Bressler SB, Edwards AR, Andreoli CM, Edwards PA, Glassman AR, Jaffe GJ, Melia M, Sun JK, for the Committee DRCRN/W. Reproducibility of Optovue RTVue Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Thickness Measurements and Conversion to Equivalent Zeiss Stratus Metrics in Diabetic Macular Edema. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2015;4(1):5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the reproducibility of central subfield thickness (CST) and volume measurements from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images obtained with Zeiss Stratus and Optovue RTVue, and formulate equations to convert these measurements from RTVue to 'equivalent' Stratus values. METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study from 309 eyes of 167 participants with diabetes and at least one eye with central-involved diabetic macular edema (DME; Stratus CST ≥ 250 μm) that underwent two replicate Stratus scans followed by two replicate RTVue scans centered on the fovea. RESULTS: The Bland-Altman coefficient of repeatability for relative change in CST (the degree of change that could be expected from measurement variability) was not significantly different on Stratus and RTVue scans (10% and 16%, respectively). The replicate Stratus CST was within 10% of the initial Stratus measurement 93% of the time; the CST conversion equation predicted a Stratus value calculated from the observed RTVue value within 10% of the observed Stratus thickness 91% of the time. Bland-Altman limit of agreement for relative change in CST between measurements observed on different machines was 23%, comparing predicted versus actual Stratus measurement. CONCLUSIONS: RTVue thickness reproducibility appears similar to Stratus. Conversion equations to transform RTVue measurements to Stratus-equivalent values within 10% of the observed Stratus RT are feasible. CST changes greater than 10% when using the same machine or 20% when switching from Stratus to RTVue, after conversion to Stratus equivalents, are likely due to a true change beyond measurement error. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Conversion equations to translate central retinal thickness measurements between OCT instruments is critical to clinical trials.

Bron AJ, Argüeso P, Irkec M, Bright FV. Clinical staining of the ocular surface: mechanisms and interpretations. Prog Retin Eye Res 2015;44:36-61.Abstract

In this article we review the mechanism of ocular surface staining. Water-soluble dyes are excluded from the normal epithelium by tight junctions, the plasma membranes and the surface glycocalyx. Shed cells can take up dye. A proportion of normal corneas show sparse, scattered time-dependent, punctate fluorescein uptake, which, we hypothesise, is due to a graded loss of the glycocalyx barrier, permitting transcellular entry into pre-shed cells. In pathological staining, there is little evidence of 'micropooling' at sites of shedding and the term 'punctate erosion' may be a misnomer. It is more likely that the initial event involves transcellular dye entry and, in addition, diffusion across defective tight junctions. Different dye-staining characteristics probably reflect differences in molecular size and other physical properties of each dye, coupled with differences in visibility under the conditions of illumination used. This is most relevant to the rapid epithelial spread of fluorescein from sites of punctate staining, compared to the apparent confinement of dyes to staining cells with dyes such as lissamine green and rose bengal. We assume that fluorescein, with its lower molecular weight, spreads initially by a paracellular route and then by transcellular diffusion. Solution-Induced Corneal Staining (SICS), related to the use of certain contact lens care solutions, may have a different basis, involving the non-pathological uptake of cationic preservatives, such as biguanides, into epithelial membranes and secondary binding of the fluorescein anion. It is transient and may not imply corneal toxicity. Understanding the mechanism of staining is relevant to the standardisation of grading, to monitoring disease and to the conduct of clinical trials.

Bronstad MP, Albu A, Bowers AR, Goldstein R, Peli E. Driving with Central Visual Field Loss II: How Scotomas above or below the Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL) Affect Hazard Detection in a Driving Simulator. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0136517.Abstract

We determined whether binocular central scotomas above or below the preferred retinal locus affect detection of hazards (pedestrians) approaching from the side. Seven participants with central field loss (CFL), and seven age-and sex-matched controls with normal vision (NV), each completed two sessions of 5 test drives (each approximately 10 minutes long) in a driving simulator. Participants pressed the horn when detecting pedestrians that appeared at one of four eccentricities (-14°, -4°, left, 4°, or 14°, right, relative to car heading). Pedestrians walked or ran towards the travel lane on a collision course with the participant's vehicle, thus remaining in the same area of the visual field, assuming participant's steady forward gaze down the travel lane. Detection rates were nearly 100% for all participants. CFL participant reaction times were longer (median 2.27s, 95% CI 2.13 to 2.47) than NVs (median 1.17s, 95%CI 1.10 to 2.13; difference p<0.01), and CFL participants would have been unable to stop for 21% of pedestrians, compared with 3% for NV, p<0.001. Although the scotomas were not expected to obscure pedestrian hazards, gaze tracking revealed that scotomas did sometimes interfere with detection; late reactions usually occurred when pedestrians were entirely or partially obscured by the scotoma (time obscured correlated with reaction times, r = 0.57, p<0.001). We previously showed that scotomas lateral to the preferred retinal locus delay reaction times to a greater extent; however, taken together, the results of our studies suggest that any binocular CFL might negatively impact timely hazard detection while driving and should be a consideration when evaluating vision for driving.

Bujakowska KM, Zhang Q, Siemiatkowska AM, Liu Q, Place E, Falk MJ, Consugar M, Lancelot M-E, Antonio A, Lonjou C, Carpentier W, Mohand-Saïd S, den Hollander AI, Cremers FPM, Leroy BP, Gai X, Sahel J-A, van den Born IL, Collin RWJ, Zeitz C, Audo I, Pierce EA. Mutations in IFT172 cause isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 2015;24(1):230-42.Abstract
Primary cilia are sensory organelles present on most mammalian cells. The assembly and maintenance of primary cilia are facilitated by intraflagellar transport (IFT), a bidirectional protein trafficking along the cilium. Mutations in genes coding for IFT components have been associated with a group of diseases called ciliopathies. These genetic disorders can affect a variety of organs including the retina. Using whole exome sequencing in three families, we identified mutations in Intraflagellar Transport 172 Homolog [IFT172 (Chlamydomonas)] that underlie an isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Extensive functional analyses of the identified mutations in cell culture, rat retina and in zebrafish demonstrated their hypomorphic or null nature. It has recently been reported that mutations in IFT172 cause a severe ciliopathy syndrome involving skeletal, renal, hepatic and retinal abnormalities (Jeune and Mainzer-Saldino syndromes). Here, we report for the first time that mutations in this gene can also lead to an isolated form of retinal degeneration. The functional data for the mutations can partially explain milder phenotypes; however, the involvement of modifying alleles in the IFT172-associated phenotypes cannot be excluded. These findings expand the spectrum of disease associated with mutations in IFT172 and suggest that mutations in genes originally reported to be associated with syndromic ciliopathies should also be considered in subjects with non-syndromic retinal dystrophy.
Bunker S, Holeniewska J, Vijay S, Dahlmann-Noor A, Khaw P, Ng Y-S, Shima D, Foxton R. Experimental glaucoma induced by ocular injection of magnetic microspheres. J Vis Exp 2015;(96)Abstract

Progress in understanding the pathophysiology, and providing novel treatments for glaucoma is dependent on good animal models of the disease. We present here a protocol for elevating intraocular pressure (IOP) in the rat, by injecting magnetic microspheres into the anterior chamber of the eye. The use of magnetic particles allows the user to manipulate the beads into the iridocorneal angle, thus providing a very effective blockade of fluid outflow from the trabecular meshwork. This leads to long-lasting IOP rises, and eventually neuronal death in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) as well as optic nerve pathology, as seen in patients with the disease. This method is simple to perform, as it does not require machinery, specialist surgical skills, or many hours of practice to perfect. Furthermore, the pressure elevations are very robust, and reinjection of the magnetic microspheres is not usually required unlike in some other models using plastic beads. Additionally, we believe this method is suitable for adaptation for the mouse eye.

Campbell AA, Cunnane ME, Dunn GP, Gray ST, Lefebvre DR. Spontaneous Resorption of a Penetrating Orbital Bone Fracture Fragment. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e123-5.Abstract

The authors describe a 20-year-old man who sustained multiple facial fractures in a high-speed motor vehicle crash, including a bone fragment from a skull base fracture that penetrated the orbital soft tissues superomedially. Serial CT scans documented spontaneous resorption over a 6-month period. While it is known that autologous bone grafts used in craniofacial reconstruction exhibit variable amounts of bone resorption, the complete resorption of an intraorbital fracture fragment has not been documented in the literature. His clinical care and the report of his case were undertaken in a fashion in accordance with the principles of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations.

Carvalho LS, Vandenberghe LH. Promising and delivering gene therapies for vision loss. Vision Res 2015;111(Pt B):124-33.Abstract
The maturity in our understanding of the genetics and the pathogenesis of disease in degenerative retinal disorders has intersected in past years with a novel treatment paradigm in which a genetic intervention may lead to sustained therapeutic benefit, and in some cases even restoration of vision. Here, we review this prospect of retinal gene therapy, discuss the enabling technologies that have led to first-in-human demonstrations of efficacy and safety, and the road that led to this exciting point in time.
Cepko C, Punzo C. Cell metabolism: Sugar for sight. Nature 2015;522(7557):428-9.
Cestari DM, Lessell S, Mantopoulos D. Early Diagnosis of Subclinical Interferon Alpha-Associated Optic Neuropathy Using Fluorescein Angiography. J Neuroophthalmol 2015;35(3):280-3.Abstract

We report a case of a 57-year-old man who presented with decreased visual acuity in the left eye secondary to nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) while on therapy with interferon-α for hepatitis C. Fundus fluorescein angiography revealed late leakage of both optic discs, consistent with bilateral disease. One week later, the patient developed clinical signs and symptoms consistent with NAION in the fellow eye. Fluorescein angiography may play an important role in identifying subclinical NAION in patients taking interferon-α.

Chang Y-H, Melvin P, Dagi LR. Goal-determined metrics to assess outcomes ofexotropia surgery. J AAPOS 2015;Abstract

PURPOSE: To present a goal-determined methodology for monitoring outcomes after surgery for exotropia. METHODS: The goal-determined metric required surgeons to rank four possible goals preoperatively: (1) binocular potential, (2) restoration of eye contact, (3) diplopia control; and (4) torticollis management. Potential preoperative risk factors were noted. Goal-specific outcomes criteria were applied to the latest sensory-motor examination, 2-6 months after surgery. The medical records of patients who underwent surgery from 2007 to 2012 were retrospectively reviewed with respect to the goal-directed metric. RESULTS: A total of 852 patients were evaluated in the study period: 411 for restoration of eye contact; 347 for binocular potential; 78 for diplopia resolution; and16 for torticollis management. Excellent (62%) or good (16%) outcomes were achieved in 78%. Procedures to resolve diplopia (OR, 6.56; 95% CI, 3.39-12.68) and to restore eye contact (OR, 3.74; 95% CI, 2.65-5.29) were more likely to result in excellent outcomes than procedures to improve binocular potential. Simultaneous surgery for dissociated vertical deviation (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.92) and preoperative near deviation ≥50(Δ) (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.17-0.42) limited likelihood of an excellent outcome. Outcomes monitored by simultaneous rather than alternate prism and cover test were more likely graded excellent (OR, 5.16; 95% CI, 3.50-7.62). Applying motor criteria from the binocular potential goal to the entire cohort diminished putative outcomes (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Goal-determined metric monitoring outcomes of exotropia surgery provides outcomes germane to the reason for intervention, enables analysis of risk factors affecting outcomes, and facilitates reporting on heterogeneous populations.

Chauhan SK, Jurkunas U, Funaki T, Dastjerdi M, Dana R. Quantification of allospecific and nonspecific corneal endothelial cell damage after corneal transplantation. Eye (Lond) 2015;29(1):136-44.Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of host immunity (allospecific) and surgical manipulation (non-allospecific) on corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in corneal transplantation. METHODS: Draining lymph nodes and grafted C57BL/6 corneas were harvested from syngeneic recipients, allograft acceptors, and allograft rejectors (BALB/c) 1, 3, and 8 weeks after transplantation. We analyzed CEC apoptosis using an ex vivo cornea-in-the-cup assay, and visualized cell-to-cell junctions using immunohistochemical staining (ZO-1). Automatic cell analysis using Confoscan software was used to measure CEC density as well as changes in CEC morphology by quantifying the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) and shape (pleomorphism). RESULTS: The cornea-in-the-cup assay showed that allogeneic acceptor T cells and to an even greater extent rejector T cells (but not syngeneic T cells) induced CEC apoptosis. CEC density after corneal transplantation was significantly reduced in allogeneic acceptors compared with syngeneic grafts (P<0.001), and CEC density was even further reduced in the allo-rejector group compared with the allo-acceptor group. Allogeneic grafts showed a greater increase in the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) when compared with syngeneic grafts 1 week after transplantation (P=P<0.001). However, pleomorphism was not significantly different between syngeneic and allo-acceptor grafts, indicating that polymegethism (but not pleomorphism or cell density) is a sensitive indicator of the effect of alloimmunity on CECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that host alloimmunity rather than surgical manipulation alone is the major cause of CEC damage in corneal transplantation, and such morphologic changes of CECs can be detected before the clinically visible onset of allograft rejection.

Chauhan SK, Lee HK, Lee HS, Park EY, Jeong E, Dana R. PTK7+ Mononuclear Cells Express VEGFR2 and Contribute to Vascular Stabilization by Upregulating Angiopoietin-1. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2015;35(7):1606-15.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In angiogenesis, circulating mononuclear cells are recruited to vascular lesions; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Here, we characterize the functional role of protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7)-expressing CD11b(+) mononuclear cells in vitro and in vivo using a mouse model of angiogenesis. Although the frequencies of PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells in the bone marrow remained similar after vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced neovascularization, we observed an 11-fold increase in the cornea. Importantly, vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced chemotaxis of PTK7(+) cells was mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. In a coculture with endothelial cells, PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells stabilized the vascular network for 2 weeks by expressing high levels of angiopoietin-1. The enhanced vascular stability was abolished by knockdown of angiopoietin-1 in PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells and could be restored by angiopoietin-1 treatment. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that PTK7 expression in perivascular mononuclear cells induces vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and angiopoietin-1 expression and thus contributes to vascular stabilization in angiogenesis.

Chee YE, Newman LR, Loewenstein JI, Kloek CE. Improving the Teaching Skills of Residents in a Surgical Training Program: Results of the Pilot Year of a Curricular Initiative in an Ophthalmology Residency Program. J Surg Educ 2015;72(5):890-7.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To design and implement a teaching skills curriculum that addressed the needs of an ophthalmology residency training program, to assess the effect of the curriculum, and to present important lessons learned. DESIGN: A teaching skills curriculum was designed for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology. Results of a needs assessment survey were used to guide curriculum objectives. Overall, 3 teaching workshops were conducted between October 2012 and March 2013 that addressed areas of need, including procedural teaching. A postcurriculum survey was used to assess the effect of the curriculum. SETTING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a tertiary care institution in Boston, MA. PARTICIPANTS: Overall, 24 residents in the HMS Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology were included. RESULTS: The needs assessment survey demonstrated that although most residents anticipated that teaching would be important in their future career, only one-third had prior formal training in teaching. All residents reported they found the teaching workshops to be either very or extremely useful. All residents reported they would like further training in teaching, with most residents requesting additional training in best procedural teaching practices for future sessions. CONCLUSIONS: The pilot year of the resident-as-teacher curriculum for the HMS Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology demonstrated a need for this curriculum and was perceived as beneficial by the residents, who reported increased comfort in their teaching skills after attending the workshops.

Chen X, Jakobiec FA, Yadav P, Werdich XQ, Fay A. Melkersson-rosenthal syndrome with isolated unilateral eyelid edema: an immunopathologic study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(3):e70-7.Abstract

Lymphedema is caused by defective drainage of the lymphatic system. In Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, involvement is predominantly of the lumens with blockage of lymphatic channels by histiocytic-epithelioid cell clusters accompanied by dermal granulomas and lymphocytes. It is a localized, painless, nonitching, and nonpitting form of lymphedema. Besides the eyelids, the disease can cause lip edema, facial palsy, and/or fissured tongue. It is rare and has received little attention in the ophthalmic literature, either in its complete triadic form, or more frequently, in its monosymptomatic forms. Pathogenesis is not well understood, and there is no effective therapy. The authors describe a case of Melkesson-Rosenthal syndrome in a 45-year-old Hispanic man with isolated unilateral upper eyelid edema. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations of an eyelid biopsy specimen revealed intravascular and extravascular clusters of histiocytic-epithelioid cells that were CD68/163-positive. Variable numbers of mostly T-lymphocytes were found in the epidermis, dermis, and orbicularis muscle and by virtue of the associated granulomas established the diagnosis of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. CD4 helper and CD8 suppressor T-lymphocytes were equally represented. CD20 B-lymphocytes were exceedingly sparse. Conspicuous CD1a-positive Langerhans' cells were present in the epidermis, sometimes formed subepithelial loose aggregates and were also incorporated in the granulomas. The differential diagnosis includes the far more common condition of acne rosacea. Management of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, and of angioedema in general, is reviewed.

Chen PP, Lin SC, Junk AK, Radhakrishnan S, Singh K, Chen TC. The Effect of Phacoemulsification on Intraocular Pressure in Glaucoma Patients: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2015;122(7):1294-307.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine effects of phacoemulsification on longer-term intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with medically treated primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG; including normal-tension glaucoma), pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PXG), or primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), without prior or concurrent incisional glaucoma surgery. METHODS: PubMed and Cochrane database searches, last conducted in December 2014, yielded 541 unique citations. Panel members reviewed titles and abstracts and selected 86 for further review. The panel reviewed these articles and identified 32 studies meeting the inclusion criteria, for which the panel methodologist assigned a level of evidence based on standardized grading adopted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. One, 15, and 16 studies were rated as providing level I, II, and III evidence, respectively. RESULTS: All follow-up, IOP, and medication data listed are weighted means. In general, the studies reported on patients using few glaucoma medications (1.5-1.9 before surgery among the different diagnoses). For POAG, 9 studies (total, 461 patients; follow-up, 17 months) showed that phacoemulsification reduced IOP by 13% and glaucoma medications by 12%. For PXG, 5 studies (total, 132 patients; follow-up, 34 months) showed phacoemulsification reduced IOP by 20% and glaucoma medications by 35%. For chronic PACG, 12 studies (total, 495 patients; follow-up, 16 months) showed phacoemulsification reduced IOP by 30% and glaucoma medications by 58%. Patients with acute PACG (4 studies; total, 119 patients; follow-up, 24 months) had a 71% reduction from presenting IOP and rarely required long-term glaucoma medications when phacoemulsification was performed soon after medical reduction of IOP. Trabeculectomy after phacoemulsification was uncommon; the median rate reported within 6 to 24 months of follow-up in patients with controlled POAG, PXG, or PACG was 0% and was 7% in patients with uncontrolled chronic PACG. CONCLUSIONS: Phacoemulsification typically results in small, moderate, and marked reductions of IOP and medications for patients with POAG, PXG, and PACG, respectively, and using 1 to 2 medications before surgery. Trabeculectomy within 6 to 24 months after phacoemulsification is rare in such patients. However, reports on its effects in eyes with advanced disease or poor IOP control before surgery are few, particularly for POAG and PXG.

Chi M, Kim JH, Basham R, Yoon MK, Vagefi R, Kersten RC. Temporal Artery Calciphylaxis Presenting as Temporal Arteritis in a Case of Rhinoorbitocerebral Mucormycosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e132-5.Abstract

Mucormycosis is a rare often fatal opportunistic fungal infection. It is typically described in patients with diabetes in ketoacidotic status and is rare in renal transplant recipients. Calciphylaxis is a rare and highly morbid disease of vascular calcification affecting patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The first case of a renal transplant recipient who was inflicted with both rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis and calciphylaxis is reported. A 45-year-old man presented with 2-day history of left upper blepharoptosis, periorbital pain, left-sided headache, binocular diplopia, and left V2 numbness. He had undergone renal transplant for ESRD 7 months earlier with resultant immunosuppressive therapy. MRI and nasal biopsy confirmed rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Immunosuppressive therapy was stopped and antifungal therapy begun. He had orbital exenteration for progressive rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Two months later, the patient reported new-onset intermittent bitemporal headache and bilateral swollen, tender temporal arteries. Temporal artery biopsy revealed features consistent with calciphylaxis. Clinical presentation, treatment course, and follow up are discussed.

Choi W, Byun YJ, Jung E, Noh H, Hajrasouliha AR, Sadrai Z, Chang EJ, Lee JH, Lee HK. Chemokine decoy receptor D6 mimicking trap (D6MT) prevents allosensitization and immune rejection in murine corneal allograft model. J Leukoc Biol 2015;97(2):413-24.Abstract

Although corneal allotransplantation is performed in the immune-privileged cornea, many grafts are still rejected after transplantation. This study examined the role of chemokine receptor D6 expression in a corneal allograft rejection, investigated the modulation of D6 expression in cells, and determined the effect of D6 on graft survival. Interestingly, D6 was highly expressed in CD45 -: cells and the corneal epithelium of accepted corneal allografts. From the mouse corneal allograft model, TGF-β was found to play a key role in D6 up-regulation, leading to reduced CCL2, CCL5, and CCL3. To modulate D6 chemokine binding, a D6MT was developed and showed effective chemokine trapping through SPR and FACS assays. By treating corneal allografts with D6MT, the allograft survival rate was improved, and (lymph) angiogenesis was reduced. Direct allosensitization and DC LN homing was drastically reduced in the mouse corneal allograft model. These findings suggest that TGF-β is a positive regulator of D6 expression, and it is a potential therapeutic target to enhance the survival of corneal allografts.

Choi VW, Bigelow CE, McGee TL, Gujar AN, Li H, Hanks SM, Vrouvlianis J, Maker M, Leehy B, Zhang Y, Aranda J, Bounoutas G, Demirs JT, Yang J, Ornberg R, Wang Y, Martin W, Stout KR, Argentieri G, Grosenstein P, Diaz D, Turner O, Jaffee BD, Police SR, Dryja TP. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2015;2:15022.Abstract

Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year.

Choi HJ, Sun D, Jakobs TC. Isolation of intact astrocytes from the optic nerve head of adult mice. Exp Eye Res 2015;137:103-10.Abstract

The astrocytes of the optic nerve head are a specialized subtype of white matter astrocytes that form the direct cellular environment of the unmyelinated ganglion cell axons. Due to their potential involvement in glaucoma, these astrocytes have become a target of research. Due to the heterogeneity of the optic nerve tissue, which also contains other cell types, in some cases it may be desirable to conduct gene expression studies on small numbers of well-characterized astrocytes or even individual cells. Here, we describe a simple method to isolate individual astrocytes. This method permits obtaining astrocytes with intact morphology from the adult mouse optic nerve and reduces contamination of the isolated astrocytes by other cell types. Individual astrocytes can be recognized by their morphology and collected under microscopic control. The whole procedure can be completed in 2-3 h. We also discuss downstream applications like multiplex single-cell PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Choi HJ, Sun D, Jakobs TC. Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express putative mechanosensitive channels. Mol Vis 2015;21:749-66.Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish whether optic nerve head astrocytes express candidate molecules to sense tissue stretch. METHODS: We used conventional PCR, quantitative PCR, and single-cell reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) to assess the expression of various members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family and of the recently characterized mechanosensitive channels Piezo1 and 2 in optic nerve head tissue and in single, isolated astrocytes. RESULTS: Most TRP subfamilies (TRPC, TRPM, TRPV, TRPA, and TRPP) and Piezo1 and 2 were expressed in the optic nerve head of the mouse. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that TRPC1, TRPM7, TRPV2, TRPP2, and Piezo1 are the dominant isoforms in each subfamily. Single-cell RT-PCR revealed that many TRP isoforms, TRPC1-2, TRPC6, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPM2, TRPM4, TRPM6-7, TRPP1-2, and Piezo1-2, are expressed in astrocytes of the optic nerve head, and that most astrocytes express TRPC1 and TRPP1-2. Comparisons of the TRPP and Piezo expression levels between different tissue regions showed that Piezo2 expression was higher in the optic nerve head and the optic nerve proper than in the brain and the corpus callosum. TRPP2 also showed higher expression in the optic nerve head. CONCLUSIONS: Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express multiple putative mechanosensitive channels, in particular the recently identified channels Piezo1 and 2. The expression of putative mechanosensitive channels in these cells may contribute to their responsiveness to traumatic or glaucomatous injury.