September 2014

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Arafat SN, Robert M-C, Shukla AN, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J, Ciolino JB. UV cross-linking of donor corneas confers resistance to keratolysis. Cornea 2014;33(9):955-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a modified ex vivo corneal cross-linking method that increases stromal resistance to enzymatic degradation for use as a carrier for the Boston keratoprosthesis. METHODS: Ex vivo cross-linking of human corneas was performed using Barron artificial anterior chambers. The corneas were deepithelialized, pretreated with riboflavin solution (0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran), and irradiated with ultraviolet A (UV-A) light (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for various durations. The combined effect of UV-A and gamma (γ) irradiation was also assessed using the commercially available γ-irradiated corneal donors. The corneas were then trephined and incubated at 37°C with 0.3% collagenase A solution. The time to dissolution of each cornea was compared across treatments. RESULTS: Deepithelialized corneas (no UV light, no riboflavin) dissolved in 5.8 ± 0.6 hours. Cross-linked corneas demonstrated increased resistance to dissolution, with a time to dissolution of 17.8 ± 2.6 hours (P < 0.0001). The corneal tissues' resistance to collagenase increased with longer UV-A exposure, reaching a plateau at 30 minutes. Cross-linking both the anterior and posterior corneas did not provide added resistance when compared with cross-linking the anterior corneas only (P > 0.05). γ-irradiated corneas dissolved as readily as deepithelialized controls regardless of whether they were further cross-linked (5.6 ± 1.2 hours) or not (6.1 ± 0.6 hours) (P = 0.43). CONCLUSIONS: Collagen cross-linking of the deepithelialized anterior corneal surface for 30 minutes conferred optimal resistance to in vitro keratolysis by collagenase A.

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Brodowska K, Theodoropoulou S, Meyer Zu Hörste M, Paschalis EI, Takeuchi K, Scott G, Ramsey DJ, Kiernan E, Hoang M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas ES, Vavvas DG. Effects of metformin on retinoblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2014;45(6):2311-24.Abstract
Recent studies suggest that the anti-diabetic drug metformin may reduce the risk of cancer and have anti-proliferative effects for some but not all cancers. In this study, we examined the effects of metformin on human retinoblastoma cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Two different human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79, WERI) were treated with metformin in vitro and xenografts of Y79 cells were established in nu/nu immune-deficient mice and used to assess the effects of pharmacological levels of metformin in vivo. Metformin inhibited proliferation of the retinoblastoma cells in vitro. Similar to other studies, high concentrations of metformin (mM) blocked the cell cycle in G0‑G1, indicated by a strong decrease of G1 cyclins, especially cyclin D, cyclin-dependent kinases (4 and 6), and flow cytometry assessment of the cell cycle. This was associated with activation of AMPK, inhibition of the mTOR pathways and autophagy marker LC3B. However, metformin failed to suppress growth of xenografted tumors of Y79 human retinoblastoma cells in nu/nu mice, even when treated with a maximally tolerated dose level achieved in human patients. In conclusion, suprapharmacological levels (mM) of metformin, well above those tolerated in vivo, inhibited the proliferation of retinoblastoma cells in vitro. However, physiological levels of metformin, such as seen in the clinical setting, did not affect the growth of retinoblastoma cells in vitro or in vivo. This suggests that the potential beneficial effects of metformin seen in epidemiological studies may be limited to specific tumor types or be related to indirect effects/mechanisms not observed under acute laboratory conditions.
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Chee Yee C, Papakostas TD, Vavvas DG. Quantitative assessment of central retinal thickness in recurrent neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Br J Ophthalmol 2014;98(9):1308.
Chen L, Kim IK, Lane AM, Gauthier D, Munzenrider JE, Gragoudas ES, Miller JW. Proton beam irradiation for non-AMD CNV: 2-year results of a randomised clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol 2014;98(9):1212-7.Abstract
AIMS: To evaluate safety and visual outcomes after proton beam irradiation (PBI) therapy for subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) secondary to causes other than age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: This study is a prospective, unmasked and randomised clinical trial using two dosage regimens, conducted in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The study included 46 patients with CNV secondary to non-AMD and best-corrected visual acuity of 20/320 or better. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 16 or 24 cobalt gray equivalents (CGE) of PBI in two equal fractions. Complete ophthalmological examinations, fundus photography and fluorescein angiography were performed at baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after treatment. RESULTS: At 1 year after treatment, 82% and 72% lost fewer than 1.5 lines of vision in the 16 CGE and in 24 CGE groups, respectively. At 2 years after therapy, 77% in the lower dose group and 64% in the higher dose group lost fewer than 1.5 lines of vision. Mild radiation complications such as radiation vasculopathy developed in 17.6% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: PBI is a safe and efficacious treatment for subfoveal CNV not due to AMD. The data with respect to visual outcomes and radiation complications trend in favour of the 16 CGE group, although differences do not reach statistical significance. PBI may be considered as an alternative to current therapies.
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van der Ent W, Burrello C, Teunisse AFAS, Ksander BR, Van der Velden PA, Jager MJ, Jochemsen AG, Snaar-Jagalska EB. Modelling of human uveal melanoma in Zebrafish xenograft embryos. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

PURPOSE. Uveal melanoma (UM) is fatal in up to 50% of patients because of liver metastases, that are refractory to therapies currently available. While murine xenograft models for human uveal melanoma are available, they have limited utility for screening large compound libraries in drug discovery studies. Therefore, new robust preclinical models are needed that can efficiently evaluate drug efficacy for treatment of this malignancy. METHODS. UM cell lines generated from primary tumors (92.1, Mel270) and metastases (OMM2.3, OMM2.5, OMM1) were injected into the yolk of two-day-old zebrafish embryos. After six days, proliferation and active migration was quantified via automated confocal image analysis. To determine the suitability of this xenotransplantation model for drug testing, drugs with three different activities (Dasatinib, Quisinostat and MLN-4924) were added to the water of uveal melanoma-engrafted embryos. RESULTS. All tested UM cell lines proliferated and migrated in the embryos; significant differences could be discerned between cell lines: cells derived from metastases showed more migration and proliferation than cells derived from the primary tumors, and provided preclinical models for drug testing. Addition of the Src-inhibitor Dasatinib in the water of engrafted embryos reduced proliferation and migration of high Src-expressing 92.1 cells, but did not affect low Src-expressing metastatic OMM2.3 cells. Two experimental anticancer drugs, Quisinostat (a histone deacetylase inhibitor) and MLN-4924 (neddylation pathway inhibitor), blocked migration and proliferation of 92.1 and OMM2.3. CONCLUSIONS. We established a zebrafish xenograft model of human uveal melanoma with demonstrated applicability for screening large libraries of compounds in drug discovery studies.

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Ghafouri RH, Allard FD, Migliori ME, Freitag SK. Lower Eyelid Involutional Ectropion Repair With Lateral Tarsal Strip and Internal Retractor Reattachment With Full-Thickness Eyelid Sutures. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2014;30(5):424-426.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report a novel surgical technique for lower eyelid involutional ectropion repair using a lateral tarsal strip and internal retractor reattachment procedure involving full-thickness eyelid sutures. METHODS:: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent repair of involutional ectropion via lateral tarsal strip and internal retractor reattachment with full-thickness eyelid sutures by 1 surgeon. Patients having concomitant or previous eyelid surgical procedures were excluded. Collected data included patient demographics, surgical outcomes, and length of follow up. RESULTS:: Forty-one lower eyelids of 31 patients with involutional ectropion underwent surgical repair. There were 17 men and 14 women in the age range of 69 to 92 years (mean age 82.2 ± 5.9 years). Surgical sites included 22 right and 19 left lower eyelids. Follow up ranged from 1 to 48 months with an average of 5.9 months. Surgical success with anatomical correction of involutional ectropion was achieved in 39 of 41 eyelids (95.1%). There were no perioperative or postoperative complications. Two of 41 (4.9%) eyelids had recurrence of ectropion 7 and 18 months after the procedure. CONCLUSIONS:: This procedure combining lateral tarsal strip with internal retractor reattachment involving full-thickness eyelid sutures effectively addresses horizontal eyelid laxity and tarsal instability, providing an effective technique to correct involutional ectropion of the lower eyelid.

Grob SR, Jakobiec FA, Rashid A, Yoon MK. Chalazia associated with bortezomib therapy for multiple myeloma. Ophthalmology 2014;121(9):1845-7.e3.
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Hasegawa E, Sweigard H, Husain D, Olivares AM, Chang B, Smith KE, Birsner AE, D'Amato RJ, Michaud NA, Han Y, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Haider NB, Connor KM. Characterization of a spontaneous retinal neovascular mouse model. PLoS One 2014;9(9):e106507.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Vision loss due to vascular disease of the retina is a leading cause of blindness in the world. Retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) is a subgroup of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereby abnormal blood vessels develop in the retina leading to debilitating vision loss and eventual blindness. The novel mouse strain, neoretinal vascularization 2 (NRV2), shows spontaneous fundus changes associated with abnormal neovascularization. The purpose of this study is to characterize the induction of pathologic angiogenesis in this mouse model. METHODS: The NRV2 mice were examined from postnatal day 12 (p12) to 3 months. The phenotypic changes within the retina were evaluated by fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and immunohistochemical and electron microscopic analysis. The pathological neovascularization was imaged by confocal microscopy and reconstructed using three-dimensional image analysis software. RESULTS: We found that NRV2 mice develop multifocal retinal depigmentation in the posterior fundus. Depigmented lesions developed vascular leakage observed by fluorescein angiography. The spontaneous angiogenesis arose from the retinal vascular plexus at postnatal day (p)15 and extended toward retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). By three months of age, histological analysis revealed encapsulation of the neovascular lesion by the RPE in the photoreceptor cell layer and subretinal space. CONCLUSIONS: The NRV2 mouse strain develops early neovascular lesions within the retina, which grow downward towards the RPE beginning at p15. This retinal neovascularization model mimics early stages of human retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) and will likely be a useful in elucidating targeted therapeutics for patients with ocular neovascular disease.

Huang R, Baranov P, Lai K, Zhang X, Ge J, Young MJ. Functional and morphological analysis of the subretinal injection of human retinal progenitor cells under Cyclosporin A treatment. Mol Vis 2014;20:1271-80.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the functional and morphological changes in subretinal xenografts of human retinal progenitor cells (hRPCs) in B6 mice treated with Cyclosporin A (CsA; 210 mg/l in drinking water). METHODS: The hRPCs from human fetal eyes were isolated and expanded for transplantation. These cells, with green fluorescent protein (GFP) at 11 passages, were transplanted into the subretinal space in B6 mice. A combination of invasive and noninvasive approaches was used to analyze the structural and functional consequences of the subretinal injection of the hRPCs. The process of change was monitored using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT), histology, and electroretinography (ERG) at 3 days, 1 week, and 3 weeks after transplantation. Cell counts were used to evaluate the survival rate with a confocal microscope. ERGs were performed to evaluate the physiologic changes, and the structural changes were evaluated using SDOCT and histological examination. RESULTS: The results of the histological examination showed that the hRPCs gained a better survival rate in the mice treated with CsA. The SDOCT showed that the bleb size of the retinal detachment was significantly decreased, and the retinal reattachment was nearly complete by 3 weeks. The ERG response amplitudes in the CsA group were less decreased after the injection, when compared with the control group, in the dark-adapted and light-adapted conditions. However, the cone-mediated function in both groups was less affected by the transplantation after 3 weeks than the rod-mediated function. CONCLUSIONS: Although significant functional and structural recovery was observed after the subretinal injection of the hRPCs, the effectiveness of CsA in xenotransplantation may be a novel and potential approach for increasing retinal progenitor cell survival.
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Jakobiec FA, Rai R, Lefebvre DR. Papillary hidradenoma of the eyelid margin: clinical and immunohistochemical observations further supporting an apocrine rather than an eccrine origin. Surv Ophthalmol 2014;59(5):540-7.Abstract
A 46-year-old woman was evaluated for a "recurring papilloma" of the left medial upper eyelid margin. Beneath the papillary lesion medial to the punctum was a 5-mm diameter cutaneous mass thought to be cystic. After excisional biopsy, histopathologic analysis documented the presence of an epidermal keratinizing squamous papilloma surmounting a circumscribed dermal papillary hidradenoma composed of deeply eosinophilic columnar cells. Additionally, there was intraductal proliferation of tumor extending toward a subclinical poral opening through the epidermis. Immunohistochemistry proved the apocrine nature of the benign, non-cystic lesion by virtue of its nuclear androgen receptor and cytoplasmic gross-cystic disease fluid protein-15 positivity, along with its smooth muscle actin-positive myoepithelial layer. This and prior cases establish that apocrine tumors, both benign and malignant, are strictly localized at or near the eyelid margin where only apocrine glands are found. These tumors are more often papillary than solid adenomas, and most exceptionally can be malignant. We review the differential diagnosis of simulating eccrine eyelid tumors. We recommend wide local excision for benign lesions, in view of possible intraductal extension that can be eccentric to the main tumor and the miniscule potential for malignant transformation.
Jakobiec FA, Rose MF, Trief D, Stagner AM, Kim I, Gragoudas ES. Immunohistochemical investigations of adult intraocular medulloepitheliomas. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 2014;
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Lee WJ, Sobrin L, Lee MJ, Kang MH, Seong M, Cho H. The relationship between diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy in a population-based study in Korea (KNHANES V-2,3). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

PURPOSE. To determine the risk factors for and relationship between diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic nephropathy (DN), including microalbuminuria and overt nephropathy, in a population-based study of diabetes mellitus (DM) patients in Korea. METHODS. This was a population-based, cross-sectional study. From the fifth (2011, 2012) Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 971 participants with type 2 DM were included. The prevalence of DR and DN was determined. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine risk factors, including DR, associated with DN in the Korean population. RESULTS. In DM patients, we observed a prevalence of 20.0% for any DR and 3.8% for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Microalbuminuria prevalence was 19.3% and overt nephropathy prevalence was 5.5%. The risk factors of microalbuminuria were presence of hypertension, higher systolic blood pressure, serum hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and serum blood urea nitrogen level as well as the presence of PDR. The risk factors of overt nephropathy were long duration of DM, high levels of HbA1c, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and serum creatinine as well as the presence of DR. CONCLUSIONS. PDR is associated with microalbuminuria and DR is associated with overt nephropathy in Korean DM patients. Our findings suggest that when an ophthalmologist finds the presence of DR or PDR, timely evaluation of the patient's renal status should be recommended.

Lessell S, E Grzybowski A. Idiopathic opticochiasmatic arachnoiditis. J Neuroophthalmol 2014;34(3):251-4.Abstract

: A critical review of the literature indicates that idiopathic opticochiasmatic arachnoiditis, once considered an important consideration in patients with otherwise unexplained optic atrophy, is not a valid disease entity.

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Malik AN, Vierbuchen T, Hemberg M, Rubin AA, Ling E, Couch CH, Stroud H, Spiegel I, Farh KK-H, Harmin DA, Greenberg ME. Genome-wide identification and characterization of functional neuronal activity-dependent enhancers. Nat Neurosci 2014;17(10):1330-9.Abstract

Experience-dependent gene transcription is required for nervous system development and function. However, the DNA regulatory elements that control this program of gene expression are not well defined. Here we characterize the enhancers that function across the genome to mediate activity-dependent transcription in mouse cortical neurons. We find that the subset of enhancers enriched for monomethylation of histone H3 Lys4 (H3K4me1) and binding of the transcriptional coactivator CREBBP (also called CBP) that shows increased acetylation of histone H3 Lys27 (H3K27ac) after membrane depolarization of cortical neurons functions to regulate activity-dependent transcription. A subset of these enhancers appears to require binding of FOS, which was previously thought to bind primarily to promoters. These findings suggest that FOS functions at enhancers to control activity-dependent gene programs that are critical for nervous system function and provide a resource of functional cis-regulatory elements that may give insight into the genetic variants that contribute to brain development and disease.

Mouw KW, Sethi RV, Yeap BY, MacDonald SM, Chen Y-LE, Tarbell NJ, Yock TI, Munzenrider JE, Adams J, Grabowski E, Mukai S, Shih HA. Proton Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Retinoblastoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2014;90(4):863-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate long-term disease and toxicity outcomes for pediatric retinoblastoma patients treated with proton radiation therapy (PRT). METHODS AND MATERIALS: This is a retrospective analysis of 49 retinoblastoma patients (60 eyes) treated with PRT between 1986 and 2012. RESULTS: The majority (84%) of patients had bilateral disease, and nearly half (45%) had received prior chemotherapy. At a median follow-up of 8 years (range, 1-24 years), no patients died of retinoblastoma or developed metastatic disease. The post-PRT enucleation rate was low (18%), especially in patients with early-stage disease (11% for patients with International Classification for Intraocular Retinoblastoma [ICIR] stage A-B disease vs 23% for patients with ICIR stage C-D disease). Post-PRT ophthalmologic follow-up was available for 61% of the preserved eyes (30 of 49): 14 of 30 eyes (47%) had 20/40 visual acuity or better, 7 of 30 (23%) had moderate visual acuity (20/40-20/600), and 9 of 30 (30%) had little or no useful vision (worse than 20/600). Twelve of 60 treated eyes (20%) experienced a post-PRT event requiring intervention, with cataracts the most common (4 eyes). No patients developed an in-field second malignancy. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term follow-up of retinoblastoma patients treated with PRT demonstrates that PRT can achieve high local control rates, even in advanced cases, and many patients retain useful vision in the treated eye. Treatment-related ocular side effects were uncommon, and no radiation-associated malignancies were observed.
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Omoto M, Katikireddy KR, Rezazadeh A, Dohlman TH, Chauhan S. Mesenchymal stem cells home to inflamed ocular surface and suppress allosensitization in corneal transplantation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

Purpose: To investigate whether systemically-injected syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can home to the inflamed transplanted cornea, suppress induction of alloimmunity, and promote allograft survival. Methods: MSCs were generated from bone marrow of wild-type BALB/c or GFP+ C57BL/6 mice, and 1x106 cells were intravenously injected to allografted recipients 3 hours after surgery. MSCs homing to the cornea were examined at day 3 post-transplantation by immunohistochemistry. CD11c+MHC II+ cells were detected in the cornea and lymph nodes (LNs) 14 days post-transplantation using flow cytometry. Cytokine expression of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was determined using real-time PCR. ELISPOT assay was used to assess indirect and direct host T cell allosensitization, and graft survival was evaluated by slit-lamp biomicroscopy weekly up to 8 weeks. Results: Intravenously injected GFP+ MSCs were found in abundance in the transplanted cornea, conjunctiva, and lymph nodes, but not in the ungrafted (contralateral) tissue. The frequencies of mature CD11c+MHC II+ APCs were substantially decreased in the corneas and draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients compared to control recipients. Maturation and function of in vitro cultured BMDCs was decreased when cocultured with MSCs. Draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients showed significantly lower frequencies of IFNγ-secreting Th1 cells compared to the control group. Allograft survival rate was significantly higher in MSC-injected recipients compared to non-MSC injected recipients. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that systemically-administered MSCs specifically home to transplanted corneas and promote allograft survival by inhibiting APC maturation and induction of alloreactive T cells.

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Paschalis EI, Eliott D, Vavvas DG. Removal of Silicone Oil From Intraocular Lens Using Novel Surgical Materials. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2014;3(5):4.Abstract

PURPOSE: To design, fabricate, and evaluate novel materials to remove silicone oil (SiO) droplets from intraocular lenses (IOL) during vitreoretinal surgery. METHODS: Three different designs were fabricated using soft lithography of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), three-dimensional (3D) inverse PDMS fabrication using water dissolvable particles, and atomic layer deposition (ALD) of alumina (Al2O3) on surgical cellulose fibers. Laboratory tests included static and dynamic contact angle (CA) measurements with water and SiO, nondestructive x-ray microcomputer tomography (micro-CT), and microscopy. SiO removal was performed in vitro and ex vivo using implantable IOLs and explanted porcine eyes. RESULTS: All designs exhibited enhanced hydrophobicity and oleophilicity. Static CA measurements with water ranged from 131° to 160° and with SiO CA approximately 0° in 120 seconds following exposure. Nondestructive x-ray analysis of the 3D PDMS showed presence of interconnected polydispersed porosity of 100 to 300 μm in diameter. SiO removal from IOLs was achieved in vitro and ex vivo using standard 20-G vitrectomy instrumentation. CONCLUSION: Removal of SiO from IOLs can be achieved using materials with lower surface energy than that of the IOLs. This can be achieved using appropriate surface chemistry and surface topography. Three designs, with enhanced hydrophobic properties, were fabricated and tested in vitro and ex vivo. All materials remove SiO within an aqueous environment. Preliminary ex vivo results were very promising, opening new possibilities for SiO removal in vitreoretinal surgeries. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: This is the first report of an instrument that can lead to successful removal of SiO from the surface of IOL. In addition to the use of this instrument/material in medicine it can also be used in the industry, for example, retrieval of oil spills from bodies of water.

Pasquale LR, Jiwani AZ, Zehavi-Dorin T, Majd A, Rhee DJ, Chen T, Turalba A, Shen L, Brauner S, Grosskreutz C, Gardiner M, Chen S, Borboli-Gerogiannis S, Greenstein SH, Chang K, Ritch R, Loomis S, Kang JH, Wiggs JL, Levkovitch-Verbin H. Solar exposure and residential geographic history in relation to exfoliation syndrome in the United States and Israel. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(12):1439-45.Abstract
IMPORTANCE: Residential (geographic) history and extent of solar exposure may be important risk factors for exfoliation syndrome (XFS) but, to our knowledge, detailed lifetime solar exposure has not been previously evaluated in XFS. OBJECTIVE: To assess the relation between residential history, solar exposure, and XFS. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This clinic-based case-control study was conducted in the United States and Israel. It involved XFS cases and control individuals (all ≥60-year-old white individuals) enrolled from 2010 to 2012 (United States: 118 cases and 106 control participants; Israel: 67 cases and 72 control participants). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Weighted lifetime average latitude of residence and average number of hours per week spent outdoors as determined by validated questionnaires. RESULTS: In multivariable analyses, each degree of weighted lifetime average residential latitude away from the equator was associated with 11% increased odds of XFS (pooled odds ratio [OR], 1.11; 95% CI, 1.05-1.17; P < .001). Furthermore, every hour per week spent outdoors during the summer, averaged over a lifetime, was associated with 4% increased odds of XFS (pooled OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.00-1.07; P = .03). For every 1% of average lifetime summer time between 10 am and 4 pm that sunglasses were worn, the odds of XFS decreased by 2% (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.97-0.99; P < .001) in the United States but not in Israel (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.99-1.01; P = .92; P for heterogeneity = .005). In the United States, after controlling for important environmental covariates, history of work over water or snow was associated with increased odds of XFS (OR, 3.86; 95% CI, 1.36-10.9); in Israel, there were too few people with such history for analysis. We did not identify an association between brimmed hat wear and XFS (P > .57). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Lifetime outdoor activities may contribute to XFS. The association with work over snow or water and the lack of association with brimmed hat wear suggests that ocular exposure to light from reflective surfaces may be an important type of exposure in XFS etiology.
Pennock S, Haddock LJ, Mukai S, Kazlauskas A. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Acts Primarily via Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor α to Promote Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Am J Pathol 2014;Abstract

Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a nonneovascular blinding disease and the leading cause for failure in surgical repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. Once formed, PVR is difficult to treat. Hence, there is an acute interest in developing approaches to prevent PVR. Of the many growth factors and cytokines that accumulate in vitreous as PVR develops, neutralizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A has recently been found to prevent PVR in at least one animal model. The goal of this study was to test if Food and Drug Administration-approved agents could protect the eye from PVR in multiple animal models and to further investigate the underlying mechanisms. Neutralizing VEGF with aflibercept (VEGF Trap-Eye) safely and effectively protected rabbits from PVR in multiple models of disease. Furthermore, aflibercept reduced the bioactivity of both experimental and clinical PVR vitreous. Finally, although VEGF could promote some PVR-associated cellular responses via VEGF receptors expressed on the retinal pigment epithelial cells that drive this disease, VEGF's major contribution to vitreal bioactivity occurred via platelet-derived growth factor receptor α. Thus, VEGF promotes PVR by a noncanonical ability to engage platelet-derived growth factor receptor α. These findings indicate that VEGF contributes to nonangiogenic diseases and that anti-VEGF-based therapies may be effective on a wider spectrum of diseases than previously appreciated.

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Samuel MA, Voinescu EP, Lilley BN, de Cabo R, Foretz M, Viollet B, Pawlyk B, Sandberg MA, Vavvas DG, Sanes JR. LKB1 and AMPK regulate synaptic remodeling in old age. Nat Neurosci 2014;17(9):1190-7.Abstract
Age-related decreases in neural function result in part from alterations in synapses. To identify molecular defects that lead to such changes, we focused on the outer retina, in which synapses are markedly altered in old rodents and humans. We found that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 and one of its substrates, AMPK, regulate this process. In old mice, synaptic remodeling was accompanied by specific decreases in the levels of total LKB1 and active (phosphorylated) AMPK. In the absence of either kinase, young adult mice developed retinal defects similar to those that occurred in old wild-type animals. LKB1 and AMPK function in rod photoreceptors where their loss leads to aberrant axonal retraction, the extension of postsynaptic dendrites and the formation of ectopic synapses. Conversely, increasing AMPK activity genetically or pharmacologically attenuates and may reverse age-related synaptic alterations. Together, these results identify molecular determinants of age-related synaptic remodeling and suggest strategies for attenuating these changes.

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