2016

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Kim C, Smith KE, Castillejos A, Diaz-Aguilar D, Saint-Geniez M, Connor KM. The alternative complement pathway aids in vascular regression during the early stages of a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. FASEB J 2016;30(3):1300-5.Abstract

Proliferative retinopathic diseases often progress in 2 phases: initial regression of retinal vasculature (phase 1) followed by subsequent neovascularization (NV) (phase 2). The immune system has been shown to aid in vascular pruning in such retinopathies; however, little is known about the role of the alternative complement pathway in the initial vascular regression phase. Using a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR), we observed that alternative complement pathway-deficient mice (Fb(-/-)) exhibited a mild decrease in vascular loss at postnatal day (P)8 compared with age- and strain-matched controls (P = 0.035). Laser capture microdissection was used to isolate the retinal blood vessels. Expression of the complement inhibitors Cd55 and Cd59 was significantly decreased in blood vessels isolated from hyperoxic retinas compared with those from normoxic control mice. Vegf expression was measured at P8 and found to be significantly lower in OIR mice than in normoxic control mice (P = 0.0048). Further examination of specific Vegf isoform expression revealed a significant decrease in Vegf120 (P = 0.00032) and Vegf188 (P = 0.0092). In conjunction with the major modulating effects of Vegf during early retinal vascular development, our data suggest a modest involvement of the alternative complement pathway in targeting vessels for regression in the initial vaso-obliteration stage of OIR.-Kim, C., Smith, K. E., Castillejos, A., Diaz-Aguilar, D., Saint-Geniez, M., Connor, K. M. The alternative complement pathway aids in vascular regression during the early stages of a murine model of proliferative retinopathy.

Kim CB, D'Amore PA, Connor KM. Revisiting the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Eye Brain 2016;8:67-79.Abstract

Abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina is a hallmark of many retinal diseases, such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. In particular, ROP has been an important health concern for physicians since the advent of routine supplemental oxygen therapy for premature neonates more than 70 years ago. Since then, researchers have explored several animal models to better understand ROP and retinal vascular development. Of these models, the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) has become the most widely used, and has played a pivotal role in our understanding of retinal angiogenesis and ocular immunology, as well as in the development of groundbreaking therapeutics such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections for wet age-related macular degeneration. Numerous refinements to the model have been made since its inception in the 1950s, and technological advancements have expanded the use of the model across multiple scientific fields. In this review, we explore the historical developments that have led to the mouse OIR model utilized today, essential concepts of OIR, limitations of the model, and a representative selection of key findings from OIR, with particular emphasis on current research progress.

Kim YJ, Payal AR, Daly MK. Effects of tear gases on the eye. Surv Ophthalmol 2016;61(4):434-42.Abstract

Chemical agents that target the eyes have been a popular choice for law enforcement during riots and for military training for nearly a century. The most commonly used agents are chloroacetophenone (formerly sold as Mace), o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, and oleoresin capsicum (OC or pepper spray, current ingredient for Mace). Initially, most severe ocular injuries were caused by the explosive force rather than the chemical itself. The development of sprays reduced the mechanical severity of ocular injuries, but resulted in a variety of chemical injuries. The effects on eyes include conjunctival injection, complete corneal epithelial defects, pseudopterygium, corneal neovascularization, persistent conjunctivalization, corneal opacities, and reduced visual acuity. Current management, based on limited human studies, emphasizes decontamination and symptomatic treatment. We review the literature related to clinical and histopathologic effects of tear gas agents on the eye and their management.

Klevebro S, Lundgren P, Hammar U, Smith LE, Bottai M, Domellöf M, Löfqvist C, Hallberg B, Hellström A. Cohort study of growth patterns by gestational age in preterm infants developing morbidity. BMJ Open 2016;6(11):e012872.Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine differences in growth patterns in preterm infants developing major morbidities including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH). STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study of 2521 infants born at a gestational age (GA) of 23-30 weeks from 11 level III neonatal intensive care units in USA and Canada, and 3 Swedish population-based cohorts. OUTCOMES: Birth weight and postnatal weight gain were examined relative to birth GA and ROP, BPD, NEC and IVH development. RESULTS: Among infants with a birth GA of 25-30 weeks, birth weight SD score and postnatal weight were lower in those developing ROP and BPD. Infants developing ROP showed lower growth rates during postnatal weeks 7-9 in the 23-24 weeks GA group, during weeks 4-6 in the 25-26 weeks GA group and during weeks 1-5 in the 27-30 weeks GA group. Infants with BPD born at 27-30 weeks GA showed lower growth rates during postnatal weeks 3-5. Infants with NEC had lower growth rates after postnatal week 6 in all GA groups, with no significant differences in birth weight SD score. IVH was not associated with prenatal or postnatal growth. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort study of extremely preterm infants, we found that the postnatal growth pattern was associated with morbidities such as ROP, BPD and NEC as well as with gestational age at birth.

Kocaba V, Damour O, Auxenfans C, Burillon C. [Limbal stem cell deficiency management. A review]. J Fr Ophtalmol 2016;39(9):791-803.Abstract

Limbal stem cell deficiency is predominantly caused by severe eye burns resulting in a decreased or a complete ablation of the regenerative potential of these stem cells. The inability to reconstruct the corneal epithelium further leads conjunctivalization of the gimbal-epithelial barrier. These abnormalities collectively result in the progressive opacification of the cornea responsible for blindness that is driven by chronic corneal ulceration and neovascularization. The underlying pathology of the cornea affects the homeostasis of the neighboring conjunctiva, eyelids, and tear film. Therefore, the ocular reconstruction to treat limbal stem cell deficiency is quite prolonged and involves a continued treatment plan. The management of limbal stem cell deficiency has undergone a multitude of changes over the past several decades. The understanding of limbal anatomy and physiology, as well as therapeutic advances in the stem cell field have propelled the development of new treatments offering new hope to severely disabled patients. Cultivated limbal epithelial and oral mucosal epithelial transplantations are therefore viable alternatives that could be utilized for the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency.

Krishnan A, Fei F, Jones A, Busto P, Marshak-Rothstein A, Ksander BR, Gregory-Ksander M. Overexpression of Soluble Fas Ligand following Adeno-Associated Virus Gene Therapy Prevents Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Chronic and Acute Murine Models of Glaucoma. J Immunol 2016;197(12):4626-4638.Abstract

Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease resulting in the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and irreversible blindness. Glaucoma-associated RGC death depends on the proapoptotic and proinflammatory activity of membrane-bound Fas ligand (mFasL). In contrast to mFasL, the natural cleavage product, soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) inhibits mFasL-mediated apoptosis and inflammation and, therefore, is an mFasL antagonist. DBA/2J mice spontaneously develop glaucoma and, predictably, RGC destruction is exacerbated by expression of a mutated membrane-only FasL gene that lacks the extracellular cleavage site. Remarkably, one-time intraocular adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery of sFasL provides complete and sustained neuroprotection in the chronic DBA/2J and acute microbead-induced models of glaucoma, even in the presence of elevated intraocular pressure. This protection correlated with inhibition of glial activation, reduced production of TNF-α, and decreased apoptosis of RGCs and loss of axons. These data indicate that cleavage of FasL under homeostatic conditions, and the ensuing release of sFasL, normally limits the neurodestructive activity of FasL. The data further support the notion that sFasL, and not mFasL, contributes to the immune-privileged status of the eye.

Kumase F, Takeuchi K, Morizane Y, Suzuki J, Matsumoto H, Kataoka K, Al-Moujahed A, Maidana DE, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. AMPK-Activated Protein Kinase Suppresses Ccr2 Expression by Inhibiting the NF-κB Pathway in RAW264.7 Macrophages. PLoS One 2016;11(1):e0147279.Abstract

C-C chemokine receptor 2 (Ccr2) is a key pro-inflammatory marker of classic (M1) macrophage activation. Although Ccr2 is known to be expressed both constitutively and inductively, the full regulatory mechanism of its expression remains unclear. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is not only a master regulator of energy homeostasis but also a central regulator of inflammation. In this study, we sought to assess AMPK's role in regulating RAW264.7 macrophage Ccr2 protein levels in resting (M0) or LPS-induced M1 states. In both M0 and M1 RAW264.7 macrophages, knockdown of the AMPKα1 subunit by siRNA led to increased Ccr2 levels whereas pharmacologic (A769662) activation of AMPK, attenuated LPS-induced increases in Ccr2 expression in an AMPK dependent fashion. The increases in Ccr2 levels by AMPK downregulation were partially reversed by NF-κB inhibition whereas TNF-a inhibition had minimal effects. Our results indicate that AMPK is a negative regulator of Ccr2 expression in RAW264.7 macrophages, and that the mechanism of action of AMPK inhibition of Ccr2 is mediated, in part, through the NF-κB pathway.

Kundu J, Michaelson A, Talbot K, Baranov P, Young MJ, Carrier RL. Decellularized retinal matrix: natural platforms for human retinal progenitor cell culture. Acta Biomater 2015;Abstract

Tissue decellularization strategies have enabled engineering of scaffolds that preserve native extracellular matrix (ECM) structure and composition. In this study, we developed decellularized retina (decell-retina) thin films. We hypothesized that these films, mimicking the retina niche, would promote human retinal progenitor cell (hRPC) attachment, proliferation and differentiation. Retinas isolated from bovine eyes were decellularized using 1% w/v sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and pepsin digested. The resulting decell-retina was biochemically assayed for composition and cast dried to develop thin films. Attachment, viability, morphology, proliferation and gene expression of hRPC cultured on the films were studied in vitro. Biochemical analyses of decell-retina compared to native retina indicated the bulk of DNA (94%) was removed, while the majority of sulfated GAGs (55%), collagen (83%), hyaluronic acid (87%), and key growth factors were retained. The decell-retina films supported hRPC attachment and growth, with cell number increasing 1.5-fold over a week. RT-PCR analysis revealed hRPC expression of rhodopsin, rod outer membrane, neural retina-specific leucine zipper neural and cone-rod homeobox gene on decell-retina films, indicating photoreceptor development. In conclusion, novel decell-retina films show promise as potential substrates for culture and/or transplantation of retinal progenitor cells to treat retinal degenerative disorders.

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Laíns I, Bartosch C, Mondim V, Healy B, Kim I, Husain D, Miller JW. Second primary neoplasms in patients with uveal melanoma: a SEER database analysis. Am J Ophthalmol 2016;Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the risk of second primary neoplasms (SPNs) in subjects previously diagnosed with uveal melanoma (UM), including an analysis on whether radiotherapy is a risk factor to develop these SPNs. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) 9 database, we identified patients diagnosed with UM as their first malignancy between 1973 and 2011 (n= 3,976). We obtained standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and excess absolute risks of SPNs on patients with UM compared to a reference population. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to evaluate the effect of radiotherapy in SPNs risk. RESULTS: Sixteen percent (n= 641) of the patients developed SPNs during a median follow-up of 83 months (range: 1 - 463 months). This represented an 11% excess risk compared to the reference population, mainly due to a significantly increased risk of skin melanomas (SIR= 2.93, 95% CI: 2.23 - 3.78) and kidney tumors (SIR= 1.91, 95% CI: 1.27 - 2.76), primarily in those diagnosed between 30-59 years. The occurrence of second UM was also increased (SIR= 16.90, 95% CI: 9.00 - 28.90), which likely includes recurrences misclassified as a second cancer. Radiotherapy was performed in 39% (n= 1,538) of the patients. Multivariate analysis revealed that this treatment was not an independent risk factor for SPNs (Hazard Ratio= 1.06, 95% CI: 0.88 - 1.26, p= 0.54). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with UM presented an 11% higher risk of SPNs compared to the reference population. Radiotherapy does not seem to be a risk factor. SPNs should be considered in the surveillance of UM.

Lammer J, Prager SG, Cheney MC, Ahmed A, Radwan SH, Burns SA, Silva PS, Sun JK. Cone Photoreceptor Irregularity on Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy Correlates With Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(15):6624-6632.Abstract

Purpose: To determine whether cone density, spacing, or regularity in eyes with and without diabetes (DM) as assessed by high-resolution adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) correlates with presence of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, or presence of diabetic macular edema (DME). Methods: Participants with type 1 or 2 DM and healthy controls underwent AOSLO imaging of four macular regions. Cone assessment was performed by independent graders for cone density, packing factor (PF), nearest neighbor distance (NND), and Voronoi tile area (VTA). Regularity indices (mean/SD) of NND (RI-NND) and VTA (RI-VTA) were calculated. Results: Fifty-three eyes (53 subjects) were assessed. Mean ± SD age was 44 ± 12 years; 81% had DM (duration: 22 ± 13 years; glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c]: 8.0 ± 1.7%; DM type 1: 72%). No significant relationship was found between DM, HbA1c, or DR severity and cone density or spacing parameters. However, decreased regularity of cone arrangement in the macular quadrants was correlated with presence of DM (RI-NND: P = 0.04; RI-VTA: P = 0.04), increasing DR severity (RI-NND: P = 0.04), and presence of DME (RI-VTA: P = 0.04). Eyes with DME were associated with decreased density (P = 0.04), PF (P = 0.03), and RI-VTA (0.04). Conclusions: Although absolute cone density and spacing don't appear to change substantially in DM, decreased regularity of the cone arrangement is consistently associated with the presence of DM, increasing DR severity, and DME. Future AOSLO evaluation of cone regularity is warranted to determine whether these changes are correlated with, or predict, anatomic or functional deficits in patients with DM.

Lamont RE, Tan W-H, Innes MA, Parboosingh JS, Schneidman-Duhovny D, Rajkovic A, Pappas J, Altschwager P, DeWard S, Fulton A, Gray KJ, Krall M, Mehta L, Rodan LH, Saller DN, Steele D, Stein D, Yatsenko SA, Bernier FP, Slavotinek AM. Expansion of phenotype and genotypic data in CRB2-related syndrome. Eur J Hum Genet 2016;24(10):1436-44.Abstract

Sequence variants in CRB2 cause a syndrome with greatly elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein and amniotic fluid alpha-fetoprotein levels, cerebral ventriculomegaly and renal findings similar to Finnish congenital nephrosis. All reported patients have been homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for sequence variants in the Crumbs, Drosophila, Homolog of, 2 (CRB2) genes. Variants affecting CRB2 function have also been identified in four families with steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, but without any other known systemic findings. We ascertained five, previously unreported individuals with biallelic variants in CRB2 that were predicted to affect function. We compiled the clinical features of reported cases and reviewed available literature for cases with features suggestive of CRB2-related syndrome in order to better understand the phenotypic and genotypic manifestations. Phenotypic analyses showed that ventriculomegaly was a common clinical manifestation (9/11 confirmed cases), in contrast to the original reports, in which patients were ascertained due to renal disease. Two children had minor eye findings and one was diagnosed with a B-cell lymphoma. Further genetic analysis identified one family with two affected siblings who were both heterozygous for a variant in NPHS2 predicted to affect function and separate families with sequence variants in NPHS4 and BBS7 in addition to the CRB2 variants. Our report expands the clinical phenotype of CRB2-related syndrome and establishes ventriculomegaly and hydrocephalus as frequent manifestations. We found additional sequence variants in genes involved in kidney development and ciliopathies in patients with CRB2-related syndrome, suggesting that these variants may modify the phenotype.

Le H-G, Saeed H, Mantagos IS, Mitchell CM, Goverman J, Chodosh J. Burn unit care of Stevens Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis: A survey. Burns 2016;42(4):830-5.Abstract

Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) is a systemic disease that can be associated with debilitating acute and chronic complications across multiple organ systems. As patients with acute SJS/TEN are often treated in a burn intensive care unit (BICU), we surveyed burn centers across the United States to determine their approach to the care of these patients. The goal of our study was to identify best practices and possible variations in the care of patients with acute SJS/TEN. We demonstrate that the method of diagnosis, use of systemic therapies, and involvement of subspecialists varied significantly between burn centers. Beyond supportive care provided to every patient, our data highlights a lack of standardization in the acute care of patients with SJS/TEN. A comprehensive guideline for the care of patients with acute SJS/TEN is indicated.

Lee DJ, Preble J, Lee S, Foster SC, Taylor AW. MC5r and A2Ar Deficiencies During Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis Identifies Distinct T cell Polarization Programs and a Biphasic Regulatory Response. Sci Rep 2016;6:37790.Abstract

Autoantigen-specific regulatory immunity emerges in the spleen of mice recovering from experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU), a murine model for human autoimmune uveoretinitis. This regulatory immunity provides induced tolerance to ocular autoantigen, and requires melanocortin 5 receptor (MC5r) expression on antigen presenting cells with adenosine 2 A receptor (A2Ar) expression on T cells. During EAU it is not well understood what roles MC5r and A2Ar have on promoting regulatory immunity. Cytokine profile analysis during EAU revealed MC5r and A2Ar each mediate distinct T cell responses, and are responsible for a functional regulatory immune response in the spleen. A2Ar stimulation at EAU onset did not augment this regulatory response, nor bypass the MC5r requirement to induce regulatory immunity. The importance of this pathway in human autoimmune uveitis was assayed. PBMC from uveitis patients were assayed for MC5r expression on monocytes and A2Ar on T cells, and comparison between uveitis patients and healthy controls had no significant difference. The importance for MC5r and A2Ar expression in EAU to promote the induction of protective regulatory immunity, and the expression of MC5r and A2Ar on human immune cells, suggests that it may be possible to utilize the melanocortin-adenosinergic pathways to induce protective immunity in uveitic patients.

Lefebvre DR, Mandeville JT, Yonekawa Y, Arroyo JG, Torun N, Freitag SK. A Case Series and Review of Bisphosphonate-associated Orbital Inflammation. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2016;24(2):134-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the largest series of new cases to date of bisphosphate-associated orbital inflammation. METHODS: A retrospective case review of patients with orbital inflammation following treatment with systemic bisphosphonate. RESULTS: Six patients over an 18-month period (2 males, 4 females) with an average age of 62.2 years had onset of orbital inflammatory symptoms 1-11 days after intravenous bisphosphonate infusion or, in 1 case, 4 weeks after initiation of oral bisphosphonate therapy. Imaging revealed diffuse orbital involvement in 3 cases, isolated lateral rectus muscle involvement in 2 cases, and superior rectus-levator involvement in 1 case. Two patients' symptoms resolved spontaneously within 2 weeks, and 3 responded rapidly and completely to corticosteroid therapy. The 1 patient on oral bisphosphonate had a slower but complete response to corticosteroid treatment. CONCLUSION: Clinicians should be aware of the association between acute orbital inflammation and recent treatment with systemic bisphosphonate medication.
Li D, Taniguchi EV, Cai S, Paschalis EI, Wang H, Miller JB, Turalba AV, Greenstein SH, Brauner S, Pasquale LR, Shen LQ. Comparison of swept-source and enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in quantitative characterisation of the optic nerve head. Br J Ophthalmol 2016;Abstract

AIMS: To compare swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain OCT (EDI-OCT) in quantitative assessment of optic nerve head (ONH) parameters. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and age-matched control subjects underwent SS-OCT and EDI-OCT B-scans of the ONH in a single visit. Two masked readers independently measured the horizontal and vertical lamina cribrosa depth (LCDH and LCDV, respectively), as well as thinnest Bruch's membrane opening minimum rim width (BMO-MRW) from SS-OCT and EDI-OCT scans. We assessed agreement between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT measurements by linear regression models, Bland-Altman analysis and concordance correlation coefficients (CCC). Intrareader and inter-reader reproducibility was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). RESULTS: One eye from each of 40 patients with POAG and 20 controls were included. All three ONH measurements were higher on SS-OCT than on EDI-OCT, with significant differences in LCDH (mean difference=31.7 µm, p<0.01) and thinnest BMO-MRW (mean difference=20.5 µm, p<0.01). Linear regression models described the agreement between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT measurements with R(2)>0.8 for LCDH among both patients with POAG and controls and for thinnest BMO-MRW among patients with POAG. The CCC was >0.8 overall for each parameter. Intrareader and inter-reader ICCs were ≥0.989 and ≥0.964, respectively, for all parameters. CONCLUSIONS: LCDH, LCDV and thinnest BMO-MRW measurements are not interchangeable between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT, but show good intrareader and inter-reader reproducibility and interdevice agreement for quantitative characterisation of the ONH, particularly among patients with glaucoma.

Li E, Greenberg PB, Voruganti I, Krzystolik MG. Cost and Selection of Ophthalmic Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Agents. R I Med J (2013) 2016;99(5):15-7.Abstract

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs - ranibizumab, aflibercept, and off-label bevacizumab - are vital to the treatment of common retinal diseases, including exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and macular edema (ME) associated with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Given the high prevalence of AMD and retinal vascular diseases, anti-VEGF agents represent a large cost burden to the United States (US) healthcare system. Although ranibizumab and aflibercept are 30-fold more expensive per injection than bevacizumab, the two more costly medications are commonly used in the US, even though all three have been shown to be effective and safe for treatment of these retinal diseases. We investigated the availability and content of professional ophthalmic guidelines on cost consideration in the selection of anti-VEGF agents. We found that current professional guidelines were limited in availability and lacked specific guidance on cost-based anti-VEGF drug selection. This represents a missed opportunity to encourage the practice of value-based medicine. [Full article available at http://rimed.org/rimedicaljournal-2016-05.asp, free with no login].

Liegl R, Löfqvist C, Hellström A, Smith LEH. IGF-1 in retinopathy of prematurity, a CNS neurovascular disease. Early Hum Dev 2016;102:13-19.Abstract

The retina is part of the central nervous system and both the retina as well as the brain can suffer from severe damage after very preterm birth. Retinopathy of prematurity is one of the major causes of blindness in these children and brain neuronal impairments including cognitive defects, cerebral palsy and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) are also complications of very preterm birth. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) acts to promote proliferation, maturation, growth and survival of neural cells. Low levels of circulating IGF-1 are associated with ROP and defects in the IGF-1 gene are associated with CNS disorders including learning deficits and brain growth restriction. Treatment of preterm infants with recombinant IGF-1 may potentially prevent ROP and CNS disorders. This review compares the role of IGF-1 in ROP and CNS disorders. A recent phase 2 study showed a positive effect of IGF-1 on the severity of IVH but no effect on ROP. A phase 3 trial is planned.

Lienert JP, Tarko L, Uchino M, Christen WG, Schaumberg DA. Long-term Natural History of Dry Eye Disease from the Patient's Perspective. Ophthalmology 2016;123(2):425-33.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the natural history of dry eye disease (DED), which chronically affects millions of people in the United States. DESIGN: This study is based on the Women's Health Study and Physicians' Health Studies, and uses questionnaires and medical records. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 398 men and 386 women who reported a diagnosis of DED and responded to a questionnaire about change in disease since diagnosis. METHODS: Three subscales were developed using factor analysis of questionnaire responses: ocular surface symptoms, vision-related symptoms, and social impact. We examined correlates of worsening on each subscale, obtained medical records from a subset of 261 study participants, and examined changes in clinical signs of DED over time. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Worsening in ocular surface symptoms, vision-related symptoms, and social impact plus clinical signs. RESULTS: The average duration of DED of 10.5 years (standard deviation, 9.5 years). Worsening was reported by 24% for ocular surface symptoms, 29% for vision-related symptoms, and 10% for social impact. Factors associated with worsening on at least 2 of 3 subscales included a previous report of severe DED symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 2.17 for ocular surface symptoms; OR, 2.35 for vision-related symptoms), spending >$20 per month on DED treatments (OR, 1.80 for ocular surface symptoms; OR, 1.99 for vision-related symptoms), history of blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) (OR, 1.57 for vision-related symptoms; OR, 2.12 for social impact), and use of systemic beta-blockers (OR, 1.62 for ocular surface symptoms; OR, 1.84 for vision-related symptoms; OR, 1.86 for the social impact of DED). Presence of corneal staining based on review of medical records was associated with use of level 2 or higher DED treatments (OR, 1.54; confidence interval [CI], 1.01-2.36), a previous report of severe DED symptoms (OR, 1.79; CI, 1.07-3.00), having a tear break-up test performed (OR, 2.73; CI, 1.72-4.36), and having blepharitis or MGD (OR, 0.59; CI, 0.35-0.98). CONCLUSIONS: A proportion of patients with DED experience worsening over time, tending to report with more severe symptoms earlier in the disease. Forthcoming data on the natural history of DED from prospective studies should help clarify some of the limitations of this retrospective study.

Liu C-H, Wang Z, Sun Y, SanGiovanni JP, Chen J. Retinal expression of small non-coding RNAs in a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. Sci Rep 2016;6:33947.Abstract

Ocular neovascularization is a leading cause of blindness in proliferative retinopathy. Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) play critical roles in both vascular and neuronal development of the retina through post-transcriptional regulation of target gene expression. To identify the function and therapeutic potential of sncRNAs in retinopathy, we assessed the expression profile of retinal sncRNAs in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) with pathologic proliferation of neovessels. Approximately 2% of all analyzed sncRNAs were significantly altered in OIR retinas compared with normoxic controls. Twenty three microRNAs with substantial up- or down-regulation were identified, including miR-351, -762, -210, 145, -155, -129-5p, -150, -203, and -375, which were further analyzed for their potential target genes in angiogenic, hypoxic, and immune response-related pathways. In addition, nineteen small nucleolar RNAs also revealed differential expression in OIR retinas compared with control retinas. A decrease of overall microRNA expression in OIR retinas was consistent with reduced microRNA processing enzyme Dicer, and increased expression of Alu element in OIR. Together, our findings elucidated a group of differentially expressed sncRNAs in a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. These sncRNAs may exert critical post-transcriptional regulatory roles in regulating pathological neovascularization in eye diseases.

Liu C, Vojnovic D, Kochevar IE, Jurkunas UV. UV-A Irradiation Activates Nrf2-Regulated Antioxidant Defense and Induces p53/Caspase3-Dependent Apoptosis in Corneal Endothelial Cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(4):2319-27.Abstract

PURPOSE: To examine whether Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense and p53 are activated in human corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) by environmental levels of ultraviolet A (UV-A), a known stimulator of oxidative stress. METHODS: Immortalized human CEnCs (HCEnCi) were exposed to UV-A fluences of 2.5, 5, 10, or 25 J/cm2, then allowed to recover for 3 to 24 hours. Control HCEnCi did not receive UV-A. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using H2DCFDA. Cell cytotoxicity was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Levels of Nrf2, HO-1, NQO-1, p53, and caspase3 were detected by immunnoblotting or real-time PCR. Activated caspase3 was measured by immunoblotting and a fluorescence assay. RESULTS: Exposure of HCEnCi to 5, 10, and 25 J/cm2 UV-A increased ROS levels compared with controls. Nrf2, HO-1, and NQO-1 mRNA increased 1.7- to 3.2-fold at 3 and 6 hours after irradiation with 2.5 and 5 J/cm2 UV-A. At 6 hours post irradiation, UV-A (5 J/cm2) enhanced nuclear Nrf2 translocation. At 24 hours post treatment, UV-A (5, 10, and 25 J/cm2) produced a 1.8- to 2.8-fold increase in phospho-p53 and a 2.6- to 6.0-fold increase in activated caspase3 compared with controls, resulting in 20% to 42% cell death. CONCLUSIONS: Lower fluences of UV-A induce Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense and higher fluences activate p53 and caspase3, indicating that even near-environmental levels of UV-A may affect normal CEnCs. This data suggest that UV-A may especially damage cells deficient in antioxidant defense, and thus may be involved in the etiology of Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD).

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