Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) plays a key role in VEGF-induced angiogenesis. The goal of this project was to test the hypothesis that editing genomic VEGFR2 loci using the technology of clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated DNA endonuclease (Cas)9 in Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) was able to block VEGF-induced activation of Akt and tube formation. Methods: Four 20 nucleotides for synthesizing single-guide RNAs based on human genomic VEGFR2 exon 3 loci were selected and cloned into a lentiCRISPR v2 vector, respectively. The DNA fragments from the genomic VEGFR2 exon 3 of transduced primary human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRECs) were analyzed by Sanger DNA sequencing, surveyor nuclease assay, and next-generation sequencing (NGS). In the transduced cells, expression of VEGFR2 and VEGF-stimulated signaling events (e.g., Akt phosphorylation) were determined by Western blot analyses; VEGF-induced cellular responses (proliferation, migration, and tube formation) were examined. Results: In the VEGFR2-sgRNA/SpCas9-transduced HRECs, Sanger DNA sequencing indicated that there were mutations, and NGS demonstrated that there were 83.57% insertion and deletions in the genomic VEGFR2 locus; expression of VEGFR2 was depleted in the VEGFR2-sgRNA/SpCas9-transduced HRECs. In addition, there were lower levels of Akt phosphorylation in HRECs with VEGFR2-sgRNA/SpCas9 than those with LacZ-sgRNA/SpCas9, and there was less VEGF-stimulated Akt activation, proliferation, migration, or tube formation in the VEGFR2-depleted HRECs than those treated with aflibercept or ranibizumab. Conclusions: The CRISPR-SpCas9 technology is a potential novel approach to prevention of pathologic angiogenesis.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with an estimated prevalence of one in 4,000 that is classically characterized by the progressive constriction of peripheral vision and a later deterioration of visual acuity. Central vision can be compromised earlier in disease, however, in the approximately 25% of patients that have cystoid macular edema. This poorly understood problem can thus significantly impair patient quality of life, particularly as available treatments have limited efficacy. We will review clinical features of retinitis pigmentosa-associated cystoid macular edema, potential causative mechanisms, and finally, evidence supporting currently employed therapies with emphasis upon which management strategies require further evidence-based evaluation.
Dysthyroid optic neuropathy (DON) is the commonest cause of blindness in thyroid associated orbitopathy (TAO). While diagnosis remains clinical, objective tests for eyes with early or equivocal findings are lacking. Various electrophysiological studies (EPS) have been reported, yet the types and parameters useful for DON remain inconclusive. We performed a systematic literature search in MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane databases via the OVID platform up to August 20, 2017. 437 records were identified for screening and 16 original studies (1327 eyes, 787 patients) were eligible for review. Pattern visual evoked potential (pVEP) was the most frequently studied EPS. Eyes of TAO patients with DON showed delayed P100 latencies, decreased P100 amplitudes or delayed N75 latencies during pVEP, compared to those without or healthy controls. Due to study heterogeneity, no quantitative analysis was possible. This review highlights the most common type (pVEP) and useful parameters (P100 latency and amplitude) of EPS, and supports further research on them using standardized testing conditions.
Identifying genes required by pathogens during infection is critical for antimicrobial development. Here, we use a Monte Carlo simulation-based method to analyse high-throughput transposon sequencing data to determine the role of infection site and co-infecting microorganisms on the in vivo 'essential' genome of Staphylococcus aureus. We discovered that co-infection of murine surgical wounds with Pseudomonas aeruginosa results in conversion of ∼25% of the in vivo S. aureus mono-culture essential genes to non-essential. Furthermore, 182 S. aureus genes are uniquely essential during co-infection. These 'community dependent essential' (CoDE) genes illustrate the importance of studying pathogen gene essentiality in polymicrobial communities.
PURPOSE: Advances in surgical techniques allow implantation of intraocular lenses (IOL) with cataract extraction, even in young children. However, there are several challenges unique to the pediatric population that result in greater degrees of postoperative refractive error compared to adults. METHODS: Literature review of the techniques and outcomes of pediatric cataract surgery with IOL implantation. RESULTS: Pediatric cataract surgery is associated with several sources of postoperative refractive error. These include planned refractive error based on age or fellow eye status, loss of accommodation, and unexpected refractive errors due to inaccuracies in biometry technique, use of IOL power formulas based on adult normative values, and late refractive changes due to unpredictable eye growth. CONCLUSIONS: Several factors can preclude the achievement of optimal refractive status following pediatric cataract extraction with IOL implantation. There is a need for new technology to reduce postoperative refractive surprises and address refractive adjustment in a growing eye.
PURPOSE: To delineate and compare the kinetics of corneal angiogenesis after high-risk (HR) versus low-risk (LR) corneal transplantation. METHODS: In mice, intrastromal sutures were placed in the recipient graft bed 2 weeks before allogeneic transplantation to induce angiogenesis and amplify the risk of graft rejection. Control (LR) graft recipients did not undergo suture placement, and thus the host bed remained avascular at the time of transplantation. Graft hemangiogenesis and opacity scores were evaluated for 8 weeks by slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Immunohistochemistry was used to measure CD31 (blood vessels) and LYVE-1 (lymphatic vessels) cells. RESULTS: Biphasic kinetics were observed for hemangiogenesis in both HR and LR transplant recipients using clinical and immunohistochemical assessments. The biphasic kinetics were composed of a rise-fall (phase 1) followed by a second rise (phase 2) in the degree of vessels. Compared with LR recipients, HR recipients showed higher hemangiogenesis (whole cornea and graft) throughout 8 weeks. Analyzing grafts revealed sustained presence of lymphatic vessels in HR recipients; however, lymphatic neovessels regressed in LR recipients 2 weeks posttransplantation. In contrast to HR host beds, the LR host bed microenvironment cannot sustain the growth of lymphatic neovessels in allografts, whereas it can sustain continued hemangiogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: The sustained presence of lymphatic vessels in HR host beds can facilitate host immunity against allografts and is likely associated with ongoing higher risk of rejection of these grafts in the long term, suggesting that therapeutic interventions targeting inflammation and lymphatic vessels need to be sustained long term in the HR corneal transplant setting.
Corneal thickness is tightly regulated by its boundary endothelial and epithelial layers. The regulated set-point of corneal thickness likely shows inter-individual variations, changes by age, and response to stress. Using anterior segment-optical coherence tomography, we measure murine central corneal thickness and report on body size scaling of murine central corneal thickness during aging. For aged-matched mice, we find that corneal thickness depends on sex and strain. To shed mechanistic insights into these anatomical changes, we measure epithelial layer integrity and endothelial cell density during the life span of the mice using corneal fluorescein staining and in vivo confocal microscopy, respectively and compare their trends with that of the corneal thickness. Cornea thickness increases initially (1 month: 114.7 ± 3.0 μm, 6 months: 126.3 ± 1.6 μm), reaches a maximum (9 months: 129.3 ± 4.4 μm) and then reduces (12 months: 127 ± 2.9 μm, 13 months: 119.5 ± 7.6 μm, 14 months: 110.6 ± 10.6 μm), while the body size (weight) increases with age. We find that endothelial cell density reduces from 2 months old to 8 months old as the mice age and epithelial layer accumulates damages within this time frame. Finally, we compare murine corneal thickness with those of several other mammals including humans and show that corneal thickness has an allometric scaling with body size. Our results have relevance for organ size regulation, translational pharmacology, and veterinary medicine.
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of positive donor tissue cultures before transfer to preservation medium (Optisol™-GS) for penetrating keratoplasty, to verify the efficacy of antibiotics contained in Optisol™-GS by examining the drug susceptibility and to assess the relationship between the results of our microbial assessments as well as donor factors and the incidence of contamination. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study using Juntendo Eye Bank records for all corneal transplantations. Two hundred donor conjunctiva harvestings and storage medium (EP-II(®)) cultures were performed between July 2008 and June 2011. We analyzed the associations between donor factors (age, gender, history of cataract surgery, death-to-preservation interval, cause of death) and contamination rates using multivariate analysis by the generalized estimating equation model. RESULTS: We obtained positive bacterial cultures from 154 of the 200 eyes (77.0%). The isolated bacteria were indigenous, such as coagulase-negative Staphylococci, Corynebacterium sp., and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). There was significant resistance to levofloxacin (18 eyes, 9.0%) and gentamicin (12 eyes, 6.0%), and no vancomycin-resistant bacteria were detected. The donor factors did not correlate with the prevalence of bacterial contamination in our criteria. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-banking microbial assessment allows for microbial detection, bacterial susceptibility and resistance testing. This is useful for developing preservation mediums containing effective spectrum antibiotic agents for high quality control of corneal banking.
Transplantation of cultured oral mucosal epithelial cells (OMECs) is a promising treatment strategy for limbal stem cell deficiency. In order to improve the culture method, we investigated the effects of four culture media and tissue harvesting sites on explant attachment, growth, and phenotype of OMECs cultured from Sprague-Dawley rats. Neither choice of media or harvesting site impacted the ability of the explants to attach to the culture well. Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/Ham's F12 (DMEM) and Roswell Park Memorial Institute 1640 medium (RPMI) supported the largest cellular outgrowth. Fold outgrowth was superior from LL explants compared to explants from the buccal mucosa (BM), HP, and transition zone of the lower lip (TZ) after six-day culture. Putative stem cell markers were detected in cultures grown in DMEM and RPMI. In DMEM, cells from TZ showed higher colony-forming efficiency than LL, BM, and HP. In contrast to RPMI, DMEM both expressed the putative stem cell marker Bmi-1 and yielded cell colonies. Our data suggest that OMECs from LL and TZ cultured in DMEM give rise to undifferentiated cells with high growth capacity, and hence are the most promising for treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency.
The mouse is one of the most commonly used mammalian systems to study human diseases. In particular it has been an invaluable tool to model a multitude of ocular pathologies affecting the posterior pole. The aim of this study was to create a comprehensive map of the ultrastructure of the mouse posterior pole using the quick-freeze/deep-etch method (QFDE). QFDE can produce detailed three-dimensional images of tissue structure and macromolecular moieties, without many of the artifacts introduced by structure-altering post-processing methods necessary to perform conventional transmission electron microscopy (cTEM). A total of 18 eyes from aged C57BL6/J mice were enucleated and the posterior poles were processed, either intact or with the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell layer removed, for imaging by either QFDE or cTEM. QFDE images were correlated with cTEM cross-sections and en face images through the outer retina. Nicely preserved outer retinal architecture was observed with both methods, however, QFDE provided excellent high magnification imaging, with greater detail, of the apical, central, and basal planes of the RPE. Furthermore, key landmarks within Bruch's membrane, choriocapillaris, choroid and sclera were characterized and identified. In this study we developed methods for preparing the outer retina of the mouse for evaluation with QFDE and provide a map of the ultrastructure and cellular composition of the outer posterior pole. This technique should be applicable for morphological evaluation of mouse models, in which detailed visualization of subtle ocular structural changes is needed or in cases where post-processing methods introduce unacceptable artifacts.
Cultured epidermal cell sheets (CES) containing undifferentiated cells are useful for treating skin burns and have potential for regenerative treatment of other types of epithelial injuries. The undifferentiated phenotype is therefore important for success in both applications. This study aimed to optimize a method for one-week storage of CES for their widespread distribution and use in regenerative medicine. The effect of storage temperatures 4 °C, 8 °C, 12 °C, 16 °C, and 24 °C on CES was evaluated. Analyses included assessment of viability, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), membrane damage, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity, morphology, phenotype and cytokine secretion into storage buffer. Lowest cell viability was seen at 4 °C. Compared to non-stored cells, ABCG2 expression increased between temperatures 8-16 °C. At 24 °C, reduced ABCG2 expression coincided with increased mitochondrial ROS, as well as increased differentiation, cell death and mtDNA damage. P63, C/EBPδ, CK10 and involucrin fluorescence combined with morphology observations supported retention of undifferentiated cell phenotype at 12 °C, transition to differentiation at 16 °C, and increased differentiation at 24 °C. Several cytokines relevant to healing were upregulated during storage. Importantly, cells stored at 12 °C showed similar viability and undifferentiated phenotype as the non-stored control suggesting that this temperature may be ideal for storage of CES.
Dermatofibromas are most frequently encountered in women on the lower extremities, often after minor trauma. A recurrent lesion of the right lower eyelid developed in a 64-year-old woman. It harbored "monster cells" that were large, with either multiple nuclei or a single, large, convoluted, and hyperchromatic nucleus. The presence of these cells does not signify a malignant transformation. The background cells were either histiocytoid (many were adipophilin positive), spindled cells, or dendritiform cells without mitoses. Factor XIIIa, CD68, and CD163 immunostaining was positive, and a subpopulation of CD1a(+) Langerhans cells was intermixed. Facial and eyelid dermatofibromas are more likely to recur and deserve wider, tumor-free surgical margins. Their microscopic differential diagnosis includes a cellular scar, peripheral nerve tumor, atypical fibrous xanthoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
A 25-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes mellitus experienced rapid visual decline and was scheduled for right cataract surgery. At the time of administering an inferotemporal retrobulbar block, a white discharge appeared spontaneously on the surface of the globe. Superotemporally a cyst was found and its contents were subtotally evacuated. Microscopically, eosinophilic, acellular material with chatter artifact and small vacuoles was detected and initially thought to represent a lens choristoma. This material stained moderately with the periodic acid Schiff method and was focally Congo red positive without apple green birefringence; it also stained blue with the Masson trichrome method. Acid-fast staining disclosed the presence of rare vellous hairs. Adherent cells were not epidermal cells (CK5/6) but conjunctival epithelial cells (CK7); CD68-positive histiocytes were also identified. The lesion was diagnosed as a disrupted orbital dermoid cyst of conjunctival origin.
A 66-year-old man developed a painless 2 mm to 3 mm recurrent nodule at the left upper eyelid margin. Excision disclosed a spindle cell lesion without frank atypia or mitotic activity growing in a twisted fascicular pattern often referred to as storiform. All the surgical margins were involved with tumor. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that many of the constituent spindle and dendritic tumor cells were CD34, factor XIIIa, and CD 163, the latter 2 being biomarkers for monocytic lineage. The lesion was diagnosed as a dermatofibroma rather than a fibrous histiocytoma, a term that should be reserved for more aggressive lesions of deeper fascial planes. Facial dermatofibromas are rarer and more likely than those of the extremities to recur and therefore deserve wider local excision at first surgery with careful and frequent clinical follow ups. Eyelid dermatofibroma has probably often been misdiagnosed as another tumor in the past. Immunohistochemistry can supply valuable biomarker criteria for diagnosis.
A 55-year-old woman had a right orbital cyst detected incidentally on radiographic imaging. The patient's symptoms were mild and included intermittent pain and vertical diplopia; the patient was not aware of any visual decline. There was a palpable mass beneath the superior orbital rim. Radiographic imaging revealed a well-demarcated cystic lesion in the right superior orbit between the levator palpebrae superioris and superior rectus muscles. The mass was completely excised via a transconjunctival approach. Histopathologic evaluation disclosed a conjunctival cyst lined by nonkeratinized squamous epithelium with scattered, rare goblet cells. This case combined with 5 other similar reported cases suggests that an intermuscular cyst located in the superior rectus-levator complex is most likely of congenital embryonic conjunctival origin.
Most bony and cartilaginous lesions of the orbit and periorbital compartments are benign, grow endophytically, and are composed of dense lamellar bone (eburnated or ivory osteomas). An 87-year-old woman had a well-circumscribed, firm, round, and exophytic lesion of the brow region for at least 15 years. Excisional surgery disclosed an osteocartilaginous lesion with an enveloping pseudocapsule (periosteum/perichondrium) and a narrow stalk connecting it to the frontal bone. The periphery of the lesion displayed lamellar bone which appeared to be replacing a central cartilaginous zone. The adjacent deep preaponeurotic fat displayed nodules of collagen with myxoid change and occasional CD34 spindle cells suggestive of a spindle cell lipoma. Because of the osteochondroma's deep location in the preaponeurotic fat, the lesion differs from an osteoma cutis found in the dermis which fails to exhibit a cartilaginous component or a periosteum. Other clinically simulating lesions are described.