BACKGROUND: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is the main cause of vision loss in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In experimental CNV, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to the formation of new vessels. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the behavior of EPCs in patients with AMD supports a role for EPCs in human CNV. METHODS: The number of circulating EPCs that are considered pure endothelial precursors and EPCs with monocytic characteristics, and the plasma levels of regulatory cytokines were evaluated in 23 patients with AMD with active CNV and 20 matched controls. In the patients, this profile was re-evaluated after ranibizumab. RESULTS: When compared with controls, the patients with AMD showed a lower number of both EPC types (P = 0.03) and higher plasma levels (P = 0.03) of stromal cell-derived factor 1. Three monthly injections of ranibizumab returned to control levels the number of circulating EPCs considered pure endothelial precursors and of stromal cell-derived factor 1, but not of monocytic EPCs. CONCLUSION: The observations indicate responsiveness of circulating EPCs to the CNV process in AMD. They suggest the hypothesis that increased stromal cell-derived factor 1 production at the CNV site (reflected in higher plasma levels) recruits EPCs from the circulation, and that antivascular endothelial growth factor therapy selectively decreases the recruitment of cells to be incorporated into new vessels.
Springelkamp H, Höhn R, Mishra A, Hysi PG, Khor C-C, Loomis SJ, Bailey JCN, Gibson J, Thorleifsson G, Janssen SF, Luo X, Ramdas WD, Vithana E, Nongpiur ME, Montgomery GW, Xu L, Mountain JE, Gharahkhani P, Lu Y, Amin N, Karssen LC, Sim K-S, van Leeuwen EM, Iglesias AI, Verhoeven VJM, Hauser MA, Loon S-C, Despriet DDG, Nag A, Venturini C, Sanfilippo PG, Schillert A, Kang JH, Landers J, Jonasson F, Cree AJ, van Koolwijk LME, Rivadeneira F, Souzeau E, Jonsson V, Menon G, Menon G, Weinreb RN, de Jong PTVM, Oostra BA, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Ennis S, Thorsteinsdottir U, Burdon KP, Burdon KP, Burdon KP, Spector TD, Mirshahi A, Saw S-M, Vingerling JR, Teo Y-Y, Haines JL, Wolfs RCW, Lemij HG, Tai E-S, Jansonius NM, Jonas JB, Cheng C-Y, Aung T, Viswanathan AC, Klaver CCW, Craig JE, Macgregor S, Mackey DA, Lotery AJ, Stefansson K, Bergen AAB, Young TL, Wiggs JL, Pfeiffer N, Wong T-Y, Pasquale LR, Hewitt AW, van Duijn CM, Hammond CJ, Hammond CJ, Hammond CJ, Hammond CJ. Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies novel loci that influence cupping and the glaucomatous process. Nat Commun 2014;5:4883.Abstract
Glaucoma is characterized by irreversible optic nerve degeneration and is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Here, the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium conducts a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of vertical cup-disc ratio (VCDR), an important disease-related optic nerve parameter. In 21,094 individuals of European ancestry and 6,784 individuals of Asian ancestry, we identify 10 new loci associated with variation in VCDR. In a separate risk-score analysis of five case-control studies, Caucasians in the highest quintile have a 2.5-fold increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma as compared with those in the lowest quintile. This study has more than doubled the known loci associated with optic disc cupping and will allow greater understanding of mechanisms involved in this common blinding condition.
We present a novel fully automated algorithm for the detection of retinal diseases via optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. Our algorithm utilizes multiscale histograms of oriented gradient descriptors as feature vectors of a support vector machine based classifier. The spectral domain OCT data sets used for cross-validation consisted of volumetric scans acquired from 45 subjects: 15 normal subjects, 15 patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and 15 patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Our classifier correctly identified 100% of cases with AMD, 100% cases with DME, and 86.67% cases of normal subjects. This algorithm is a potentially impactful tool for the remote diagnosis of ophthalmic diseases.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to establish and characterize extraorbital lacrimal gland excision (LGE) as a model of aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice. METHODS: Female C57BL/6 mice at 6 to 8 weeks of age were randomized to extraorbital LGE, sham surgery, or scopolamine groups. Mice that underwent extraorbital LGE or sham surgery were housed in the standard vivarium. Scopolamine-treated mice were housed in a controlled environment chamber that allowed for the continuous regulation of airflow (15 L/min), relative humidity (30%), and temperature (21-23°C). Clinical disease severity was assessed over the course of 14 days using the phenol red thread test and corneal fluorescein staining. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to assess corneal mRNA expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Flow cytometry was used to assess T helper cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. RESULTS: Extraorbital LGE markedly reduced aqueous tear secretion as compared with the sham procedure and induced a more consistent decrease in aqueous tear secretion than was observed in mice that received scopolamine while housed in the controlled environment chamber. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased corneal fluorescein staining scores as compared with those of both the sham surgery and scopolamine-treated groups. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased the corneal expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Further, extraorbital LGE increased T helper 17-cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Extraorbital LGE induces aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice as evidenced by decreased aqueous tear secretion, increased corneal epitheliopathy, and induced ocular surface inflammation and immunity.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a microvascular complication of diabetes and a leading cause of vision loss. Biomarkers and methods for early diagnosis of DR are urgently needed. Using a new molecular imaging approach, we show up to 94% higher accumulation of custom designed imaging probes against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) in retinal and choroidal vessels of diabetic animals (P<0.01), compared to normal controls. More than 80% of the VEGFR-2 in the diabetic retina was in the capillaries, compared to 47% in normal controls (P<0.01). Angiography in rabbit retinas revealed microvascular capillaries to be the location for VEGF-A-induced leakage, as expressed by significantly higher rate of fluorophore spreading with VEGF-A injection when compared to vehicle control (26±2 vs. 3±1 μm/s, P<0.05). Immunohistochemistry showed VEGFR-2 expression in capillaries of diabetic animals but not in normal controls. Macular vessels from diabetic patients (n=7) showed significantly more VEGFR-2 compared to nondiabetic controls (n=5) or peripheral retinal regions of the same retinas (P<0.01 in both cases). Here we introduce a new approach for early diagnosis of DR and VEGFR-2 as a molecular marker. VEGFR-2 could become a key diagnostic target, one that might help to prevent retinal vascular leakage and proliferation in diabetic patients.
Neuroprotection is an emerging challenge in ophthalmology due to the particularly exposed location of retinal neurons and to the steadily increasing rate of intraocular surgical and pharmacological treatments applied to various eye diseases. Within few decades neuroprotection has developed from strongly contested approaches to being recognized and introduced as a potentially clinical application. One of the groups of putative substances for neuroprotection comprises αA- and αB-crystallins, which are types of heat-shock proteins and are considered to be molecular chaperones. The β/γ-crystallins form their own superfamily and are characterized as proteins with a distinct structure containing four Greek key motifs. Besides being abundant in the ocular lens, crystallins are also expressed in both the developing and mature retina. Crystallins are dramatically up-regulated in numerous retinal pathologies, including mechanical injury, ischemic insults, age-related macular degeneration, uveoretinitis, and diabetic retinopathy. Crystallins of the α family are thought to play a crucial role in retinal neuron survival and inflammation. Crystallins of the β/γ superfamily are also small proteins with a possible emerging role in retinal tissue remodeling and repair. One of the typical retinal diseases associated with crystallins is the experimental glaucomatous neuropathy that is characterized by their expression. Another typical retinal disease is the atrophy that occurs after mechanical injury to the optic nerve, which is associated with the need to regrow retinal axons. We have shown in regenerative models in vivo and in vitro that βB2-crystallin actively supports the regenerative growth of cut retinal axons, thereby offering targets for neuroprotective and regenerative treatments. In this review we discuss the discovery that βB2-crystallin is clearly up-regulated in the regenerating retina in vitro. βB2-Crystallin is produced and secreted during axon elongation, while β/γ-crystallins promote axon growth both in vivo and in vitro by acting either directly by uptake into cells, or indirectly by enhancing the production of ciliary neurotrophic factor from astrocytes to synergistically promote axon regrowth. We also discuss methods to induce the continuous production of crystallins at the site of injury and repair based on the use of transfected neural progenitor cells. This review ultimately leads to the conclusion that the postinjury fate of neurons cannot be seen merely as inevitable, but instead should be regarded as a challenge to shaping the neuroprotective and regenerative conditions that promote cell survival and axon repair.
Hypotropia following orbital fracture repair is traditionally attributed to residual tissue entrapment, scarring, direct muscle injury, or damage to the branches of the oculomotor nerve serving the inferior oblique or inferior rectus muscles. We present a case of acquired hypotropia and incyclotropia that occurred following repair of an orbital fracture involving the floor and medial wall. In order to enable adequate visualization and treatment of the combined fractures, access via a transcaruncular approach and disinsertion of the inferior oblique muscle at its origin was necessary. Whereas the possibility of inferior oblique paresis due to repair of an orbital fracture via the transcaruncular approach has received some acknowledgment, there are no prior reports in the ophthalmic literature. Strabismus surgeons should be aware of this possibility when planning surgical correction of hypotropia and incyclotropia in similar cases.
The enterococci are an ancient genus that evolved along with the tree of life. These intrinsically rugged bacteria are highly adapted members of the intestinal consortia of a range of hosts that spans the animal kingdom. Enterococci are also leading opportunistic hospital pathogens, causing infections that are often resistant to treatment with most antibiotics. Despite the importance of enterococci as hospital pathogens, the vast majority live outside of humans, and nearly all of their evolutionary history took place before the appearance of modern humans. Because hospital infections represent evolutionary end points, traits that exacerbate human infection are unlikely to have evolved for that purpose. However, clusters of traits have converged in specific lineages that are well adapted to colonize the antibiotic-perturbed gastrointestinal tracts of patients and that thrive in the hospital environment. Here we discuss these traits in an evolutionary context, as well as how comparative genomics is providing new insights into the evolution of the enterococci.
PURPOSE: To describe the visual outcomes of a large cohort of pediatric patients presenting to a tertiary care pediatric hospital with first-episode optic neuritis. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational cohort study. METHODS: In a tertiary care pediatric hospital, patients with first-episode optic neuritis and at least 3 months of follow-up over a 10-year period were assessed and followed-up in the ophthalmology department. The main outcome measures were visual acuity at 3 months and 1 year of follow-up, with analysis of risk factors for poor visual outcomes and the time course of visual recovery. RESULTS: Of the 59 pediatric patients with first-episode optic neuritis, 46 had at least 3 months of follow-up and 36 had at least 1 year of follow-up. The mean age was 12.6 years old; 72% were female, 41% had bilateral involvement, 52% had or developed an underlying diagnosis (39% multiple sclerosis, 7% acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, 7% neuromyelitis optica), and 91% received treatment (85% steroids, 7% multimodal). At 1 year, 81% were at least 20/20 and 89% were at least 20/40. A poor visual outcome at 1 year (<20/40) was associated with vision of <20/20 at 3 months (P = 0.041). Other clinical characteristics, including visual acuity at presentation, sex, bilateral involvement, optic nerve edema, and underlying diagnoses were not significantly associated with poor visual outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of pediatric patients with optic neuritis, the majority of patients regained normal visual acuity at 1 year, regardless of baseline clinical characteristics.
The characterization of genes responsible for glaucoma is the critical first step toward the development of gene-based diagnostic and screening tests, which could identify individuals at risk for disease before irreversible optic nerve damage occurs. Early-onset forms of glaucoma affecting children and young adults are typically inherited as Mendelian autosomal dominant or recessive traits whereas glaucoma affecting older adults has complex inheritance. In this report, we present a comprehensive overview of the genes and genomic regions contributing to inherited glaucoma.
PURPOSE: To report the ocular injuries sustained by survivors of the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing and the April 17, 2013, fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. DESIGN: Multicenter, cross-sectional, retrospective, comparative case series. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-two eyes of 36 patients treated at 12 institutions were included in the study. METHODS: Ocular and systemic trauma data were collected from medical records. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Types and severity of ocular and systemic trauma and associations with mechanisms of injury. RESULTS: In the Boston cohort, 164 of 264 casualties were transported to level 1 trauma centers, and 22 (13.4%) required ophthalmology consultations. In the West cohort, 218 of 263 total casualties were transported to participating centers, of which 14 (6.4%) required ophthalmology consultations. Boston had significantly shorter mean distances to treating facilities (1.6 miles vs. 53.6 miles; P = 0.004). Overall, rigid eye shields were more likely not to have been provided than to have been provided on the scene (P<0.001). Isolated upper body and facial wounds were more common in West largely because of shattered windows (75.0% vs. 13.6%; P = 0.001), resulting in more open-globe injuries (42.9% vs. 4.5%; P = 0.008). Patients in Boston sustained more lower extremity injuries because of the ground-level bomb. Overall, 27.8% of consultations were called from emergency rooms, whereas the rest occurred afterward. Challenges in logistics and communications were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular injuries are common and potentially blinding in mass-casualty incidents. Systemic and ocular polytrauma is the rule in terrorism, whereas isolated ocular injuries are more common in other calamities. Key lessons learned included educating the public to stay away from windows during disasters, promoting use of rigid eye shields by first responders, the importance of reliable communications, deepening the ophthalmology call algorithm, the significance of visual incapacitation resulting from loss of spectacles, improving the rate of early detection of ocular injuries in emergency departments, and integrating ophthalmology services into trauma teams as well as maintaining a voice in hospital-wide and community-based disaster planning.
PURPOSE: We present the clinical, pathologic, and genetic findings of the first reported case of choroidal melanoma that developed a late recurrence and aggressive metastasis to the skull base without evidence of hepatic involvement. METHODS: Retrospective chart review and clinicopathologic correlation of ocular and brain tissue, including sequencing of BAP1 for mutations. RESULTS: A 55-year-old woman was diagnosed with choroidal melanoma and treated with proton radiotherapy. Six years later, she developed a rapidly growing local recurrence involving the ciliary body and iris. Upon enucleation, histopathology revealed an iris and ciliary body epithelioid melanoma that was contiguous with the previously treated, regressed spindle cell choroidal melanoma. Imaging was initially negative for brain involvement. Two months later, she developed cranial neuropathies and was found to have a large skull base lesion that required surgical debulking for pain palliation. Histopathology confirmed the lesion to be metastatic melanoma. Both ocular and brain tumor specimens were wild-type for BAP1. Throughout her course, she developed no hepatic metastases. CONCLUSIONS: Uveal melanoma may metastasize to the skull base. The present case was characterized by delayed onset and unusual aggressiveness of the metastatic disease, and lack of BAP1 mutation. The unusual course highlights a unique phenotype that may reflect an alternate molecular mechanism for metastatic disease.