OBJECTIVE: To examine the clinical relevance and pathophysiology of Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro)-related corneal keratolysis (cornea melt) and to describe a novel method of preventing corneal melt using ex vivo crosslinked cornea tissue carrier. METHODS: A review of B-KPro literature was performed to highlight cases of corneal melt. Studies examining the effect of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) on the biomechanical properties of corneal tissue are summarized. The use of crosslinked corneal tissue as a carrier to the B-KPro is illustrated with a case. RESULTS: Corneal melting after B-KPro is a relatively rare event, occurring in 3% of eyes during the first 3 years of postoperative follow-up. The risk of post-KPro corneal melting is heightened in eyes with chronic ocular surface inflammation such as eyes with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and mucous membrane pemphigoid. This chronic inflammation results in high tear levels of matrix metalloproteinases, the enzymes responsible for collagenolysis and corneal melt. Crosslinked corneal tissue has been shown to have stiffer biomechanical properties and to be more resistant to degradation by collagenolytic enzymes. We have previously optimized the technique for ex vivo corneal CXL and are currently studying its impact on the prevention of corneal melting after B-KPro surgery in high-risk eyes. Crosslinked carrier tissue was used in a 52-year-old man with familial aniridia and severe post-KPro corneal melt. The patient maintained his visual acuity and showed no evidence of corneal thinning or melt in the first postoperative year. CONCLUSION: Collagen crosslinking was previously shown to halt the enzymatic degradation of corneal buttons ex vivo. This study demonstrates the safety and potential benefit of using crosslinked corneal grafts as carriers for the B-KPro, especially in eyes at higher risk of postoperative melt.
PURPOSE: To define global transcriptional responses of Staphylococcus aureus and its codY mutant (CodY is a transcription regulator of virulence and metabolic genes in response to branched-chain amino acids) when growing in bovine aqueous (AH) and vitreous humor (VH) in vitro, and to investigate the impact of codY deletion on S. aureus virulence in a novel murine anterior chamber (AC) infection model. METHODS: For the in vitro model, differential transcriptomic gene expression of S. aureus and its codY mutant grown in chemically defined medium (CDM), AH, and VH was analyzed. Furthermore, the strains were inoculated into the AC of mice. Changes in bacterial growth, electroretinography and inflammation scores were monitored. RESULTS: Bovine AH and VH provide sufficient nutrition for S. aureus growth in vitro. Transcriptome analysis identified 72 unique open reading frames differentially regulated ≥10-fold between CDM, AH, and VH. In the AC model, we found comparable growth of the codY mutant and wild type strains in vivo. Average inflammation scores and retinal function were significantly worse for codY mutant-infected eyes at 24 h post-infection. CONCLUSION: Our in vitro bovine AH and VH models identified likely nutrient sources for S. aureus in the ocular milieu. The in vivo model suggests that control of branched-chain amino acid availability has therapeutic potential in limiting S. aureus endophthalmitis severity.
PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate whether the antiinflammatory and antiproliferative activity of oral and intravitreal methotrexate (MTX) suppresses intraocular inflammation in patients with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis and presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis. METHODS: Interventional prospective study including three cases with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis treated with intravenous penicillin and oral MTX, and two cases with presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis treated with standard antituberculosis therapy and intravitreal MTX injections. Treatment efficacy of all cases was assessed by best-corrected visual acuity, fundus fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography. RESULTS: Four eyes of 3 patients with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis had improved best-corrected visual acuity, suppression of intraocular inflammation, and resolution of cystoid macular edema in 6 months with oral MTX therapy. No recurrence of intraocular inflammation was observed in 6 months to 18 months of follow-up period after cessation of MTX. Two eyes of two patients with presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis showed improved best-corrected visual acuity, suppression of intraocular inflammation, and resolution of cystoid macular edema after intravitreal injections of MTX. No recurrence of intraocular inflammation was observed in 6 months to 8 months of follow-up period after cessation of antituberculous therapy. CONCLUSION: For the first time in the treatment of presumed latent syphilitic uveitis and presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis, we believe that MTX might have an adjunctive role to suppress intraocular inflammation, reduce uveitic macular edema, and prevent the recurrences of the diseases.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of blindness in children worldwide due to increasing survival rates of premature infants. Initial suppression, followed by increased production of the retinal vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) expression are key events that trigger the pathological neovascularization in ROP. Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) is an intracellular lipid chaperone that is induced by VEGF in a subset of endothelial cells. FABP4 exhibits a pro-angiogenic function in cultured endothelial cells and in airway microvasculature, but whether it plays a role in modulation of retinal angiogenesis is not known. We hypothesized that FABP4 deficiency could ameliorate pathological retinal vascularization and investigated this hypothesis using a well-characterized mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). We found that FABP4 was not expressed in retinal vessels, but was present in resident macrophages/microglial cells and endothelial cells of the hyaloid vasculature in the immature retina. While FABP4 expression was not required for normal development of retinal vessels, FABP4 expression was upregulated and localized to neovascular tufts in OIR. FABP4-/- mice demonstrated a significant decrease in neovessel formation as well as a significant improvement in physiological revascularization of the avascular retinal tissues. These alterations in retinal vasculature were accompanied by reduced endothelial cell proliferation, but no effect on apoptosis or macrophage/microglia recruitment. FABP4-/- OIR samples demonstrated decreased expression of genes involved in angiogenesis, such as Placental Growth Factor, and angiopoietin 2. Collectively, our findings suggest FABP4 as a potential target of pathologic retinal angiogenesis in proliferative retinopathies.
Osteogenesis imperfecta comprises a rare group of genetic disorders caused by abnormal collagen that results in increased bone fragility and other sequelae. We describe a 37-year-old woman with osteogenesis imperfecta in whom two full-thickness scleral perforations were created by adjacent teeth of 0.5 mm forceps during traction testing while undergoing routine strabismus surgery. This case reviews the ocular findings of osteogenesis imperfecta and highlights the potential risk of ocular surgical complications in these patients.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of light damage to the retina by a surgical microscope during implantation of a Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) in rabbits. METHODS: The retinal irradiance from a Zeiss OPMI Lumera S7 operating microscope was measured at the working distance (16.5 cm). Light transmittance through an isolated B-KPro was measured. A B-KPro was implanted into 1 eye of 12 rabbits with the optic covered during the procedure. The operated eyes were then continuously exposed to a fixed light intensity under the microscope for 1 hour. Fluorescein angiography was carried out on days 2 and 9 postsurgery, after which the animals were euthanized. Further, we compared the potential of these retinal exposures to well-accepted light safety guidelines applicable to humans. RESULTS: Light transmittance of B-KPro revealed a blockage of short wavelengths (<390 nm) and of long wavelengths (1660-1750 nm) of light. In addition, the surgical microscope filtered a part of the blue, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths. Neither fluorescein angiography nor a histological examination showed any morphological retinal changes in our rabbits. Moreover, the retinal exposures were well below the safety limits. CONCLUSIONS: Modern surgical microscopes have filters incorporated in them that block the most damaging wavelengths of light. The B-KPro is made of 100% poly(methyl methacrylate), which makes it in itself a blocker of short wavelengths of light. No damage could be demonstrated in the animal study, and the retinal exposures were well below the safety limits. Together, these results suggest that light exposures during B-KPro surgery present a low risk of photochemical damage to the retina.
Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4, or lubricin) is a lubricating mucin-like glycoprotein recently discovered at the ocular surface, where it functions as a boundary lubricant and appears to play a protective role. Recent technological advances have enabled abundant expression of full-length recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4). The objectives of this study were to 1) biochemically characterize the gross structure and glycosylations of full-length rhPRG4, and 2) assess the ocular surface boundary lubricating ability of rhPRG4 at both human cornea-eyelid and human cornea-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) biointerfaces. rhPRG4 expressed by a Chinese hamster ovary cell line was characterized and compared to native bovine PRG4 by SDS-PAGE western blotting, and protein identity was assessed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Human corneas were articulated against PDMS or human eyelids, at effective sliding velocities of 0.3-30 mm/s under physiological loads of ∼15 kPa, to assess and compare the ocular lubricating ability of rhPRG4 to PRG4. Samples were tested serially in PRG4, rhPRG4 (both 300 μg/ml), then saline. Western blotting indicated that rhPRG4 had immunoreactivity at the appropriate apparent molecular weight, and possessed O-linked glycosylation consistent with that of PRG4. rhPRG4 protein identity was confirmed by MS/MS. Both PRG4 and rhPRG4 significantly, and similarly, reduced friction compared to saline at both human cornea - PDMS and human cornea-eyelid biointerfaces. In conclusion, the rhPRG4 studied here demonstrated appropriate higher order structure, O-linked glycosylations, and ocular surface boundary lubricating. Purified rhPRG4 may have clinical utility as a topical treatment of dry eye disease or contact lens biomaterial coating to promote more comfortable wear.
Age-related decreases in neural function result in part from alterations in synapses. To identify molecular defects that lead to such changes, we focused on the outer retina, in which synapses are markedly altered in old rodents and humans. We found that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 and one of its substrates, AMPK, regulate this process. In old mice, synaptic remodeling was accompanied by specific decreases in the levels of total LKB1 and active (phosphorylated) AMPK. In the absence of either kinase, young adult mice developed retinal defects similar to those that occurred in old wild-type animals. LKB1 and AMPK function in rod photoreceptors where their loss leads to aberrant axonal retraction, the extension of postsynaptic dendrites and the formation of ectopic synapses. Conversely, increasing AMPK activity genetically or pharmacologically attenuates and may reverse age-related synaptic alterations. Together, these results identify molecular determinants of age-related synaptic remodeling and suggest strategies for attenuating these changes.
Interactive digital technologies are currently being developed as a novel tool for education and skill development. Audiopolis is an audio and haptic based videogame designed for developing orientation and mobility (O&M) skills in people who are blind. We have evaluated the cognitive impact of videogame play on O&M skills by assessing performance on a series of behavioral tasks carried out in both indoor and outdoor virtual spaces. Our results demonstrate that the use of Audiopolis had a positive impact on the development and use of O&M skills in school-aged learners who are blind. The impact of audio and haptic information on learning is also discussed.
IMPORTANCE: Current treatments for cystoid macular edema (CME) in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are not always effective, may lead to adverse effects, and may not restore visual acuity. The present research lays the rationale for evaluating whether an iodine supplement could reduce CME in RP. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether central foveal thickness (CFT) in the presence of CME is related to dietary iodine intake inferred from urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in nonsmoking adults with RP. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a cross-sectional observational study of 212 nonsmoking patients aged 18 to 69 years referred to our institution for RP with visual acuity of no worse than 20/200 in at least 1 eye. EXPOSURE: Retinitis pigmentosa with or without CME. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: With the eye as the unit of analysis, the relationship of log CFT measured by optical coherence tomography to UIC measured from multiple spot samples and represented as a 3-level classification variable (<100, 100-199, and ≥200 µg/L), assigning greater weight to patients with more reliable UIC estimates. RESULTS: Analyses were limited to 199 patients after excluding 11 who failed to return urine samples for measuring UIC and 2 outliers for UIC. Of the 199 patients, 36.2% had CME in 1 or both eyes. Although log CFT was inversely related to UIC based on findings from all eyes (P = .02), regression of log CFT on UIC separately for eyes with and without CME showed a strong inverse significant relationship for the former group (P < .001) and no significant relationship for the latter group (P = .66) as tested. For the eyes with CME, CFT ranged from a geometric mean of 267 µm for a median UIC of less than 100 µg/L to a geometric mean of 172 µm for a median UIC of 200 µg/L or greater. In contrast, we found no significant association between CME prevalence and UIC based on the entire sample as tested (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.38-2.67]; P = .99). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: A higher UIC in nonsmoking adults with RP was significantly associated with less central foveal swelling in eyes with CME. Additional study is required to determine whether an iodine supplement can limit or reduce the extent of CME in patients with RP.
This review highlights recent findings that describ how purines modulate the physiological and pathophysiological responses of ocular tissues. For example, in lacrimal glands the cross-talk between P2X7 receptors and both M3 muscarinic receptors and α1D-adrenergic receptors can influence tear secretion. In the cornea, purines lead to post-translational modification of EGFR and structural proteins that participate in wound repair in the epithelium and influence the expression of matrix proteins in the stroma. Purines act at receptors on both the trabecular meshwork and ciliary epithelium to modulate intraocular pressure (IOP); ATP-release pathways of inflow and outflow cells differ, possibly permitting differential modulation of adenosine delivery. Modulators of trabecular meshwork cell ATP release include cell volume, stretch, extracellular Ca(2+) concentration, oxidation state, actin remodeling and possibly endogenous cardiotonic steroids. In the lens, osmotic stress leads to ATP release following TRPV4 activation upstream of hemichannel opening. In the anterior eye, diadenosine polyphosphates such as Ap4A act at P2 receptors to modulate the rate and composition of tear secretion, impact corneal wound healing and lower IOP. The Gq11-coupled P2Y1-receptor contributes to volume control in Müller cells and thus the retina. P2X receptors are expressed in neurons in the inner and outer retina and contribute to visual processing as well as the demise of retinal ganglion cells. In RPE cells, the balance between extracellular ATP and adenosine may modulate lysosomal pH and the rate of lipofuscin formation. In optic nerve head astrocytes, mechanosensitive ATP release via pannexin hemichannels, coupled with stretch-dependent upregulation of pannexins, provides a mechanism for ATP signaling in chronic glaucoma. With so many receptors linked to divergent functions throughout the eye, ensuring the transmitters remain local and stimulation is restricted to the intended target may be a key issue in understanding how physiological signaling becomes pathological in ocular disease.
Staphylococcus aureus contains two distinct teichoic acid (TA) polymers, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and wall teichoic acid (WTA), which are proposed to play redundant roles in regulating cell division. To gain insight into the underlying biology of S. aureus TAs, we used a small molecule inhibitor to screen a highly saturated transposon library for cellular factors that become essential when WTA is depleted. We constructed an interaction network connecting WTAs with genes involved in LTA synthesis, peptidoglycan synthesis, surface protein display, and D-alanine cell envelope modifications. Although LTAs and WTAs are synthetically lethal, we report that they do not have the same synthetic interactions with other cell envelope genes. For example, D-alanylation, a tailoring modification of both WTAs and LTAs, becomes essential when the former, but not the latter, are removed. Therefore, D-alanine-tailored LTAs are required for survival when WTAs are absent. Examination of terminal phenotoypes led to the unexpected discovery that cells lacking both LTAs and WTAs lose their ability to form Z rings and can no longer divide. We have concluded that the presence of either LTAs or WTAs on the cell surface is required for initiation of S. aureus cell division, but these polymers act as part of distinct cellular networks.
PURPOSE: To determine the influence of diabetes and diabetes type on ocular outcomes following central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). METHODS: Retrospective chart review of all patients evaluated over a 4-year period in a tertiary diabetes eye care center. Ophthalmic findings were recorded including visual acuity and the presence of retinal neovascularization at presentation, after 3-6 months, and at last follow-up. RESULTS: The records of 19,648 patients (13,571 diabetic; 6077 nondiabetic) were reviewed. The prevalence of CRVO in diabetic patients (N=72) and nondiabetic patients (N=27) were 0.5 and 0.4%, respectively. Disc neovascularization (21.3 vs 0.0%, P=0.05) and panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) (48.7 vs 21.4%, P=0.01) were more common in diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic patients. Compared with type 2 diabetic patients, retinal neovascularization (28.6 vs 3.7%, P=0.004) and subsequent PRP (78.6 vs 41.9%, P=0.01) were more likely in type 1 patients. Optic nerve head collateral vessels (CVs) were observed less than half as often (21.4 vs 56.5%, P=0.04) in patients with type 1 diabetes. Presence of optic nerve head CVs at baseline was associated with less likelihood of PRP (14.3 vs 46.1%, P=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, the rates of CRVO in diabetic and nondiabetic patients were similar to previously published population-based studies. Following CRVO, diabetic patients had higher rates of disc neovascularization and were more likely to require subsequent PRP than nondiabetic patients. As compared with CRVO patients with type 2 diabetes, patients with type 1 diabetes and CRVO had worse anatomic outcomes with substantially increased risks of retinal neovascularization and PRP; however, final visual acuity outcomes were similar.
Microarrays were used to investigate the transcriptional response of Enterococcus faecalis to photostress. E. faecalis are Gram-positive bacteria used as indicators of water quality and have been shown to vary diurnally in response to sunlight. E. faecalis in filtered seawater microcosms were exposed to artificial sunlight for 12h and then placed in the dark for 12h. Transcript abundance was measured at 0, 2, 6, 12, and 24h in the sunlit microcosm and a dark control using microarrays. Culturable E. faecalis concentrations decreased 6-7 orders of magnitude within the first 6h of light exposure. After 12h in the dark, no evidence of dark-repair was observed. Expression data collected after 12h of sunlight exposure revealed a difference in transcript abundance in the light relative to dark microcosms for 35 unique ORFs, 33 ORFs showed increased transcript abundance and 2 ORFs showed reduced transcript abundance. A majority (51%) of the ORFs with increased transcript abundance in the sunlit relative to dark microcosms encoded hypothetical proteins; others were associated with protein synthesis, oxidative stress and DNA repair. Results suggest that E. faecalis exposed to sunlight actively transcribe RNA in response to photostress.
PURPOSE: Loss of corneal strength is a central feature of keratoconus progression. However, it is currently difficult to measure corneal mechanical changes noninvasively. The objective of this study is to evaluate if Brillouin optical microscopy can differentiate the mechanical properties of keratoconic corneas versus healthy corneas ex vivo. METHODS: We obtained eight tissue samples from healthy donor corneas used in Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) and 10 advanced keratoconic corneas from patients undergoing deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). Within 2 hours after surgery, a confocal Brillouin microscope using a monochromatic laser at 532 nm was used to map the Brillouin frequency shifts of the corneas. RESULTS: The mean Brillouin shift in the anterior 200 μm of the keratoconic corneas at the cone was measured to be 7.99 ± 0.10 GHz, significantly lower than 8.17 ± 0.06 GHz of the healthy corneas (P < 0.001). The Brillouin shift in the keratoconic corneas decreased with depth from the anterior toward posterior regions with a steeper slope than in the healthy corneas (P < 0.001). Within keratoconic corneas, the Brillouin shift in regions away from the apex of the cone was significantly higher than within the cone region (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Brillouin measurements revealed notable differences between healthy and keratoconic corneas. Importantly, Brillouin imaging showed that the mechanical loss is primarily concentrated within the area of the keratoconic cone. Outside the cone, the Brillouin shift was comparable with that of healthy corneas. The results demonstrate the potential of Brillouin microscopy for diagnosis and treatment monitoring of keratoconus.
IMPORTANCE: The CX3CR1 gene is implicated as a candidate gene for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through several lines of evidence. There is uncertainty, however, as to whether common genetic variants in CX3CR1 alter risk of AMD, since prior studies have been inconsistent and mostly limited to evaluation of 2 nonsynonymous variants, T280M (rs3732378) and V249I (rs3732379). OBJECTIVE: To determine if common variants in CX3CR1 predict future risk of AMD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective nested case-control study within 5 large study populations with long-term follow-up. We measured genotypes for T280M, V249I, and 13 other common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CX3CR1 gene among people who developed AMD (n = 1110, including 369 with neovascular AMD) and 2532 age- and sex-matched controls. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: We determined the incidence rate ratios (RR) and 95% CIs for incidence of AMD for each variant and examined interactions with other AMD-associated variants and modifiable risk factors. RESULTS: In additive genetic models, we identified nonsignificant associations with AMD for T280M (RR, 0.87; P = .07) and 3 other SNPs, rs2853707 (RR, 0.88; P = .07), rs12636547 (RR, 0.85; P = .10), and rs1877563 (RR, 0.84; P = .06), 1 of which, rs2853707, is positioned in the CX3CR1 promoter region and was associated with neovascular AMD (RR, 0.75; P = .03). We observed that a recessive model was a better fit to the data for some SNPs, with associations between rs11715522 and AMD (RR, 1.27; P = .03) and between rs2669845 (RR, 3.10; P = .04), rs2853707 (RR, 0.48; P = .050), and rs9868689 (RR, 0.31; P = .02) and neovascular AMD. Moreover, in exploratory analyses, we identified a number of possible interactions including between V249I and rs2669845 and dietary intake of ω-3 fatty acids (P = .004 and P = .009, respectively) for AMD; between rs2669845 and obesity (P = .03) for neovascular AMD; between T280M and complement component 3 (C3) R102G for AMD (P = .03); between rs2669845 and Y402H in complement factor H for AMD (P = .04); and between rs2669845, rs2853707, and V249I and C3 R102G for neovascular AMD (P = .008; .04; and .002, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study failed to identify significant associations between common CX3CR1 variants and AMD after considering the number of SNPs analyzed and multiple comparisons. However, we observed evidence consistent with recessive modes of association and that an effect of CX3CR1 variants may depend on other factors including dietary intake of ω-3 fatty acids, obesity, and genotypes at CFH Y402H and C3 R102G. If replicated in other populations, these findings would support a role for CX3CR1 in AMD but also suggest that its role may involve mechanisms that are independent of the T280M/V249I variations.
There is currently considerable controversy about existence and classification of "lymphatic vessels" in the eye. Some of the confusion is certainly caused by inappropriate use (or nonuse) of the correct immunohistochemical markers. Many experts in the field expressed the need for a consensus statement, and, in this perspective, authors offer arguments and solutions to reliably continue with immunohistochemical ocular lymphatic research.
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.