Whole-brain networks derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data require the identification of seed and target regions of interest (ROIs) to assess connectivity patterns. This study investigated how initiating tracts from gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) seed ROIs impacts (1) structural networks constructed from DTI data from healthy elderly (control) and individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and (2) between-group comparisons using these networks. DTI datasets were obtained from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. Deterministic tractography was used to build two whole-brain networks for each subject; one in which tracts were initiated from WM ROIs and another in which they were initiated from GM ROIs. With respect to the first goal, in both groups, WM-seeded networks had approximately 400 more connections and stronger connections (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) than GM-seeded networks, but shared 94% of the connections found in the GM-seed networks. With respect to the second goal, between-group comparisons revealed a stronger subnetwork (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) in controls compared to AD using both WM-seeded and GM-seeded networks. The comparison using WM-seeded networks produced a larger (i.e., a greater number of connections) and more significant subnetwork in controls versus AD. Global, local, and nodal efficiency were greater in controls compared to AD, and between-group comparisons of these measures using WM-seeded networks had larger effect sizes than those using GM-seeded networks. These findings affirm that seed location significantly affects the ability to detect between-group differences in structural networks.
PURPOSE: Investigators have discovered that topical antiglaucoma drugs may induce meibomian gland dysfunction. This response may contribute to the dry eye disease commonly found in patients with glaucoma taking such medications. We hypothesize that drug action involves a direct effect on human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). To test this hypothesis, we examined the influence of the antiglaucoma drugs, pilocarpine and timolol, on the morphology, survival, proliferation, and differentiation of HMGECs. METHODS: Immortalized (I) HMGECs (n = 2-3 wells/treatment/experiment) were cultured with multiple concentrations of pilocarpine or timolol for up to 7 days. Experiments included positive controls for proliferation (epidermal growth factor and bovine pituitary extract) and differentiation (azithromycin). Cells were enumerated using a hemocytometer and evaluated for morphology, neutral lipid staining, and lysosome accumulation. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that pilocarpine and timolol cause a dose-dependent decrease in the survival of IHMGECs. The clinically used concentrations are toxic and lead to cell atrophy, poor adherence, or death. By contrast, drug levels that are known to accumulate within the conjunctiva, adjacent to the meibomian glands, do not influence IHMGEC survival. These latter concentrations also have no effect on IHMGEC proliferation or differentiation, and they do not interfere with the ability of azithromycin to stimulate cellular neutral lipid and lysosome accumulation. This dose of pilocarpine, though, did suppress the epidermal growth factor+bovine pituitary extract-induced proliferation of IHMGECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support our hypothesis and demonstrate that these antiglaucoma drugs, pilocarpine and timolol, have direct effects on HMGECs that may influence their morphology, survival, and proliferative capacity.
Human adenovirus type 14 (HAdV-B14p) was originally identified as an acute respiratory disease (ARD) pathogen in The Netherlands in 1955. For approximately fifty years, few sporadic infections were observed. In 2005, HAdV-B14p1, a genomic variant, re-emerged and was associated with several large ARD outbreaks across the U.S. and, subsequently, in Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and China. This strain was associated with an unusually higher fatality rate than previously reported for both this prototype and other HAdV types in general. In China, HAdV-B14 was first observed in 2010, when two unrelated HAdV-B14-associated ARD cases were reported in Southern China (GZ01) and Northern China (BJ430), followed by three subsequent outbreaks. While comparative genomic analysis, including indel analysis, shows that the three China isolates, with whole genome data available, are similar to the de Wit prototype, all are divergent from the U.S. strain (303600; 2007). Although the genomes of strains GZ01 and BJ430 are nearly identical, as per their genome type characterization and percent identities, they are subtly divergent in their genome mutation patterns. These genomes indicate possibly two lineages of HAdV-B14 and independent introductions into China from abroad, or subsequent divergence from one; CHN2012 likely represents a separate sub-lineage. Observations of these simultaneously reported emergent strains in China add to the understanding of the circulation, epidemiology, and evolution of these HAdV pathogens, as well as provide a foundation for developing effective vaccines and public health strategies, including nationwide surveillance in anticipation of larger outbreaks with potentially higher fatality rates associated with HAdV-B14p1.
Superior oblique myokymia (SOM) is a rare condition of unclear etiology. We discuss the history, etiology, clinical features, differential diagnoses, management and prognosis of SOM. We conducted a meta-analysis of all 116 cases published since SOM was first described in 1906. The age at examination was 17-72 years (mean 42 years.) There was a right-sided preponderance in 61% of cases (P < 0.02) that was statistically significant in females (63%, P < 0.04) but not in males (59%, P = 0.18). The pathophysiology of SOM may be neurovascular compression and/or ephaptic transmission. Although various pharmacological and surgical approaches to SOM treatment have been proposed, the rarity of the condition has made it impossible to conduct clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of these approaches. Recently, topical beta-blockers have managed SOM symptoms in a number of cases, including the first case treated with levobunolol. Systemic medications, strabismus surgery, and neurosurgery have been used to control symptoms, with strabismus surgery carrying a moderate risk of post-operative diplopia in down-gaze. While there is no established treatment for SOM, we encourage clinicians to attempt topical levobunolol therapy before considering systemic therapy or surgery.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual loss among older adults. Two variants in the complement factor H (CFH) gene, Y402H and I62V, are strongly associated with risk of AMD. CFH is encoded in regulator of complement activation gene cluster in chromosome 1q32, which includes complement factor related (CFHR) proteins, CFHR1 to CFHR5, with high amino acid sequence homology to CFH. Our goal was to build a SRM assay to measure plasma concentrations of CFH variants Y402, H402, I62, and V62, and CFHR1-5. The final assay consisted of 24 peptides and 72 interference-free SRM transition ion pairs. Most peptides showed good linearity over 0.3-200 fmol/μL concentration range. Plasma concentrations of CFH variants and CFHR1-5 were measured using the SRM assay in 344 adults. Plasma CFH concentrations (mean, SE in μg/mL) by inferred genotype were: YY402, II62 (170.1, 31.4), YY402, VV62 (188.8, 38.5), HH402, VV62 (144.0, 37.0), HY402, VV62 (164.2, 42.3), YY402, IV62 (194.8, 36.8), HY402, IV62 (181.3, 44.7). Mean (SE) plasma concentrations of CFHR1-5 were 1.63 (0.04), 3.64 (1.20), 0.020 (0.001), 2.42 (0.18), and 5.49 (1.55) μg/mL, respectively. This SRM assay should facilitate the study of the role of systemic complement and risk of AMD.
Posner-Schlossman syndrome (PSS) shares some clinical features with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. Cytokines and autoantibodies have been associated with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. However, the role of serum cytokines and autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of PSS remains unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the associations of type 1 T helper (Th1) and Th17 related cytokines and autoantibodies with PSS. Peripheral blood serum samples were collected from 81 patients with PSS and 97 gender- and age-matched healthy blood donors. Th1 and Th17 related cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon- γ (IFN-γ), IL-6 and IL-17, and glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) were determined by double antibody sandwich ELISA. Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-keratin antibody (AKA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) were detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Anti-cardiolipin antibody (ACA)-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) were detected by indirect ELISA. Serum levels of IL-1β, IL-12 and IL-6 in PSS patients were significantly lower than those in controls (P < 0.003), and these associations survived the Bonferroni correction (Pc < 0.018). There was no significant difference in serum levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17 between the PSS and control groups (Pc > 0.12). Positive rate of serum anti-dsDNA in PSS patients was significantly higher than that in the control group (P = 0.002, Pc = 0.018), while positive rates of serum ANA, AKA, ANCA, ACA-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, GPI and anti-CCP in the PSS group were not significantly different from those in the control group (Pc > 0.09). These results suggest that anti-dsDNA may contribute to the pathogenesis of PSS, while Th1 and Th17 related cytokines and other autoantibodies may not be major contributors to PSS.
Purpose: To discover novel therapies that lower IOP by increasing aqueous humor outflow facility, ex vivo ocular perfusion systems provide a valuable tool. However, currently available designs are limited by their throughput. Here we report the development of a compact, scalable perfusion system with improved throughput and its validation using bovine and porcine eyes. Methods: At a fixed IOP of 6 mm Hg, flow rate was measured by flow sensors. We validated the system by measuring the outflow responses to Y-39983 (a Rho kinase inhibitor), endothelin-1 (ET-1), ambrisentan (an antagonist for endothelin receptor A [ETA]), sphigosine-1-phosphate (S1P), JTE-013 (antagonist for S1P receptor 2 [S1P2]), S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP, a nitric oxide [NO] donor), and 3-Morpholino-sydnonimine (SIN-1, another NO donor). Results: The instrument design enabled simultaneous measurements of 20 eyes with a footprint of 1 m2. Relative to vehicle control, Y-39983 increased outflow by up to 31% in calf eyes. On the contrary, ET-1 decreased outflow by up to 79%, a response that could be blocked by pretreatment with ambrisentan, indicating a role for ETA receptors. Interestingly, the effect of ET-1 was also inhibited by up to 70% to 80% by pretreatment with NO donors, SNAP and SIN-1. In addition to testing in calf eyes, similar effects of ET-1 and ambrisentan were observed in adult bovine and porcine eyes. Conclusions: The compact eye perfusion platform provides an opportunity to efficiently identify compounds that influence outflow facility and may lead to the discovery of new glaucoma therapies.
Purpose: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is upregulated in eyes following corneal alkali injury and contributes to corneal and also retinal damage. Prompt TNF-α inhibition by systemic infliximab ameliorates retinal damage and improves corneal wound healing. However, systemic administration of TNF-α inhibitors carries risk of significant complications, whereas topical eye-drop delivery is hindered by poor ocular bioavailability and the need for patient adherence. This study investigates the efficacy of subconjunctival delivery of TNF-α antibodies using a polymer-based drug delivery system (DDS). Methods: The drug delivery system was prepared using porous polydimethylsiloxane/polyvinyl alcohol composite fabrication and loaded with 85 μg of infliximab. Six Dutch-belted pigmented rabbits received ocular alkali burn with NaOH. Immediately after the burn, subconjunctival implantation of anti-TNF-α DDS was performed in three rabbits while another three received sham DDS (without antibody). Rabbits were followed with photography for 3 months. Results: After 3 months, the device was found to be well tolerated by the host and the eyes exhibited less corneal damage as compared to eyes implanted with a sham DDS without drug. The low dose treatment suppressed CD45 and TNF-α expression in the burned cornea and inhibited retinal ganglion cell apoptosis and optic nerve degeneration, as compared to the sham DDS treated eyes. Immunolocalization revealed drug penetration in the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and choroid, with residual infliximab in the DDS 3 months after implantation. Conclusions: This reduced-risk biologic DDS improves corneal wound healing and provides retinal neuroprotection, and may be applicable not only to alkali burns but also to other inflammatory surgical procedures such as penetrating keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis implantation.
Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are critical to the early detection and innate immune responses to pathogens. In particular, the toll-like receptor (TLR) system and its associated adaptor proteins have essential roles in early host responses to infection. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, caused by the human adenovirus, is a severe ocular surface infection associated with corneal inflammation (stromal keratitis). We previously showed that adenovirus capsid was a key molecular pattern in adenovirus keratitis, with viral DNA having a lesser role. We have now investigated the role of the adaptor molecule MyD88 in a mouse model of adenovirus keratitis in which there is no viral replication. In MyD88(-/-) mice infected with human adenovirus type 37, clinical keratitis was markedly reduced, along with infiltration of CD45(+) cells, and expression of inflammatory cytokines. Reduction of inflammatory cytokines was also observed in infected primary human corneal fibroblasts pretreated with a MyD88 inhibitory peptide. Keratitis similar to wild type mice was observed in TLR2, TLR9 and IL-1R knockout mice, but was reduced in TLR2/9 double knockout mice, consistent with synergy of TLR2 and TLR9 in the response to adenovirus infection. MyD88 co-immunoprecipitated with Src kinase in mice corneas and in human corneal fibroblasts infected with adenovirus, and MyD88 inhibitory peptide reduced Src phosphorylation, linking MyD88 activation to inflammatory gene expression through a signaling cascade previously shown to be directed by Src. Our findings reveal a critical role for the PRRs TLR2 and 9, and their adaptor protein MyD88, in corneal inflammation upon adenovirus infection.