Kataoka K, Matsumoto H, Kaneko H, Notomi S, Takeuchi K, Sweigard JH, Atik A, Murakami Y, Connor KM, Terasaki H, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Macrophage- and RIP3-dependent inflammasome activation exacerbates retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor cell death. Cell Death Dis 2015;6:e1731.Abstract

Detachment of photoreceptors from the retinal pigment epithelium is seen in various retinal disorders, resulting in photoreceptor death and subsequent vision loss. Cell death results in the release of endogenous molecules that activate molecular platforms containing caspase-1, termed inflammasomes. Inflammasome activation in retinal diseases has been reported in some cases to be protective and in others to be detrimental, causing neuronal cell death. Moreover, the cellular source of inflammasomes in retinal disorders is not clear. Here, we demonstrate that patients with photoreceptor injury by retinal detachment (RD) have increased levels of cleaved IL-1β, an end product of inflammasome activation. In an animal model of RD, photoreceptor cell death led to activation of endogenous inflammasomes, and this activation was diminished by Rip3 deletion. The major source of Il1b expression was found to be infiltrating macrophages in the subretinal space, rather than dying photoreceptors. Inflammasome inhibition attenuated photoreceptor death after RD. Our data implicate the infiltrating macrophages as a source of damaging inflammasomes after photoreceptor detachment in a RIP3-dependent manner and suggest a novel therapeutic target for treatment of retinal diseases.

Kazlauskas A. Lysophosphatidic acid contributes to angiogenic homeostasis. Exp Cell Res 2015;333(2):166-170.
Kekunnaya R, Kraft S, Rao VB, Velez FG, Sachdeva V, Hunter DG. Surgical management of strabismus in Duane retraction syndrome. J AAPOS 2015;19(1):63-9.Abstract

SUMMARY: While Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) is relatively common, surgical management of the associated strabismus can be challenging because of the lack of abduction/adduction, the variable severity of muscle contracture, and the variety of clinical presentations. In this workshop a panel of experienced surgeons provide their perspective and practical tips on the management of strabismus in patients with DRS.

Kheirkhah A, Dohlman TH, Amparo F, Arnoldner MA, Jamali A, Hamrah P, Dana R. Effects of corneal nerve density on the response to treatment in dry eye disease. Ophthalmology 2015;122(4):662-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate whether levels of corneal subbasal nerve fiber length (SNFL) in dry eye disease (DED) could prognosticate the level of improvement in signs and symptoms after treatment. DESIGN: Phase IV, double-masked, randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty patients with meibomian gland dysfunction-associated DED and 27 age-matched controls. METHODS: Patients with DED were randomized to receive topical artificial tears, loteprednol etabonate 0.5%, or loteprednol etabonate 0.5%/tobramycin 0.3% twice daily for 4 weeks. At baseline, in vivo confocal microscopy of central cornea was performed in both eyes. Patients with DED were divided into 2 subgroups: those with low baseline SNFL and those with near-normal baseline SNFL for this purpose (the cutoff point: the mean SNFL in controls minus 2 standard deviations). Clinical signs and symptoms at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment were compared between the subgroups with low and near-normal SNFL for all therapeutic groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Symptom questionnaires, corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), conjunctival staining with lissamine green, tear break-up time, Schirmer's test, and SNFL. RESULTS: In patients with DED, baseline SNFL (17.06±5.78 mm/mm(2)) was significantly lower than in controls (23.68±3.42 mm/mm(2), P = 0.001). In the artificial tear and loteprednol groups, although no significant improvement in any sign or symptom was noted in patients with low baseline SNFL (<16.84 mm/mm(2)), subjects with near-normal baseline SNFL (≥16.84 mm/mm(2)) showed significant improvement in both symptoms and CFS score (all P < 0.05). In the loteprednol/tobramycin group, no significant change was evident for any sign or symptom in either subgroup of low or near-normal baseline SNFL. CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements in CFS and patient symptomatology after DED treatment were evident only in the subgroup with near-normal corneal SNFL. Consideration of SNFL may assist in explaining the variability of patients' response to DED therapy.

Kheirkhah A, Saboo US, Abud TB, Dohlman TH, Arnoldner MA, Hamrah P, Dana R. Reduced Corneal Endothelial Cell Density inPatients With Dry Eye Disease. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(6):1022-1026.e2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal endothelial cell density (ECD) in patients with dry eye disease (DED) compared to an age-matched control group. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, controlled study. METHODS: This study included 90 eyes of 45 patients with moderate to severe DED (aged 53.7 ± 9.8 years) and 30 eyes of 15 normal controls (aged 50.7 ± 9.8 years). All subjects had a complete ophthalmic evaluation including symptom assessment using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and corneal fluorescein staining. In addition, laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy was performed to measure the density of the following parameters in the central cornea: endothelial cells, subbasal nerves, and subbasal immune dendritic cells. RESULTS: Corneal ECD was significantly lower in the DED group (2595.8 ± 356.1 cells/mm(2)) than in the control group (2812.7 ± 395.2 cells/mm(2), P = .046). The DED group showed significantly lower corneal subbasal nerve density (17.1 ± 6.9 mm/mm(2)) compared to the control group (24.7 ± 4.4 mm/mm(2), P < .001). Dendritic cell density was significantly higher in the DED group than in the controls (111.7 ± 137.3 vs 32.0 ± 24.4 cells/mm(2), respectively, P = .002). There were statistically significant correlations between corneal ECD and dry eye severity parameters including the OSDI score (rs = -0.26, P = .03), and corneal fluorescein staining (rs = -0.28, P = .008). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant reduction in corneal ECD in DED that correlates with clinical severity of the disease.

Kheirkhah A, Muller R, Mikolajczak J, Ren A, Kadas EM, Zimmermann H, Pruess H, Paul F, Brandt AU, Hamrah P. Comparison of Standard Versus Wide-Field Composite Images of the Corneal Subbasal Layer by In Vivo Confocal Microscopy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(10):5801-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate whether the densities of corneal subbasal nerves and epithelial immune dendritiform cells (DCs) are comparable between a set of three representative standard images of in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and the wide-field mapped composite IVCM images. METHODS: This prospective, cross-sectional, and masked study included 110 eyes of 58 patients seen in a neurology clinic who underwent laser-scanning IVCM (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph 3) of the central cornea. Densities of subbasal corneal nerves and DCs were compared between the average of three representative standard images and the wide-field mapped composite images, which were reconstructed by automated mapping. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the average of three representative standard images (0.16 mm2 each) and the wide-field composite images (1.29 ± 0.64 mm2) in terms of mean subbasal nerve density (17.10 ± 6.10 vs. 17.17 ± 5.60 mm/mm2, respectively, P = 0.87) and mean subbasal DC density (53.2 ± 67.8 vs. 49.0 ± 54.3 cells/mm2, respectively, P = 0.43). However, there were notable differences in subbasal nerve and DC densities between these two methods in eyes with very low nerve density or very high DC density. CONCLUSIONS: There are no significant differences in the mean subbasal nerve and DC densities between the average values of three representative standard IVCM images and wide-field mapped composite images. Therefore, these standard images can be used in clinical studies to accurately measure cellular structures in the subbasal layer.

Kheirkhah A, Rahimi Darabad R, Cruzat A, Hajrasouliha AR, Witkin D, Wong N, Dana R, Hamrah P. Corneal Epithelial Immune Dendritic Cell Alterations in Subtypes of Dry Eye Disease: A Pilot In Vivo Confocal Microscopic Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(12):7179-85.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate density and morphology of corneal epithelial immune dendritic cells (DCs) in different subtypes of dry eye disease (DED) using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: This retrospective study included 59 eyes of 37 patients with DED and 40 eyes of 20 age-matched healthy controls. Based on clinical tests, eyes with DED were categorized into two subtypes: aqueous-deficient (n = 35) and evaporative (n = 24). For all subjects, images of laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) of the central cornea were analyzed for DC density and DC morphology (DC size, number of dendrites, and DC field). These DC parameters were compared among all dry eye and control groups. RESULTS: Compared with the controls, patients with DED had significantly higher DC density, larger DC size, higher number of dendrites, and larger DC field (all P < 0.001). Comparison between aqueous-deficient and evaporative subtypes demonstrated that DC density was significantly higher in aqueous-deficient subtype (189.8 ± 36.9 vs. 58.9 ± 9.4 cells/mm2, P = 0.001). However, there were no significant differences in morphologic parameters between DED subtypes. When aqueous-deficient DED with underlying systemic immune disease (Sjögren's syndrome and graft versus host disease) were compared with nonimmune conditions, the immunologic subgroup showed significantly higher DC density, DC size, and number of dendrites (all P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Corneal IVCM demonstrated differential changes in DC density and morphologic DC parameters between subtypes of DED. These changes, which reflect the degree of immune activation and inflammation in DED, can be used for clinical practice and endpoints in clinical trials.

Kim T-K, Hemberg M, Gray JM. Enhancer RNAs: a class of long noncoding RNAs synthesized at enhancers. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2015;7(1):a018622.Abstract

Recent studies have revealed that active enhancers are transcribed, producing a class of noncoding RNAs called enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). eRNAs are distinct from long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), but these two species of noncoding RNAs may share a similar role in the activation of mRNA transcription. Emerging studies, showing that eRNAs function in controlling mRNA transcription, challenge the idea that enhancers are merely sites of transcription factor assembly. Instead, communication between promoters and enhancers can be bidirectional with promoters required to activate enhancer transcription. Reciprocally, eRNAs may then facilitate enhancer-promoter interaction or activate promoter-driven transcription.

Kim LA, Wong LL, Amarnani DS, Bigger-Allen AA, Hu Y, Marko CK, Eliott D, Shah VA, McGuone D, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Gai X, D'Amore PA, Arboleda-Velasquez JF. Characterization of cells from patient-derived fibrovascular membranes in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Mol Vis 2015;21:673-87.Abstract

PURPOSE: Epiretinal fibrovascular membranes (FVMs) are a hallmark of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Surgical removal of FVMs is often indicated to treat tractional retinal detachment. This potentially informative pathological tissue is usually disposed of after surgery without further examination. We developed a method for isolating and characterizing cells derived from FVMs and correlated their expression of specific markers in culture with that in tissue. METHODS: FVMs were obtained from 11 patients with PDR during diabetic vitrectomy surgery and were analyzed with electron microscopy (EM), comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), immunohistochemistry, and/or digested with collagenase II for cell isolation and culture. Antibody arrays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to profile secreted angiogenesis-related proteins in cell culture supernatants. RESULTS: EM analysis of the FVMs showed abnormal vessels composed of endothelial cells with large nuclei and plasma membrane infoldings, loosely attached perivascular cells, and stromal cells. The cellular constituents of the FVMs lacked major chromosomal aberrations as shown with CGH. Cells derived from FVMs (C-FVMs) could be isolated and maintained in culture. The C-FVMs retained the expression of markers of cell identity in primary culture, which define specific cell populations including CD31-positive, alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive (SMA), and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive (GFAP) cells. In primary culture, secretion of angiopoietin-1 and thrombospondin-1 was significantly decreased in culture conditions that resemble a diabetic environment in SMA-positive C-FVMs compared to human retinal pericytes derived from a non-diabetic donor. CONCLUSIONS: C-FVMs obtained from individuals with PDR can be isolated, cultured, and profiled in vitro and may constitute a unique resource for the discovery of cell signaling mechanisms underlying PDR that extends beyond current animal and cell culture models.

Kita T, Clermont AC, Murugesan N, Zhou Q, Fujisawa K, Ishibashi T, Aiello LP, Feener EP. Plasma Kallikrein-Kinin System as a VEGF-Independent Mediator of Diabetic Macular Edema. Diabetes 2015;64(10):3588-99.Abstract

This study characterizes the kallikrein-kinin system in vitreous from individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME) and examines mechanisms contributing to retinal thickening and retinal vascular permeability (RVP). Plasma prekallikrein (PPK) and plasma kallikrein (PKal) were increased twofold and 11.0-fold (both P < 0.0001), respectively, in vitreous from subjects with DME compared with those with a macular hole (MH). While the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level was also increased in DME vitreous, PKal and VEGF concentrations do not correlate (r = 0.266, P = 0.112). Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we identified 167 vitreous proteins, including 30 that were increased in DME (fourfold or more, P < 0.001 vs. MH). The majority of proteins associated with DME displayed a higher correlation with PPK than with VEGF concentrations. DME vitreous containing relatively high levels of PKal and low VEGF induced RVP when injected into the vitreous of diabetic rats, a response blocked by bradykinin receptor antagonism but not by bevacizumab. Bradykinin-induced retinal thickening in mice was not affected by blockade of VEGF receptor 2. Diabetes-induced RVP was decreased by up to 78% (P < 0.001) in Klkb1 (PPK)-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. B2- and B1 receptor-induced RVP in diabetic mice was blocked by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and inducible NOS deficiency, respectively. These findings implicate the PKal pathway as a VEGF-independent mediator of DME.

Kothari S, Foster SC, Pistilli M, Liesegang TL, Daniel E, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Lawrence SD, Kempen JH, for Eye Diseases Group SITR. The Risk of Intraocular Pressure Elevation inPediatric Noninfectious Uveitis. Ophthalmology 2015;122(10):1987-2001.Abstract

PURPOSE: To characterize the risk and risk factors for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in pediatric noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Nine hundred sixteen children (1593 eyes) younger than 18 years at presentation with noninfectious uveitis followed up between January 1978 and December 2007 at 5 academic uveitis centers in the United States. METHODS: Medical records review by trained, certified experts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and incidence of IOP of 21 mmHg or more and 30 mmHg or more and incidence of a rise in IOP by 10 mmHg or more. To avoid underascertainment, outcomes were counted as present when IOP-lowering therapies were in use. RESULTS: Initially, 251 (15.8%) and 46 eyes (2.9%) had IOP ≥21 mmHg and ≥30 mmHg, respectively. Factors significantly associated with presenting IOP elevation included age of 6 to 12 years (versus other pediatric ages), prior cataract surgery, pars plana vitrectomy, duration of uveitis ≥6 months, contralateral IOP elevation, presenting visual acuity worse than 20/40, and topical corticosteroid use (in a dose-response relationship). The median follow-up was 1.25 years (interquartile range, 0.4-3.66). The estimated incidence of any observed IOP elevation to ≥21 mmHg, to ≥30 mmHg, and increase in IOP by ≥10 mmHg was 33.4%, 14.8%, and 24.4%, respectively, within 2 years. Factors associated with IOP elevation included pars plana vitrectomy, contralateral IOP elevation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], up to 9.54; P < 0.001), and the use of topical (aHR, up to 8.77 that followed a dose-response relationship; P < 0.001), periocular (aHR, up to 7.96; P < 0.001), and intraocular (aHR, up to 19.7; P < 0.001) corticosteroids. CONCLUSIONS: Intraocular pressure elevation affects a large minority of children with noninfectious uveitis. Statistically significant risk factors include IOP elevation or use of IOP-lowering treatment in the contralateral eye and local corticosteroid use that demonstrated a dose-and route of administration-dependent relationship. In contrast, use of immunosuppressive drug therapy did not increase such risk. Pediatric eyes with noninfectious uveitis should be followed up closely for IOP elevation, especially when strong risk factors such as the use of local corticosteroids and contralateral IOP elevation are present.

Kovacs K, Marra KV, Yu G, Wagley S, Ma J, Teague GC, Nandakumar N, Lashkari K, Arroyo JG. Angiogenic and Inflammatory Vitreous Biomarkers Associated With Increasing Levels of Retinal Ischemia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(11):6523-30.Abstract

PURPOSE: To characterize the angiogenic and inflammatory vitreous biomarker profiles in a spectrum of ischemic retinopathies, including neovascular glaucoma. METHODS: This institutional review board-approved study retrospectively analyzed 80 undiluted vitreous samples obtained during pars vitrectomy. The specimens were frozen (-80°C) and sent for concentration analysis of 34 proteins by Bio-Plex Pro assays. Specimens were divided into four groups: patients undergoing epiretinal membrane (ERM) peeling and/or macular hole (MH) surgery with no history of diabetes (non-DM group), patients undergoing ERM peeling, and/or MH surgery with a history of diabetes (DM group), patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR group), and patients with neovascular glaucoma (NVG group). Parametric and nonparametric analyses of demographics and cytokine levels were performed using SPSS. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in demographics among cohorts. Numerous proteins were significantly elevated between non-DM and DM (G-CSF, sCD40L, Endoglin, IL-6, placental growth factor [PlGF], VEGF-D), DM and PDR (leptin, IL-8, PlGF, VEGF-A), and PDR and NVG (G-CSF, leptin, TIE-2, sCD40L, EGF, HB-EGF, IL-6, IL-8, PlGF, TNF-α). Only PlGF was significantly elevated between each successive cohort. The most potent drivers of NVG were PlGF, VEGF-A, IL-6, and IL-8. CONCLUSIONS: While the role of angioproliferative growth factors is well documented in ischemic retinopathy, our study delineates the importance of inflammatory and previously underreported angiogenic proteins. It also demonstrates a significant incremental increase in certain factors with increasing levels of ischemia. Both of these findings may guide the development of future therapies for ischemic retinopathies.

Kruh JN, Kruh-Garcia NA, Foster SC. Evaluation of the Effect of N-Acetylcysteine on Protein Deposition on Contact Lenses in Patients with the Boston Keratoprosthesis Type I. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2015;31(6):314-22.Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish the efficacy of topical N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a treatment to reduce protein deposition on the contact lens surface. METHODS: In this prospective, nonrandomized clinical trial, a total of 10 eyes (9 patients) were enrolled from a single center. All patients had a prior ocular history of either a Boston Keratoprosthesis type I or trichiasis from Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which necessitated full-time contact lens wear. Four visits were required to complete the study. During visit 1, a new contact lens was inserted and a baseline examination was performed. Visit 2 served as the control month, whereas visits 3 and 4 were month 1 and 2 on treatment with 20% NAC. At the end of each visit the contact lens was replaced. The lenses from visit 2 (control month-without NAC) and from visit 3 (treatment month-with NAC) were collected for proteomic analysis. The main outcome measures were to quantify protein deposition, as well as to assess the visual acuity and ocular surface symptoms before and after treatment. RESULTS: Topical NAC resulted in a 20% decrease in protein deposition. This correlated with a trend for improvement in visual acuity and increased subjective improvement in vision at month 1 (P=0.0153) and 2 (P=0.0016). CONCLUSIONS: NAC reduced protein deposition, decreased ocular surface symptoms, and improved contact lens transparency, thereby providing increased optical clarity.

La Rosa SL, Snipen L-G, Murray BE, Willems RJL, Gilmore MS, Diep DB, Nes IF, Brede DA. A Genomic Virulence Reference Map of Enterococcus faecalis Reveals an Important Contribution of Phage03-Like Elements in Nosocomial Genetic Lineages to Pathogenicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model. Infect Immun 2015;83(5):2156-67.Abstract
In the present study, the commensal and pathogenic host-microbe interaction of Enterococcus faecalis was explored using a Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The virulence of 28 E. faecalis isolates representing 24 multilocus sequence types (MLSTs), including human commensal and clinical isolates as well as isolates from animals and of insect origin, was investigated using C. elegans strain glp-4 (bn2ts); sek-1 (km4). This revealed that 6 E. faecalis isolates behaved in a commensal manner with no nematocidal effect, while the remaining strains showed a time to 50% lethality ranging from 47 to 120 h. Principal component analysis showed that the difference in nematocidal activity explained 94% of the variance in the data. Assessment of known virulence traits revealed that gelatinase and cytolysin production accounted for 40.8% and 36.5% of the observed pathogenicity, respectively. However, coproduction of gelatinase and cytolysin did not increase virulence additively, accounting for 50.6% of the pathogenicity and therefore indicating a significant (26.7%) saturation effect. We employed a comparative genomic analysis approach using the 28 isolates comprising a collection of 82,356 annotated coding sequences (CDS) to identify 2,325 patterns of presence or absence among the investigated strains. Univariate statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) established that individual patterns positively correlated (n = 61) with virulence. The patterns were investigated to identify potential new virulence traits, among which we found five patterns consisting of the phage03-like gene clusters. Strains harboring phage03 showed, on average, 17% higher killing of C. elegans (P = 4.4e(-6)). The phage03 gene cluster was also present in gelatinase-and-cytolysin-negative strain E. faecalis JH2-2. Deletion of this phage element from the JH2-2 clinical strain rendered the mutant apathogenic in C. elegans, and a similar mutant of the nosocomial V583 isolate showed significantly attenuated virulence. Bioinformatics investigation indicated that, unlike other E. faecalis virulence traits, phage03-like elements were found at a higher frequency among nosocomial isolates. In conclusion, our report provides a valuable virulence map that explains enhancement in E. faecalis virulence and contributes to a deeper comprehension of the genetic mechanism leading to the transition from commensalism to a pathogenic lifestyle.
Lagali N, Poletti E, Patel DV, McGhee CNJ, Hamrah P, Kheirkhah A, Tavakoli M, Petropoulos IN, Malik RA, Utheim TP, Zhivov A, Stachs O, Falke K, Peschel S, Guthoff R, Chao C, Golebiowski B, Stapleton F, Ruggeri A. Focused Tortuosity Definitions Based on Expert Clinical Assessment of Corneal Subbasal Nerves. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(9):5102-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined agreement among experts in the assessment of corneal subbasal nerve tortuosity. METHODS: Images of corneal subbasal nerves were obtained from investigators at seven sites (Auckland, Boston, Linköping, Manchester, Oslo, Rostock, and Sydney) using laser-scanning in vivo confocal microscopy. A set of 30 images was assembled and ordered by increasing tortuosity by 10 expert graders from the seven sites. In a first experiment, graders assessed tortuosity without a specific definition and performed grading three times, with at least 1 week between sessions. In a second experiment, graders assessed the same image set using four focused tortuosity definitions. Intersession and intergrader repeatability for the experiments were determined using the Spearman rank correlation. RESULTS: Expert graders without a specific tortuosity definition had high intersession (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.80), but poor intergrader (0.62) repeatability. Specific definitions improved intergrader repeatability to 0.79. In particular, tortuosity defined by frequent small-amplitude directional changes (short range tortuosity) or by infrequent large-amplitude directional changes (long range tortuosity), indicated largely independent measures and resulted in improved repeatability across the graders. A further refinement, grading only the most tortuous nerve in a given image, improved the average correlation of a given grader's ordering of images with the group average to 0.86 to 0.90. CONCLUSIONS: Definitions of tortuosity specifying short or long-range tortuosity and considering only the most tortuous nerve in an image improved the agreement in tortuosity grading among a group of expert observers. These definitions could improve accuracy and consistency in quantifying subbasal nerve tortuosity in clinical studies.

Lane AM, Kim IK, Gragoudas ES. Long-term Risk of Melanoma-Related Mortality for Patients With Uveal Melanoma Treated With Proton Beam Therapy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;Abstract

Importance: Little is known about the long-term risk of dying of uveal melanoma after treatment with radiotherapy. Objective: To determine the long-term risk of dying of this disease, we evaluated melanoma-related mortality rates up to 25 years after proton beam therapy in a large series of patients with uveal melanoma. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this analysis, we included 3088 patients with uveal melanoma, identified from a hospital-based cohort and treated with proton irradiation between January 1975 and December 2005. Vital status and cause of death were ascertained through active follow-up and searches of government databases (the Social Security Death Index and the National Death Index) through December 31, 2008. Cumulative rates of melanoma-related mortality were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Patient and tumor characteristics of known prognostic significance for melanoma-associated death were evaluated, including patient age and tumor dimensions. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measure was cumulative rates of melanoma-specific mortality, and secondary measures included annual melanoma-specific mortality hazard rates and cumulative all-cause mortality rates. Results: Of 1490 deceased patients, 620 (41.6%) died of ocular melanoma. In addition, 19 patients were alive, but their melanoma metastasized, by the end of the observation period (mean follow-up after diagnosis of metastasis, 5.3 years). All-cause mortality rates in this cohort were 49.0% (95% CI, 47.0-51.1) at 15 years, 58.6% (95% CI, 56.4%-60.8%) at 20 years, and 66.8% (95% CI, 64.2%-69.4%) at 25 years. Melanoma-related mortality rates were 24.6% (95% CI, 22.8-26.4) at 15 years after treatment, 25.8% (95% CI, 24.0-27.8) at 20 years after treatment, and 26.4% (95% CI, 24.5-28.5) at 25 years after treatment. The 20-year mortality rate was 8.6% (95% CI, 6.2-11.9) for younger patients (≤60 years) with small tumors (≤11 mm) and 40.1% (95% CI, 36.1-44.3) for older patients (>60 years) with large tumors (>11 mm). Conclusions and Relevance: In this large series of patients with ocular melanoma treated conservatively with proton beam irradiation, the cumulative melanoma-related mortality rates continued to increase up to 23 years after treatment. Annual rates decreased considerably (to <1%) 14 years after treatment. Information regarding the long-term risk of dying of uveal melanoma may be useful to clinicians when counseling patients.

Lee H-S, Hos D, Blanco T, Bock F, Reyes NJ, Mathew R, Cursiefen C, Dana R, Saban DR. Involvement of corneal lymphangiogenesis in a mouse model of allergic eye disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3140-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: The contribution of lymphangiogenesis (LA) to allergy has received considerable attention and therapeutic inhibition of this process via targeting VEGF has been considered. Likewise, certain inflammatory settings affecting the ocular mucosa can trigger pathogenic LA in the naturally avascular cornea. Chronic inflammation in allergic eye disease (AED) impacts the conjunctiva and cornea, leading to sight threatening conditions. However, whether corneal LA is involved is completely unknown. We addressed this using a validated mouse model of AED. METHODS: Allergic eye disease was induced by ovalbumin (OVA) immunization and chronic OVA exposure. Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea allowed evaluation of corneal LA, and qRT-PCR was used to evaluate expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3 in these mice. Administration of VEGF receptor (R) inhibitor was incorporated to inhibit corneal LA in AED. Immune responses were evaluated by in vitro OVA recall responses of T cells, and IgE levels in the serum. RESULTS: Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea revealed the distinct presence of corneal LA in AED, and corroborated by increased corneal expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3. Importantly, prevention of corneal LA in AED via VEGFR inhibition was associated with decreased T helper two responses and IgE production. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition led a significant reduction in clinical signs of AED. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data reveal that there is a distinct involvement of corneal LA in AED. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition prevents corneal LA and consequent immune responses in AED.

Lefebvre DR, Yoon MK. CT-Based Measurements of the Sphenoid Trigone in Different Sex and Race. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(2):155-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: In thyroid orbitopathy, surgical treatment of exophthalmos and compressive optic neuropathy is orbital decompression. Deep lateral wall decompression has been advocated alone or combined with the medial wall for a "balanced" decompression. The degree of lateral decompression is dependent on the volume of the sphenoid trigone comprising the deep lateral orbital wall. This study aims to compare the volume of the trigone in various races in men and women. METHODS: After Institutional Review Board approval, patients with normal sinus CT scans (Siemens Somatom 40-slice) were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria were men and women aged 30 to 60 years, no orbital disease or surgery, normal orbital CT scans, and self-reported race (Asian, black/African American, white). Scans were measured with imaging software (Synapse, Fujifilm USA). The superior and inferior extents of the measured trigone were the superior and inferior orbital fissures, respectively. In the axial CT plane, the areas of each slice of the right and left trigone were manually outlined with the software and volume subsequently calculated based on the slice thickness (2 mm). Comparisons between groups were made via repeated measures analysis of variance. RESULTS: One hundred twenty subjects were included, 20 from each subgroup, yielding 240 measured orbits. The overall volume of the sphenoid trigone for all groups combined was 1.53 cm (standard deviation 0.72 cm). Mean male volume was significantly larger than mean female volume (1.71 ± 0.83 cm vs. 1.35 ± 0.55 cm; p = 0.004). Average left side volume was larger than paired right side volume (1.58 ± 0.74 cm vs. 1.49 ± 0.71 cm; p = 0.02). There were no significant differences in average volumes between races (p = 0.17). CONCLUSIONS: The mean sphenoid trigone volume was larger in men than in women. There were no significant differences in volume between racial groups. The data showed significant interindividual and intraindividual variability. When analyzing these data for the purposes of orbital decompression, planning should be based on each side of each patient, as the expected degree of lateral decompression may vary greatly.

Lei H, Qian CX, Lei J, Haddock LJ, Mukai S, Kazlauskas A. RasGAP Promotes Autophagy and Thereby Suppresses Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor-Mediated Signaling Events, Cellular Responses, and Pathology. Mol Cell Biol 2015;35(10):1673-85.Abstract
Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors (PDGFRs) make profound contributions to both physiology and pathology. While it is widely believed that direct (PDGF-mediated) activation is the primary mode of activating PDGFRs, the discovery that they can also be activated indirectly begs the question of the relevance of the indirect mode of activating PDGFRs. In the context of a blinding eye disease, indirect activation of PDGFRα results in persistent signaling, which suppresses the level of p53 and thereby promotes viability of cells that drive pathogenesis. Under the same conditions, PDGFRβ fails to undergo indirect activation. In this paper, we report that RasGAP (GTPase-activating protein of Ras) prevented indirect activation of PDGFRβ. RasGAP, which associates with PDGFRβ but not PDGFRα, reduced the level of mitochondrion-derived reactive oxygen species, which are required for enduring activation of PDGFRs. Furthermore, preventing PDGFRβ from associating with RasGAP allowed it to signal enduringly and drive pathogenesis of a blinding eye disease. These results indicate a previously unappreciated role of RasGAP in antagonizing indirect activation of PDGFRβ, define the underlying mechanism, and raise the possibility that PDGFRβ-mediated diseases involve indirect activation of PDGFRβ.
Letko E, Yeh S, Foster SC, Pleyer U, Brigell M, Grosskreutz CL, Grosskreutz CL. Efficacy and safety of intravenous secukinumab in noninfectious uveitis requiring steroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. Ophthalmology 2015;122(5):939-48.Abstract
PURPOSE: Secukinumab, a fully human anti-interleukin-17A monoclonal antibody, exhibited promising activity in a proof-of-concept study when administered in intravenous (IV) doses to patients with active, chronic, noninfectious uveitis. This study compared the efficacy and safety of different IV and subcutaneous (SC) doses of secukinumab in patients with noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized, double-masked, dose-ranging, phase 2 clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-seven patients with active noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis who required corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. METHODS: Patients were randomized to secukinumab 300 mg SC every 2 weeks for 4 doses, secukinumab 10 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks for 4 doses, or secukinumab 30 mg/kg IV every 4 weeks for 2 doses. Intravenous or SC saline was administered to maintain masking. Efficacy was assessed on day 57 (2-4 weeks after last dose). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentage of patients with treatment response, defined as (1) at least a 2-grade reduction in vitreous haze score or trace or absent vitreous haze in the study eye without an increase in corticosteroid dose and without uveitis worsening or (2) reduction in corticosteroid dosages to prespecified levels without uveitis worsening. Percentage of patients with remission, defined as anterior chamber cell and vitreous haze scores of 0 or 0.5+ in both eyes without corticosteroid therapy or uveitis worsening. RESULTS: Secukinumab 30 mg/kg IV and 10 mg/kg IV, compared with the 300 mg SC dose, produced higher responder rates (72.7% and 61.5% vs. 33.3%, respectively) and remission rates (27.3% and 38.5% vs. 16.7%, respectively). Statistical and clinical superiority for the 30 mg/kg IV dose compared with the 300 mg SC dose was established in a Bayesian probability model. Other measures, including time to response onset, change in visual acuity, and change in vitreous haze score, showed numeric trends favoring IV dosing. Secukinumab, administered in IV or SC formulations, appeared safe and was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous secukinumab was effective and well tolerated in noninfectious uveitis requiring systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy. Greater activity with IV dosing suggests that patients may not receive sufficient drug with SC administration. High-dose IV secukinumab may be necessary to deliver secukinumab in therapeutic concentrations.