Choi CJ, Bauza A, Yoon MK, Sobel RK, Freitag SK. Full-Thickness Skin Graft as an Independent or Adjunctive Technique for Repair of Cicatricial Lower Eyelid Ectropion Secondary to Actinic Skin Changes. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(6):474-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To retrospectively review and describe full-thickness skin graft repair of lower eyelid cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin. METHODS: A retrospective, noncomparative chart review of all patients who underwent lower eyelid ectropion repair with placement of a full-thickness skin graft between June 2004 and March 2014 was conducted with IRB approval. The etiology of lower eyelid ectropion, demographics including age, gender, ethnicity, laterality, graft donor site, additional surgical procedures, graft viability, surgical success rate, complications, and clinical exam findings were summarized. RESULTS: Twenty-nine eyelids in 24 patients underwent skin grafting for repair of cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes. Ninety six percent of patients were male and 96% were Caucasian. Donor sites for skin grafts included upper eyelid (9, 31%), supraclavicular skin (9, 31%), postauricular skin (7, 24%), inner brachial skin (2, 7%), axilla (1, 3.5%), and preauricular skin (1, 3.5%). Twenty-four of 29 eyelids in the series underwent 1 or more additional procedures at the time of full-thickness skin grafting, including lateral tarsal strip (9 eyelids, 37.5%), punctoplasty (8, 33%), canthoplasty (7, 29%), excision of keratinized conjunctiva (2, 8%), transverse tarsotomy (1, 4%), ipsilateral external dacryocystorhinostomy (3, 12.5%), and lesion removal (1, 4%). There was 100% viability of the skin grafts. Overall surgical success rate was 76%, with asymptomatic recurrence rate of 17% and symptomatic recurrence rate of 7%. CONCLUSION: Repair of cicatricial lower eyelid ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes may be accomplished with full-thickness skin grafting, and is often performed in conjunction with additional procedures to fully address anatomic abnormalities.

Chronopoulos A, Roy S, Beglova E, Mansfield K, Wachtman L, Roy S. Hyperhexosemia-induced retinal vascular pathology in a novel primate model of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes 2015;Abstract

The paucity of animal models exhibiting full pathology of diabetic retinopathy (DR) has impeded understanding of the pathogenesis of DR and the development of therapeutic interventions. Here we investigated if hyperhexosemic marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) develop characteristic retinal vascular lesions including macular edema (ME), a leading cause of vision loss in DR. Marmosets maintained on 30% galactose (gal)-rich diet for two years were monitored for retinal vascular permeability, development of ME, and morphological characteristics including acellular capillaries (AC) and pericyte loss (PL), vessel tortuosity, and capillary basement membrane (BM) thickness. Excess vascular permeability, increased number of AC and PL, vascular BM thickening, and increased vessel tortuosity were observed in the retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images revealed significant thickening of the retinal foveal and the juxtafoveal area, and histological analysis showed incipient microaneurysms in retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Findings from this study indicate that hyperhexosemia can trigger retinal vascular changes similar to those seen in human DR including ME and microaneurysms. The striking similarities between the marmoset retina and the human retina, and the exceptionally small size of the monkey, offer significant advantages to this primate model of DR.

Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

Conde P, Rodriguez M, van der Touw W, Jimenez A, Burns M, Miller J, Brahmachary M, Chen H-M, Boros P, Rausell-Palamos F, Yun TJ, Riquelme P, Rastrojo A, Aguado B, Stein-Streilein J, Tanaka M, Zhou L, Zhang J, Lowary TL, Ginhoux F, Park CG, Cheong C, Brody J, Turley SJ, Lira SA, Bronte V, Gordon S, Heeger PS, Merad M, Hutchinson J, Chen S-H, Ochando J. DC-SIGN(+) Macrophages Control the Induction of Transplantation Tolerance. Immunity 2015;42(6):1143-58.Abstract

Tissue effector cells of the monocyte lineage can differentiate into different cell types with specific cell function depending on their environment. The phenotype, developmental requirements, and functional mechanisms of immune protective macrophages that mediate the induction of transplantation tolerance remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that costimulatory blockade favored accumulation of DC-SIGN-expressing macrophages that inhibited CD8(+) T cell immunity and promoted CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cell expansion in numbers. Mechanistically, that simultaneous DC-SIGN engagement by fucosylated ligands and TLR4 signaling was required for production of immunoregulatory IL-10 associated with prolonged allograft survival. Deletion of DC-SIGN-expressing macrophages in vivo, interfering with their CSF1-dependent development, or preventing the DC-SIGN signaling pathway abrogated tolerance. Together, the results provide new insights into the tolerogenic effects of costimulatory blockade and identify DC-SIGN(+) suppressive macrophages as crucial mediators of immunological tolerance with the concomitant therapeutic implications in the clinic.

Conlin PR, Asefzadeh B, Pasquale LR, Selvin G, Lamkin R, Cavallerano AA. Accuracy of a technology-assisted eye exam in evaluation of referable diabetic retinopathy and concomitant ocular diseases. Br J Ophthalmol 2015;99(12):1622-7.Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Digital retinal imaging using store-and-forward technology is used to screen for diabetic retinopathy (DR). Its usefulness in detecting non-diabetic eye diseases is uncertain. We determined the level of agreement between teleretinal imaging supplemented with visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements (ie, technology-assisted eye (TAE) exam) and a comprehensive eye exam in evaluation for DR and non-diabetic ocular conditions. METHODS: We conducted a prospective, observational study with two parallel evaluations. Patients with diabetes (n=317) had a TAE exam and a comprehensive eye exam on the same day. A subset of participants with normal baseline exams (n=72) had follow-up exams 1 year later. We measured the level of agreement for referable ocular findings. RESULTS: Agreement for referable ocular findings was moderate (n=389, agreement: 77%; κ: 0.55), due in part to ungradable exams (22%). However, about half of the ungradable exams had findings that warranted referral. There was substantial agreement for follow-up exams (n=72, agreement: 93%; κ: 0.63). Among all gradable exams (n=303), the TAE exam had 86% sensitivity and 84% specificity for referable ocular findings, with high agreement (≥94%) for DR and other major ocular diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: There was moderate-to-substantial agreement between a TAE exam and a comprehensive eye exam for referable ocular findings in patients with diabetes. Ungradable exams were a frequent marker of ocular pathology. Teleretinal imaging may be a useful evaluation for both diabetic and non-diabetic ocular conditions.

and Consortium CCG, Cornelis MC, Byrne EM, Esko T, Nalls MA, Ganna A, Paynter N, Monda KL, Amin N, Fischer K, Renstrom F, Ngwa JS, Huikari V, Cavadino A, Nolte IM, Teumer A, Yu K, Marques-Vidal P, Rawal R, Manichaikul A, Wojczynski MK, Vink JM, Zhao JH, Burlutsky G, Lahti J, Mikkilä V, Lemaitre RN, Eriksson J, Musani SK, Tanaka T, Geller F, Luan J, Hui J, Mägi R, Dimitriou M, Garcia ME, Ho W-K, Wright MJ, Rose LM, Magnusson PKE, Pedersen NL, Couper D, Oostra BA, Hofman A, Ikram MA, Tiemeier HW, Uitterlinden AG, van Rooij FJA, Barroso I, Johansson I, Xue L, Kaakinen M, Milani L, Power C, Snieder H, Stolk RP, Baumeister SE, Biffar R, Gu F, Bastardot F, Kutalik Z, Jacobs DR, Forouhi NG, Mihailov E, Lind L, Lindgren C, Michaëlsson K, Morris A, Jensen M, Khaw K-T, Luben RN, Wang JJ, Männistö S, Perälä M-M, Kähönen M, Lehtimäki T, Viikari J, Mozaffarian D, Mukamal K, Psaty BM, Döring A, Heath AC, Montgomery GW, Dahmen N, Carithers T, Tucker KL, Ferrucci L, Boyd HA, Melbye M, Treur JL, Mellström D, Hottenga JJ, Prokopenko I, Tönjes A, Deloukas P, Kanoni S, Lorentzon M, Houston DK, Liu Y, Danesh J, Rasheed A, Mason MA, Zonderman AB, Franke L, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Kristal BS, Karjalainen J, Reed DR, Westra H-J, Evans MK, Saleheen D, Harris TB, Dedoussis G, Curhan G, Stumvoll M, Beilby J, Pasquale LR, Feenstra B, Bandinelli S, Ordovas JM, Chan AT, Peters U, Ohlsson C, Gieger C, Martin NG, Waldenberger M, Siscovick DS, Raitakari O, Eriksson JG, Mitchell P, Hunter DJ, Kraft P, Rimm EB, Boomsma DI, Borecki IB, Loos RJF, Wareham NJ, Vollenweider P, Caporaso N, Grabe HJ, Neuhouser ML, Wolffenbuttel BHR, Hu FB, Hyppönen E, Järvelin M-R, Cupples LA, Franks PW, Ridker PM, van Duijn CM, Heiss G, Metspalu A, North KE, Ingelsson E, Nettleton JA, van Dam RM, Chasman DI. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption. Mol Psychiatry 2015;20(5):647-56.Abstract
Coffee, a major dietary source of caffeine, is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world and has received considerable attention regarding health risks and benefits. We conducted a genome-wide (GW) meta-analysis of predominately regular-type coffee consumption (cups per day) among up to 91 462 coffee consumers of European ancestry with top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed-up in ~30 062 and 7964 coffee consumers of European and African-American ancestry, respectively. Studies from both stages were combined in a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. Confirmed loci were examined for putative functional and biological relevance. Eight loci, including six novel loci, met GW significance (log10Bayes factor (BF)>5.64) with per-allele effect sizes of 0.03-0.14 cups per day. Six are located in or near genes potentially involved in pharmacokinetics (ABCG2, AHR, POR and CYP1A2) and pharmacodynamics (BDNF and SLC6A4) of caffeine. Two map to GCKR and MLXIPL genes related to metabolic traits but lacking known roles in coffee consumption. Enhancer and promoter histone marks populate the regions of many confirmed loci and several potential regulatory SNPs are highly correlated with the lead SNP of each. SNP alleles near GCKR, MLXIPL, BDNF and CYP1A2 that were associated with higher coffee consumption have previously been associated with smoking initiation, higher adiposity and fasting insulin and glucose but lower blood pressure and favorable lipid, inflammatory and liver enzyme profiles (P<5 × 10(-8)).Our genetic findings among European and African-American adults reinforce the role of caffeine in mediating habitual coffee consumption and may point to molecular mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in pharmacological and health effects of coffee.
Consugar MB, Navarro-Gomez D, Place EM, Bujakowska KM, Sousa ME, Fonseca-Kelly ZD, Taub DG, Janessian M, Wang DY, Au ED, Sims KB, Sweetser DA, Fulton AB, Liu Q, Wiggs JL, Gai X, Pierce EA. Panel-based genetic diagnostic testing for inherited eye diseases is highly accurate and reproducible, and more sensitive for variant detection, than exome sequencing. Genet Med 2015;17(4):253-61.Abstract

PURPOSE: Next-generation sequencing-based methods are being adopted broadly for genetic diagnostic testing, but the performance characteristics of these techniques with regard to test accuracy and reproducibility have not been fully defined. METHODS: We developed a targeted enrichment and next-generation sequencing approach for genetic diagnostic testing of patients with inherited eye disorders, including inherited retinal degenerations, optic atrophy, and glaucoma. In preparation for providing this genetic eye disease (GEDi) test on a CLIA-certified basis, we performed experiments to measure the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility, as well as the clinical sensitivity, of the test. RESULTS: The GEDi test is highly reproducible and accurate, with sensitivity and specificity of 97.9 and 100%, respectively, for single-nucleotide variant detection. The sensitivity for variant detection was notably better than the 88.3% achieved by whole-exome sequencing using the same metrics, because of better coverage of targeted genes in the GEDi test as compared with a commercially available exome capture set. Prospective testing of 192 patients with inherited retinal degenerations indicated that the clinical sensitivity of the GEDi test is high, with a diagnostic rate of 51%. CONCLUSION: Based on quantified performance metrics, the data suggest that selective targeted enrichment is preferable to whole-exome sequencing for genetic diagnostic testing.Genet Med 17 4, 253-261.

Contreras-Ruiz L, Mir FA, Turpie B, Krauss AH, Masli S. Sjögren's syndrome associated dry eye in a mouse model is ameliorated by topical application of integrin α4 antagonist GW559090. Exp Eye Res 2016;143:1-8.Abstract

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease associated with inflammation of exocrine glands with clinical manifestations of dry eye and dry mouth. Dry eye in this disease involves inflammation of the ocular surface tissues - cornea and conjunctiva. While systemic blockade of adhesion molecules has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, the purpose of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacy of topical application of an integrin α4 adhesion molecule antagonist in a mouse model of dry eye associated with Sjögren's syndrome. To assess this spontaneously developed ocular surface inflammation related to Sjögren's syndrome in TSP-1null mice (12 wks) was evaluated. Mice were treated with topical formulations containing 0.1% dexamethasone or 30 mg/ml GW559090 or vehicle control. Corneal fluorescein staining and conjunctival goblet cell density were assessed. Real-time PCR analysis was performed to assess expression of the inflammatory marker IL-1β in the cornea and Tbet and RORγt in the draining lymph nodes. Ocular surface inflammation was detectable in TSP-1null mice (≥12 wk old), which resulted in increased corneal fluorescein staining indicative of corneal barrier disruption and reduced conjunctival goblet cell density. These changes were accompanied by increased corneal expression of IL-1β as compared to WT controls and an altered balance of Th1 (Tbet) and Th17 (RORγt) markers in the draining lymph nodes. Topically applied dexamethasone and GW559090 significantly reduced corneal fluorescein staining compared to vehicle treatment (p = 0.023 and p < 0.001, respectively). This improved corneal barrier integrity upon adhesion molecule blockade was consistent with significantly reduced corneal expression of pro-inflammatory IL-1β compared to vehicle treated groups (p < 0.05 for both treatments). Significant improvement in goblet cell density was also noted in mice treated with 0.1% dexamethasone and GW559090 (p < 0.05 for both). We conclude that similar to topical dexamethasone, topically administered GW559090 successfully improved corneal barrier integrity and inflammation in an established ocular surface disease associated with Sjögren's syndrome.

Cordero-Coma M, Sobrin L. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy in uveitis. Surv Ophthalmol 2015;60(6):575-89.Abstract

Since the first reported use in 2001 of an anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) agent, infliximab, for the treatment of uveitis, several new anti-TNF-α agents have emerged for the treatment of refractory noninfectious uveitides, although their use remains off-label in the US. These agents have demonstrated remarkable clinical antiinflammatory efficacy and a potential immunoregulatory role in selected uveitis patients, but it is currently unclear whether they can modify the natural history of disease. We review the rationale and clinical indications for this therapy, the differences between agents, how to manage dosing and intervals, and how to screen for and identify potential side effects. We also present a summary of the science behind the use of anti-TNF-α agents in ocular inflammation and the evidence for their efficacy.

Cruzat A, Schrems WA, Schrems-Hoesl LM, Cavalcanti BM, Baniasadi N, Witkin D, Pavan-Langston D, Dana R, Hamrah P. Contralateral Clinically Unaffected Eyes of Patients With Unilateral Infectious Keratitis Demonstrate a Sympathetic Immune Response. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(11):6612-20.Abstract

PURPOSE: To analyze the contralateral unaffected eyes of patients with microbial keratitis (MK) for any immune cell or nerve changes by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: A prospective study was performed on 28 patients with MK, including acute bacterial, fungal, and Acanthamoeba keratitis, as well as on their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and on control groups, which consisted of 28 age-matched normal controls and 15 control contact lens (CL) wearers. Laser IVCM with the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module and Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometry of the central cornea were performed. Two masked observers assessed central corneal dendritiform cell density and subbasal corneal nerve parameters. RESULTS: The contralateral clinically unaffected eyes of patients with MK demonstrated significant diminishment in nerve density (15,603.8 ± 1265.2 vs. 24,102.1 ± 735.6 μm/mm2), total number of nerves (11.9 ± 1.0 vs. 24.9 ± 1.2/frame), number of branches (1.7 ± 0.2 vs. 19.9 ± 1.3/frame), and branch nerve length (5775.2 ± 757.1 vs. 12,715.4 ± 648.4 μm/mm2) (P < 0.001 for all parameters) compared to normal controls and CL wearers. Further, dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes was significantly increased as compared to that in controls (117.5 ± 19.9 vs. 24.2 ± 3.5 cells/mm2, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a subclinical involvement in the contralateral clinically unaffected eyes in patients with unilateral acute MK. In vivo confocal microscopy reveals not only a diminishment of the subbasal corneal nerves and sensation, but also an increase in dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes of MK patients. These findings show bilateral immune alterations in a clinically unilateral disease.

Dagi Glass LR, Choi CJ, Lee NG. Orbital Complication Following Calcium Hydroxylapatite Filler Injection. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

Cosmetic facial fillers have gained immense popularity in recent years. Although some patients opt to undergo an injection over surgery in light of the risks of an operation, there have been numerous reports of complications from these injections, including blindness. It is thought that filler particles can migrate within an artery and become emboli within small vessels. This case of focal orbital inflammation and dysmotility as a consequence of calcium hydroxylapatite filler injection in the face has not yet been documented in the literature.

Dedania VS, Grob S, Zhang K, Bakri SJ. Pharmacogenomics of response to anti-VEGF therapy in exudative age-related macular degeneration. Retina 2015;35(3):381-91.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether there is an association between response to intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents and genotype in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. METHODS: Analysis of the current literature evaluating pharmacogenetics of treatment response in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. RESULTS: Studies have demonstrated associations between various genotypes and response to intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents. Lower-risk genotypes of the CFH, ARMS2, HTRA1, and VEGF-A genes may be associated with improved visual outcomes. Additionally, frequency of injections may be associated with certain genotypes. CONCLUSION: Genetic background may influence an individual's response to treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Further studies to investigate biologic pathways of neovascular age-related macular degeneration and gene products that are directly involved might lead to better understanding of contribution of various genes to treatment response.

Dib B, Lin H, Maidana DE, Tian B, Miller JB, Bouzika P, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Mitochondrial DNA has a pro-inflammatory role in AMD. Biochim Biophys Acta 2015;1853(11 Pt A):2897-906.Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly of industrialized nations, and there is increasing evidence to support a role for chronic inflammation in its pathogenesis. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been recently reported to be pro-inflammatory in various diseases such as Alzheimer's and heart failure. Here, we report that intracellular mtDNA induces ARPE-19 cells to secrete inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8, which have been consistently associated with AMD onset and progression. The induction was dependent on the size of mtDNA, but not on specific sequence. Oxidative stress plays a major role in the development of AMD, and our findings indicate that mtDNA induces IL-6 and IL-8 more potently when oxidized. Cytokine induction was mediated by STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) and NF-κB as evidenced by abrogation of the cytokine response with the use of specific inhibitors (siRNA and BAY 11-7082, respectively). Finally, mtDNA primed the NLRP3 inflammasome. This study contributes to our understanding of the potential pro-inflammatory role of mtDNA in the pathogenesis of AMD.

Ding J, Wirostko B, Sullivan DA. Human growth hormone promotes corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. Cornea 2015;34(6):686-92.Abstract

PURPOSE: Corneal wound healing is a highly regulated process that requires the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells and interactions between epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts. Compounds that can be applied topically to the ocular surface and that have the capability of activating corneal epithelial cells to proliferate and/or migrate would be useful to promote corneal wound healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) will activate signal transducers and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial cell and fibroblast proliferation and/or migration in vitro. The purpose of this study was to test these hypotheses. METHODS: We studied cell signaling, proliferation, and migration using an immortalized human corneal epithelial cell line and primary human corneal fibroblasts in vitro. We also examined whether insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone known to mediate many of HGH's growth promoting actions, may play a role in this effect. RESULTS: We show that HGH activates STAT5 signaling and promotes corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. The migratory effect requires an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts and is not mediated by IGF-1. CONCLUSIONS: HGH may represent a topical therapeutic to promote corneal epithelial wound healing. This warrants further investigation.

Doherty AL, Peli E, Luo G. Hazard detection with a monocular bioptic telescope. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2015;35(5):530-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: The safety of bioptic telescopes for driving remains controversial. The ring scotoma, an area to the telescope eye due to the telescope magnification, has been the main cause of concern. This study evaluates whether bioptic users can use the fellow eye to detect in hazards driving videos that fall in the ring scotoma area. METHODS: Twelve visually impaired bioptic users watched a series of driving hazard perception training videos and responded as soon as they detected a hazard while reading aloud letters presented on the screen. The letters were placed such that when reading them through the telescope the hazard fell in the ring scotoma area. Four conditions were tested: no bioptic and no reading, reading without bioptic, reading with a bioptic that did not occlude the fellow eye (non-occluding bioptic), and reading with a bioptic that partially-occluded the fellow eye. Eight normally sighted subjects performed the same task with the partially occluding bioptic detecting lateral hazards (blocked by the device scotoma) and vertical hazards (outside the scotoma) to further determine the cause-and-effect relationship between hazard detection and the fellow eye. RESULTS: There were significant differences in performance between conditions: 83% of hazards were detected with no reading task, dropping to 67% in the reading task with no bioptic, to 50% while reading with the non-occluding bioptic, and 34% while reading with the partially occluding bioptic. For normally sighted, detection of vertical hazards (53%) was significantly higher than lateral hazards (38%) with the partially occluding bioptic. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of driving hazards is impaired by the addition of a secondary reading like task. Detection is further impaired when reading through a monocular telescope. The effect of the partially-occluding bioptic supports the role of the non-occluded fellow eye in compensating for the ring scotoma.

Dohlman TH, Omoto M, Hua J, Stevenson W, Lee S-M, Chauhan SK, Dana R. VEGF-trap Aflibercept Significantly Improves Long-term Graft Survival in High-risk Corneal Transplantation. Transplantation 2015;99(4):678-86.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Graft failure because of immune rejection remains a significant problem in organ transplantation, and lymphatic and blood vessels are important components of the afferent and efferent arms of the host alloimmune response, respectively. We compare the effect of antihemangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic therapies on alloimmunity and graft survival in a murine model of high-risk corneal transplantation. METHODS: Orthotopic corneal transplantation was performed in hemevascularized and lymph-vascularized high-risk host beds, and graft recipients received subconjunctival vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-trap, anti-VEGF-C, sVEGFR-3, or no treatment, beginning at the time of surgery. Fourteen days after transplantation, graft hemeangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The frequencies of Th1 cells in regional lymphoid tissue and graft-infiltrating immune cells were evaluated by flow cytometry. Long-term allograft survival was compared using Kaplan-Meier curves. RESULTS: VEGF-trap significantly decreased graft hemangiogenesis as compared to the control group and was most effective in reducing the frequency of graft-infiltrating immune cells. Anti-VEGF-C and sVEGFR3 significantly decreased graft lymphangiogenesis and lymphoid Th1 cell frequencies as compared to control. VEGF-trap (72%), anti-VEGF-C (25%), and sVEGFR-3 (11%) all significantly improved in the 8-week graft survival compared to control (0%), although VEGF-trap was significantly more effective than both anti-VEGF-C (P < 0.05) and sVEGFR-3 (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In a clinically relevant model of high-risk corneal transplantation in which blood and lymphatic vessels are present and treatment begins at the time of transplantation, VEGF-trap is significantly more effective in improving long-term graft survival as compared to anti-VEGF-C and sVEGFR-3, but all approaches improve survival when compared to untreated control.

Drokhlyansky E, Soh TK, Cepko CL. Preferential Budding of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus from the Basolateral Surface of Polarized Epithelial Cells Is Not Solely Directed by Matrix Protein or Glycoprotein. J Virol 2015;89(22):11718-22.Abstract

Vesicular stomatitis virus has been shown to bud basolaterally, and the matrix protein, but not glycoprotein, was proposed to mediate this asymmetry. Using polarized T84 monolayers, we demonstrate that no single viral protein is sufficient for polarized budding. Particles are released from the apical and basolateral surfaces and are indistinguishable, indicating that there is no apical assembly defect. We propose that aspects of host cell polarity create a more efficient budding process at the basolateral surface.

Duda T, Wen X-H, Isayama T, Sharma RK, Makino CL. Bicarbonate Modulates Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclase (ROS-GC) Catalytic Activity. J Biol Chem 2015;290(17):11052-60.Abstract

By generating the second messenger cGMP in retinal rods and cones, ROS-GC plays a central role in visual transduction. Guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) link cGMP synthesis to the light-induced fall in [Ca(2+)]i to help set absolute sensitivity and assure prompt recovery of the response to light. The present report discloses a surprising feature of this system: ROS-GC is a sensor of bicarbonate. Recombinant ROS-GCs synthesized cGMP from GTP at faster rates in the presence of bicarbonate with an ED50 of 27 mm for ROS-GC1 and 39 mm for ROS-GC2. The effect required neither Ca(2+) nor use of the GCAPs domains; however, stimulation of ROS-GC1 was more powerful in the presence of GCAP1 or GCAP2 at low [Ca(2+)]. When applied to retinal photoreceptors, bicarbonate enhanced the circulating current, decreased sensitivity to flashes, and accelerated flash response kinetics. Bicarbonate was effective when applied either to the outer or inner segment of red-sensitive cones. In contrast, bicarbonate exerted an effect when applied to the inner segment of rods but had little efficacy when applied to the outer segment. The findings define a new regulatory mechanism of the ROS-GC system that affects visual transduction and is likely to affect the course of retinal diseases caused by cGMP toxicity.

Duminuco R, Noble JW, Goody J, Sharma M, Ksander BR, Roskelley CD, Cox ME, Mills J. Integrin-linked kinase regulates senescence in an Rb-dependent manner in cancer cell lines. Cell Cycle 2015;14(18):2924-37.Abstract

Anti-integrin-linked kinase (ILK) therapies result in aberrant mitosis including altered mitotic spindle organization, centrosome declustering and mitotic arrest. In contrast to cells that expressed the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein Rb, we have shown that in retinoblastoma cell lines that do not express Rb, anti-ILK therapies induced aberrant mitosis that led to the accumulation of temporarily viable multinucleated cells. The present work was undertaken to: 1) determine the ultimate fate of cells that had survived anti-ILK therapies and 2) determine whether or not Rb expression altered the outcome of these cells. Our data indicate that ILK, a chemotherapy drug target is expressed in both well-differentiated, Rb-negative and relatively undifferentiated, Rb-positive retinoblastoma tissue. We show that small molecule targeting of ILK in Rb-positive and Rb-deficient cancer cells results in increased centrosomal declustering, aberrant mitotic spindle formation and multinucleation. However, anti-ILK therapies in vitro have different outcomes in retinoblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines that depend on Rb expression. TUNEL labeling and propidium iodide FACS analysis indicate that Rb-positive cells exposed to anti-ILK therapies are more susceptible to apoptosis and senescence than their Rb-deficient counterparts wherein aberrant mitosis induced by anti-ILK therapies exhibit mitotic arrest instead. These studies are the first to show a role for ILK in chemotherapy-induced senescence in Rb-positive cancer lines. Taken together these results indicate that the oncosuppressive outcomes for anti-ILK therapies in vitro, depend on the expression of the tumor suppressor Rb, a known G1 checkpoint and senescence regulator.

Duncker T, Tsang SH, Lee W, Zernant J, Allikmets R, Delori FC, Sparrow JR. Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence Distinguishes ABCA4-Associated and Non-ABCA4-Associated Bull's-Eye Maculopathy. Ophthalmology 2015;122(2):345-55.Abstract

PURPOSE: Quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) were performed in patients with bull's-eye maculopathy (BEM) to identify phenotypic markers that can aid in the differentiation of ABCA4-associated and non-ABCA4-associated disease. DESIGN: Prospective cross-sectional study at an academic referral center. SUBJECTS: Thirty-seven BEM patients (age range, 8-60 years) were studied. All patients exhibited a localized macular lesion exhibiting a smooth contour and qualitatively normal-appearing surrounding retina without flecks. Control values consisted of previously published data from 277 healthy subjects (374 eyes; age range, 5-60 years) without a family history of retinal dystrophy. METHODS: Autofluorescence (AF) images (30°, 488-nm excitation) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference to account for variable laser power and detector sensitivity. The grey levels (GLs) from 8 circularly arranged segments positioned at an eccentricity of approximately 7° to 9° in each image were calibrated to the reference (0 GL), magnification, and normative optical media density to yield qAF. In addition, horizontal SD OCT images through the fovea were obtained. All patients were screened for ABCA4 mutations using the ABCR600 microarray, next-generation sequencing, or both. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Quantitative AF, correlations between AF and SD OCT, and genotyping for ABCA4 variants. RESULTS: ABCA4 mutations were identified in 22 patients, who tended to be younger (mean age, 21.9±8.3 years) than patients without ABCA4 mutations (mean age, 42.1±14.9 years). Whereas phenotypic differences were not obvious on the basis of qualitative fundus AF and SD OCT imaging, with qAF, the 2 groups of patients were clearly distinguishable. In the ABCA4-positive group, 37 of 41 eyes (19 of 22 patients) had qAF8 of more than the 95% confidence interval for age. Conversely, in the ABCA4-negative group, 22 of 26 eyes (13 of 15 patients) had qAF8 within the normal range. CONCLUSIONS: The qAF method can differentiate between ABCA4-associated and non-ABCA4-associated BEM and may guide clinical diagnosis and genetic testing.