Mouse double minute (MDM)2 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 309G allele in the second promoter of MDM2 enhances vitreous-induced expression of Mdm2 and degradation of the tumor suppressor protein p53. This MDM2 contributes to certain cancer development and experimental proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The goal of this study is to discover a novel strategy to only block vitreous-induced expression of Mdm2 for preventing vitreous-induced cell proliferation and survival and thus find a potential novel strategy to treat proliferation-related diseases. We created two mutations (D10A and H840A) in Streptococcus pyogenes (Sp)Cas9 within the nuclease domains (RuvC1 and HNH, respectively) to render this SpCas9 nuclease dead named as dCas9 in a lentiCRISPR v2 vector. Then an MDM2-sgRNA targeting the second promoter of human MDM2 gene was cloned into this vector for producing lentivirus to infect human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with, which carry a heterozygous genotype of MDM2. lacZ-sgRNA was used as a control. As a result, we discovered that vitreous from experimental rabbits induced a 1.9 ± 0.2 fold increase in Mdm2 and a 2.0 ± 0.2 fold decrease in p53 in the RPE cells with dCas9/lacZ-sgRNA compared to those with dCas9/MDM2-sgRNA, suggesting that dCas9 under the guidance of the MDM2-sgRNA prevented RV-stimulated increase in Mdm2. In addition, we found that the rabbit vitreous significantly enhanced cell proliferation (1.5 ± 0.2 fold), survival against apoptosis (2.2 ± 0.2 fold), migration (10 ± 1.5%) and contraction (112.7 ± 14.1 mm) of the cells with dCas9/lacZ-sgRNA compared with those with dCas9/MDM2-sgRNA. These results indicated that application of the dCas9 targeted to the P2 of MDM2 is a potential therapeutic approach to diseases due to the P2-driven aberrant expression of Mdm2 - such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy.
Purpose: To report a postmenopausal patient with keratoconus who experienced significant progression after using hormone replacement therapy. Observations: A 51-year-old woman with previously stable keratoconus presented with acute disease progression following hormone replacement therapy in the context of prophylactic hysterectomy and bilateral ovariosalpingectomy. Over a 14-month period after starting hormone therapy, the steepest K increased from 63.7D to 71.5D in the right eye and from 65.8D to 78.1D in the left eye. Conclusions: Hormone replacement therapy may amplify progression of keratoconus.
Genomics analysis of a historically intriguing and predicted emergent human adenovirus (HAdV) pathogen, which caused pneumonia and death, provides insight into a novel molecular evolution pathway involving "ping-pong" zoonosis and anthroponosis. The genome of this promiscuous pathogen is embedded with evidence of unprecedented multiple, multidirectional, stable, and reciprocal cross-species infections of hosts from three species (human, chimpanzee, and bonobo). This recombinant genome, typed as HAdV-B76, is identical to two recently reported simian AdV (SAdV) genomes isolated from chimpanzees and bonobos. Additionally, the presence of a critical adenoviral replication element found in HAdV genomes, in addition to genes that are highly similar to counterparts in other HAdVs, reinforces its potential as a human pathogen. Reservoirs in nonhuman hosts may explain periods of apparent absence and then reemergence of human adenoviral pathogens, as well as present pathways for the genesis of those thought to be newly emergent. The nature of the HAdV-D76 genome has implications for the use of SAdVs as gene delivery vectors in human gene therapy and vaccines, selected to avoid preexisting and potentially fatal host immune responses to HAdV. An emergent adenoviral human pathogen, HAdV-B76, associated with a fatality in 1965, shows a remarkable degree of genome identity with two recently isolated simian adenoviruses that contain cross-species genome recombination events from three hosts: human, chimpanzee, and bonobo. Zoonosis (nonhuman-to-human transmission) and anthroponosis (human to nonhuman transmission) may play significant roles in the emergence of human adenoviral pathogens.
PURPOSE: Epidemic and seasonal infectious conjunctivitis outbreaks can impact education, workforce, and economy adversely. Yet conjunctivitis typically is not a reportable disease, potentially delaying mitigating intervention. Our study objective was to determine if conjunctivitis epidemics could be identified using Google Trends search data. DESIGN: Search data for conjunctivitis-related and control search terms from 5 years and countries worldwide were obtained. Country and term were masked. Temporal scan statistics were applied to identify candidate epidemics. Candidates then were assessed for geotemporal concordance with an a priori defined collection of known reported conjunctivitis outbreaks, as a measure of sensitivity. PARTICIPANTS: Populations by country that searched Google's search engine using our study terms. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percent of known conjunctivitis outbreaks also found in the same country and period by our candidate epidemics, identified from conjunctivitis-related searches. RESULTS: We identified 135 candidate conjunctivitis epidemic periods from 77 countries. Compared with our a priori defined collection of known reported outbreaks, candidate conjunctivitis epidemics identified 18 of 26 (69% sensitivity) of the reported country-wide or island nationwide outbreaks, or both; 9 of 20 (45% sensitivity) of the reported region or district-wide outbreaks, or both; but far fewer nosocomial and reported smaller outbreaks. Similar overall and individual sensitivity, as well as specificity, were found on a country-level basis. We also found that 83% of our candidate epidemics had start dates before (of those, 20% were more than 12 weeks before) their concurrent reported outbreak's report issuance date. Permutation tests provided evidence that on average, conjunctivitis candidate epidemics occurred geotemporally closer to outbreak reports than chance alone suggests (P < 0.001) unlike control term candidates (P = 0.40). CONCLUSIONS: Conjunctivitis outbreaks can be detected using temporal scan analysis of Google search data alone, with more than 80% detected before an outbreak report's issuance date, some as early as the reported outbreak's start date. Future approaches using data from smaller regions, social media, and more search terms may improve sensitivity further and cross-validate detected candidates, allowing identification of candidate conjunctivitis epidemics from Internet search data potentially to complementarily benefit traditional reporting and detection systems to improve epidemic awareness.
The mucosal glycocalyx of the ocular surface constitutes the point of interaction between the tear film and the apical epithelial cells. Membrane-associated mucins (MAMs) are the defining molecules of the glycocalyx in all mucosal epithelia. Long recognized for their biophysical properties of hydration, lubrication, anti-adhesion and repulsion, MAMs maintain the wet ocular surface, lubricate the blink, stabilize the tear film and create a physical barrier to the outside world. However, it is increasingly appreciated that MAMs also function as cell surface receptors that transduce information from the outside to the inside of the cell. A number of excellent review articles have provided perspective on the field as it has progressed since 1987, when molecular cloning of the first MAM was reported. The current article provides an update for the ocular surface, placing it into the broad context of findings made in other organ systems, and including new genes, new protein functions and new biological roles. We discuss the epithelial tissue-equivalent with mucosal differentiation, the key model system making these advances possible. In addition, we make the first systematic comparison of MAMs in human and mouse, establishing the basis for using knockout mice for investigations with the complexity of an in vivo system. Lastly, we discuss findings from human genetics/genomics, which are providing clues to new MAM roles previously unimagined. Taken together, this information allows us to generate hypotheses for the next stage of investigation to expand our knowledge of MAM function in intracellular signaling and roles unique to the ocular surface.
PURPOSE: To detail surgical strategy and strabismus outcomes in a genetically defined cohort of patients with congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM). METHODS: A total of 13 patients with genetically confirmed CFEOM (via genetic testing for mutations in KIF21A, PHOX2A, and TUBB3) were retrospectively identified after undergoing strabismus surgery at Boston Children's Hospital and surgical outcomes were compared. RESULTS: Age at first surgery ranged from 11 months to 63 years, with an average of 3 strabismus procedures per patient. Ten patients had CFEOM1, of whom 9 had the KIF21A R954W amino acid (AA) substitution and 1 had the M947T AA substitution. Of the 3 with CFEOM3, 2 had the TUBB3 E410K AA substitution, and 1 had a previously unreported E410V AA substitution. CFEOM1 patients all underwent at least 1 procedure to address chin-up posture. Chin-up posture improved from 24° ± 8° before surgery to 10.0° ± 8° postoperatively (P < 0.001). Three CFEOM1 patients developed exotropia after vertical muscle surgery alone; all had the R954W AA substitution. Postoperatively, 1 CFEOM1 patient developed a corneal ulcer. All CFEOM3 patients appeared to have underlying exposure keratopathy, successfully treated with prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) lens in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: CFEOM is a complex strabismus disorder for which surgical management is difficult. Despite an aggressive surgical approach, multiple procedures may be necessary to achieve a desirable surgical effect. Knowledge of the underlying genetic diagnosis may help to inform surgical management.
To address the shortcomings associated with corneal transplants, substantial efforts have been focused on developing new modalities such as xenotransplantion. Xenogeneic corneas are anatomically and biomechanically similar to the human cornea, yet their applications require prior decellularization to remove the antigenic components to avoid rejection. In the context of bringing decellularized corneas into clinical use, sterilization is a crucial step that determines the success of the transplantation. Well-standardized sterilization methods, such as gamma irradiation (GI), have been applied to decellularized porcine corneas (DPC) to avoid graft-associated infections in human recipients. However, little is known about the effect of GI on decellularized corneal xenografts. Here, we evaluated the radiation effect on the ultrastructure, optical, mechanical and biological properties of DPC. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that gamma irradiated decellularized porcine cornea (G-DPC) preserved its structural integrity. Moreover, the radiation did not reduce the optical properties of the tissue. Neither DPC nor G-DPC led to further activation of complement system compared to native porcine cornea when exposed to plasma. Although, DPC were mechanically comparable to the native tissue, GI increased the mechanical strength, tissue hydrophobicity and resistance to enzymatic degradation. Despite these changes, human corneal epithelial, stromal, endothelial and hybrid neuroblastoma cells grew and differentiated on DPC and G-DPC. Thus, GI may achieve effective tissue sterilization without affecting critical properties that are essential for corneal transplant survival.
Neurodegenerative diseases demonstrate the progressive decline of brain functions resulting in a significant deterioration in the quality of patient's life. With increasing life expectancy, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of these diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are devastating and afflicts a large world population. Eye, given the similar neural and vascular similarity to the brain, demonstrates many pathological hallmarks of some of these neurological diseases. Moreover, these diseases create an economic and social burden to society. Despite tremendous efforts made in the drug discovery, there is no cure for these fatal diseases. Thus, there is an unmet need to understand cellular and molecular pathophysiology of these diseases. All these diseases demonstrate damage to a large number of seemingly disparate cellular processes and functions such as Ca homeostasis, lipid metabolism, axonal transport, unfolded protein response, autophagy and inflammatory responses. Mitochondria are closely associated with Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER-mitochondrial cross-talk regulates many of these cellular processes and functions damaged in neurodegenerative and eye diseases. Several studies have implicated the disruption of ER-mitochondria contacts in these diseases. This review is aimed at understanding and summarizing the role of ER-mitochondria interacting proteins in major neurodegenerative and eye diseases studied so far.
Recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RCES) is a disorder characterised by a dysfunctional epithelial ecosystem. It often begins after trauma, or in the setting of epithelial basement membrane degeneration or dystrophy. Historically, RCES has been understood as a structural derangement of the anterior corneal architecture. More recently, studies have demonstrated the important role of neuropeptides in corneal homoeostasis. Thus, RCES may also be understood as a disorder of corneal epithelial cell biology. Management of RCES can be challenging, but newer therapies have demonstrated improved efficacy for this condition. This review examines the aetiology and pathogenesis of RCES, and provides an update on current and emerging treatment modalities for the management of this disorder.
OBJECTIVE: Revised diagnostic criteria for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) were proposed in part to reduce misdiagnosis of intracranial hypertension without papilledema (WOP) by using 3 or 4 MRI features of intracranial hypertension when a sixth nerve palsy is absent. This study was undertaken to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the MRI criteria and to validate their utility for diagnosing IIH in patients with chronic headaches and elevated opening pressure (CH + EOP), but WOP. METHODS: Brain MRIs from 80 patients with IIH with papilledema (WP), 33 patients with CH + EOP, and 70 control patients with infrequent episodic migraine were assessed in a masked fashion for MRI features of intracranial hypertension. RESULTS: Reduced pituitary gland height was moderately sensitive for IIH WP (80%) but had low specificity (64%). Increased optic nerve sheath diameter was less sensitive (51%) and only moderately specific (83%). Flattening of the posterior globe was highly specific (97%) but had low sensitivity (57%). Transverse venous sinus stenosis was moderately sensitive for IIH WP (78%) but of undetermined specificity. A combination of any 3 of 4 MRI features was nearly 100% specific, while maintaining a sensitivity of 64%. Of patients with CH + EOP, 30% had 3 or more MRI features, suggesting IIH WOP in those patients. CONCLUSION: A combination of any 3 of 4 MRI features is highly specific for intracranial hypertension and suggests IIH WOP when present in patients with chronic headache and no papilledema.
Activated T cells are known to promote fibrosis, a major complication limiting the range of polymeric hydrogels as artificial corneal implants. As T cells are activated by dendritic cells (DC), minimally activating hydrogels would be optimal. In this study, we evaluated the ability of a series of engineered (manufactured/fabricated) and natural collagen matrices to either activate DC or conversely induce DC apoptosis in vitro. Bone marrow DC were cultured on a series of singly and doubly crosslinked hydrogels (made from recombinant human collagen III [RHCIII] or collagen mimetic peptide [CMP]) or on natural collagen-containing matrices, Matrigel and de-cellularised mouse corneal stroma. DC surface expression of major histocompatibility complex Class II and CD86 as well as apoptosis markers were examined. Natural matrices induced low levels of DC activation and maintained a "tolerogenic" phenotype. The same applied to singly crosslinked CMP-PEG gels. RHCIII gels singly crosslinked using either N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide with the coinitiator N-hydroxy succinimide (EDC-NHS) or N-cyclohexyl-N-(2-morpholinoethyl)carbodiimide metho-p-toulenesulfonate with NHS (CMC-NHS) induced varying levels of DC activation. In contrast, however, RHCIII hydrogels incorporating an additional polymeric network of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine did not activate DC but instead induced DC apoptosis, a phenomenon observed in natural matrices. This correlated with increased DC expression of leukocyte-associated immunoglobulin-like receptor-1. Despite low immunogenic potential, viable tolerogenic DC migrated into and through both natural and manufactured RHCIII gels. These data show that the immunogenic potential of RHCIII gels varies with the nature and composition of the gel. Preclinical evaluation of hydrogel immunogenic/fibrogenic potential is recommended.
PURPOSE: There is limited evidence to inform the optimal follow-up schedule after cataract surgery. This study aims to determine whether a standardized question set can predict unexpected management changes (UMCs) at the postoperative week one (POW1) timepoint. SETTING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Two-hundred-and-fifty-four consecutive phacoemulsification cases having attended an examination between postoperative days 5-14. A set of 7 'Yes' or 'No' questions were administered to all participants by a technician at the POW1 visit. Patient answers along with perioperative patient information were recorded and analyzed. Outcomes were the incidence of UMCs at POW1. RESULTS: The incidence of UMCs was zero in uneventful cataract cases with unremarkable history and normal postoperative day one exam if no positive answers were given with the question set demonstrating 100% sensitivity (p<0.0001). A test version with 5 questions was equally sensitive in detecting UMCs at POW1 after cataract surgery. CONCLUSION: In routine cataract cases with no positive answers to the current set of clinical questions, a POW1 visit is unlikely to result in a management change. This result offers the opportunity for eye care providers to risk-stratify patients who have had cataract surgery and individualize follow-up.
A single application of Mitomycin C (MMC) is used clinically in ophthalmology to reduce scarring and enhance wound resolution after surgery. Here we show in vitro that a 3-hour MMC treatment of primary and telomerase immortalized human corneal limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells impacts their migration and adhesion. Transient MMC treatment induces HCLE expression of senescence associated secretory factors, cytokine secretion, and deposition of laminin 332 for several days. Transient MMC treatment also reduces migration and deposition of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1)-stimulated collagen by corneal fibroblasts. Using conditioned media from control and MMC treated cells, we demonstrate that factors secreted by MMC-treated corneal epithelial cells attenuate collagen deposition by HCFs whereas those secreted by MMC-treated HCFs do not. These studies are the first to probe the roles played by corneal epithelial cells in reducing collagen deposition by corneal fibroblasts in response to MMC.
Human adenovirus infection of the ocular surface is associated with severe keratoconjunctivitis and the formation of subepithelial corneal infiltrates, which may persist and impair vision for months to years following infection. Long term pathology persists well beyond the resolution of viral replication, indicating that the prolonged immune response is not virus-mediated. However, it is not clear how these responses are sustained or even initiated following infection. This review discusses recent work from our laboratory and others which demonstrates different entry pathways specific to both adenovirus and cell type. These findings suggest that adenoviruses may stimulate specific pattern recognition receptors in an entry/trafficking-dependent manner, leading to distinct immune responses dependent on the virus/cell type combination. Additional work is needed to understand the specific connections between adenoviral entry and the stimulation of innate immune responses by the various cell types present on the ocular surface.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of evaporative dry eye disease and is one of the most common conditions encountered by eye care providers. MGD is characterized by obstruction of the meibomian gland terminal ducts and/or changes in their glandular secretion, resulting in changes in tear film stability, inflammation, and symptoms of irritation. There is no gold standard treatment for MGD, but rather a diversity of options. Conservative measures include warm compresses and lid hygiene, but there is growing interest and need for medical treatments and procedures. Potential medical treatments include antibiotics, non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, essential fatty acid supplementation, hormone therapy, and control of Demodex infestation. Procedures include intraductal meibomian gland probing, the use of electronic heating devices, intense pulsed light therapy, and intranasal neurostimulation. We provide an update on MGD treatments based on recent studies.
We analyzed clinical and histopathologic data of 97 pediatric patients who underwent excision of dermoid cysts. On review, 16.5% of the sample population demonstrated localized chronic inflammatory changes, including the presence of giant cells and epithelial disruption. These features were considered indicative of prior cyst rupture. Age at time of initial presentation was significantly older and cyst size was significantly larger in patients with histopathologic signs of previous rupture. Longer time to presentation and time to excision were associated with increased odds of spontaneous rupture.