PURPOSE: To analyze the contralateral unaffected eyes of patients with microbial keratitis (MK) for any immune cell or nerve changes by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: A prospective study was performed on 28 patients with MK, including acute bacterial, fungal, and Acanthamoeba keratitis, as well as on their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and on control groups, which consisted of 28 age-matched normal controls and 15 control contact lens (CL) wearers. Laser IVCM with the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module and Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometry of the central cornea were performed. Two masked observers assessed central corneal dendritiform cell density and subbasal corneal nerve parameters. RESULTS: The contralateral clinically unaffected eyes of patients with MK demonstrated significant diminishment in nerve density (15,603.8 ± 1265.2 vs. 24,102.1 ± 735.6 μm/mm2), total number of nerves (11.9 ± 1.0 vs. 24.9 ± 1.2/frame), number of branches (1.7 ± 0.2 vs. 19.9 ± 1.3/frame), and branch nerve length (5775.2 ± 757.1 vs. 12,715.4 ± 648.4 μm/mm2) (P < 0.001 for all parameters) compared to normal controls and CL wearers. Further, dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes was significantly increased as compared to that in controls (117.5 ± 19.9 vs. 24.2 ± 3.5 cells/mm2, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a subclinical involvement in the contralateral clinically unaffected eyes in patients with unilateral acute MK. In vivo confocal microscopy reveals not only a diminishment of the subbasal corneal nerves and sensation, but also an increase in dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes of MK patients. These findings show bilateral immune alterations in a clinically unilateral disease.
Cosmetic facial fillers have gained immense popularity in recent years. Although some patients opt to undergo an injection over surgery in light of the risks of an operation, there have been numerous reports of complications from these injections, including blindness. It is thought that filler particles can migrate within an artery and become emboli within small vessels. This case of focal orbital inflammation and dysmotility as a consequence of calcium hydroxylapatite filler injection in the face has not yet been documented in the literature.
Exfoliation syndrome (XFS) is an important risk factor for glaucoma (XFG) worldwide. LOXL1 variants are highly associated with XFS in most populations; however, the high frequency of risk alleles in normal individuals and the reversal of risk alleles in different ethnic populations suggest that other factors contribute to XFS pathogenesis. Clusterin (CLU) is an extracellular matrix chaperone that prevents protein aggregation and is highly expressed in ocular tissues affected by XFS. Studies examining common CLU variants for association with XFS have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to evaluate CLU variants for association with XFS in two independent datasets from the United States (222 cases and 344 controls) and Israel (92 cases and 102 controls). Seven tag SNPs that captured >95% of alleles at r(2) greater than 0.8 across the CLU genomic region were genotyped using TaqMan assays. Genotypes for an additional SNP, rs2279590, were imputed using phased haplotypes of HapMap reference CEU samples. Of the 8 CLU SNPs selected for the study, none were significantly associated with XFS in either case-control group (age and sex adjusted P > 0.14 and 0.36, respectively, in the US and Israeli datasets), or when they were meta-analyzed together (age and sex adjusted P > 0.13). Haplotype analysis using all 8 SNPs or only the promoter region SNPs also did not show significant associations of CLU with XFS in the combined US and Israeli dataset (P > 0.28). Meta-analysis of the data from this study and previous studies in Caucasian populations (1184 cases and 978 controls) resulted in statistically significant association of rs2279590 with XFS (summary OR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.03-1.33, P = 0.01). Significant association between rs2279590 and XFS was also found in Indian populations (summary OR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.61-0.96; P = 0.02); however, significant heterogeneity between the Caucasian and Indian populations possibly due to reversal of the risk allele precluded an overall meta-analysis for rs2279590 (Q = 0.001, I(2) = 91%). No significant association was identified for rs3087554 in either Caucasian populations (summary OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, P = 0.17) or Indian populations (summary OR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.72-1.10, P = 0.28), or in both populations combined (1705 cases and 3713 controls; summary OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.79-1.01, P = 0.08). Significant heterogeneity precluded the addition of the Japanese data to the meta-analysis for rs3087554 (Q = 0.006, I(2) = 87%). Our results suggest that common CLU variants may contribute to modest XFS risk but even larger datasets are required to confirm these findings.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary cause of vision loss in the western world (Friedman et al., Arch Ophthalmol 122:564-572, 2004). The first clinical indication of AMD is the presence of drusen. However, with age and prior to the formation of drusen, extracellular basal deposits accumulate between the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane (BrM). Many studies on the molecular composition of the basal deposits and drusen have demonstrated the presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, complement components and cellular debris. The evidence reviewed here suggests that alteration in RPE cell function might be the primary cause for the accumulation of ECM and cellular debri found in basal deposits. Further studies are obviously needed in order to unravel the specific pathways that lead to abnormal formation of ECM and complement activation.
Inherited and age-related macular degenerations (AMDs) are important causes of vision loss. An early hallmark of these disorders is the formation of sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) basal deposits. A role for the complement system in MDs was suggested by genetic association studies, but direct functional connections between alterations in the complement system and the pathogenesis of MD remain to be defined. We used primary RPE cells from a mouse model of inherited MD due to a p.R345W mutation in EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) to investigate the role of the RPE in early MD pathogenesis. Efemp1(R345W) RPE cells recapitulate the basal deposit formation observed in vivo by producing sub-RPE deposits in vitro. The deposits share features with basal deposits, and their formation was mediated by EFEMP1(R345W) or complement component 3a (C3a), but not by complement component 5a (C5a). Increased activation of complement appears to occur in response to an abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM), generated by the mutant EFEMP1(R345W) protein and reduced ECM turnover due to inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase 2 by EFEMP1(R345W) and C3a. Increased production of C3a also stimulated the release of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1B, which appear to have a role in deposit formation, albeit downstream of C3a. These studies provide the first direct indication that complement components produced locally by the RPE are involved in the formation of basal deposits. Furthermore, these results suggest that C3a generated by RPE is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of EFEMP1-associated MD as well as AMD.
Although chronic inflammatory disorders of the ocular adnexa are relatively common, their pathogenesis is in many cases poorly understood. Recent investigation suggests that many cases of sclerosing orbital inflammation are a manifestation of IgG4-related disease; however, most patients reported have been Asian, and it is not clear whether the results of studies from the Far East can be reliably extrapolated to draw conclusions about Western patients. We evaluated 38 cases previously diagnosed as orbital inflammatory pseudotumor or chronic dacryoadenitis to determine whether our cases fulfill the criteria for IgG4-RD (IgG4-related dacryoadenitis when involving the lacrimal gland, and IgG4-related sclerosing orbital inflammation when involving orbital soft tissue). Fifteen patients had IgG4-related dacryoadenitis or orbital inflammation. These patients included 9 men and 6 women, aged 24 to 77 years (median, 64 y). Lesions involved orbital soft tissue (8 cases), lacrimal gland (6 cases), and canthus (1 case). In 1 case, focal in situ follicular neoplasia was seen in a background of IgG4-RD. In another case, a clonal IGH gene rearrangement was detected. Four patients with IgG4-RD had evidence of IgG4-RD in other anatomic sites. Five patients, 1 man and 4 women, aged 26 to 74 years (median 50 y) had orbital lesions (2 involving lacrimal gland, 3 involving soft tissue) suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, IgG4-RD. Of 16 patients with IgG4-RD or probable IgG4-RD with information available regarding the course of their disease, 11 patients experienced recurrent or persistent orbital disease. However, no patient developed lymphoma, and no patient died of complications of IgG4-RD. Eighteen patients had lesions not representing IgG4-RD. They included 6 male and 12 female individuals aged 6 to 77 years (median, 47 y). These patients had a variety of diseases, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (3 cases), Rosai-Dorfman disease (1 case), nonspecific chronic inflammation and fibrosis involving lacrimal gland or soft tissue (12 cases), and others. Clinical and pathologic findings among our patients with IgG4-RD involving the orbit are similar to those previously described in Asian patients. Careful evaluation of histologic and immunophenotypic features and clinical correlation are required to distinguish orbital IgG4-RD from other sclerosing inflammatory lesions in the orbit.
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical and histopathologic features distinguishing an extensive complex choristoma of the epibulbar surface and to address the management of such lesions. METHODS: Clinical history, diagnostic imaging studies, and histopathologic sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin were reviewed from a 2-year-old girl with a congenital conjunctival lesion of the right eye that was surgically excised. RESULTS: The patient clinically displayed an extensive, vascularized amelanotic conjunctival lesion located superotemporally with extension onto the cornea. Her visual acuity was reduced to 20/670. The clinical diagnosis was a large lacrimal gland choristoma with corneal involvement and resulting deprivation amblyopia. The patient underwent an excision of the lesion including the corneal portion, and the ocular surface was reconstructed with amniotic membrane. Histopathologic evaluation disclosed lobules of lacrimal tissue and cartilage plaques, smooth muscle, and nerves consistent with a complex choristoma. Six weeks postoperatively, the visual acuity had improved to 20/180. The patient returned to her local ophthalmologist for amblyopia management. CONCLUSIONS: We emphasize the importance of recognizing lesion-induced amblyopia and the timely performance of appropriate surgery for complex epibulbar choristomas. A differential diagnosis of other congenital epibulbar lesions is provided.
Detecting the gaze direction of others is critical for many social interactions. We explored factors that may make the perception of mutual gaze more difficult, including the degradation of the stimulus and simulated vision impairment. To what extent do these factors affect the complex assessment of mutual gaze? Using an interactive virtual head whose eye direction could be manipulated by the subject, we conducted two experiments to assess the effects of simulated vision impairments on mutual gaze. Healthy subjects had to demarcate the center and the edges of the cone of gaze-that is, the range of gaze directions that are accepted for mutual gaze. When vision was impaired by adding a semitransparent white contrast reduction mask to the display (Exp. 1), judgments became more variable and more influenced by the head direction (indicative of a compensation strategy). When refractive blur was added (Exp. 1), the gaze cone shrank from 12.9° (no blur) to 11.3° (3-diopter lens), which cannot be explained by a low-level process but might reflect a tightening of the criterion for mutual gaze as a response to the increased uncertainty. However, the overall effects of the impairments were relatively modest. Elderly subjects (Exp. 2) produced more variability but did not differ qualitatively from the younger subjects. In the face of artificial vision impairments, compensation mechanisms and criterion changes allow us to perform better in mutual gaze perception than would be predicted by a simple extrapolation from the losses in basic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.
This study characterizes the kallikrein-kinin system in vitreous from individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME) and examines mechanisms contributing to retinal thickening and retinal vascular permeability (RVP). Plasma prekallikrein (PPK) and plasma kallikrein (PKal) were increased twofold and 11.0-fold (both P < 0.0001), respectively, in vitreous from subjects with DME compared with those with a macular hole (MH). While the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level was also increased in DME vitreous, PKal and VEGF concentrations do not correlate (r = 0.266, P = 0.112). Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we identified 167 vitreous proteins, including 30 that were increased in DME (fourfold or more, P < 0.001 vs. MH). The majority of proteins associated with DME displayed a higher correlation with PPK than with VEGF concentrations. DME vitreous containing relatively high levels of PKal and low VEGF induced RVP when injected into the vitreous of diabetic rats, a response blocked by bradykinin receptor antagonism but not by bevacizumab. Bradykinin-induced retinal thickening in mice was not affected by blockade of VEGF receptor 2. Diabetes-induced RVP was decreased by up to 78% (P < 0.001) in Klkb1 (PPK)-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. B2- and B1 receptor-induced RVP in diabetic mice was blocked by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and inducible NOS deficiency, respectively. These findings implicate the PKal pathway as a VEGF-independent mediator of DME.
PURPOSE: To characterize the risk and risk factors for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in pediatric noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Nine hundred sixteen children (1593 eyes) younger than 18 years at presentation with noninfectious uveitis followed up between January 1978 and December 2007 at 5 academic uveitis centers in the United States. METHODS: Medical records review by trained, certified experts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and incidence of IOP of 21 mmHg or more and 30 mmHg or more and incidence of a rise in IOP by 10 mmHg or more. To avoid underascertainment, outcomes were counted as present when IOP-lowering therapies were in use. RESULTS: Initially, 251 (15.8%) and 46 eyes (2.9%) had IOP ≥21 mmHg and ≥30 mmHg, respectively. Factors significantly associated with presenting IOP elevation included age of 6 to 12 years (versus other pediatric ages), prior cataract surgery, pars plana vitrectomy, duration of uveitis ≥6 months, contralateral IOP elevation, presenting visual acuity worse than 20/40, and topical corticosteroid use (in a dose-response relationship). The median follow-up was 1.25 years (interquartile range, 0.4-3.66). The estimated incidence of any observed IOP elevation to ≥21 mmHg, to ≥30 mmHg, and increase in IOP by ≥10 mmHg was 33.4%, 14.8%, and 24.4%, respectively, within 2 years. Factors associated with IOP elevation included pars plana vitrectomy, contralateral IOP elevation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], up to 9.54; P < 0.001), and the use of topical (aHR, up to 8.77 that followed a dose-response relationship; P < 0.001), periocular (aHR, up to 7.96; P < 0.001), and intraocular (aHR, up to 19.7; P < 0.001) corticosteroids. CONCLUSIONS: Intraocular pressure elevation affects a large minority of children with noninfectious uveitis. Statistically significant risk factors include IOP elevation or use of IOP-lowering treatment in the contralateral eye and local corticosteroid use that demonstrated a dose-and route of administration-dependent relationship. In contrast, use of immunosuppressive drug therapy did not increase such risk. Pediatric eyes with noninfectious uveitis should be followed up closely for IOP elevation, especially when strong risk factors such as the use of local corticosteroids and contralateral IOP elevation are present.
PURPOSE: To characterize the angiogenic and inflammatory vitreous biomarker profiles in a spectrum of ischemic retinopathies, including neovascular glaucoma. METHODS: This institutional review board-approved study retrospectively analyzed 80 undiluted vitreous samples obtained during pars vitrectomy. The specimens were frozen (-80°C) and sent for concentration analysis of 34 proteins by Bio-Plex Pro assays. Specimens were divided into four groups: patients undergoing epiretinal membrane (ERM) peeling and/or macular hole (MH) surgery with no history of diabetes (non-DM group), patients undergoing ERM peeling, and/or MH surgery with a history of diabetes (DM group), patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR group), and patients with neovascular glaucoma (NVG group). Parametric and nonparametric analyses of demographics and cytokine levels were performed using SPSS. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in demographics among cohorts. Numerous proteins were significantly elevated between non-DM and DM (G-CSF, sCD40L, Endoglin, IL-6, placental growth factor [PlGF], VEGF-D), DM and PDR (leptin, IL-8, PlGF, VEGF-A), and PDR and NVG (G-CSF, leptin, TIE-2, sCD40L, EGF, HB-EGF, IL-6, IL-8, PlGF, TNF-α). Only PlGF was significantly elevated between each successive cohort. The most potent drivers of NVG were PlGF, VEGF-A, IL-6, and IL-8. CONCLUSIONS: While the role of angioproliferative growth factors is well documented in ischemic retinopathy, our study delineates the importance of inflammatory and previously underreported angiogenic proteins. It also demonstrates a significant incremental increase in certain factors with increasing levels of ischemia. Both of these findings may guide the development of future therapies for ischemic retinopathies.
IMPORTANCE: The sensitivity of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody testing is thought to be lower in ocular myasthenia gravis (OMG) compared with generalized disease, although estimates in small-scale studies vary. There is little information in the literature about the implications of AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized myasthenia gravis. OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that serum AChR antibody testing is more sensitive in OMG than previously reported and to examine the association between AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized myasthenia gravis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective, observational cohort study was conducted of 223 patients (mean [SD] age, 59.2 [16.4] years; 139 [62.3%] male) diagnosed with OMG between July 1, 1986, and May 31, 2013, at 2 large, academic medical centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Baseline characteristics, OMG symptoms, results of AChR antibody testing, and progression time to generalized myasthenia gravis (if this occurred) were recorded for each patient. Multiple logistic regression was used to measure the association between all clinical variables and antibody result. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to examine time to generalization. RESULTS: Among the 223 participants, AChR antibody testing results were positive in 158 participants (70.9%). In an adjusted model, increased age at diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04; P = .007) and progression to generalized myasthenia gravis (OR, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.18-7.26; P = .02) were significantly associated with positive antibody test results. Women were less likely to have a positive antibody test result (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.19-0.68; P = .002). Patients who developed symptoms of generalized myasthenia gravis had a significantly higher mean (SD) antibody level than those who did not develop symptoms of generalized myasthenia gravis (12.7 [16.5] nmol/L vs 4.2 [7.9] nmol/L; P = .002). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: We demonstrate a higher sensitivity of AChR antibody testing than previously reported in the largest cohort of patients with OMG available to date. Older age, male sex, and progression to generalized myasthenia gravis were significantly associated with a positive antibody test result. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between high AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized disease.
Recent evidence suggests that in representing numbers blind individuals might be affected differently by proprioceptive cues (e.g., hand positions, head turns) than are sighted individuals. In this study, we asked a group of early blind and sighted individuals to perform a numerical bisection task while executing hand movements in left or right peripersonal space and with either hand. We found that in bisecting ascending numerical intervals, the hemi-space in which the hand was moved (but not the moved hand itself) influenced the bisection bias similarly in both early blind and sighted participants. However, when numerical intervals were presented in descending order, the moved hand (and not the hemi-space in which it was moved) affected the bisection bias in all participants. Overall, our data show that the operation to be performed on the mental number line affects the activated spatial reference frame, regardless of participants' previous visual experience. In particular, both sighted and early blind individuals' representation of numerical magnitude is mainly rooted in world-centered coordinates when numerical information is given in canonical orientation (i.e., from small to large), whereas hand-centered coordinates become more relevant when the scanning of the mental number line proceeds in non-canonical direction.
Expression and activation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) by VEGF ligands are the main events in the stimulation of pathological angiogenesis. VEGFR-2 expression is generally low in the healthy adult blood vessels, but its expression is markedly increased in the pathological angiogenesis. In this report, we demonstrate that phosducin-like 3 (PDCL3), a recently identified chaperone protein involved in the regulation of VEGFR-2 expression, is required for angiogenesis in zebrafish and mouse. PDCL3 undergoes N-terminal methionine acetylation, and this modification affects PDCL3 expression and its interaction with VEGFR-2. Expression of PDCL3 is regulated by hypoxia, the known stimulator of angiogenesis. The mutant PDCL3 that is unable to undergo N-terminal methionine acetylation was refractory to the effect of hypoxia. The siRNA-mediated silencing of PDCL3 decreased VEGFR-2 expression resulting in a decrease in VEGF-induced VEGFR-2 phosphorylation, whereas PDCL3 over-expression increased VEGFR-2 protein. Furthermore, we show that PDCL3 protects VEGFR-2 from misfolding and aggregation. The data provide new insights for the chaperone function of PDCL3 in angiogenesis and the roles of hypoxia and N-terminal methionine acetylation in PDCL3 expression and its effect on VEGFR-2.
The safety of laser pointers is a major public health issue since class I and II laser pointers are available worldwide and used as toys by children despite several reports cautioning such use. Here we present the first case of retinal injury caused by the laser beam of a toy laser pointer operated by a school boy and directed via the rear-view mirror of a bus into the eye of the driver. This case emphasises the great importance of cautious and appropriate use of low-energy laser pointers. Laser pointers of any class should not be made available to children because they are unlikely to understand the risks of such lasers when using them in play.