PURPOSE: To estimate the impact of dry eye disease (DED) on work performance and productivity in office workers using visual display terminals (VDTs). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: Six hundred seventy-two Japanese young and middle-aged office workers using VDTs completed a questionnaire that was designed to measured at-work performance deficits and productivity losses using the Japanese version of the Work Limitations Questionnaire, completed by e-mail. Using the Japanese dry eye diagnostic criteria, respondents were classified into 3 groups: definite DED, probable DED, and non DED. RESULTS: Of the 672 office workers, 553 subjects (82.3%), including 366 men and 187 women, completed the questionnaire and underwent clinical evaluation. As for the total workplace productivity loss, the non DED group demonstrated a loss of 3.56%, those with probable DED demonstrated a loss of 4.06%, and those with definite DED demonstrated a loss of 4.82%, indicating significantly worse performance and productivity (P = .014, trend test). For the 4 subscales, DED was associated with significantly lower on-the-job time management (P = .009, trend test) and combined mental performance and interpersonal functioning (P = .011, trend test). After controlling for age, sex, VDT working hours, and diagnosis of DED, time management, physical demands, and mental and interpersonal functioning showed a significant relationship to DED (each P > .05). Annual DED productivity losses were estimated to be $6160 per employee when measured by total production and $1178 per employee calculated by wage. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that there is a significant impact of DED on the total productivity of Japanese VDT users.
OBJECTIVE: Because early estrogen deficiency may increase the susceptibility of the optic nerve to glaucoma, we studied the association of early bilateral oophorectomy with glaucoma. METHODS: In the Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Oophorectomy and Aging, we studied the risk of glaucoma by comparing women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy from 1950 to 1987 with age-matched referent women who did not undergo unilateral or bilateral oophorectomy. Glaucoma diagnostic codes were identified in the records linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated during a median follow-up of 25.5 years. Analyses were stratified by age at the time of bilateral oophorectomy (in tertiles). RESULTS: Of 1,044 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before menopause, 147 developed glaucoma. Of 1,070 referent women, 133 developed glaucoma. Women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy showed no increased risk of glaucoma in the overall group (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.89-1.42). However, women who underwent oophorectomy before the age of 43 years (n = 344; first tertile) had a significantly increased risk of glaucoma (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.15-2.23). The results did not change after adjustment for hypertension, obesity, diabetes, or disorders of lipid metabolism at baseline. Approximately 11% of women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years were treated with estrogen up to the age of 50 years; however, treatment did not reduce the association (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.81-3.13). CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years may increase the risk of glaucoma, and estrogen treatment does not seem to attenuate the risk.
Diabetes can lead to vision loss because of progressive degeneration of the neurovascular unit in the retina, a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. In its early stages, the pathology is characterized by microangiopathies, including microaneurysms, microhemorrhages, and nerve layer infarcts known as cotton-wool spots. Analyses of postmortem human retinal tissue and retinas from animal models indicate that degeneration of the pericytes, which constitute the outer layer of capillaries, is an early event in diabetic retinopathy; however, the relative contribution of specific cellular components to the pathobiology of diabetic retinopathy remains to be defined. We investigated the phenotypic consequences of pericyte death on retinal microvascular integrity by using nondiabetic mice conditionally expressing a diphtheria toxin receptor in mural cells. Five days after administering diphtheria toxin in these adult mice, changes were observed in the retinal vasculature that were similar to those observed in diabetes, including microaneurysms and increased vascular permeability, suggesting that pericyte cell loss is sufficient to trigger retinal microvascular degeneration. Therapies aimed at preventing or delaying pericyte dropout may avoid or attenuate the retinal microangiopathy associated with diabetes.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, an inhabitant of the upper respiratory mucosa, causes respiratory and invasive infections as well as conjunctivitis. Strains that lack the capsule, a main virulence factor and the target of current vaccines, are often isolated from conjunctivitis cases. Here we perform a comparative genomic analysis of 271 strains of conjunctivitis-causing S. pneumoniae from 72 postal codes in the United States. We find that the vast majority of conjunctivitis strains are members of a distinct cluster of closely related unencapsulated strains. These strains possess divergent forms of pneumococcal virulence factors (such as CbpA and neuraminidases) that are not shared with other unencapsulated nasopharyngeal S. pneumoniae. They also possess putative adhesins that have not been described in encapsulated pneumococci. These findings suggest that the unencapsulated strains capable of causing conjunctivitis utilize a pathogenesis strategy substantially different from that described for S. pneumoniae at other infection sites.
The intestinal microbial ecosystem is complex, and few of the principles that contribute to homeostasis in health are well understood. Pham et al. (2014) show that a network including the epithelial interleukin-22 receptor protects against infection with the opportunistic pathogen Enterococcus faecalis through promotion of host-microbiota mutualism.
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: Statins have been shown to increase aqueous outflow facility. The matricellular protein SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) is a critical mediator of aqueous outflow and intraocular pressure (IOP). Here, we examine the effects of lovastatin on SPARC expression in trabecular meshwork (TM) cells, exploring the molecular mechanisms involved. METHODS: Primary cultured human TM cells were incubated for 24, 48, and 72 hours with 10 μM lovastatin. In separate cultures, media was supplemented with either farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) or geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) for the duration of the 72-hour time point experiment. Trabecular meshwork cells were also pretreated for 24 hours with lovastatin followed by 24-hour stimulation with 3 ng/mL TGF-β2. Cell lysates and media were harvested and relative mRNA and protein level changes were determined. Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) localization in normal human anterior segments was examined by immunofluorescence. Adenovirus expressing human KLF4 was used and relative changes in SPARC mRNA and protein levels were assessed. RESULTS: Incubating TM cells with lovastatin suppressed SPARC mRNA and protein levels. This effect was reversed upon media supplementation with GGPP but not FPP. Pretreating cells with lovastatin inhibited TGF-β2 induction of SPARC. The KLF4 transcription factor was expressed throughout the TM and the inner and outer walls of Schlemm's canal. Lovastatin treatment upregulated KLF4 mRNA and protein levels. Overexpression of KLF4 downregulated SPARC expression. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data identify lovastatin as an important pharmacological suppressor of SPARC expression in TM cells, and provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms mediating statin enhancement of aqueous outflow facility.
PURPOSE. Canonical Wnt signaling has emerged as a critical regulator of aqueous outflow facility and intraocular pressure (IOP). In this study, we examine the role of canonical Wnt signaling on extracellular matrix (ECM) expression in the trabecular meshwork (TM) and explore the molecular mechanisms involved. METHODS. β-catenin localization in human TM tissue was examined using immunofluorescent staining. Primary human TM cells were incubated with lithium chloride (LiCl) and the effect on active β-catenin expression was assessed by immunoblot. Adenovirus expressing a dominant-negative TCF4 mutant that lacks a β-catenin binding domain was used. Changes in the levels of the microRNA-29 (miR-29) family and ECM proteins were determined by real-time quantitative PCR and immunoblot analysis, respectively. RESULTS. β-catenin was expressed throughout the TM, with localization primarily to the plasma membrane. Incubation of TM cells with lithium chloride increased the expression of active β-catenin. Lithium chloride treatment upregulated miR-29b expression, and suppressed the levels of various ECM proteins under both basal and TGF-β2 stimulatory conditions. Infection of TM cells with a dominant-negative TCF4 mutant induced ECM levels without a significant change in the expression of the miR-29 family. CONCLUSIONS. Collectively, our data identify the canonical Wnt signaling pathway as an important modulator of ECM expression in the TM and provide a mechanistic framework for its regulation of outflow facility and IOP.
Neuroimmunologic and systemic rheumatic diseases are frequently accompanied by inflammation of the eye, ocular adnexa, and orbital tissues. An understanding of the diverse forms of ophthalmic pathology in these conditions aids the clinician in making appropriate preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic decisions. In this review, the authors address ocular inflammation in neurorheumatic disease in three sections: first, they highlight current perspectives on immune mechanisms in the development of these disorders; next, they provide a framework for the recognition and evaluation of ophthalmologic inflammatory entities; finally, they discuss in detail several inflammatory conditions that affect the nervous system and the eye, emphasizing the features that should alert neurologists to initiate ophthalmologic evaluation. The conditions discussed include multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuropathy, Susac syndrome, Cogan syndrome, acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, Behçet disease, sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener granulomatosis), polyarteritis nodosa, giant cell arteritis, IgG4-related disease, and Sjögren syndrome.
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.
Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) regulate critical events during development. In complex tissues, such as the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), networks likely provide the complex regulatory interactions needed to direct the specification of the many CNS cell types. Here, we dissect a GRN that regulates a binary fate decision between two siblings in the murine retina, the rod photoreceptor and bipolar interneuron. The GRN centers on Blimp1, one of the transcription factors (TFs) that regulates the rod versus bipolar cell fate decision. We identified a cis-regulatory module (CRM), B108, that mimics Blimp1 expression. Deletion of genomic B108 by CRISPR/Cas9 in vivo using electroporation abolished the function of Blimp1. Otx2 and RORβ were found to regulate Blimp1 expression via B108, and Blimp1 and Otx2 were shown to form a negative feedback loop that regulates the level of Otx2, which regulates the production of the correct ratio of rods and bipolar cells.
In vertebrate rods and cones, photon capture by rhodopsin leads to the destruction of cyclic GMP (cGMP) and the subsequent closure of cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels in the outer segment plasma membrane. Replenishment of cGMP and reopening of the channels limit the growth of the photon response and are requisite for its recovery. In different vertebrate retinas, there may be as many as four types of membrane guanylyl cyclases (GCs) for cGMP synthesis. Ten neuronal Ca(2+) sensor proteins could potentially modulate their activities. The mouse is proving to be an effective model for characterizing the roles of individual components because its relative simplicity can be reduced further by genetic engineering. There are two types of GC activating proteins (GCAPs) and two types of GCs in mouse rods, whereas cones express one type of GCAP and one type of GC. Mutant mouse rods and cones bereft of both GCAPs have large, long lasting photon responses. Thus, GCAPs normally mediate negative feedback tied to the light-induced decline in intracellular Ca(2+) that accelerates GC activity to curtail the growth and duration of the photon response. Rods from other mutant mice that express a single GCAP type reveal how the two GCAPs normally work together as a team. Because of its lower Ca(2+) affinity, GCAP1 is the first responder that senses the initial decrease in Ca(2+) following photon absorption and acts to limit response amplitude. GCAP2, with a higher Ca(2+) affinity, is recruited later during the course of the photon response as Ca(2+) levels continue to decline further. The main role of GCAP2 is to provide for a timely response recovery and it is particularly important after exposure to very bright light. The multiplicity of GC isozymes and GCAP homologs in the retinas of other vertebrates confers greater flexibility in shaping the photon responses in order to tune visual sensitivity, dynamic range and frequency response.
Pediatric uveitis is a topic of special interest not only because of the unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges but also because of the lifetime burden of vision loss if the problem is not adequately treated, as well as the economic and psychological toll on the family. Often, uveitis in children is discovered as part of a routine eye exam; this silent, insidious inflammation can be difficult to treat and can lead to further complications if not handled skillfully. Corticosteroids have long been the mainstay of therapy; however, the significant associated side effects mandate a corticosteroid-sparing therapeutic regimen in pursuit of remission. In this review, we cover the therapeutic options for pediatric uveitis, specifically focusing on the most common non-infectious varieties, juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis and pars planitis.
PURPOSE: To correlate the clinical, radiographic, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical features of 5 primary periorbital intraosseous cavernous vascular malformations. DESIGN: Retrospective interventional case series. METHODS: Clinical and operative records and radiographic images were reviewed. Histopathologic slides were evaluated with hematoxylin-eosin, trichrome, and elastin stains. Immunohistochemical studies were performed with a spectrum of monoclonal antibodies directed at antigens of vascular cells. RESULTS: Three men and 2 women ranged in age from 36 to 64 years. Vision was unaffected and there was no proptosis or globe displacement. The slow-growing lesions measured 13-25 mm in greatest diameter (mean 16.4 mm). Computed tomographic studies revealed that 2 lesions were situated in the maxillary bone, 2 in the frontal, and 1 in the zygoma, all anteriorly and with circumscribed, lucent, honeycombed, or sunburst characteristics. Histopathologically the lesions were composed of cavernous or telangiectatic channels; 1 showed advanced fibrotic vascular involution. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated CD31/34 positivity for vascular endothelium and D2-40 negativity for lymphatic endothelium. A typically thin mural myofibroblastic cuff was smooth muscle actin positive, weakly calponin positive, and desmin negative. Glucose transporter-1 and Ki-67 were negative in the endothelium. CONCLUSIONS: Intraosseous vascular lesions resemble orbital cavernous venous malformations (not true hemangiomas), except that their vascular walls are thinner owing to the constraints imposed by neighboring bone spicules, which limit the amount of interstitium from which mural myofibroblasts can be recruited. The bony trabeculae conferred the honeycomb or sunburst appearances observed radiographically. En bloc excision of these lesions was successful and avoided complications (mean follow-up, 46 months).
Induced prism in spectacle lenses, which may result from inadvertent displacement of optical centers, may worsen an existing heterophoria or even cause diplopia, yet over-the-counter reading glasses (OTC readers) are not always assessed by clinicians when evaluating patients with diplopia or asthenopia. To gauge the magnitude of this potential problem, we used a focimeter and prescription aligner to assess the frequency and extent of clinically significant manufacturing variations in a random selection of 160 OTC readers. The optical centers were vertically displaced by ≥3 mm in 11%, with a maximum displacement of 7 mm in 1 pair. Average interpupillary distance was 64 mm (range, 58-74.5 mm), with interpupillary distance outside the normal range of 60-70 mm in 5%. Monocular pupillary distance was asymmetric by ≥5 mm in 4%. A 0.75 D power difference between lenses was measured in one pair of OTC readers. Some OTC readers have misaligned optical centers and other manufacturing defects that are of a magnitude sufficient to exacerbate a heterophoria and cause asthenopia or diplopia.
Acuity is the most commonly used measure of visual function, and reductions in acuity are associated with most eye diseases. Metamorphopsia-a perceived distortion of visual space-is another common symptom of visual impairment and is currently assessed qualitatively using Amsler (1953) charts. In order to quantify the impact of metamorphopsia on acuity, we measured the effect of physical spatial distortion on letter recognition. Following earlier work showing that letter recognition is tuned to specific spatial frequency (SF) channels, we hypothesized that the effect of distortion might depend on the spatial scale of visual distortion just as it depends on the spatial scale of masking noise. Six normally sighted observers completed a 26 alternate forced choice (AFC) Sloan letter identification task at five different viewing distances, and the letters underwent different levels of spatial distortion. Distortion was controlled using spatially band-pass filtered noise that spatially remapped pixel locations. Noise was varied over five spatial frequencies and five magnitudes. Performance was modeled with logistic regression and worsened linearly with increasing distortion magnitude and decreasing letter size. We found that retinal SF affects distortion at midrange frequencies and can be explained with the tuning of a basic contrast sensitivity function, while object-centered distortion SF follows a similar pattern of letter object recognition sensitivity and is tuned to approximately three cycles per letter (CPL). The interaction between letter size and distortion makes acuity an unreliable outcome for metamorphopsia assessment.
Purpose: Patients with macular disease often report experiencing metamorphopsia (visual distortion). Although typically measured with Amsler charts, more objective and quantitative assessments of perceived distortion are desirable to effectively monitor the presence, progression and remediation of visual impairment. Methods: Participants with binocular (n = 33) and monocular (n= 50) maculopathy across seven disease groups, and control participants (n = 10) with no identifiable retinal disease completed a modified Amsler Grid assessment (presented on a computer screen with eye tracking to ensure fixation compliance) and two novel objective measures of metamorphopsia in the central five degrees of visual field. 81% (67/83) of participants completed a task requiring them to configure eight dots in the shape of a square, and 64% (32/50) of participants experiencing monocular distortion completed a spatial alignment task using dichoptic stimuli. 10 controls completed all tasks. Results: Horizontal and vertical distortion magnitudes were calculated for each of the three assessments. Distortion magnitudes were significantly higher in patients than controls in all assessments. There was no significant difference in magnitude of distortion across different macular diseases. Among patients, there were no significant correlations between overall magnitude of distortion among any of the three measures and no significant correlations in localized measures of distortion. Conclusions: Three alternative quantifications of monocular spatial distortion in the central visual field generated uncorrelated estimates of visual distortion. It is therefore unlikely that metamorphopsia is caused solely by displacement of photoreceptors in the retina, but instead involves additional top-down information, knowledge about the scene, and perhaps, cortical reorganization.
Variants in LOXL1 are significantly associated with exfoliation syndrome (XFS), however the impact of the associated variants on disease development is not yet understood. Initially the associated missense changes, R141L and G153D, were considered to be pathogenic alleles. Flipping of the risk allele in certain populations for both missense variants provided strong evidence that these missense changes are not biologically significant and suggest that other LOXL1 variant(s), in linkage disequilibrium with these missense variants, predispose to exfoliation syndrome by affecting gene expression or protein function. Several lines of evidence support dysregulation of LOXL1 gene expression as a contributing factor to disease development. First, in the German population the R141L (rs1048661) risk allele reduced LOXL1 expression by 20%. Second, haplotype analysis identified a risk haplotype that includes including R141L, G153D, as well as a LOXL1 promoter region variant previously shown to reduce gene expression (rs16958477). Third, the LOXL1 risk haplotype influences gene expression induced by disease-associated factors TGF-B1, oxidative stress, UV light and hypoxia. Finally, a LOXL1 null mouse has some features of XFS suggesting that decreased enzyme activity contributes to predisposition to the disease. Collectively, these results suggest that dysregulation of LOXL1 expression is a contributing factor to exfoliation disease development.
PURPOSE: CYP1B1 mutations cause autosomal recessive congenital glaucoma. Disease risk assessment for families with CYP1B1 mutations requires knowledge of the population mutation carrier frequency. The purpose of this study is to determine the CYP1B1 mutation carrier frequency in clinically normal individuals residing in the United States. Because CYP1B1 mutations can exhibit variable expressivity, we hypothesize that the mutation carrier frequency is higher than expected. METHODS: Two hundred fifty individuals without glaucoma or a family history of glaucoma were enrolled. CYP1B1 mutations were identified by DNA sequencing, and pathogenicity was estimated by PolyPhen-2 or a previous report of disease causality. RESULTS: Based on the disease frequency (1 in 10,000) and prevalence of CYP1B1-related congenital glaucoma (15% to 20%), the frequency of CYP1B1-related congenital glaucoma in the United States is approximately 1 in 50,000. Assuming Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the expected CYP1B1 mutation carrier frequency would be 1 in 112, or 0.89%. Among the 250 study participants, 11 (4.4%) are carriers of a single pathogenic mutation, representing a carrier frequency of 1 in 22, which is 5.1 times the expected frequency. A higher-than-expected carrier frequency (1 in 33, 3.0%) was also observed in 4300 white individuals sequenced by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Exome Sequencing Project. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the CYP1B1 mutation carrier frequency in the US population is between 1 in 22 and 1 in 33, which is 5.1 to 3.4 times the expected frequency. These results suggest that more individuals than expected are carriers of a deleterious CYP1B1 mutation, and that the prevalence of CYP1B1-related disease may be higher than expected.