Fibulin-3 (F3) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein found in basement membranes across the body. An autosomal dominant R345W mutation in F3 causes a macular dystrophy resembling dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereas genetic removal of wild-type (WT) F3 protects mice from sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposit formation. These observations suggest that F3 is a protein which can regulate pathogenic sub-RPE deposit formation in the eye. Yet the precise role of WT F3 within the eye is still largely unknown. We found that F3 is expressed throughout the mouse eye (cornea, trabecular meshwork (TM) ring, neural retina, RPE/choroid, and optic nerve). We next performed a thorough structural and functional characterization of each of these tissues in WT and homozygous (F3) knockout mice. The corneal stroma in F3 mice progressively thins beginning at 2 months, and the development of corneal opacity and vascularization starts at 9 months, which worsens with age. However, in all other tissues (TM, neural retina, RPE, and optic nerve), gross structural anatomy and functionality were similar across WT and F3 mice when evaluated using SD-OCT, histological analyses, electron microscopy, scotopic electroretinogram, optokinetic response, and axonal anterograde transport. The lack of noticeable retinal abnormalities in F3 mice was confirmed in a human patient with biallelic loss-of-function mutations in F3. These data suggest that (i) F3 is important for maintaining the structural integrity of the cornea, (ii) absence of F3 does not affect the structure or function of any other ocular tissue in which it is expressed, and (iii) targeted silencing of F3 in the retina and/or RPE will likely be well-tolerated, serving as a safe therapeutic strategy for reducing sub-RPE deposit formation in disease. KEY MESSAGES: • Fibulins are expressed throughout the body at varying levels. • Fibulin-3 has a tissue-specific pattern of expression within the eye. • Lack of fibulin-3 leads to structural deformities in the cornea. • The retina and RPE remain structurally and functionally healthy in the absence of fibulin-3 in both mice and humans.
Dee EC, Mitchell WG, D'Amico AV. Enabling hope. Lancet Oncol 2020;21(12):e549.
PURPOSE: In recent decades, the medical and surgical treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) has evolved significantly through the incorporation of innovative pharmacological strategies, surgical techniques, bioengineering, and cell therapy. With such a wide variety of options, there is a need to establish a global consensus on the preferred approaches for the medical and surgical treatment of LSCD. METHODS: An international LSCD Working Group was established by the Cornea Society in 2012 and divided into subcommittees. Four face-to-face meetings, frequent email discussions, and teleconferences were conducted since then to reach agreement on a strategic plan and methods after a comprehensive literature search. A writing group drafted the current study. RESULTS: A consensus in the medical and surgical management of LSCD was reached by the Working Group. Optimization of the ocular surface by eyelid and conjunctival reconstruction, antiinflammatory therapy, dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction treatment, minimization of ocular surface toxicity from medications, topical medications that promote epithelialization, and use of a scleral lens is considered essential before surgical treatment of LSCD. Depending on the laterality, cause, and stage of LSCD, surgical strategies including conjunctival epitheliectomy, amniotic membrane transplantation, transplantation of limbal stem cells using different techniques and sources (allogeneic vs. autologous vs. ex vivo-cultivated), transplantation of oral mucosal epithelium, and keratoprosthesis can be performed as treatment. A stepwise flowchart for use in treatment decision-making was established. CONCLUSIONS: This global consensus provides an up-to-date and comprehensive framework for the management of LSCD.
BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by a novel coronavirus termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been linked to ocular signs and symptoms in several case reports. Research has demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is spread primarily through close contact via respiratory droplets, but there is the possibility for ocular transmission, with the conjunctiva as a conduit as well as a source of infection. DISCUSSION: Ocular manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 include follicular conjunctivitis, and have been repeatedly noted as an initial or subsequent symptom of COVID-19-positive patients. Particularly in patients with ocular manifestations, there is evidence that the virus may present in tears, based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in conjunctival swab samples via reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The virus may therefore be transmittable from the ocular surface to a new host via contact with the ocular mucosa, tears, or subsequent fomites. CONCLUSIONS: All health care professionals should ask patients about ocular symptoms consistent with SARS-CoV-2, and use eye protection such as goggles or face shields as part of the standard personal protective equipment for high-risk patients in addition to wearing of masks by both the patient and provider, and should consider tears to be potentially infectious.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the most commonly used and highest-rated mobile applications (apps) for low-vision aids. METHODS: This was a convenience sample survey. Patients known to use low-vision apps at a nonprofit low-vision center (INSIGHT, Warwick, RI) were contacted by phone between June and September 2019. INCLUSION CRITERIA: age 18+, Snellen visual acuity (VA) below 20/70, and the use of low-vision mobile apps for at least one month. A standardized script was used to record survey data and app ratings were evaluated by patients with a scale of one to five, one being the lowest and five being the highest. RESULTS: Of the sample (n=11), nine patients (81.8%) stated they used an iPhone for low-vision mobile apps. A list of 14 mobile apps was identified: the two most commonly used apps were Seeing AI (81.8%) and Be My Eyes (63.6%); their average ratings were 4.43/5 and 4.75/5, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This survey suggests that Seeing AI and Be My Eyes are useful apps to help low- vision patients with activities of daily living.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Orbital disease represents a diverse spectrum of pathology and can result in a variety of neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. The aim of this review is to provide updates on recent advances in our understanding of orbital disease secondary to thyroid eye disease, myositis, IgG4-related disease, sarcoidosis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and various tumours. RECENT FINDINGS: With regards to thyroid eye disease, there have been recent advances in the development of steroid-sparing therapies, new modalities for objectively monitoring disease activity and increased understanding of the role of environmental risk factors. There has been interest in characterizing the clinical course and underlying mechanism of optic nerve disease secondary to orbital disorders, which has led to advances in how we monitor for and prevent permanent vision loss. Increased knowledge of orbital tumour subtype histopathology and the development of novel classification systems has had prognostic value and aided medical decision-making. SUMMARY: Orbital disease occurs secondary to a wide variety of diseases and can lead to neuro-ophthalmic manifestations with significant morbidity. Advances in our understanding of different subtypes of orbital disease have improved our ability to treat these potentially debilitating conditions.
PURPOSE: Subperiosteal orbital lesions are most commonly abscesses secondary to sinusitis but, in rare cases, may represent other processes. Here, the authors compare the clinical and radiographic presentation of subperiosteal abscesses and alternate subperiosteal processes ("masqueraders") in an effort to establish distinguishing preoperative diagnostic criteria. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of cases of subperiosteal orbital lesions that underwent surgical intervention over a 3-year period was performed. The medical records of 6 cases of subperiosteal masqueraders and 6 cases of abscesses were reviewed for the clinical course, imaging (including radiographic density of lesions), and pathology. Clinical and radiographic features of the 2 groups were compared. RESULTS: All cases presented with orbital signs on exam. Fever and leukocytosis were absent in the masquerader group and present in 3 patients from the abscess group. Common radiographic findings in both groups included a rim-enhancing convex mass along the orbital wall and adjacent sinus opacification, often with bony dehiscence. Of the masqueraders, the final diagnosis was hematoma in 3 cases, mucocele in 1, and malignancy in 2. The difference between the mean radiodensity of the subperiosteal abscesses, 38 ± 5 Hounsfield units (95% CI, 34-42), as compared with the average radiodensity of the masqueraders, 71 ± 5 Hounsfield units (95% CI, 67-75), was significant (p = 0.042). Comparing radiodensity of the orbital lesion to adjacent sinus lesions and metastatic lesions elsewhere was also informative in establishing the diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Radiographic features, particularly radiodensity, may help distinguish subperiosteal abscesses from other lesions and aid in preoperative diagnosis and management.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Optic nerve sheath meningiomas (ONSMs) are rare benign tumors of the anterior visual pathway which present with slowly progressive and painless vision loss and account for approximately 2% of all orbital tumors. This article provides an overview as well as an update on the ONSMs with regards to cause, epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management in adults and pediatric population. RECENT FINDINGS: The clinical presentation and prognosis of ONSMs can vary and largely depend on the location of tumor as well as the histologic type. Overall, the diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, examination, and neuroimaging findings. Nevertheless, delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis are not uncommon and can result in higher morbidity rates. Recent advances in diagnostic as well as more effective and less-invasive treatment options are discussed in this review. SUMMARY: ONSMs are a rare cause of slowly progressive and inexorable visual loss. Although ONSM diagnosis depends on the characteristic clinical and radiologic findings, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate management is critical for favorable visual outcomes. Thus, current focus is optimizing diagnostic as well-treatment methods for patients with ONSMs.
The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in China in the city of Wuhan in December of 2019 and since then more than 5,000,000 people have been infected, with approximately 338,000 deaths worldwide. The virus causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is characterized by fever, myalgia and cough, with severe acute respiratory syndrome being the most fearsome complication. Nevertheless, the vast majority of cases present mild symptoms or none. Central nervous system and cardiovascular manifestations have been reported. The range of ocular manifestations, either as a result of the infection or as a result of the treatment, has not yet been discussed. In this study, a systematic review of current literature relevant to COVID-19 was performed with focus on modes of transmission, ocular manifestations related to infection and medications, as well as the control of infection in ophthalmic practice.
BACKGROUND: Orbital myositis is an idiopathic, non-infectious condition, typically seen in young females and usually affecting one extraocular muscle. Orbital myositis mimicking cluster headache is a rare clinical entity, and this is the first description of a case of a secondary trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia from orbital myositis responsive to high-flow oxygen. CASE: A young woman presented with new-onset, oxygen-responsive headache, periorbital pain and autonomic features. She had associated vertical diplopia on downgaze and subtle ocular misalignment. An initial diagnosis of cluster headache was made. Initial brain MRI was unrevealing, but dedicated MRI of the orbits showed enhancement of orbital muscles. The diplopia and the imaging findings were consistent with orbital myositis. CONCLUSION: Orbital myositis mimicking cluster headache is rare, and not previously reported as an oxygen-responsive headache.
The neural mechanism of phantom limb pain (PLP) is related to the intense brain reorganization process implicating plasticity after deafferentation mostly in sensorimotor system. There is a limited understanding of the association between the sensorimotor system and PLP. We used a novel task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to (1) assess neural activation within a-priori selected regions-of-interested (motor cortex [M1], somatosensory cortex [S1], and visual cortex [V1]), (2) quantify the cortical representation shift in the affected M1, and (3) correlate these changes with baseline clinical characteristics. In a sample of 18 participants, we found a significantly increased activity in M1 and S1 as well as a shift in motor cortex representation that was not related to PLP intensity. In an exploratory analyses (not corrected for multiple comparisons), they were directly correlated with time since amputation; and there was an association between increased activity in M1 with a lack of itching sensation and V1 activation was negatively correlated with PLP. Longer periods of amputation lead to compensatory changes in sensory-motor areas; and itching seems to be a protective marker for less signal changes. We confirmed that PLP intensity is not associated with signal changes in M1 and S1 but in V1.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a highly promising gene transfer vector, yet major cellular requirements for AAV entry are poorly understood. Using a genome-wide CRISPR screen for entry of evolutionarily divergent serotype AAVrh32.33, we identified GPR108, a member of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily, as an AAV entry factor. Of greater than 20 divergent AAVs across all AAV clades tested in human cell lines, only AAV5 transduction was unaffected in the GPR108 knockout (KO). GPR108 dependency was further shown in murine and primary cells in vitro. These findings are further validated in vivo, as the Gpr108 KO mouse demonstrates 10- to 100-fold reduced expression for AAV8 and rh32.33 but not AAV5. Mechanistically, both GPR108 N- and C-terminal domains are required for transduction, and on the capsid, a VP1 unique domain that is not conserved on AAV5 can be transferred to confer GPR108 independence onto AAV2 chimeras. In vitro binding and fractionation studies indicate reduced nuclear import and cytosolic accumulation in the absence of GPR108. We thus have identified the second of two AAV entry factors that is conserved between mice and humans relevant both in vitro and in vivo, further providing a mechanistic understanding to the tropism of AAV gene therapy vectors.
Autoimmune retinopathy (AIR) refers to a group of rare autoimmune retinal degenerative diseases presumably caused by cross-reactivity of serum autoantibodies against retinal antigens. The pathogenesis of AIR remains largely presumptive and there are a significant number of antiretinal antibodies that have been detected in association with AIR. The diagnosis of AIR is largely based on the demonstration of antiretinal antibodies in the serum along with suggestive clinical features and ancillary investigations. A high index of suspicion along with early diagnosis and treatment may play a critical role to lower the risk of irreversible immunological damage to the retinal cells in these patients. A multi-disciplinary approach for complete management and evaluation is helpful in such conditions. Various therapeutic options have been described for the treatment of AIR, though there is no consensus on standard treatment protocol.
OBJECTIVE: Fear of falling (FoF) may alter mobility in older adults, especially among those with visual impairment. Using a longitudinal prospective cohort of older glaucoma patients, we investigated whether and how FoF is associated with future falls and physical activity. DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study. SETTING: Hospital-based single-center recruitment. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. MEASUREMENTS: FoF was measured annually over a 3-year period using the University of Illinois at Chicago FoF Questionnaire, with lower Rasch-analyzed FoF scores (in logit units) indicating less fear. Participants recorded falls prospectively over the 3-year period using monthly mail-in calendars. Daily steps were collected annually over 7 days using an accelerometer. Visual field (VF) sensitivity was derived by combining sensitivities from monocular VF results. Participants completed questionnaires to determine other demographic/health characteristics. Multivariate random effects models evaluated within-participant changes in fall rates and physical activity across study years. RESULTS: At lower FoF levels (FoF≤0), each one-unit worsening in FoF score across study years was associated with 2.73 times higher odds of reporting at least one fall in the next year (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55-4.81) but was not associated with average daily steps (P = .44). Similar results were seen when fall rates were normalized by number of steps taken (P = .97). At higher FoF levels (FoF > 0), inter-year changes in FoF scores were not significantly associated with reporting a fall in the following year (P = .78) but were associated with 407 fewer average daily steps per one-unit change in FoF (95% CI = -743 to -71). CONCLUSION: FoF is an important psychological factor associated with mobility in glaucoma patients, although specific aspects of mobility (fall rates vs activity levels) affected vary by the degree of FoF. Our findings suggest that customizing behavioral interventions for older adults based on their levels of FoF may be an important strategy for fall prevention and activity promotion. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1847-1851, 2020.
RATIONALE: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most prevalent form of irreversible blindness in the developed world. Aging, inflammation and complement dysregulation affecting the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), are considered significant contributors in its pathogenesis and several evidences have linked tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and complement component 3 (C3) with AMD. Acadesine, an analog of AMP and an AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator, has been shown to have cytoprotective effects in human clinical trials as well as having anti-inflammatory and anti-vascular exudative effects in animals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if acadesine is able to suppress TNF-α induced C3 in RPE cells. METHODS: ARPE-19 and human primary RPE cells were cultured and allowed to grow to confluence. TNF-α was used for C3 induction in the presence or absence of acadesine. Small molecule inhibitors and siRNA were used to determine if acadesine exerts its effect via the extracellular or intracellular pathway and to evaluate the importance of AMPK for these effects. The expression level of C3 was determined by immunoblot analysis. RESULTS: Acadesine suppresses TNF-α induced C3 in a dose dependent manner. When we utilized the adenosine receptor inhibitor dipyridamole (DPY) along with acadesine, acadesine's effects were abolished, indicating the necessity of acadesine to enter the cell in order to exert it's action. However, pretreatment with 5-iodotubericidin (5-Iodo), an adenosine kinase (AK) inhibitor, didn't prevent acadesine from decreasing TNF-α induced C3 expression suggesting that acadesine does not exert its effect through AMP conversion and subsequent activation of AMPK. Consistent with this, knockdown of AMPK α catalytic subunit did not affect the inhibitory effect of acadesine on TNF-α upregulation of C3. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that acadesine suppresses TNF-α induced C3, likely through an AMPK-independent pathway, and could have potential use in complement over activation diseases.