Inflammatory cytokines and growth factors drive angiogenesis independently; however, their integrated role in pathologic and physiologic angiogenesis is not fully understood. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3) is an inducible negative feedback regulator of inflammation and growth factor signaling. In the present study, we show that SOCS3 curbs pathologic angiogenesis. Using a Cre/Lox system, we deleted SOCS3 in vessels and studied developmental and pathologic angiogenesis in murine models of oxygen-induced retinopathy and cancer. Conditional loss of SOCS3 leads to increased pathologic neovascularization, resulting in pronounced retinopathy and increased tumor size. In contrast, physiologic vascularization is not regulated by SOCS3. In vitro, SOCS3 knockdown increases proliferation and sprouting of endothelial cells costimulated with IGF-1 and TNFα via reduced feedback inhibition of the STAT3 and mTOR pathways. These results identify SOCS3 as a pivotal endogenous feedback inhibitor of pathologic angiogenesis and a potential therapeutic target acting at the converging crossroads of growth factor- and cytokine-induced vessel growth.
Dry eye disease is a multifactorial disorder of the tears and ocular surface characterized by symptoms of dryness and irritation. Although the pathogenesis of dry eye disease is not fully understood, it is recognized that inflammation has a prominent role in the development and propagation of this debilitating condition. Factors that adversely affect tear film stability and osmolarity can induce ocular surface damage and initiate an inflammatory cascade that generates innate and adaptive immune responses. These immunoinflammatory responses lead to further ocular surface damage and the development of a self-perpetuating inflammatory cycle. Herein, we review the fundamental links between inflammation and dry eye disease and discuss the clinical implications of inflammation in disease management.
In September 2010, a Symposium in Florence, Italy, was held to address the unmet need for global treatments for dry eye disease (DED). It was sponsored by The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS; www.TearFilm.org) and co-sponsored by the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (www.arvo.org). The Symposium objectives were two-fold: first, to discuss accepted and emerging clinical endpoints of DED with regulatory experts from around the world; and second, to consider how to improve clinical trials of treatments for DED. The Symposium focused on the personal and collective burden of DED, as well as the developmental and regulatory challenges associated with generating new DED therapeutics. This article provides a synopsis of many of the presentations, discussions and recommendations of this Symposium.
OBJECTIVES: Polyanionic polymers, including lipoteichoic acid and wall teichoic acid, are important determinants of the charged character of the staphylococcal cell wall. This study was designed to investigate the extent to which teichoic acid contributes to protection from anionic azo dyes and to identify barriers to drug penetration for development of new antibiotics for multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. METHODS: We studied antimicrobial activity of azo dyes against S. aureus strains with or without inhibition of teichoic acid in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: We observed that inhibition of wall teichoic acid expression resulted in an ∼1000-fold increase in susceptibility to azo dyes such as Congo red, reducing its MIC from >1024 to <4 mg/L. Sensitization occurred when the first step in the wall teichoic acid pathway, catalysed by TarO, was inhibited either by mutation or by chemical inhibition. In contrast, genetic blockade of lipoteichoic acid biosynthesis did not confer Congo red susceptibility. Based on this finding, combination therapy was tested using the highly synergistic combination of Congo red plus tunicamycin at sub-MIC concentrations (to inhibit wall teichoic acid biosynthesis). The combination rescued Caenorhabditis elegans from a lethal challenge of S. aureus. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies show that wall teichoic acid confers protection to S. aureus from anionic azo dyes and related compounds, and its inhibition raises the prospect of development of new combination therapies based on this inhibition.
PURPOSE: To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of an adenosine monophosphate (AMP) analog, aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU). METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were injected daily with AICAR (200 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [IP]) from day 0, the day of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) immunization, until day 21. The severity of uveitis was assessed clinically and histopathologically. T-cell proliferation and cytokine production of IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-10 in response to IRBP stimulation were determined. In addition, regulatory T-cell (Treg) populations were measured. Co-stimulatory molecule expression (CD40, 80, 86, and I-Ab) on dendritic cells (DCs) in EAU and on bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) treated with AICAR was measured. RESULTS: AICAR treatment significantly reduced clinical and histologic severity of EAU as well as ocular cytokine production. An anti-inflammatory effect associated with the inhibition of T-cell proliferation and Th1 and Th17 cytokine production was observed. Increases in the Th2 response and Treg population were not observed with AICAR treatment. AICAR did significantly inhibit BMDC maturation by reducing co-stimulatory molecule expression. CONCLUSIONS: AICAR attenuates EAU by preventing generation of Ag-specific Th1 and Th17 cells. Impaired DC maturation may be an underlying mechanism for this anti-inflammatory effect observed with AICAR.
The increasing popularity of the Cre/loxP recombination system has led to the generation of numerous transgenic mouse lines in which Cre recombinase is expressed under the control of organ- or cell-specific promoters. Alterations in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a multifunctional cell monolayer that separates the retinal photoreceptors from the choroid, are prevalent in the pathogenesis of a number of ocular disorders, including age-related macular degeneration. To date, six transgenic mouse lines have been developed that target Cre to the RPE under the control of various gene promoters. However, multiple lines of evidence indicate that high levels of Cre expression can be toxic to mammalian cells. In this study, we report that in the Trp1-Cre mouse, a commonly used transgenic Cre strain for RPE gene function studies, Cre recombinase expression alone leads to RPE dysfunction and concomitant disorganization of RPE layer morphology, large areas of RPE atrophy, retinal photoreceptor dysfunction, and microglial cell activation in the affected areas. The phenotype described herein is similar to previously published reports of conditional gene knockouts that used the Trp1-Cre mouse, suggesting that Cre toxicity alone could account for some of the reported phenotypes and highlighting the importance of the inclusion of Cre-expressing mice as controls in conditional gene targeting studies.
Retinal degenerations cause permanent visual loss and affect millions world-wide. Current treatment strategies, such as gene therapy and anti-angiogenic drugs, merely delay disease progression. Research is underway which aims to regenerate the diseased retina by transplanting a variety of cell types, including embryonic stem cells, fetal cells, progenitor cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Initial retinal transplantation studies injected stem and progenitor cells into the vitreous or subretinal space with the hope that these donor cells would migrate to the site of retinal degeneration, integrate within the host retina and restore functional vision. Despite promising outcomes, these studies showed that the bolus injection technique gave rise to poorly localized tissue grafts. Subsequently, retinal tissue engineers have drawn upon the success of bone, cartilage and vasculature tissue engineering by employing a polymeric tissue engineering approach. This review will describe the evolution of retinal tissue engineering to date, with particular emphasis on the types of polymers that have routinely been used in recent investigations. Further, this review will show that the field of retinal tissue engineering will require new types of materials and fabrication techniques that optimize the survival, differentiation and delivery of retinal transplant cells.
OBJECTIVE: To report the accuracy of intraocular lens (IOL) power calculations and the early refractive status in pseudophakic eyes of infants in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. METHODS: Eyes randomized to receive primary IOL implantation were targeted for a postoperative refraction of +8.0 diopters (D) for infants 28 to 48 days old at surgery and +6.0 D for those 49 days or older to younger than 7 months at surgery using the Holladay 1 formula. Refraction 1 month after surgery was converted to spherical equivalent, and prediction error (PE; defined as the calculated refraction minus the actual refraction) and absolute PE were calculated. Baseline eye and surgery characteristics and A-scan quality were analyzed to compare their effect on PE. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prediction error. RESULTS: Fifty-six eyes underwent primary IOL implantation; 7 were excluded for lack of postoperative refraction (n = 5) or incorrect technique in refraction (n = 1) or biometry (n = 1). Overall mean (SD) absolute PE was 1.8 (1.3) D and mean (SD) PE was +1.0 (2.0) D. Absolute PE was less than 1 D in 41% of eyes but greater than 2 D in 41% of eyes. Mean IOL power implanted was 29.9 D (range, 11.5-40.0 D); most eyes (88%) implanted with an IOL of 30.0 D or greater had less postoperative hyperopia than planned. Multivariate analysis revealed that only short axial length (<18 mm) was significant for higher PE. CONCLUSIONS: Short axial length correlates with higher PE after IOL placement in infants. Less hyperopia than anticipated occurs with axial lengths of less than 18 mm or high-power IOLs. Application to Clinical Practice Quality A-scans are essential and higher PE is common, with a tendency for less hyperopia than expected. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00212134.
The presence of specific antibodies and T cells that are specific in patients with glaucoma supports the idea that the immune system may play an important role in the initiation and/or sustainment of glaucomatous optic neuropathy, at least in some patients. At present, our understanding regarding immunological mechanisms associated with glaucomatous optic neuropathy is far from satisfactory. In this review, we examined evidence suggesting involvement of autoimmune responses in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. These include detection of autoantibodies and T cells and expression of cytokines and stress proteins in patients with glaucoma. Although immune responses are thought to be detrimental, some responses may exert a protective effect against neurodegenerative damage. Likely, the balance between positive and negative regulators determines the survival or demise of cells. It is vital that research continues to elucidate the roles of the immune system in glaucomatous neurodegeneration and the possibility of alternative modalities of treatment. These studies may also provide valuable molecular biomarkers for the diagnosis and identification of a specific cohort of patients with glaucoma, that is, those with normal-tension glaucoma.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to report the levels of tissue plasminogen activator in liquefied suprachoroidal hemorrhage. METHODS: An interventional case report of a 61-year-old woman who underwent drainage sclerotomy for choroidal hemorrhage. RESULTS: A 61-year-old pseudophakic woman underwent pars plana vitrectomy and fluid-gas exchange for retinal detachment in her right eye and developed postoperative serous choroidal detachments with large hemorrhages. Drainage sclerotomy was performed 18 days after the initial development of suprachoroidal hemorrhage. Sample of the liquefied hemorrhage and serum sample collected during sclerotomy were tested for tissue plasminogen activator levels using the antibody tissue plasminogen activator-enzyme immunoassay test. Hemorrhage tissue plasminogen activator levels were three times the levels present in the serum. CONCLUSION: Tissue plasminogen activator may be involved in the process of suprachoroidal hemorrhage liquefaction.
Visual crowding is the inability to identify visible features when they are surrounded by other structure in the peripheral field. Since natural environments are replete with structure and most of our visual field is peripheral, crowding represents the primary limit on vision in the real world. However, little is known about the characteristics of crowding under natural conditions. Here we examine where crowding occurs in natural images. Observers were required to identify which of four locations contained a patch of "dead leaves'' (synthetic, naturalistic contour structure) embedded into natural images. Threshold size for the dead leaves patch scaled with eccentricity in a manner consistent with crowding. Reverse correlation at multiple scales was used to determine local image statistics that correlated with task performance. Stepwise model selection revealed that local RMS contrast and edge density at the site of the dead leaves patch were of primary importance in predicting the occurrence of crowding once patch size and eccentricity had been considered. The absolute magnitudes of the regression weights for RMS contrast at different spatial scales varied in a manner consistent with receptive field sizes measured in striate cortex of primate brains. Our results are consistent with crowding models that are based on spatial averaging of features in the early stages of the visual system, and allow the prediction of where crowding is likely to occur in natural images.
Landmark experiments in the 1920s showed that capsule switching is critical for Streptococcus pneumonia survival. Further studies demonstrated that capsule "transformation" occurs via DNA uptake. In this issue of Cell Host and Microbe, Bikard et al. (2012) show that CRISPR-Cas systems inhibit DNA uptake, selecting for the outgrowth of CRISPR-defective pneumococci.
UNLABELLED: Bacteria and archaea face continual onslaughts of rapidly diversifying viruses and plasmids. Many prokaryotes maintain adaptive immune systems known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated genes (Cas). CRISPR-Cas systems are genomic sensors that serially acquire viral and plasmid DNA fragments (spacers) that are utilized to target and cleave matching viral and plasmid DNA in subsequent genomic invasions, offering critical immunological memory. Only 50% of sequenced bacteria possess CRISPR-Cas immunity, in contrast to over 90% of sequenced archaea. To probe why half of bacteria lack CRISPR-Cas immunity, we combined comparative genomics and mathematical modeling. Analysis of hundreds of diverse prokaryotic genomes shows that CRISPR-Cas systems are substantially more prevalent in thermophiles than in mesophiles. With sequenced bacteria disproportionately mesophilic and sequenced archaea mostly thermophilic, the presence of CRISPR-Cas appears to depend more on environmental temperature than on bacterial-archaeal taxonomy. Mutation rates are typically severalfold higher in mesophilic prokaryotes than in thermophilic prokaryotes. To quantitatively test whether accelerated viral mutation leads microbes to lose CRISPR-Cas systems, we developed a stochastic model of virus-CRISPR coevolution. The model competes CRISPR-Cas-positive (CRISPR-Cas+) prokaryotes against CRISPR-Cas-negative (CRISPR-Cas-) prokaryotes, continually weighing the antiviral benefits conferred by CRISPR-Cas immunity against its fitness costs. Tracking this cost-benefit analysis across parameter space reveals viral mutation rate thresholds beyond which CRISPR-Cas cannot provide sufficient immunity and is purged from host populations. These results offer a simple, testable viral diversity hypothesis to explain why mesophilic bacteria disproportionately lack CRISPR-Cas immunity. More generally, fundamental limits on the adaptability of biological sensors (Lamarckian evolution) are predicted. IMPORTANCE: A remarkable recent discovery in microbiology is that bacteria and archaea possess systems conferring immunological memory and adaptive immunity. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated genes (CRISPR-Cas) are genomic sensors that allow prokaryotes to acquire DNA fragments from invading viruses and plasmids. Providing immunological memory, these stored fragments destroy matching DNA in future viral and plasmid invasions. CRISPR-Cas systems also provide adaptive immunity, keeping up with mutating viruses and plasmids by continually acquiring new DNA fragments. Surprisingly, less than 50% of mesophilic bacteria, in contrast to almost 90% of thermophilic bacteria and Archaea, maintain CRISPR-Cas immunity. Using mathematical modeling, we probe this dichotomy, showing how increased viral mutation rates can explain the reduced prevalence of CRISPR-Cas systems in mesophiles. Rapidly mutating viruses outrun CRISPR-Cas immune systems, likely decreasing their prevalence in bacterial populations. Thus, viral adaptability may select against, rather than for, immune adaptability in prokaryotes.
Rod outer segment membrane guanylate cyclase (ROS-GC1) is a bimodal Ca(2+) signal transduction switch. Lowering [Ca(2+)](i) from 200 to 20 nM progressively turns it "ON" as does raising [Ca(2+)](i) from 500 to 5000 nM. The mode operating at lower [Ca(2+)](i) plays a vital role in phototransduction in both rods and cones. The physiological function of the mode operating at elevated [Ca(2+)](i) is not known. Through comprehensive studies on mice involving gene deletions, biochemistry, immunohistochemistry, electroretinograms and single cell recordings, the present study demonstrates that the Ca(2+)-sensor S100B coexists with and is physiologically linked to ROS-GC1 in cones but not in rods. It up-regulates ROS-GC1 activity with a K(1/2) for Ca(2+) greater than 500 nM and modulates the transmission of neural signals to cone ON-bipolar cells. Furthermore, a possibility is raised that under pathological conditions where [Ca(2+)](i) levels rise to and perhaps even enter the micromolar range, the S100B signaling switch will be turned "ON" causing an explosive production of CNG channel opening and further rise in [Ca(2+)](i) in cone outer segments. The findings define a new cone-specific Ca(2+)-dependent feature of photoreceptors and expand our understanding of the operational principles of phototransduction machinery.
Natural vision involves sequential eye movements that bring the fovea to locations selected by peripheral vision. How peripheral visual field loss (PVFL) affects this process is not well understood. We examine how the location and extent of PVFL affects eye movement behavior in a naturalistic visual search task. Ten patients with PVFL and 13 normally sighted subjects with full visual fields (FVF) completed 30 visual searches monocularly. Subjects located a 4° × 4° target, pseudo-randomly selected within a 26° × 11° natural image. Eye positions were recorded at 50 Hz. Search duration, fixation duration, saccade size, and number of saccades per trial were not significantly different between PVFL and FVF groups (p > 0.1). A χ(2) test showed that the distributions of saccade directions for PVFL and FVL subjects were significantly different in 8 out of 10 cases (p < 0.01). Humphrey Visual Field pattern deviations for each subject were compared with the spatial distribution of eye movement directions. There were no significant correlations between saccade directional bias and visual field sensitivity across the 10 patients. Visual search performance was not significantly affected by PVFL. An analysis of eye movement directions revealed patients with PVFL show a biased directional distribution that was not directly related to the locus of vision loss, challenging feed-forward models of eye movement control. Consequently, many patients do not optimally compensate for visual field loss during visual search.
BACKGROUND: Loss of vision in glaucoma is due to apoptotic retinal ganglion cell loss. While p53 modulates apoptosis, gene association studies between p53 variants and glaucoma have been inconsistent. In this study we evaluate the association between a p53 variant functionally known to influence apoptosis (codon 72 Pro/Arg) and the subset of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients with early loss of central visual field. METHODS: Genotypes for the p53 codon 72 polymorphism (Pro/Arg) were obtained for 264 POAG patients and 400 controls from the U.S. and in replication studies for 308 POAG patients and 178 controls from Australia (GIST). The glaucoma patients were divided into two groups according to location of initial visual field defect (either paracentral or peripheral). All cases and controls were Caucasian with European ancestry. RESULTS: The p53-PRO/PRO genotype was more frequent in the U.S. POAG patients with early visual field defects in the paracentral regions compared with those in the peripheral regions or control group (p=2.7 × 10(-5)). We replicated this finding in the GIST cohort (p =7.3 × 10(-3), and in the pooled sample (p=6.6 × 10(-7)) and in a meta-analysis of both the US and GIST datasets (1.3 × 10(-6), OR 2.17 (1.58-2.98 for the PRO allele). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the p53 codon 72 PRO/PRO genotype is potentially associated with early paracentral visual field defects in primary open-angle glaucoma patients.
Wiggs JL, Yaspan BL, Hauser MA, Kang JH, Allingham RR, Olson LM, Abdrabou W, Fan BJ, Wang DY, Brodeur W, Budenz DL, Caprioli J, Crenshaw A, Crooks K, Delbono E, Doheny KF, Friedman DS, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Laurie C, Lee RK, Lichter PR, Loomis S, Liu Y, Medeiros FA, McCarty C, Mirel D, Moroi SE, Musch DC, Realini A, Rozsa FW, Schuman JS, Scott K, Singh K, Stein JD, Trager EH, Vanveldhuisen P, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Yoneyama S, Zhang K, Weinreb RN, Ernst J, Kellis M, Masuda T, Zack D, Richards JE, Pericak-Vance M, Pasquale LR, Haines JL. Common variants at 9p21 and 8q22 are associated with increased susceptibility to optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma. PLoS Genet 2012;8(4):e1002654.Abstract
Optic nerve degeneration caused by glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Patients affected by the normal-pressure form of glaucoma are more likely to harbor risk alleles for glaucoma-related optic nerve disease. We have performed a meta-analysis of two independent genome-wide association studies for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) followed by a normal-pressure glaucoma (NPG, defined by intraocular pressure (IOP) less than 22 mmHg) subgroup analysis. The single-nucleotide polymorphisms that showed the most significant associations were tested for association with a second form of glaucoma, exfoliation-syndrome glaucoma. The overall meta-analysis of the GLAUGEN and NEIGHBOR dataset results (3,146 cases and 3,487 controls) identified significant associations between two loci and POAG: the CDKN2BAS region on 9p21 (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.69 [95%CI 0.63-0.75], p = 1.86×10⁻¹⁸), and the SIX1/SIX6 region on chromosome 14q23 (rs10483727 [A], OR = 1.32 [95%CI 1.21-1.43], p = 3.87×10⁻¹¹). In sub-group analysis two loci were significantly associated with NPG: 9p21 containing the CDKN2BAS gene (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.58 [95% CI 0.50-0.67], p = 1.17×10⁻¹²) and a probable regulatory region on 8q22 (rs284489 [G], OR = 0.62 [95% CI 0.53-0.72], p = 8.88×10⁻¹⁰). Both NPG loci were also nominally associated with a second type of glaucoma, exfoliation syndrome glaucoma (rs2157719 [G], OR = 0.59 [95% CI 0.41-0.87], p = 0.004 and rs284489 [G], OR = 0.76 [95% CI 0.54-1.06], p = 0.021), suggesting that these loci might contribute more generally to optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma. Because both loci influence transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling, we performed a genomic pathway analysis that showed an association between the TGF-beta pathway and NPG (permuted p = 0.009). These results suggest that neuro-protective therapies targeting TGF-beta signaling could be effective for multiple forms of glaucoma.
Since its introduction, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has become widely used and accepted as an imaging modality to detect and follow glaucoma, with measurement of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) being the most utilized parameter. Up until recently, macular thickness parameters have not been commonly used in glaucoma due to results of earlier studies with time-domain OCT (TD-OCT) that revealed macular imaging to be inferior to pRNFL in the diagnosis of glaucoma. The recent advent of spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT) has renewed interest in the potential uses of macular imaging in glaucoma due to its ability to better segment and measure individual retinal layers. Multiple studies have been performed in the last few years to investigate the diagnostic ability, reproducibility, and limitations of these new SD-OCT macular parameters. The purpose of this paper is to review the findings of those studies to assess the current utility of macular SD-OCT in glaucoma. Overall, SD-OCT has been shown to have higher reproducibility than TD-OCT, and though there have been some conflicting reports, the majority of studies seem to concur that the diagnostic sensitivity of SD-OCT macular parameters is at least comparable to TD-OCT and other SD-OCT parameters.