mediated ocular hypertension. METHODS: Empty (Ad.empty) or TGF-β2-containing adenovirus (Ad.TGF-β2) was injected intravitreally into C57BL6-SV129 WT and SPARC-null mice. An initial study was performed to identify a stable period for IOP measurement under isoflurane. The IOP was measured before injection and every other day for two weeks using rebound tonometry. Additional mice were euthanized at peak IOP for immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: The IOP was stable under isoflurane during minutes 5 to 8. The IOP was significantly elevated in Ad.TGF-β2-injected (n = 8) versus Ad.empty-injected WT (n = 8) mice and contralateral uninjected eyes during days 4 to 11 (P < 0.03). The IOPs were not significantly elevated in Ad.TGF-β2-injected versus Ad.empty-injected SPARC-null mice. However, on day 8, the IOP of Ad.TGF-β2-injected SPARC-null eyes was elevated compared to that of contralateral uninjected eyes (P = 0.0385). Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that TGF-β2 stimulated increases in collagen IV, fibronectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and SPARC in WT mice, but only PAI-1 and CTGF in SPARC-null mice (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: SPARC is essential to the regulation of TGF-β2-mediated ocular hypertension. Deletion of SPARC significantly attenuates the effects of TGF-β2 by restricting collagen IV and fibronectin expression. These data provide further evidence that SPARC may have an important role in IOP regulation and possibly glaucoma pathogenesis.
In vertebrate rods and cones, photon capture by rhodopsin leads to the destruction of cyclic GMP (cGMP) and the subsequent closure of cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels in the outer segment plasma membrane. Replenishment of cGMP and reopening of the channels limit the growth of the photon response and are requisite for its recovery. In different vertebrate retinas, there may be as many as four types of membrane guanylyl cyclases (GCs) for cGMP synthesis. Ten neuronal Ca(2+) sensor proteins could potentially modulate their activities. The mouse is proving to be an effective model for characterizing the roles of individual components because its relative simplicity can be reduced further by genetic engineering. There are two types of GC activating proteins (GCAPs) and two types of GCs in mouse rods, whereas cones express one type of GCAP and one type of GC. Mutant mouse rods and cones bereft of both GCAPs have large, long lasting photon responses. Thus, GCAPs normally mediate negative feedback tied to the light-induced decline in intracellular Ca(2+) that accelerates GC activity to curtail the growth and duration of the photon response. Rods from other mutant mice that express a single GCAP type reveal how the two GCAPs normally work together as a team. Because of its lower Ca(2+) affinity, GCAP1 is the first responder that senses the initial decrease in Ca(2+) following photon absorption and acts to limit response amplitude. GCAP2, with a higher Ca(2+) affinity, is recruited later during the course of the photon response as Ca(2+) levels continue to decline further. The main role of GCAP2 is to provide for a timely response recovery and it is particularly important after exposure to very bright light. The multiplicity of GC isozymes and GCAP homologs in the retinas of other vertebrates confers greater flexibility in shaping the photon responses in order to tune visual sensitivity, dynamic range and frequency response.
Pediatric uveitis is a topic of special interest not only because of the unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges but also because of the lifetime burden of vision loss if the problem is not adequately treated, as well as the economic and psychological toll on the family. Often, uveitis in children is discovered as part of a routine eye exam; this silent, insidious inflammation can be difficult to treat and can lead to further complications if not handled skillfully. Corticosteroids have long been the mainstay of therapy; however, the significant associated side effects mandate a corticosteroid-sparing therapeutic regimen in pursuit of remission. In this review, we cover the therapeutic options for pediatric uveitis, specifically focusing on the most common non-infectious varieties, juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis and pars planitis.
Induced prism in spectacle lenses, which may result from inadvertent displacement of optical centers, may worsen an existing heterophoria or even cause diplopia, yet over-the-counter reading glasses (OTC readers) are not always assessed by clinicians when evaluating patients with diplopia or asthenopia. To gauge the magnitude of this potential problem, we used a focimeter and prescription aligner to assess the frequency and extent of clinically significant manufacturing variations in a random selection of 160 OTC readers. The optical centers were vertically displaced by ≥3 mm in 11%, with a maximum displacement of 7 mm in 1 pair. Average interpupillary distance was 64 mm (range, 58-74.5 mm), with interpupillary distance outside the normal range of 60-70 mm in 5%. Monocular pupillary distance was asymmetric by ≥5 mm in 4%. A 0.75 D power difference between lenses was measured in one pair of OTC readers. Some OTC readers have misaligned optical centers and other manufacturing defects that are of a magnitude sufficient to exacerbate a heterophoria and cause asthenopia or diplopia.
IMPORTANCE: Superior rectus transposition (SRT) with or without medial rectus recession (MRc) has been introduced as an alternative to MRc alone for treatment of esotropic Duane syndrome; however, the effectiveness of these procedures has not been compared previously. OBJECTIVE: To compare the safety and efficacy of MRc and SRT in treatment of Duane syndrome. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective medical record review of all patients with esotropic Duane syndrome who underwent surgical treatment from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2012, in a multispecialty, hospital-based pediatric ophthalmology/adult strabismus practice at Boston Children's Hospital. Patients in the SRT group underwent SRT with or without MRc; those in the non-SRT group underwent unilateral or bilateral MRc. EXPOSURES: Surgical treatment of esotropic Duane syndrome. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Binocular alignment, ocular ductions, head position, stereopsis, and fundus torsion were recorded before surgery and at the 2-month and final postoperative visits. We also evaluated postoperative drift. RESULTS: The medical record review identified 36 patients who underwent 37 procedures, including 19 in the SRT group (13 SRT + MRc and 6 SRT alone) and 18 in the non-SRT group (11 unilateral MRc and 7 bilateral medial rectus resession). Mean MRc was smaller when performed with SRT (3.3 vs 5.3 mm; P = .004). Although the initial deviation was larger in the SRT group, both groups had a similar improvement in esotropia and head turn. Abduction improved by at least 1 unit in 15 of 19 patients in the SRT group (79%) vs 5 of 18 in the non-SRT group (28%). In 24 patients followed up for more than 6 months, mean esotropia decreased from 8.2 to 6.1 prism diopters (Δ) in the SRT group (n = 12) but increased from 7.2 to 10.9Δ in the non-SRT group (n = 12). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The combination of SRT and MRc was more effective than MRc or bilateral medial rectus resession at improving abduction while allowing for a smaller recession to align the eyes and eliminate a compensatory head posture. Although any surgery on the vertical rectus muscles should in theory increase the risk for vertical or torsional complications, to date this theory has not been borne out in our patients. Patients treated with SRT appear to have a reduced likelihood of long-term undercorrection. We therefore recommend SRT with adjustable MRc for treatment of Duane syndrome in patients with larger amounts of esotropia.