OBJECTIVES: To conduct a pilot study to evaluate the predictive value of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test (MoCA) and a brief test of multiple object tracking (MOT) relative to other tests of cognition and attention in identifying at-risk older drivers, and to determine which combination of tests provided the best overall prediction. METHODS: Forty-seven currently licensed drivers (58-95 years), primarily from a clinical driving evaluation program, participated. Their performance was measured on: (1) a screening test battery, comprising MoCA, MOT, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Trail-Making Test, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and Useful Field of View (UFOV) and (2) a standardized road test. RESULTS: Eighteen participants were rated at-risk on the road test. UFOV subtest 2 was the best single predictor with an area under the curve (AUC) of .84. Neither MoCA nor MOT was a better predictor of the at-risk outcome than either MMSE or UFOV, respectively. The best four-test combination (MMSE, UFOV subtest 2, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity) was able to identify at-risk drivers with 95% specificity and 80% sensitivity (.91 AUC). CONCLUSIONS: Although the best four-test combination was much better than a single test in identifying at-risk drivers, there is still much work to do in this field to establish test batteries that have both high sensitivity and specificity.
Regeneration of blood vessels in ischemic neuronal tissue is critical to reduce tissue damage in diseases. In proliferative retinopathy, initial vessel loss leads to retinal ischemia, which can induce either regrowth of vessels to restore normal metabolism and minimize damage, or progress to hypoxia-induced sight-threatening pathologic vaso-proliferation. It is not well understood how retinal neurons mediate regeneration of vascular growth in response to ischemic insults. In this study we aim to investigate the potential role of Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), a metabolically-regulated protein deacetylase, in mediating the response of ischemic neurons to regulate vascular regrowth in a mouse model of oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy (OIR). We found that Sirt1 is highly induced in the avascular ischemic retina in OIR. Conditional depletion of neuronal Sirt1 leads to significantly decreased retinal vascular regeneration into the avascular zone and increased hypoxia-induced pathologic vascular growth. This effect is likely independent of PGC-1α, a known Sirt1 target, as absence of PGC-1α in knockout mice does not impact vascular growth in retinopathy. We found that neuronal Sirt1 controls vascular regrowth in part through modulating deacetylation and stability of hypoxia-induced factor 1α and 2α, and thereby modulating expression of angiogenic factors. These results indicate that ischemic neurons induce Sirt1 to promote revascularization into ischemic neuronal areas, suggesting a novel role of neuronal Sirt1 in mediating vascular regeneration in ischemic conditions, with potential implications beyond retinopathy.
PURPOSE: To evaluate clinicopathologically and immunohistochemically a spectrum of conjunctival squamous proliferations. DESIGN: Retrospective clinicopathologic study. METHODS: One large cell acanthoma, 7 epidermoid dysplasias, and 4 squamous papillomas were evaluated with microscopy and biomarkers Ki-67, p53, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), Ber-EP4, AE1, AE3, and 8 individual cytokeratins. Normal associated conjunctiva served as a baseline for interpretation. RESULTS: The large cell acanthoma recurred 4 times but retained its benign histopathologic features. The cells were 2-3 times larger than the keratinocytes of the normal conjunctiva and did not display atypia. Immunohistochemistry revealed a low Ki-67 proliferation index (PI) in the large cell acanthoma compared with high indices in dysplasias and papillomas. p53 was negative in the nuclei of normal epithelium while positive in all neoplasms, most intensely in the dysplasias. Immunostaining showed similar staining patterns for cytokeratins in large cell acanthoma and normal conjunctiva, except for full-thickness CK14 positivity and CK7 negativity in the lesion. Dysplasias generally lost normal CK7 expression and frequently abnormally expressed CK17. The papillomas displayed a normal cytokeratin pattern but exhibited a higher than normal PI and weak p53 positivity. CONCLUSIONS: Conjunctival large cell acanthoma is a morphologically distinctive clonal entity with clinical and immunohistochemical phenotypic characteristics denoting a dysplasia of minimal severity. Because of recurrences without invasion, it requires treatment. Dysplasias exhibited more deviant biomarker abnormalities including frequent aberrant full-thickness CK17 positivity and CK7 negativity. The absence of major cytokeratin derangements in the squamous papillomas may be of ancillary diagnostic value for lesions displaying borderline cytologic features.
PURPOSE: We have previously shown that TGF-β3 (T3) stimulates extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly while maintaining antifibrotic characteristics in a model using human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs). This model, however, requires non-physiological levels of serum. In the current study, we tested whether T3 could stimulate human corneal keratocytes (HCKs) in vitro to assemble a functional ECM, while maintaining their characteristics. METHODS: Human corneal keratocytes and HCFs were isolated and cultured using 1% or 10% serum, respectively ±T3. The constructs were processed for indirect immunofluorescence (IF), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and qRT-PCR, analyzing for keratocyte marker, keratocan, and ECM components, collagen (col) types I, III, and V. RESULTS: Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR data showed that keratocan, col I, and V were all upregulated in HCKs compared with HCFs, whereas col III was expressed at low levels in HCKs. Transforming growth factor beta 3 stimulation further enhanced the level of change. Without T3, HCK constructs were very thin, approximately 5 μm; however, as with HCFs, upon stimulation with T3, HCK constructs increased in thickness by approximately 5-fold. Cell counts and ECM production revealed that HCKs assembled more ECM per unit area compared with HCFs, and IF revealed downregulation of fibrotic markers, col III, and thrombospondin-1, with T3 stimulation. Transmission electron microscopy data revealed aligned ECM with long fibrils for all conditions except HCK Controls. Human corneal keratocytes+T3 also showed denser collagen fibrils with more consistent fibril diameter. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the data suggests that it is possible to stimulate matrix secretion and assembly by HCKs in vitro by using a single growth factor, T3.
BACKGROUND: The vertebrate retina comprises sensory neurons, the photoreceptors, as well as many other types of neurons and one type of glial cell. These cells are generated by multipotent and restricted retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), which express Notch1. Loss of Notch1 in RPCs late during retinal development results in the overproduction of rod photoreceptors at the expense of interneurons and glia. RESULTS: To examine the molecular underpinnings of this observation, microarray analysis of single retinal cells from wild-type or Notch1 conditional knockout retinas was performed. In situ hybridization was carried out to validate some of the findings. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of Notch1-mutant cells lost expression of known Notch target genes. These cells also had low levels of RPC and cell cycle genes, and robustly up-regulated rod precursor genes. In addition, single wild-type cells, in which cell cycle marker genes were down-regulated, expressed markers of both rod photoreceptors and interneurons.
Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a common complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Ocular GVHD develops in approximately 40-60% of patients following allo-SCT and its most common clinical manifestations include keratoconjunctivitis sicca and cicatricial conjunctivitis. Ocular GVHD may lead to severe ocular surface disease, which can significantly diminish quality of life and restrict daily activities. It is thus important to monitor the condition closely since with timely diagnosis, irreversible damage can be avoided. The current review will focus on updated information regarding ocular GVHD.
PURPOSE: To characterize a unique cytomegalovirus (CMV)-associated retinopathy in patients with limited immune dysfunction. METHODS: Retrospective observational case series. CMV was confirmed as the pathogenic agent via polymerase chain reaction analysis of aqueous or vitreous humor samples or via immunohistochemical analysis of retinal biopsy specimens. RESULTS: Five non-HIV patients with granular necrotizing retinitis, vitritis, and severe occlusive vasculopathy were identified. Patient histories all suggested a basis for limited immune dysfunction including advanced age (n = 4), diabetes mellitus (n = 4), and noncytotoxic immunotherapy (n = 3). Diagnosis of CMV retinitis was delayed in all cases and patients received either no antiviral therapy (n = 2) or incorrect antiviral therapy (n = 3) for presumed herpes simplex/varicella zoster-related acute retinal necrosis. Retinitis subsequently regressed in all cases with introduction of systemic ganciclovir/valganciclovir (n = 5) and/or intravitreal foscarnet (n = 2). Four of five patients developed neovascularization because of extensive retinal ischemia. CONCLUSION: The clinical expression of CMV-associated retinopathy is strongly related to immune status. In patients with limited immune dysfunction, a mixed clinical picture of intraocular inflammation with panretinal occlusive vasculopathy, more characteristic of acute retinal necrosis, and peripheral slowly progressive granular retinitis, more characteristic of classic CMV retinitis, is observed. Recognition of this atypical clinical presentation, which the authors term chronic retinal necrosis, should prompt molecular testing for CMV to determine the appropriate antiviral therapy. Consideration should also be given to prophylactic panretinal photocoagulation in such eyes, given the high risk of neovascular complications.
The cellular entry of viruses represents a critical area of study, not only for viral tropism, but also because viral entry dictates the nature of the immune response elicited upon infection. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), caused by viruses within human adenovirus species D (HAdV-D), is a severe, ocular surface infection associated with corneal inflammation. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis has previously been shown to play a critical role in entry of other HAdV species into many host cell types. However, HAdV-D endocytosis into corneal cells has not been extensively studied. Herein, we show an essential role for cholesterol rich, lipid raft microdomains and caveolin-1, in the entry of HAdV-D37 into primary human corneal fibroblasts. Cholesterol depletion using methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) profoundly reduced viral infection. When replenished with soluble cholesterol, the effect of MβCD was reversed, allowing productive viral infection. HAdV-D37 DNA was identified in caveolin-1 rich endosomal fractions after infection. Src kinase activity was also increased in caveolin-1 rich endosomal fractions after infection, and Src phosphorylation and CXCL1 induction were both decreased in caveolin-1-/- mice corneas compared to wild type mice. siRNA knock down of caveolin-1 in corneal cells reduced chemokine induction upon viral infection, and caveolin-1-/- mouse corneas showed reduced cellular entry of HAdV-D37. As a control, HAdV-C2, a non-corneal pathogen, appeared to utilize the caveolar pathway for entry into A549 cells, but failed to infect corneal cells entirely, indicating virus and cell specific tropism. Immuno-electron microscopy confirmed the presence of caveolin-1 in HAdV-D37-containing vesicles during the earliest stages of viral entry. Collectively, these experiments indicate for the first time that HAdV-D37 uses a lipid raft mediated caveolin-1 associated pathway for entry into corneal cells, and connects the processes of viral entry with downstream proinflammatory cell signaling.
PURPOSE: Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is an oxidative stress disorder that leads to age-related and gradual loss of corneal endothelial cells resulting in corneal edema and loss of vision. To date, other than surgical intervention, there are no treatment options for patients with FECD. We have shown that in FECD, there is a deficiency in nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-regulated antioxidant defense due to decreased Nrf2 nuclear translocation and activation of antioxidant response element (ARE). In this study, we used sulforaphane (SFN) and D3T to investigate a strategy of targeting Nrf2-ARE in FECD. METHODS: FECD and normal ex vivo corneas and human corneal endothelial cell lines were pretreated with SFN or D3T and exposed to oxidative stress with tert-Butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP). Apoptosis was detected with TUNEL. Cellular localization of Nrf2 and p53 was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Effect of SFN was determined by using DCFDA assay, Western blot and real-time PCR. RESULTS: After pretreatment with SFN, oxidative stress was induced with tBHP. In ex vivo FECD specimens, SFN decreased CEC apoptosis by 55% in unstressed group and by 43% in tBHP-treated specimens. SFN enhanced nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in FECD specimens and decreased p53 staining under oxidative stress. Pretreatment with SFN enhanced cell viability by decreasing intracellular reactive oxygen species production. Upregulation of Nrf2 levels led to increased synthesis of DJ-1, heme oxygenase 1, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide quinone oxidoreductase-1. SFN significantly upregulated major ARE-dependent antioxidants and ameliorated oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in FECD. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that targeting Nrf2-ARE pathway may arrest degenerative cell loss seen in FECD.