PURPOSE: To determine the effects of age, sex, and race on the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in the normal human eye as measured by the spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) Spectralis machine (Heidelberg Engineering). METHODS: Peripapillary SD-OCT RNFL thickness measurements were determined in normal subjects seen at a university-based clinic. One randomly selected eye per subject was used for analysis in this cross-sectional study. Multiple regression analysis was applied to assess the effects of age, sex, ethnicity, and mean refractive error on peripapillary RNFL thickness. Results are expressed as means±SD wherever applicable. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 190 healthy participants from 9 to 86 years of age. Of the 190 participants, 62 (33%) were men, 125 (66%) Caucasians, 26 (14%) African Americans, 14 (7%) Hispanics, 16 (8%) Asians, and 9 (5%) other races. The mean RNFL thickness for the normal population studied was 97.3 ± 9.6 µm. Normal RNFL thickness values follow the ISNT rule with decreasing RNFL thickness values starting from the thickest quadrant inferiorly to the thinnest quadrant temporally: inferior quadrant (126 ± 15.8), superior quadrant (117.2±16.13), nasal quadrant (75 ± 13.9), and temporal quadrant (70.6 ± 10.8 µm). Thinner RNFL measurements were associated with older age (P<0.001); being Caucasian, versus being either Hispanic or Asian (P=0.02 and 0.009, respectively); or being more myopic (P<0.001). For every decade of increased age, mean RNFL thickness measured thinner by approximately 1.5 µm (95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.07). Comparisons between ethnic groups revealed that Caucasians had mean RNFL values (96 ± 9.2 µm) slightly thinner than those of Hispanics (102.9 ± 11 µm; P=0.02) or Asians (100.7 ± 8.5 µm; P=0.009). African Americans RNFL values (99.2 ± 10.2 µm) were not significantly different when compared with Caucasians. There was no relationship between RNFL thickness and sex. CONCLUSIONS: The thickest RNFL measurements were found in the inferior quadrant, followed by the superior, nasal, and temporal quadrants (ISNT rule applied to the RNFL). Thinner RNFL measurements were associated with older age and increasing myopia. Caucasians tend to have thinner RNFL values when compared with Hispanics and Asians. SD-OCT analysis of the normal RNFL showed results similar to time domain OCT studies.
PURPOSE: Thrombospondin-1 (THBS1) has been suggested as a corneal wound-healing modulator. Therefore, we compromised the integrity of the cornea to elucidate the role of THBS1. METHODS: Full-thickness penetrating corneal incisions (1.5 mm) were created in wild type (WT, 129S2/SvPas) and THBS1-deficient mice (Thbs1⁻/⁻), 129S2/SvPas-Thbs1(tm1Hyn)/Thbs1(tm1Hyn)), and allowed to heal up to 1 month, while being monitored by slit-lamp and intravital corneal examinations. Corneas also were examined by transmission electron microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence. To determine how THBS1 was involved in the healing process, we examined THBS1 and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), a marker of myofibroblasts and myoepithelial cells. RESULTS: In WT mice by 1 month, corneas appeared transparent with a thin scar, and endothelium and Descemet's membrane (DM) were restored. In contrast, Thbs1⁻/⁻ corneas exhibited chronic edema and persistent opacity after wounding. The DM and endothelium were not restored, and wound contraction was impaired. The THBS1 was localized in epithelial cells at early stages of the healing process, and in the stroma and endothelial cells during later stages. The SMA-positive epithelial cells and myofibroblasts were observed within the healing area at day 4, peaked at day 14, and disappeared at day 30. The SMA-positive cells were reduced greatly in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, we demonstrated that corneal restoration is strikingly compromised by a penetrating incision in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. The wound results in persistent edema and wound gaping. This appears to be the result of the lack of endothelial migration and DM restoration. In addition, myofibroblast formation is compromised, resulting in the lack of wound contraction.
Lacrimal gland inflammation during autoimmune Sjögren's syndrome (SS) leads to ocular surface inflammation - Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This condition afflicts both the cornea and conjunctiva that form the ocular surface. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) deficiency in mice results in lacrimal gland and corneal inflammation that resembles the human disease. In this study we report conjunctival pathology in this mouse model of SS. We found that TSP-1 null mice develop inflammation in the conjunctiva and associated loss of goblet cell function similar to that seen in patients with SS. Increased expression of Th1 (IFN-γ, TNF-α) and Th17 (IL-6, IL-17A) inflammatory cytokines and related transcription factors (Tbet and RORγt) were detected in TSP-1 null conjunctiva as well as their draining lymph nodes (LNs). The conjunctival inflammation was also accompanied by an increase in local lymphatic vessels. Interestingly, migration of antigen-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) from the ocular surface to the LNs was dependent on the TSP-1 available in the tissue. These results not only reveal potential immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying KCS in SS but also highlight the therapeutic potential of TSP-1.
PURPOSE: To compare the anatomy of the graft-host junction and anterior chamber angle after Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro) placement using oversized (9.5-mm) and standard (8.5-mm) back plates. METHODS: Six patients with 9.5-mm titanium back plates and 10 patients with 8.5-mm titanium back plates were imaged by anterior segment optical coherence tomography 6 to 12 months after KPro placement. The location of the graft-host junction in relation to the back plate, the corneal thickness at the graft-host junction, and the anterior chamber angle were assessed. The clinical outcomes and incidence of retroprosthetic membrane (RPM) formation in this cohort were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: The oversized back plates completely covered the graft-host junction in all quadrants, allowing the complete apposition of the posterior surface of the carrier graft with the host cornea, with decreased graft-host junction wound thickness. The standard back plates covered the posterior aspect of the carrier graft but not the graft-host junction or the host cornea, resulting in a significantly thicker graft-host junction. None of the patients with larger back plates developed a significant RPM during a 12-month follow-up period. One patient with a larger back plate developed a corneal melt at the KPro stem as a result of chronic exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Oversized KPro back plates effectively cover the graft-host junction without any adverse effects on angle anatomy or wound healing. This may be a strategy to provide better wound apposition, reduce RPM formation, and reduce angle closure from iris synechiae to the wound.
Mutations in the CRB1 gene cause severe retinal degenerations, which may present as Leber congenital amaurosis, early onset retinal dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, or cone-rod dystrophy. Some clinical features should alert the ophthalmologist to the possibility of CRB1 disease. These features are nummular pigmentation of the retina, atrophic macula, retinal degeneration associated with Coats disease, and a unique form of retinitis pigmentosa named para-arteriolar preservation of the retinal pigment epithelium (PPRPE). Retinal degenerations associated with nanophthalmos and hyperopia, or with keratoconus, can serve as further clinical cues to mutations in CRB1. Despite this, no clear genotype-phenotype relationship has been established in CRB1 disease. In CRB1-disease, as in other inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), it is essential to diagnose the specific disease-causing gene for the disease as genetic therapy has progressed considerably in the last few years and might be applicable.
PURPOSE: To assess whether dorzolamide 2%-timolol 0.5% (D/T) and/or brimonidine 0.2%-timolol 0.5% (B/T) alters retinal vascular autoregulation (RVA) and seated ocular perfusion pressure (sOPP) in primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients who demonstrate retinal vascular dysregulation (RVD) on timolol 0.5% alone. METHODS: In this prospective, observer-masked, crossover study, 21 POAG patients with untreated intraocular pressure (IOP) >21 mmHg were treated for 6 weeks with timolol 0.5%. Subsequently, we measured inferior temporal retinal artery blood flow in the left eye with subjects seated and then while reclined for 30 min using the Canon Laser Blood Flowmeter. Subjects with a change in retinal blood flow in response to posture change outside of the range previously found in healthy subjects were designated as having RVD and randomized to either D/T or B/T for 6 weeks and re-tested. This was followed by treatment with the opposite medication. RESULTS: Seven of the 21 subjects demonstrated RVD in response to posture change following timolol 0.5%. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that lower sOPP was the main determinant of RVD (P=0.033). After treatment with D/T, all 7 converted from RVD to normal RVA status (P=0.001). Four of 6 subjects showed a similar return to normal RVA following B/T (P=0.066). Mid-morning sOPP was 41.1±5.5 mmHg post-timolol, 46.3±6.5 mmHg post-D/T, and 38.6±6.0 mmHg post-B/T (D/T vs. B/T, P=0.026). CONCLUSIONS: D/T significantly improved RVA in POAG patients exhibiting RVD while on timolol 0.5% alone. D/T also increased sOPP compared to B/T. There was no significant difference (P=0.37) between D/T and B/T in improving RVA.
Purpose. We describe in detail a relatively simple technique of fundus photography in human and rabbit eyes using a smartphone, an inexpensive app for the smartphone, and instruments that are readily available in an ophthalmic practice. Methods. Fundus images were captured with a smartphone and a 20D lens with or without a Koeppe lens. By using the coaxial light source of the phone, this system works as an indirect ophthalmoscope that creates a digital image of the fundus. The application whose software allows for independent control of focus, exposure, and light intensity during video filming was used. With this app, we recorded high-definition videos of the fundus and subsequently extracted high-quality, still images from the video clip. Results. The described technique of smartphone fundus photography was able to capture excellent high-quality fundus images in both children under anesthesia and in awake adults. Excellent images were acquired with the 20D lens alone in the clinic, and the addition of the Koeppe lens in the operating room resulted in the best quality images. Successful photodocumentation of rabbit fundus was achieved in control and experimental eyes. Conclusion. The currently described system was able to take consistently high-quality fundus photographs in patients and in animals using readily available instruments that are portable with simple power sources. It is relatively simple to master, is relatively inexpensive, and can take advantage of the expanding mobile-telephone networks for telemedicine.
INTRODUCTION: Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness among people aged 50 and older in industrialized countries. Anti-VEGF therapy has been tremendously successful in the treatment of neovascular macular degeneration. Examining the pharmacogenetics of patients' response to the anti-VEGF molecules could allow for a tailored treatment strategy based on patients' underlying genetics rather than the "one-size fits all" approach currently used. METHODS: Review of the English literature for papers examining the pharmacogenetics of treatment response of neovascular macular degeneration to either ranibizumab or bevacizumab. Polymorphisms in CFH, ARMS2, HTRA1 and VEGF A were examined and reviewed. RESULTS: Patients with the high-risk CC genotype in complement factor H (CFH) had a worse response to therapy with ranibizumab and bevacizumab. No clear trends were found with ARMS2, HTRA1 and VEGF A. CONCLUSIONS: The goal of personalized medicine is to craft a treatment program that is ideally suited to an individual patient's disease and genetic make-up rather than simply what works for a large population who share similar disease characteristics. Continued research is needed to achieve this goal for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) is one of the most common genetic causes of juvenile progressive retinal-vitreal degeneration in males. To date, more than 196 different mutations of the RS1 gene have been associated with XLRS. The mutation spectrum is large and the phenotype variable. This review will focus on the clinical features of XLRS and examine the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
Genetics play a significant role in the development of comitant strabismus and elucidating the relevant mechanisms that cause it may lead to the development of new therapeutic options. The genetics of strabismus are complex and involve the interactions of multiple genes. This article reviews the progress that has been made in the understanding of the genetic causes of comitant strabismus including linkage studies that have identified a variety of candidate sites, RNA and protein studies that have identified genes with altered regulation, and a study that establishes a role for genetic imprinting in comitant strabismus.
Although neurons are normally unable to regenerate their axons after injury to the CNS, this situation can be partially reversed by activating the innate immune system. In a widely studied instance of this phenomenon, proinflammatory agents have been shown to cause retinal ganglion cells, the projection neurons of the eye, to regenerate lengthy axons through the injured optic nerve. However, the role of different molecules and cell populations in mediating this phenomenon remains unclear. We show here that neutrophils, the first responders of the innate immune system, play a central role in inflammation-induced regeneration. Numerous neutrophils enter the mouse eye within a few hours of inducing an inflammatory reaction and express high levels of the atypical growth factor oncomodulin (Ocm). Immunodepletion of neutrophils diminished Ocm levels in the eye without altering levels of CNTF, leukemia inhibitory factor, or IL-6, and suppressed the proregenerative effects of inflammation. A peptide antagonist of Ocm suppressed regeneration as effectively as neutrophil depletion. Macrophages enter the eye later in the inflammatory process but appear to be insufficient to stimulate extensive regeneration in the absence of neutrophils. These data provide the first evidence that neutrophils are a major source of Ocm and can promote axon regeneration in the CNS.
The central region of the human retina, the fovea, provides high-acuity vision. The oculomotor system continually brings targets of interest into the fovea via ballistic eye movements (saccades). Thus, the fovea serves both as the locus for fixations and as the oculomotor reference for saccades. This highly automated process of foveation is functionally critical to vision and is observed from infancy. How would the oculomotor system adjust to a loss of foveal vision (central scotoma)? Clinical observations of patients with central vision loss suggest a lengthy adjustment period, but the nature and dynamics of this adjustment remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the oculomotor system can spontaneously and rapidly adopt a peripheral locus for fixation and can rereference saccades to this locus in normally sighted individuals whose central vision is blocked by an artificial scotoma. Once developed, the fixation locus is retained over weeks in the absence of the simulated scotoma. Our data reveal a basic guiding principle of the oculomotor system that prefers control simplicity over optimality. We demonstrate the importance of a visible scotoma on the speed of the adjustment and suggest a possible rehabilitation regimen for patients with central vision loss.
Aniridia classically presents with a bilateral congenital absence or malformation of the irides, foveal hypoplasia, and nystagmus, and patients tend to develop visually significant pre-senile cataracts and keratopathy. Additionally, they are at high risk for developing glaucoma. Classic aniridia can be genetically defined as the presence of a PAX6 gene deletion or loss-of-function mutation that results in haploinsufficiency. Variants of aniridia, which include a condition previously referred to as autosomal dominant keratitis, are likely due to PAX6 mutations that lead to partial loss of PAX6 function. Aniridia-associated keratopathy (AAK) is a progressive and potentially debilitating problem affecting aniridic patients. The current treatments for AAK are to replace the limbal stem cells through keratolimbal allograft (KLAL) with or without subsequent keratoplasty for visual rehabilitation, or to implant a Boston type 1 keratoprosthesis. Future therapies for AAK may be aimed at the genetic modification of corneal limbal stem cells.
A reproducible method to inhibit allergic immune responses is accomplished with hi-dose Ag sensitization, via intraperitoneal (IP) injection. However, the role of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Treg) in this process is unknown, as is whether such modulation extends to ocular allergy. We therefore determined herein whether hi-dose sensitization modulates ocular allergy, and whether CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ Treg are involved. C57BL/6 mice were IP sensitized via low-dose (100 µg) versus hi-dose (1000 µg) ovalbumin (OVA), in aluminum hydroxide (1 mg) and pertussis-toxin (300 ng). Other mice received anti-CD25 Ab (PC61) to ablate Treg during sensitization. In another experiment, Treg from hi-dose sensitized mice were adoptively transferred into low-dose sensitized mice. Once daily OVA challenges were administered. Clinical signs, IgE, T cell cytokines, and eosinophils were assessed. Data revealed that hi-dose, but not low-dose, sensitization led to allergy modulation, indicated by decreased clinical signs, serum IgE levels, Th2 recall responses, and eosinophil recruitment. T cells from hi-dose sensitized mice showed a robust increase in TGF-b production, and Treg from these mice were able to efficiently suppress effector T cell proliferation in vitro. In addition, in vivo Treg ablation in hi-dose sensitized mice revoked allergy modulation. Lastly, Treg from hi-dose sensitized mice were able to adoptively transfer allergy modulation to their low-dose sensitized counterparts. Collectively, these findings indicate that modulation to hi-dose sensitization, which is extended to ocular allergy, occurs in a Treg-dependent manner. In addition, our data suggest that hi-dose sensitization may henceforth facilitate the further examination of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ Treg in allergic disease.
In the past, cutaneous malignancies of the periocular region were primarily treated surgically with few other options. As the genetic bases of these tumors have become elucidated, targeted therapies aimed specifically at pathways that are felt to be responsible for cellular proliferation and uncontrolled growth have emerged with new promise. This review contains a summary of the various genetic implications of cutaneous neoplasms as well as their corresponding targeted systemic therapies.
Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision associated with decreased visual acuity, poor or absent stereopsis, and suppression of information from one eye.(1,2) Amblyopia may be caused by strabismus (strabismic amblyopia), refractive error (anisometropic amblyopia), or deprivation from obstructed vision (deprivation amblyopia). 1 In the developed world, amblyopia is the most common cause of childhood visual impairment, 3 which reduces quality of life 4 and also almost doubles the lifetime risk of legal blindness.(5, 6) Successful treatment of amblyopia greatly depends on early detection and treatment of predisposing disorders such as congenital cataract, which is the most common cause of deprivational amblyopia. Understanding the genetic causes of congenital cataract leads to more effective screening tests, early detection and treatment of infants and children who are at high risk for hereditary congenital cataract.
Subretinal injection of sodium hyaluronate is a widely accepted method of inducing retinal detachment (RD). However, the height and duration of RD or the occurrence of subretinal hemorrhage can affect photoreceptor cell death in the detached retina. Hence, it is advantageous to create reproducible RDs without subretinal hemorrhage for evaluating photoreceptor cell death. We modified a previously reported method to create bullous and persistent RDs in a reproducible location with rare occurrence of subretinal hemorrhage. The critical step of this modified method is the creation of a self-sealing scleral incision, which can prevent leakage of sodium hyaluronate after injection into the subretinal space. To make the self-sealing scleral incision, a scleral tunnel is created, followed by scleral penetration into the choroid with a 30 G needle. Although choroidal hemorrhage may occur during this step, astriction with a surgical spear reduces the rate of choroidal hemorrhage. This method allows a more reproducible and reliable model of photoreceptor death in diseases that involve RD such as rhegmatogenous RD, retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy, central serous chorioretinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). [corrected].
The conjunctiva is a moist mucosal membrane that is constantly exposed to an array of potential pathogens and triggers of inflammation. The NACHT, leucine rich repeat (LRR), and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) is a Nod-like receptor that can sense pathogens or other triggers, and is highly expressed in wet mucosal membranes. NLRP3 is a member of the multi-protein complex termed the NLRP3 inflammasome that activates the caspase 1 pathway, inducing the secretion of biologically active IL-1β, a major initiator and promoter of inflammation. The purpose of this study was to: (1) determine whether NLRP3 is expressed in the conjunctiva and (2) determine whether goblet cells specifically contribute to innate mediated inflammation via secretion of IL-1β. We report that the receptors known to be involved in the priming and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, the purinergic receptors P2X4 and P2X7 and the bacterial Toll-like receptor 2 are present and functional in conjunctival goblet cells. Toxin-containing Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, increased the expression of the inflammasome proteins NLRP3, ASC and pro- and mature caspase 1 in conjunctival goblet cells. The biologically active form of IL-1β was detected in goblet cell culture supernatants in response to S. aureus, which was reduced when the cells were treated with the caspase 1 inhibitor Z-YVAD. We conclude that the NLRP3 inflammasome components are present in conjunctival goblet cells. The NRLP3 inflammasome appears to be activated in conjunctival goblet cells by toxin-containing S. aureus via the caspase 1 pathway to secrete mature IL1-β. Thus goblet cells contribute to the innate immune response in the conjunctiva by activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, yet there is little known about the molecular events that regulate IOP. Genetic and genomic studies have helped identify genes that influence IOP and could lead to the identification of biological pathways that serve as targets for novel pressure-modifying therapies. Genetic linkage studies resulted in the identification of several genes that cause Mendelian (autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive) forms of high-pressure glaucoma, including MYOC. PITX2, FOXC1, and CYP1B1. Classical twin studies suggest that IOP is a heritable trait. More recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown that common genetic variants in the GAS7 and TMCO1 genomic regions are associated with elevated IOP. TMCO1 has also been associated with primary open-angle glaucoma in patients with advanced disease. A further study identifying additional genes contributing to IOP will be necessary to fully define the underlying genetic architecture of IOP.