May 2015

de Almeida LM, Pires C, Cerdeira LT, de Oliveira TGM, McCulloch JA, Perez-Chaparro PJ, Sacramento AG, Brito AC, da Silva JL, de Araújo MRE, Lincopan N, Martin MJ, Gilmore MS, Mamizuka EM. Complete Genome Sequence of Linezolid-Susceptible Staphylococcus haemolyticus Sh29/312/L2, a Clonal Derivative of a Linezolid-Resistant Clinical Strain. Genome Announc 2015;3(3)Abstract

We report the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of an in vitro susceptible derivative revertant mutant from a bloodstream isolate involved in a nosocomial outbreak in Brazil. The WGS comprises 2.5 Mb with 2,500 protein-coding sequences, 16rRNA genes, and 60 tRNA genes.

Chen X, Jakobiec FA, Yadav P, Werdich XQ, Fay A. Melkersson-rosenthal syndrome with isolated unilateral eyelid edema: an immunopathologic study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(3):e70-7.Abstract

Lymphedema is caused by defective drainage of the lymphatic system. In Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, involvement is predominantly of the lumens with blockage of lymphatic channels by histiocytic-epithelioid cell clusters accompanied by dermal granulomas and lymphocytes. It is a localized, painless, nonitching, and nonpitting form of lymphedema. Besides the eyelids, the disease can cause lip edema, facial palsy, and/or fissured tongue. It is rare and has received little attention in the ophthalmic literature, either in its complete triadic form, or more frequently, in its monosymptomatic forms. Pathogenesis is not well understood, and there is no effective therapy. The authors describe a case of Melkesson-Rosenthal syndrome in a 45-year-old Hispanic man with isolated unilateral upper eyelid edema. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations of an eyelid biopsy specimen revealed intravascular and extravascular clusters of histiocytic-epithelioid cells that were CD68/163-positive. Variable numbers of mostly T-lymphocytes were found in the epidermis, dermis, and orbicularis muscle and by virtue of the associated granulomas established the diagnosis of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. CD4 helper and CD8 suppressor T-lymphocytes were equally represented. CD20 B-lymphocytes were exceedingly sparse. Conspicuous CD1a-positive Langerhans' cells were present in the epidermis, sometimes formed subepithelial loose aggregates and were also incorporated in the granulomas. The differential diagnosis includes the far more common condition of acne rosacea. Management of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, and of angioedema in general, is reviewed.

Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

and Consortium CCG, Cornelis MC, Byrne EM, Esko T, Nalls MA, Ganna A, Paynter N, Monda KL, Amin N, Fischer K, Renstrom F, Ngwa JS, Huikari V, Cavadino A, Nolte IM, Teumer A, Yu K, Marques-Vidal P, Rawal R, Manichaikul A, Wojczynski MK, Vink JM, Zhao JH, Burlutsky G, Lahti J, Mikkilä V, Lemaitre RN, Eriksson J, Musani SK, Tanaka T, Geller F, Luan J, Hui J, Mägi R, Dimitriou M, Garcia ME, Ho W-K, Wright MJ, Rose LM, Magnusson PKE, Pedersen NL, Couper D, Oostra BA, Hofman A, Ikram MA, Tiemeier HW, Uitterlinden AG, van Rooij FJA, Barroso I, Johansson I, Xue L, Kaakinen M, Milani L, Power C, Snieder H, Stolk RP, Baumeister SE, Biffar R, Gu F, Bastardot F, Kutalik Z, Jacobs DR, Forouhi NG, Mihailov E, Lind L, Lindgren C, Michaëlsson K, Morris A, Jensen M, Khaw K-T, Luben RN, Wang JJ, Männistö S, Perälä M-M, Kähönen M, Lehtimäki T, Viikari J, Mozaffarian D, Mukamal K, Psaty BM, Döring A, Heath AC, Montgomery GW, Dahmen N, Carithers T, Tucker KL, Ferrucci L, Boyd HA, Melbye M, Treur JL, Mellström D, Hottenga JJ, Prokopenko I, Tönjes A, Deloukas P, Kanoni S, Lorentzon M, Houston DK, Liu Y, Danesh J, Rasheed A, Mason MA, Zonderman AB, Franke L, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Karjalainen J, Reed DR, Westra H-J, Evans MK, Saleheen D, Harris TB, Dedoussis G, Curhan G, Stumvoll M, Beilby J, Pasquale LR, Feenstra B, Bandinelli S, Ordovas JM, Chan AT, Peters U, Ohlsson C, Gieger C, Martin NG, Waldenberger M, Siscovick DS, Raitakari O, Eriksson JG, Mitchell P, Hunter DJ, Kraft P, Rimm EB, Boomsma DI, Borecki IB, Loos RJF, Wareham NJ, Vollenweider P, Caporaso N, Grabe HJ, Neuhouser ML, Wolffenbuttel BHR, Hu FB, Hyppönen E, Järvelin M-R, Cupples LA, Franks PW, Ridker PM, van Duijn CM, Heiss G, Metspalu A, North KE, Ingelsson E, Nettleton JA, van Dam RM, Chasman DI. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption. Mol Psychiatry 2015;20(5):647-56.Abstract
Coffee, a major dietary source of caffeine, is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world and has received considerable attention regarding health risks and benefits. We conducted a genome-wide (GW) meta-analysis of predominately regular-type coffee consumption (cups per day) among up to 91 462 coffee consumers of European ancestry with top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed-up in ~30 062 and 7964 coffee consumers of European and African-American ancestry, respectively. Studies from both stages were combined in a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. Confirmed loci were examined for putative functional and biological relevance. Eight loci, including six novel loci, met GW significance (log10Bayes factor (BF)>5.64) with per-allele effect sizes of 0.03-0.14 cups per day. Six are located in or near genes potentially involved in pharmacokinetics (ABCG2, AHR, POR and CYP1A2) and pharmacodynamics (BDNF and SLC6A4) of caffeine. Two map to GCKR and MLXIPL genes related to metabolic traits but lacking known roles in coffee consumption. Enhancer and promoter histone marks populate the regions of many confirmed loci and several potential regulatory SNPs are highly correlated with the lead SNP of each. SNP alleles near GCKR, MLXIPL, BDNF and CYP1A2 that were associated with higher coffee consumption have previously been associated with smoking initiation, higher adiposity and fasting insulin and glucose but lower blood pressure and favorable lipid, inflammatory and liver enzyme profiles (P<5 × 10(-8)).Our genetic findings among European and African-American adults reinforce the role of caffeine in mediating habitual coffee consumption and may point to molecular mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in pharmacological and health effects of coffee.
Duncker T, Tsang SH, Woods RL, Lee W, Zernant J, Allikmets R, Delori FC, Sparrow JR. Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography in PRPH2/RDS- and ABCA4-Associated Disease Exhibiting Phenotypic Overlap. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3159-70.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess whether quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF), a measure of RPE lipofuscin, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) can aid in the differentiation of patients with fundus features that could either be related to ABCA4 mutations or be part of the phenotypic spectrum of pattern dystrophies. METHODS: Autofluorescence images (30°, 488-nm excitation) from 39 patients (67 eyes) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference and were quantified as previously described. In addition, horizontal SD-OCT images through the fovea were obtained. Patients were screened for ABCA4 and PRPH2/RDS mutations. RESULTS: ABCA4 mutations were identified in 19 patients (mean age, 37 ± 12 years) and PRPH2/RDS mutations in 8 patients (mean age, 48 ± 13 years); no known ABCA4 or PRPH2/RDS mutations were found in 12 patients (mean age, 48 ± 9 years). Differentiation of the groups using phenotypic SD-OCT and AF features (e.g., peripapillary sparing, foveal sparing) was not reliable. However, patients with ABCA4 mutations could be discriminated reasonably well from other patients when qAF values were corrected for age and race. In general, ABCA4 patients had higher qAF values than PRPH2/RDS patients, while most patients without mutations in PRPH2/RDS or ABCA4 had qAF levels within the normal range. CONCLUSIONS: The high qAF levels of ABCA4-positive patients are a hallmark of ABCA4-related disease. The reason for high qAF among many PRPH2/RDS-positive patients is not known; higher RPE lipofuscin accumulation may be a primary or secondary effect of the PRPH2/RDS mutation.

van Essen TH, Roelen DL, Williams KA, Jager MJ. Matching for Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) in corneal transplantation - To do or not to do. Prog Retin Eye Res 2015;46:84-110.Abstract

As many patients with severe corneal disease are not even considered as candidates for a human graft due to their high risk of rejection, it is essential to find ways to reduce the chance of rejection. One of the options is proper matching of the cornea donor and recipient for the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), a subject of much debate. Currently, patients receiving their first corneal allograft are hardly ever matched for HLA and even patients undergoing a regraft usually do not receive an HLA-matched graft. While anterior and posterior lamellar grafts are not immune to rejection, they are usually performed in low risk, non-vascularized cases. These are the cases in which the immune privilege due to the avascular status and active immune inhibition is still intact. Once broken due to infection, sensitization or trauma, rejection will occur. There is enough data to show that when proper DNA-based typing techniques are being used, even low risk perforating corneal transplantations benefit from matching for HLA Class I, and high risk cases from HLA Class I and probably Class II matching. Combining HLA class I and class II matching, or using the HLAMatchmaker could further improve the effect of HLA matching. However, new techniques could be applied to reduce the chance of rejection. Options are the local or systemic use of biologics, or gene therapy, aiming at preventing or suppressing immune responses. The goal of all these approaches should be to prevent a first rejection, as secondary grafts are usually at higher risk of complications including rejections than first grafts.

Hong J, Yu Z, Jiang C, Zhou X, Liu Z, Sun X, Xu J. Corvis ST Tonometer for Measuring Postoperative IOP in LASIK Patients. Optom Vis Sci 2015;92(5):589-95.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare the postoperative measurements of intraocular pressure (IOP) using the Corvis ST Tonometer (CST), ocular response analyzer (ORA), and Goldmann applanation tonometry (GAT) in eyes undergoing laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), as well as to analyze the relationship between the corneal biomechanical parameters of the CST and the ORA. METHODS: Fifty participants who had undergone LASIK to treat myopia in the previous 3 months were enrolled. Postoperative IOP measurements of these participants were obtained using the CST, ORA (corneal-compensated IOP [IOPcc], Goldmann-correlated IOP [IOPg]), and GAT. Device agreement was calculated by Bland-Altman analysis. The metrics of corneal biomechanical properties were recorded using the ORA and the CST. Corneal biomechanical parameters were compared. RESULTS: The Bland-Altman analysis revealed a significant bias between CST and GAT, between CST and IOPcc, and between CST and IOPg of 3.4, 1.0, and 3.8, mm Hg, respectively, with 95% limits of agreement of -0.7 to 7.5 mm Hg, -2.1 to 4.2 mm Hg, and -0.4 to 8.0 mm Hg. The ORA-derived IOP measurements, CST-derived IOP, and GAT IOP values showed good correlation with each other. The CST IOP and IOPcc were higher than the GAT IOP (all p < 0.05), whereas IOPg did not differ from the GAT IOP readings. Ocular response analyzer-derived corneal biomechanical parameters (corneal hysteresis and the corneal resistance factor) showed significant correlations with CST-derived parameters, including the maximum deformation amplitude at the corneal apex and the time from start until the first applanation. CONCLUSIONS: The CST offers an alternative method for measuring postoperative IOP in LASIK patients, and it appears to obtain higher IOP values than other tonometry techniques. The technique may facilitate the investigation of corneal biomechanical property changes in LASIK-treated eyes.

Kazlauskas A. Lysophosphatidic acid contributes to angiogenic homeostasis. Exp Cell Res 2015;333(2):166-170.
La Rosa SL, Snipen L-G, Murray BE, Willems RJL, Gilmore MS, Diep DB, Nes IF, Brede DA. A Genomic Virulence Reference Map of Enterococcus faecalis Reveals an Important Contribution of Phage03-Like Elements in Nosocomial Genetic Lineages to Pathogenicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model. Infect Immun 2015;83(5):2156-67.Abstract
In the present study, the commensal and pathogenic host-microbe interaction of Enterococcus faecalis was explored using a Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The virulence of 28 E. faecalis isolates representing 24 multilocus sequence types (MLSTs), including human commensal and clinical isolates as well as isolates from animals and of insect origin, was investigated using C. elegans strain glp-4 (bn2ts); sek-1 (km4). This revealed that 6 E. faecalis isolates behaved in a commensal manner with no nematocidal effect, while the remaining strains showed a time to 50% lethality ranging from 47 to 120 h. Principal component analysis showed that the difference in nematocidal activity explained 94% of the variance in the data. Assessment of known virulence traits revealed that gelatinase and cytolysin production accounted for 40.8% and 36.5% of the observed pathogenicity, respectively. However, coproduction of gelatinase and cytolysin did not increase virulence additively, accounting for 50.6% of the pathogenicity and therefore indicating a significant (26.7%) saturation effect. We employed a comparative genomic analysis approach using the 28 isolates comprising a collection of 82,356 annotated coding sequences (CDS) to identify 2,325 patterns of presence or absence among the investigated strains. Univariate statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) established that individual patterns positively correlated (n = 61) with virulence. The patterns were investigated to identify potential new virulence traits, among which we found five patterns consisting of the phage03-like gene clusters. Strains harboring phage03 showed, on average, 17% higher killing of C. elegans (P = 4.4e(-6)). The phage03 gene cluster was also present in gelatinase-and-cytolysin-negative strain E. faecalis JH2-2. Deletion of this phage element from the JH2-2 clinical strain rendered the mutant apathogenic in C. elegans, and a similar mutant of the nosocomial V583 isolate showed significantly attenuated virulence. Bioinformatics investigation indicated that, unlike other E. faecalis virulence traits, phage03-like elements were found at a higher frequency among nosocomial isolates. In conclusion, our report provides a valuable virulence map that explains enhancement in E. faecalis virulence and contributes to a deeper comprehension of the genetic mechanism leading to the transition from commensalism to a pathogenic lifestyle.
Lee H-S, Hos D, Blanco T, Bock F, Reyes NJ, Mathew R, Cursiefen C, Dana R, Saban DR. Involvement of corneal lymphangiogenesis in a mouse model of allergic eye disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3140-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: The contribution of lymphangiogenesis (LA) to allergy has received considerable attention and therapeutic inhibition of this process via targeting VEGF has been considered. Likewise, certain inflammatory settings affecting the ocular mucosa can trigger pathogenic LA in the naturally avascular cornea. Chronic inflammation in allergic eye disease (AED) impacts the conjunctiva and cornea, leading to sight threatening conditions. However, whether corneal LA is involved is completely unknown. We addressed this using a validated mouse model of AED. METHODS: Allergic eye disease was induced by ovalbumin (OVA) immunization and chronic OVA exposure. Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea allowed evaluation of corneal LA, and qRT-PCR was used to evaluate expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3 in these mice. Administration of VEGF receptor (R) inhibitor was incorporated to inhibit corneal LA in AED. Immune responses were evaluated by in vitro OVA recall responses of T cells, and IgE levels in the serum. RESULTS: Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea revealed the distinct presence of corneal LA in AED, and corroborated by increased corneal expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3. Importantly, prevention of corneal LA in AED via VEGFR inhibition was associated with decreased T helper two responses and IgE production. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition led a significant reduction in clinical signs of AED. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data reveal that there is a distinct involvement of corneal LA in AED. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition prevents corneal LA and consequent immune responses in AED.

Lei H, Qian CX, Lei J, Haddock LJ, Mukai S, Kazlauskas A. RasGAP Promotes Autophagy and Thereby Suppresses Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor-Mediated Signaling Events, Cellular Responses, and Pathology. Mol Cell Biol 2015;35(10):1673-85.Abstract
Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors (PDGFRs) make profound contributions to both physiology and pathology. While it is widely believed that direct (PDGF-mediated) activation is the primary mode of activating PDGFRs, the discovery that they can also be activated indirectly begs the question of the relevance of the indirect mode of activating PDGFRs. In the context of a blinding eye disease, indirect activation of PDGFRα results in persistent signaling, which suppresses the level of p53 and thereby promotes viability of cells that drive pathogenesis. Under the same conditions, PDGFRβ fails to undergo indirect activation. In this paper, we report that RasGAP (GTPase-activating protein of Ras) prevented indirect activation of PDGFRβ. RasGAP, which associates with PDGFRβ but not PDGFRα, reduced the level of mitochondrion-derived reactive oxygen species, which are required for enduring activation of PDGFRs. Furthermore, preventing PDGFRβ from associating with RasGAP allowed it to signal enduringly and drive pathogenesis of a blinding eye disease. These results indicate a previously unappreciated role of RasGAP in antagonizing indirect activation of PDGFRβ, define the underlying mechanism, and raise the possibility that PDGFRβ-mediated diseases involve indirect activation of PDGFRβ.
Munro RJ, Fulton AB, Chui TYP, Moskowitz A, Ramamirtham R, Hansen RM, Prabhu SP, Akula JD. Eye growth in term- and preterm-born eyes modeled from magnetic resonance images. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3121-31.Abstract

PURPOSE: We generated a model of eye growth and tested it against an eye known to develop abnormally, one with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). METHODS: We reviewed extant magnetic resonance images (MRIs) from term and preterm-born patients for suitable images (n = 129). We binned subjects for analysis based upon postmenstrual age at birth (in weeks) and ROP history ("Term" ≥ 37, "Premature" ≤ 32 with no ROP, "ROP" ≤ 32 with ROP). We measured the axial positions and curvatures of the cornea, anterior and posterior lens, and inner retinal surface. We fit anterior chamber depth (ACD), posterior segment depth (PSD), axial length (AL), and corneal and lenticular curvatures with logistic growth curves that we then evaluated for significant differences. We also measured the length of rays from the centroid to the surface of the eye at 5° intervals, and described the length versus age relationship of each ray, Lray(x), using the same logistic growth curve. We determined the rate of ray elongation, Eray(x), from Lraydy/dx. Then, we estimated the scleral growth that accounted for Eray(x), G(x), at every age and position. RESULTS: Relative to Term, development of ACD, PSD, AL, and corneal and lenticular curvatures was delayed in ROP eyes, but not Premature eyes. In Term infants, G(x) was fast and predominantly equatorial; in age-matched ROP eyes, maximal G(x) was offset by approximately 90°. CONCLUSIONS: We produced a model of normal eye growth in term-born subjects. Relative to normal, the ROP eye is characterized by delayed, abnormal growth.

Rajaiya J, Zhou X, Barequet I, Gilmore MS, Chodosh J. Novel model of innate immunity in corneal infection. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim 2015;Abstract

The cornea functions as the major refractive interface for vision and protects the internal eye from insult. Current understanding of innate immune responses to corneal infection derives from a synthesis of in vitro and in vivo analyses. However, monolayer cell cultures and mouse models do not accurately duplicate all aspects of innate immunity in human patients. Here, we describe a three-dimensional culture system that incorporates human cells and extracellular matrix to more completely simulate the human cornea for studies of infection. Human corneal stromal fibroblasts were mixed with type I collagen in 3-μm pore size transwell inserts, and overlayed with Matrigel to simulate a human corneal stroma and epithelial basement membrane. These were then infected with a cornea-tropic adenovirus, and exposed on their inferior side to leukocytes derived from human peripheral blood. Subsequent analyses were performed with histology, confocal microscopy, ELISA, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). CXCL8, a neutrophil chemokine shown previously as the first cytokine induced in infection of human corneal cells, increased upon adenovirus infection of facsimiles in a dose-responsive fashion. Myeloperoxidase-positive cells infiltrated infected corneal facsimiles in a sub-Matrigel location, possibly due to CXCL8 colocalization with heparan sulfate, a Matrigel constituent. Cellular infiltration was significantly inhibited by treatment with chemical inhibitors of p38 MAPK and Src kinase, both constituents of a signaling cascade previously suggested to regulate inflammation after adenovirus infection. FACS analysis determined that both virus and corneal fibroblasts were necessary for the induction of leukocyte migration into the facsimiles. The corneal facsimile, literally a cornea in a test tube, permits mechanistic studies on human tissue in a highly tractable system.

Rao RC, Ballard TNS, Chen TC. Iris heterochromia and unilateral eyelash hypertrichosis. JAMA 2015;313(19):1967-8.
Rubinfeld RS, Trattler WB, Talamo J, Majmudar P, Lindstrom RL. Screening of refractive surgery candidates for LASIK and PRK. Cornea 2015;34(5):e13-4.
SanGiovanni JP, Chen J, Gupta AS, Smith LEH, Sapieha P, Lee PH. Netrin-1 - DCC Signaling Systems and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. PLoS One 2015;10(5):e0125548.Abstract

We conducted a nested candidate gene study and pathway-based enrichment analysis on data from a multi-national 77,000-person project on the molecular genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to identify AMD-associated DNA-sequence variants in genes encoding constituents of a netrin-1 (NTN1)-based signaling pathway that converges on DNA-binding transcription complexes through a 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate-calcineurin (cAMP-CN)-dependent axis. AMD-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existed in 9 linkage disequilibrium-independent genomic regions; these included loci overlapping NTN1 (rs9899630, P ≤ 9.48 x 10-5), DCC (Deleted in Colorectal Cancer)-the gene encoding a primary NTN1 receptor (rs8097127, P ≤ 3.03 x 10-5), and 6 other netrin-related genes. Analysis of the NTN1-DCC pathway with exact methods demonstrated robust enrichment with AMD-associated SNPs (corrected P-value = 0.038), supporting the idea that processes driven by NTN1-DCC signaling systems operate in advanced AMD. The NTN1-DCC pathway contains targets of FDA-approved drugs and may offer promise for guiding applied clinical research on preventive and therapeutic interventions for AMD.

Shainheit MG, Valentino MD, Gilmore MS, Camilli A. Mutations in Pneumococcal cpsE Generated via In Vitro Serial Passaging Reveal a Potential Mechanism of Reduced Encapsulation Utilized by a Conjunctival Isolate. J Bacteriol 2015;197(10):1781-91.Abstract
UNLABELLED: The polysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for nasopharyngeal colonization and for invasive disease in the lungs, blood, and meninges. In contrast, the vast majority of conjunctival isolates are acapsular. The first serotype-specific gene in the capsule operon, cpsE, encodes the initiating glycosyltransferase and is one of the few serotype-specific genes that can tolerate null mutations. This report characterizes a spontaneously arising TIGR4 mutant exhibiting a reduced capsule, caused by a 6-nucleotide duplication in cpsE which results in duplication of Ala and Ile at positions 45 and 46. This strain (AI45dup) possessed more exposed phosphorylcholine and was hypersusceptible to C3 complement deposition compared to the wild type. Accordingly, the mutant was significantly better at forming abiotic biofilms and binding epithelial cells in vitro but was avirulent in a sepsis model. In vitro serial passaging of the wild-type strain failed to reproduce the AI45dup mutation but instead led to a variety of mutants with reduced capsule harboring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cpsE. A single passage in the sepsis model after high-dose inoculation readily yielded revertants of AI45dup with restored wild-type capsule level, but the majority of SNP alleles of cpsE could not revert, suppress, or bypass. Analysis of cpsE in conjunctival isolates revealed a strain with a single missense mutation at amino acid position 377, which was responsible for reduced encapsulation. This study supports the hypothesis that spontaneous, nonreverting mutations in cpsE serve as a form of adaptive mutation by providing a selective advantage to S. pneumoniae in niches where expression of capsule is detrimental. IMPORTANCE: While the capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for colonization and invasive disease, most conjunctival isolates are acapsular by virtue of deletion of the entire capsular operon. We show that spontaneous acapsular mutants isolated in vitro harbor mostly nonrevertible single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) null mutations in cpsE, encoding the initiating glycosyltransferase. From a small collection of acapsular conjunctival isolates, we identified one strain with a complete capsular operon but containing a SNP in cpsE that we show is responsible for the acapsular phenotype. We propose that acapsular conjunctival isolates may arise initially from such nonreverting SNP null mutations in cpsE, which can be followed later by deletion of portions or all of the cps operon.
Silva PS, Aiello LP. Telemedicine and eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy: a time to maximize real-world outcomes. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(5):525-6.
Silva PS, Cavallerano JD, Haddad NMN, Kwak H, Dyer KH, Omar AF, Shikari H, Aiello LM, Sun JK, Aiello LP. Peripheral Lesions Identified on Ultrawide Field Imaging Predict Increased Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression over 4Years. Ophthalmology 2015;122(5):949-56.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether peripheral diabetic retinopathy (DR) lesions identified on ultrawide field (UWF) imaging are associated with increased DR progression. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal cohort. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred eyes of 100 participants previously enrolled in a comparative instrument validation study. METHODS: Baseline mydriatic 7-standard field Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) photographs and UWF images were obtained. On UWF images, DR lesions with a greater extent outside versus inside standard ETDRS fields were defined as predominantly peripheral lesions (PPLs). Follow-up ETDRS photographs were obtained 4.2±0.3 years after baseline. Baseline and follow-up DR severity were graded from ETDRS photographs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of 2-step or more progression and progression to proliferative DR (PDR) in eyes with PPLs compared with eyes without PPLs identified on UWF imaging at baseline. RESULTS: In eyes without PDR (n = 109) at baseline, 56 (51%) had at least 1 field with PPLs and 43 (39%) had DR progression. Compared with eyes without PPLs, eyes with PPLs had a 3.2-fold increased risk of 2-step or more DR progression (6 [11%] vs. 19 [34%]; P = 0.005) and a 4.7-fold increased risk for progression to PDR (3 [6%] vs. 14 [25%]; P = 0.005). These findings remained statistically significant after adjusting for gender, diabetes type, diabetes duration, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, and baseline DR severity. Increasing extent of fields with PPLs increased the risk for 2-step or more DR progression (P = 0.004) and progression to PDR (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Presence and increasing extent of PPLs were associated with increased risk of DR progression over 4 years, independent of baseline DR severity and HbA1c levels. Increasing extent of PPLs substantially increased the risk of DR progression and progression to PDR, especially with less severe DR at baseline. These findings demonstrate that detailed peripheral retinal evaluation provides important information that is necessary to assess completely the risk of DR progression.

Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA. Demonstration of a Borst-Jadassohn-Like Phenomenon in Sebaceous Carcinoma of the Eyelid. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

A 77-year-old male presented with a diffuse, papular erythematous conjunctival mass that demonstrated on pathologic examination lobules of tumor in the conjunctival substantia propria and tarsus. The cells displayed numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles with extreme nuclear pleomorphism, consistent with sebaceous carcinoma. The overlying palpebral conjunctival epithelium exhibited regions of carcinoma in situ containing some vacuolated cells, alternating with a more classical appearance of pagetoid spread among normal surviving keratinocytes. Further analysis disclosed vesicular positivity for adipophilin and positive nuclear staining for androgen receptor. One tumor focus harbored exaggerated collections of intraepithelial tumor cells. These simulated the Borst-Jadassohn phenomenon of large nests of alien appearing cells normally encountered within the epidermis of the skin. This is the first description of this pattern created by an eyelid sebaceous carcinoma growing within the conjunctival epithelium.