March 2012

Burbank KS, Kreiman G. Depression-biased reverse plasticity rule is required for stable learning at top-down connections. PLoS Comput Biol 2012;8(3):e1002393.Abstract
Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP) where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP) produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body.
Keating A, Pineda R. Trichosporon asahii keratitis in a patient with a type I Boston keratoprosthesis and contact lens. Eye Contact Lens 2012;38(2):130-2.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to report a case of Trichosporon asahii in a patient with a type I Boston keratoprosthesis and contact lens with review of the literature. METHODS: A case report and literature review are provided. RESULTS: A 70-year-old monocular South Asian man with light perception vision and dense corneal scarring from previously failed amniotic membrane grafting and one failed corneal transplant was evaluated for a keratoprosthesis for visual rehabilitation. Three months after undergoing uneventful implantation of a type I Boston keratoprosthesis and placement of a therapeutic contact lens, he was found on routine follow-up to have a corneal infiltrate that was culture positive for T. asahii. The fungal keratitis was successfully treated with topical amphotericin B and oral ketoconazole. CONCLUSIONS: Contact lens wear is a known risk factor for fungal keratitis. Trichosporon is an uncommon agent of fungal keratitis. We report the first known case of fungal keratitis caused by T.asahii in a patient with a keratoprosthesis and contact lens.
Palmer KL, Godfrey P, Griggs A, Kos VN, Zucker J, Desjardins C, Cerqueira G, Gevers D, Walker S, Wortman J, Feldgarden M, Haas B, Birren B, Gilmore MS. Comparative genomics of enterococci: variation in Enterococcus faecalis, clade structure in E. faecium, and defining characteristics of E. gallinarum and E. casseliflavus. MBio 2012;3(1):e00318-11.Abstract
The enterococci are Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of diverse hosts. However, Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis have emerged as leading causes of multidrug-resistant hospital-acquired infections. The mechanism by which a well-adapted commensal evolved into a hospital pathogen is poorly understood. In this study, we examined high-quality draft genome data for evidence of key events in the evolution of the leading causes of enterococcal infections, including E. faecalis, E. faecium, E. casseliflavus, and E. gallinarum. We characterized two clades within what is currently classified as E. faecium and identified traits characteristic of each, including variation in operons for cell wall carbohydrate and putative capsule biosynthesis. We examined the extent of recombination between the two E. faecium clades and identified two strains with mosaic genomes. We determined the underlying genetics for the defining characteristics of the motile enterococci E. casseliflavus and E. gallinarum. Further, we identified species-specific traits that could be used to advance the detection of medically relevant enterococci and their identification to the species level.
Perry LPJ, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR. Bacterial and mucopeptide concretions of the lacrimal drainage system: an analysis of 30 cases. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2012;28(2):126-33.Abstract
PURPOSE: To demonstrate the histopathologic characteristics of different types of lacrimal drainage system concretions with clinical correlations. METHODS: Thirty lacrimal drainage system concretions submitted to the Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary over a 2-year period were reviewed. Concretions were studied in detail using their histopathologic staining features as revealed with hematoxylin and eosin, Gomori methenamine silver, periodic acid-Schiff, iron stain, and Brown-Hopps tissue gram stain. A separate retrospective chart review was conducted for each patient to identify any clinical correlations. RESULTS: Two major forms of concretions were identified histopathologically: mucopeptide (7) and bacterial (20). Mucopeptide concretions were found exclusively within the lacrimal sac, while bacterial concretions were found chiefly in the canaliculus. A third category of "mixed" concretions with substantial mucopeptide and bacterial characteristics comprised 3 specimens. Bacterial concretions consisted of large matted masses of filamentous, presumed Actinomyces organisms that were easily identified with the Grocott's methenamine silver stain; they were frequently cocolonized at their edges with coccal bacterial forms. Mucopeptide concretions were generally devoid of cellular elements and were composed of broad bland whorls of diffusely eosinophilic, acellular, periodic acid-Schiff-positive material punctuated by lacunae. They were often cocolonized by small numbers of bacterial cocci and occasional fungi. Culture results disclosed low virulence species. All 3 types of concretions predominated in women. Patients with bacterial concretions frequently had dry eye symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The 2 major types of lacrimal system concretions differ in their primary location and histopathologic composition. Further characterization may lead to an understanding of the mechanisms for their formation. Mucopeptide concretion is more appropriate than terms such as "dacryolith" and "mucolith," and bacterial concretion is a more appropriate term than "canaliculith," because of the absence of significant calcium or stone-like density in these masses.
VanderVeen DK, Nizam A, Lynn MJ, Bothun ED, McClatchey SK, Weakley DR, DuBois LG, Lambert SR, Lambert SR. Predictability of intraocular lens calculation and early refractive status: the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. Arch Ophthalmol 2012;130(3):293-9.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To report the accuracy of intraocular lens (IOL) power calculations and the early refractive status in pseudophakic eyes of infants in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. METHODS: Eyes randomized to receive primary IOL implantation were targeted for a postoperative refraction of +8.0 diopters (D) for infants 28 to 48 days old at surgery and +6.0 D for those 49 days or older to younger than 7 months at surgery using the Holladay 1 formula. Refraction 1 month after surgery was converted to spherical equivalent, and prediction error (PE; defined as the calculated refraction minus the actual refraction) and absolute PE were calculated. Baseline eye and surgery characteristics and A-scan quality were analyzed to compare their effect on PE. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prediction error. RESULTS: Fifty-six eyes underwent primary IOL implantation; 7 were excluded for lack of postoperative refraction (n = 5) or incorrect technique in refraction (n = 1) or biometry (n = 1). Overall mean (SD) absolute PE was 1.8 (1.3) D and mean (SD) PE was +1.0 (2.0) D. Absolute PE was less than 1 D in 41% of eyes but greater than 2 D in 41% of eyes. Mean IOL power implanted was 29.9 D (range, 11.5-40.0 D); most eyes (88%) implanted with an IOL of 30.0 D or greater had less postoperative hyperopia than planned. Multivariate analysis revealed that only short axial length (<18 mm) was significant for higher PE. CONCLUSIONS: Short axial length correlates with higher PE after IOL placement in infants. Less hyperopia than anticipated occurs with axial lengths of less than 18 mm or high-power IOLs. Application to Clinical Practice Quality A-scans are essential and higher PE is common, with a tendency for less hyperopia than expected. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00212134.