2021

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Milante RR, Guo X, Neitzel AJ, Kretz AM, Mukherjee RM, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Analysis of vision screening failures in a school-based vision program (2016-19). J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Vision screenings of a school-based program were conducted in state-mandated grades (pre-kindergarten [pre-K] or kindergarten [K], 1st and 8th grade), and nonmandated grades (2nd to 7th). METHODS: During school years 2016-19, 51,593 pre-K to 8th grade students from 123 Baltimore City Public Schools underwent vision screenings, with 85% of the schools qualifying for Free and Reduced Price Meals. Assessments included distance visual acuity, Spot photoscreening, stereopsis, and cover testing. Screening failures were analyzed by grade using aggregate data. Failure rates for mandated and nonmandated grades were compared using a logistic regression model, and visual acuity distributions were analyzed using individual data. RESULTS: Over the 3-year period, 17,414 (34%) of students failed vision screening. Failure rates by grade ranged from 28% to 38%. Children in kindergarten and 3rd grade and higher were statistically more likely to fail screening than those in 1st grade. Reduced visual acuity was the most common reason for failure (91%). Failure rates were significantly higher in nonmandated grades than in state-mandated testing grades (34.7% vs 32.5% [P < 0.001]). Mean visual acuity of all students who failed vision screening was 20/50 in the worse-seeing eye and was 20/40 in the better-seeing eye. CONCLUSIONS: One-third of students failed vision screening. High screening failure rates across all grades suggest that screening in select grade levels, as currently mandated in Maryland schools, is inadequate for detecting vision problems in the low-income communities served by this program.
Miller SC, Fliotsos MJ, Justin GA, Yonekawa Y, Chen A, Hoskin AK, Blanch RJ, Cavuoto K, Meeralakshmi P, Low R, Gardiner M, Liu TYA, Agrawal R, Woreta FA, Woreta FA. Global Current Practice Patterns for the Management of Open Globe Injuries. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;
Minkus CL, Pistilli M, Dreger KA, Fitzgerald TD, Payal AR, Begum H, Kaçmaz OR, Jabs DA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Levy-Clarke GA, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Buchanich JM, Kempen JH, for Group SITED (SITE) CSR. Risk of Cataract in Intermediate Uveitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the incidence of and predictive factors for cataract in intermediate uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study METHODS: Patients were identified from the Systemic Immunosuppressive Therapy for Eye Diseases (SITE) Cohort Study, in which medical records were reviewed to determine demographic and clinical data of every eye/patient at every visit at five participating United States tertiary care uveitis centers. The primary outcome was development of vision-compromising cataract as defined by a decrease in visual acuity to 20/40 or less, or requiring cataract surgery. Survival analysis assessed visually defined cataract to avoid bias due to timing of surgery vis-à-vis inflammatory status. RESULTS: Among 2,190 eyes of 1,302 patients with intermediate uveitis the cumulative incidence of cataract formation was 7.6% by one year (95% CI=6.2-9.1%), increasing to 36.6% by ten years (95% CI=31.2-41.6%). Increased cataract risk was observed in eyes with concurrent anterior uveitis causing posterior synechiae (HR=2.68, 95% CI=2.00-3.59, p<0.001), and in eyes with epiretinal membrane formation (HR=1.54, 95% CI=1.15-2.07, p=0.004). Higher dose corticosteroid therapy was associated with significantly higher incidence of cataract, especially time-updated use of topical corticosteroids ≥2 times/day or ≥4 periocular corticosteroid injections. Low dose corticosteroid medications (oral prednisone 7.5mg daily or less, or topical corticosteroid drops <2 times/day) were not associated with increased cataract risk. CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that the incidence of clinically important cataract in intermediate uveitis is moderate. The risk is higher with markers of severity, and with higher doses of corticosteroid medications, the latter being potentially modifiable.
Mitchell W, Marmamula S, Zebardast N, Ng W, Locascio JJ, Kumbam T, Brahmanandam S, Barrenkala NR. Psychometric validation techniques applied to the IND-VFQ-33 visual function questionnaire: the Hyderabad ocular morbidity in the elderly study (HOMES). BMC Med Res Methodol 2021;21(1):26.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Over 2 billion people suffer from vision impairment or blindness globally, and access to validated visual measurement tools in imperative in accurately describing and managing the burden of eye disease. The present study applies contemporary psychometric validation techniques to the widely used 33-item Indian Visual Function Questionnaire (IND-VFQ-33). METHODS: We first estimated the polychoric correlation between each pair of items. Next, an unrotated and oblique Promax rotated factor analysis, item response theory (IRT, using a graded response model (GRM)), and differential item functioning (DIF) testing were applied to the IND-VFQ-33. We subsequently propose a validated IND-VFQ-33 questionnaire after psychometric testing, data reduction, and adjustment. RESULTS: Exploratory unrotated factor analysis identified two factors; one with a particularly high eigenvalue (18.1) and a second with a lower eigenvalue still above our threshold (1.1). A subsequent oblique Promax factor rotation was undertaken for a 2-factor solution, revealing two moderately correlated factors (+ 0.68) with clinically discrete item loadings onto either Factor 1 (21 items; collectively labelled "daily activities") or Factor 2 (5 items; collectively labelled "bright lights"). IRT confirmed high item discrimination for all remaining items with good separation between difficulty thresholds. We found significant DIF on depression for six items in Factor 1 (all uniform DIF, except item 21 (non-uniform DIF) with no substantive difference in beta thresholds for any item and no substantive difference in expected individual or sum score, by depression at baseline. For Factor 2, only one item demonstrated significant uniform DIF on gender, similarly without major differences in beta thresholds or expected total score between gender at baseline. Consequently, no further item recalibration or reduction was undertaken after IRT and DIF analysis. CONCLUSION: Applying IRT and DIF validation techniques to the IND-VFQ-33 identified 2 discrete factors with 26 uniquely-loading items, clinically representative of difficulty performing daily activities and experiencing difficulty due to bright lights/glare respectively. The proposed modified scale may be useful in evaluating symptomatic disease progression or response to treatment in an Indian population.
Moein H-R, Sendra VG, Jamali A, Kheirkhah A, Harris DL, Hamrah P. Herpes simplex virus-1 KOS-63 strain is virulent and causes titer-dependent corneal nerve damage and keratitis. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):4267.Abstract
To investigate the acute clinical, immunological, and corneal nerve changes following corneal HSV-1 KOS-63 strain inoculation. Corneas of C57BL/6 mice were inoculated with either low dose (Ld) or high dose (Hd) HSV-1 KOS-63 or culture medium. Clinical evaluation was conducted up to 7 days post inoculation (dpi). Viral titers were assessed by standard plaque assay. Excised corneas were stained for CD45 and beta-III tubulin. Corneal flow cytometry was performed to assess changes in leukocyte subpopulations. Corneal sensation was measured using a Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer. Naïve, sham-infected (post scarification), and McKrae-infected C57BL/6 corneas served as two negative and positive controls, respectively. Compared to Ld infected mice, Hd HSV-1 KOS-63 demonstrated higher incidence of corneal opacity (1.5 ×) and neovascularization (2.6 × ; p < 0.05). At 7 dpi Hd infected mice showed more severe corneal opacity (2.23 vs. 0.87; p = 0.0003), neovascularization (6.00 vs. 0.75; p < 0.0001), and blepharitis (3.11 vs. 2.06; p = 0.001) compared to the Ld group. At 3 dpi epitheliopathy was significantly larger in the Hd group (23.59% vs. 3.44%; p = 0.001). Similarly, corneal opacity was significantly higher in Hd McKrae-infected corneas as compared with Ld McKrae-infected corneas at 3 and 5 dpi. No significant corneal opacity, neovascularization, blepharitis, and epitheliopathy were observed in naïve or sham-infected mice. Higher viral titers were detected in corneas (1 and 3 dpi) and trigeminal ganglia (TG) (3 and 5 dpi) in Hd versus Ld KOS-63 groups (p < 0.05). Leukocyte density showed a gradual increase over time from 1 to 7 dpi in both KOS-63 and McKrae-infected corneas. Corneal flow cytometric analysis (3 dpi) demonstrated a higher percentage of Gr-1 + (71.6 vs. 26.3) and CD11b + (90.6 vs. 41.1) cells in Hd versus Ld KOS-63 groups. Corneal nerve density significantly decreased in both Hd KOS-63 and Hd McKrae infected corneas in comparison with naïve and sham-infected corneas. At 3 dpi corneal nerve density was lower in the Hd versus Ld KOS-63 groups (16.79 vs. 57.41 mm/mm2; p = 0.004). Corneal sensation decreased accordingly at 5 and 7 dpi in both Ld and Hd KOS-63-infected mice. Corneal inoculation with HSV-1 KOS-63 strain shows acute keratitis and nerve degeneration in a dose-dependent fashion, demonstrating virulence of this strain.
Monés J, Srivastava SK, Jaffe GJ, Tadayoni R, Albini TA, Kaiser PK, Holz FG, Korobelnik J-F, Kim IK, Pruente C, Murray TG, Heier JS. Risk of Inflammation, Retinal Vasculitis, and Retinal Occlusion-Related Events with Brolucizumab: Post Hoc Review of HAWK and HARRIER. Ophthalmology 2021;128(7):1050-1059.Abstract
PURPOSE: An independent Safety Review Committee (SRC), supported by Novartis Pharma AG, analyzed investigator-reported cases of intraocular inflammation (IOI), endophthalmitis, and retinal arterial occlusion in the phase 3 HAWK and HARRIER trials of brolucizumab versus aflibercept in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). DESIGN: A post hoc analysis of a subset of data from two 2-year, double-masked, multicenter, active-controlled randomized phase 3 trials (NCT02307682, NCT02434328). PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N = 1817) with untreated, active choroidal neovascularization due to age-related macular degeneration in the study eye were randomized and treated in HAWK/HARRIER. The SRC reviewed data from cases of investigator-reported IOI (60/1088 brolucizumab-treated eyes; 8/729 aflibercept-treated eyes). METHODS: The SRC received details and images (color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and OCT) for all investigator-determined cases of IOI, retinal arterial occlusion, and endophthalmitis. Cases were reviewed in detail by ≥2 readers, then adjudicated by the SRC as a group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Within this patient subset: incidence of IOI, signs and incidence of retinal vasculitis and/or retinal vascular occlusion, and visual acuity loss; time since first brolucizumab injection to IOI event onset; and frequency of visual acuity loss after brolucizumab injection by time of first IOI event onset. RESULTS: Fifty brolucizumab-treated eyes were considered to have definite/probable drug-related events within the spectrum of IOI, retinal vasculitis, and/or vascular occlusion. On the basis of these cases, incidence of definite/probable IOI was 4.6% (IOI + vasculitis, 3.3%; IOI + vasculitis + occlusion, 2.1%). There were 8 cases (incidence 0.74%) of at least moderate visual acuity loss (≥15 ETDRS letters) in eyes with IOI (7 in eyes with IOI + vasculitis + occlusion). Of the 8 cases, 5 experienced their first IOI-related event within 3 months of the first brolucizumab injection (increasing to 7/8 within 6 months). Incidence of IOI in aflibercept-treated eyes was 1.1%, with at least moderate visual acuity loss in 0.14%. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis of IOI cases after brolucizumab injection identified signs of retinal vasculitis with or without retinal vascular occlusion and an associated risk of visual acuity loss. The findings will help physicians to evaluate the risks and benefits of brolucizumab treatment for nAMD.
Moon JY, Garg I, Cui Y, Katz R, Zhu Y, Le R, Lu Y, Lu ES, Ludwig CA, Elze T, Wu DM, Eliott D, Miller JW, Kim LA, Husain D, Vavvas DG, Miller JB. Wide-field swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography in the assessment of retinal microvasculature and choroidal thickness in patients with myopia. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Pathological myopia (PM) is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. We aimed to evaluate microvascular and chorioretinal changes in different stages of myopia with wide-field (WF) swept-source (SS) optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). METHODS: This prospective cross-sectional observational study included 186 eyes of 122 patients who had undergone imaging between November 2018 and October 2020. Vessel density (VD) and vessel skeletonised density (VSD) of superficial capillary plexus, deep capillary plexus and whole retina, as well as foveal avascular zone parameters, retinal thickness (RT) and choroidal thickness (CT), were calculated. RESULTS: This study evaluated 75 eyes of 48 patients with high myopia (HM), 43 eyes of 31 patients with mild to moderate myopia and 68 eyes of 53 age-matched controls. Controlling for age and the presence of systemic hypertension, we found that HM was associated with decrease in VD and VSD in all layers on 12×12 mm² scans. Furthermore, HM was associated with a VD and VSD decrease in every Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study grid, with a larger decrease temporally (βVD=-0.39, βVSD=-10.25, p<0.01). HM was associated with decreased RT and CT. Reduction in RT was outside the macular region, while reduction in CT was in the macular region. CONCLUSION: Using WF SS-OCTA, we identified reduction in microvasculature and structural changes associated with myopia. Decrease in VD and VSD was greater in the temporal quadrant, and reductions in RT and CT were uneven across the retina. Further work may help identify risk factors for the progression of PM and associated vision-threatening complications.
Mori T, Kikuchi T, Koh M, Koda Y, Yamazaki R, Sakurai M, Tomita Y, Ozawa Y, Kohashi S, Abe R, Saburi M, Kato J. Cytomegalovirus retinitis after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation under cytomegalovirus antigenemia-guided active screening. Bone Marrow Transplant 2021;56(6):1266-1271.Abstract
Although cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the incidence of CMV retinitis is considered to be lower than the incidence of CMV infection in other organs following allogeneic HSCT. In this study, the incidence and characteristics of CMV retinitis were retrospectively evaluated in recipients of allogeneic HSCT. Ophthalmological screening was performed at the development of ocular symptoms or positive CMV infection using peripheral blood evaluated by pp65 antigenemia or polymerase chain reaction. Of the 514 patients, 13 patients developed CMV retinitis. The median onset of CMV retinitis was day 34 (range, 21-118) post transplant, and the cumulative incidence was 2.5% (95% CI, 1.6-4.2) at 6 months after transplantation. Five patients presented ocular symptoms at the onset. In the remaining eight asymptomatic patients, the diagnosis of CMV retinitis was made by the screening guided by positive CMV infection. All evaluable patients responded to antiviral treatment but three showed incomplete improvement with ocular sequela. Our results suggest that the incidence of CMV retinitis after allogeneic HSCT is not negligible and active ophthalmological screening based not only on symptoms but also positive CMV infection monitoring contributes to the early diagnosis of CMV retinitis.
Morrison DG, Binenbaum G, Chang MY, Heidary G, Trivedi RH, Galvin JA, Pineles SL. Office- or Facility-Based Probing for Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2021;128(6):920-927.Abstract
PURPOSE: To review the published literature assessing the efficacy and safety of in-office probing compared with facility-based probing to treat congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO). METHODS: Literature searches were conducted in March 2020 in the PubMed database with no date restrictions and limited to studies published in English and in the Cochrane Library database with no restrictions. The combined searches yielded 281 citations. Of these, 21 articles were deemed appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. Four articles were rated level I, 2 articles were rated level II, and 15 articles were rated level III. RESULTS: Treatments consisted of observation, in-office nasolacrimal probing, or facility-based nasolacrimal probing. Success rates and complications or recurrences were recorded from 1 week to 6 months after surgery. Complete resolution of symptoms after surgery ranged from 66% to 95.6% for office-based procedures versus 50% to 97.7% for facility-based procedures. Level I evidence indicated that 66% of cases spontaneously resolved after 6 months of observation in infants between 6 and 10 months of age. Success rates for in-office probing were lower for bilateral than for unilateral NLDO (67% vs. 82%), whereas success rates were high in both unilateral (83%) and bilateral (82%) patients who underwent facility-based probing after 6 months of observation. Cost data did not indicate a definitive cost savings of either treatment method ($562 for in-office vs. $701 for facility-based, depending on cost models predicting spontaneous resolution rates at different ages). No serious adverse events with treatment or anesthesia were reported for either treatment method. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence supports the efficacy and safety of both in-office and facility-based surgery for congenital NLDO. However, treating bilateral NLDO in a facility setting may be better. Because a significant percentage of children achieved resolution spontaneously before 12 months of age, deferring treatment until 12 to 18 months of age is a reasonable option. Additional research may address symptom burden on families and the impact of anesthesia and emotional trauma of nonsedated office probings on patients and may explore further the cost of treatment for each treatment method.
Moustafa GA, Borkar DS, Eton EA, Koulisis N, Kloek CE, Kloek CE, Kloek CE. Healthcare disparities contribute to missed follow-up visits after cataract surgery in the USA: results from the perioperative care for intraocular lens study. BMJ Open 2021;11(3):e038565.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors that contribute to missed cataract surgery follow-up visits, with an emphasis on socioeconomic and demographic factors. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, patients who underwent cataract extraction by phacoemulsification at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between 1 January and 31 December 2014 were reviewed. Second eye cases, remote and international patients, patients with foreign insurance and combined cataract cases were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 1931 cases were reviewed and 1089 cases, corresponding to 3267 scheduled postoperative visits, were included. Of these visits, 157 (4.8%) were missed. Three (0.3%) postoperative day 1, 40 (3.7%) postoperative week 1 and 114 (10.5%) postoperative month 1 visits were missed. Age<30 years (adjusted OR (aOR)=8.2, 95% CI 1.9 to 35.2) and ≥90 years (aOR=5.7, 95% CI 2.0 to 15.6) compared with patients aged 70-79 years, estimated travel time of >2 hours (aOR=3.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 7.4), smokers (aOR=2.7, 95% CI 1.6 to 4.8) and complications identified up to the postoperative visit (aOR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1) predicted a higher rate of missed visits. Ocular comorbidities (aOR=0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0) and previous visit best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 20/50-20/80 (aOR=0.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7) and 20/90-20/200 (aOR=0.4, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9), compared with BCVA at the previous visit of 20/40 or better, predicted a lower rate of missed visits. Gender, race/ethnicity, language, education, income, insurance, alcohol use and season of the year were not associated with missed visits. CONCLUSIONS: Medical factors and demographic characteristics, including patient age and distance from the hospital, are associated with missed follow-up visits in cataract surgery. Additional studies are needed to identify disparities in cataract postoperative care that are population-specific. This information can contribute to the implementation of policies and interventions for addressing them.
Mudie LI, Guo X, Slavin RE, Madden N, Wolf R, Owoeye J, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study: vision outcomes of school-based eye care. Can J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: There are unmet needs for refractive correction in the pediatric population, especially in high-poverty communities. We reported the impact of refractive correction on vision outcomes over a 2-year follow-up in the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study. DESIGN: Prospective, school-based cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Students of second and third grades who were prescribed glasses during baseline assessment. METHODS: We conducted baseline eye exams in 12 Baltimore public schools during the fall of school year 2014-15 with follow-up visits in the spring of school year 2014-15 (first follow-up) and school year 2015-16 (second follow-up). Visual acuity (VA) was measured at distance and near with correction. Refractive status was determined based on the eye with the larger refractive error and categorized as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: VA in better-seeing and worse-seeing eye at first and second follow-up, and acuity improvement from baseline. RESULTS: In the 206 students (84% African American) who completed the first follow-up, both distance (from 0.14 ± 0.20 to 0.05 ± 0.10 logMAR) and near presenting VA (from 0.08 ± 0.16 to 0.03 ± 0.06 logMAR) improved from the baseline assessment; children with more severe hyperopia showed improvement in near VA by 0.05 ± 0.16 logMAR. Children who were prescribed glasses through a school-based research study had improved vision, which was sustained into the following school year. CONCLUSIONS: Many second and third graders in Baltimore Schools needed refractive correction and benefited from provision of glasses with sustained vision improvement over the 2-year observation.
Mukharesh L, Douglas VP, Chwalisz BK. Chronic Relapsing Inflammatory Optic Neuropathy (CRION). Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2021;
Mukharesh L, Torun N, Bouffard MA. Perimetry Pitfalls in the Era of COVID-19. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(3):e283-e285.
Mukharesh L, Chwalisz BK. Neuro-ophthalmic Complications of Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitors. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):241-249.Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionized the field of oncology by modulating the immune cell-cancer cell interaction and thereby promoting immune system disinhibition in order to target several types of malignancies. There are three classes of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs): anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), and anti-programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1).It is not uncommon for physicians across all specialties to encounter a patient with a history of malignancy and ICI exposure, necessitating familiarity with their potential complications. In this review article, we discuss the most common immune-related adverse events (irAEs) pertaining to the central and peripheral nervous systems and their potential afferent and efferent neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. Early recognition and treatment of these irAEs, and discontinuation of the offending ICI are all critical steps to prevent morbidity and mortality.
Muralidharan S, Ichhpujani P, Bhartiya S, Singh RB. Eye-tunes: role of music in ophthalmology and vision sciences. Ther Adv Ophthalmol 2021;13:25158414211040890.Abstract
Although the healing effect of music has been recognized since time immemorial, there has been a renewed interest in its use in modern medicine. This can be attributed to the increasing focus on holistic healing and on the subjective and objective aspects of well-being. In ophthalmology, this has ranged from using music for patients undergoing diagnostic procedures and surgery, as well as for doctors and the operation theatre staff during surgical procedures. Music has proven to be a potent nonpharmacological sedative and anxiolytic, allaying both the pain and stress of surgery. This review aims to explore the available evidence about the role of music as an adjunct for diagnostic and surgical procedures in current ophthalmic practices.
Musayeva A, Unkrig JC, Zhutdieva MB, Manicam C, Ruan Y, Laspas P, Chronopoulos P, Göbel ML, Pfeiffer N, Brochhausen C, Daiber A, Oelze M, Li H, Xia N, Gericke A. Betulinic Acid Protects from Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in the Mouse Retina. Cells 2021;10(9)Abstract
Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) events are involved in the pathophysiology of numerous ocular diseases. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that betulinic acid protects from I/R injury in the mouse retina. Ocular ischemia was induced in mice by increasing intraocular pressure (IOP) to 110 mm Hg for 45 min, while the fellow eye served as a control. One group of mice received betulinic acid (50 mg/kg/day p.o. once daily) and the other group received the vehicle solution only. Eight days after the I/R event, the animals were killed and the retinal wholemounts and optic nerve cross-sections were prepared and stained with cresyl blue or toluidine blue, respectively, to count cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of the retina and axons in the optic nerve. Retinal arteriole responses were measured in isolated retinas by video microscopy. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were assessed in retinal cryosections and redox gene expression was determined in isolated retinas by quantitative PCR. I/R markedly reduced cell number in the GCL and axon number in the optic nerve of the vehicle-treated mice. In contrast, only a negligible reduction in cell and axon number was observed following I/R in the betulinic acid-treated mice. Endothelial function was markedly reduced and ROS levels were increased in retinal arterioles of vehicle-exposed eyes following I/R, whereas betulinic acid partially prevented vascular endothelial dysfunction and ROS formation. Moreover, betulinic acid boosted mRNA expression for the antioxidant enzymes SOD3 and HO-1 following I/R. Our data provide evidence that betulinic acid protects from I/R injury in the mouse retina. Improvement of vascular endothelial function and the reduction in ROS levels appear to contribute to the neuroprotective effect.
Muus C, Luecken MD, Eraslan G, Sikkema L, Waghray A, Heimberg G, Kobayashi Y, Vaishnav ED, Subramanian A, Smillie C, Jagadeesh KA, Duong ET, Fiskin E, Triglia ET, Ansari M, Cai P, Lin B, Buchanan J, Chen S, Shu J, Haber AL, Chung H, Montoro DT, Adams T, Aliee H, Allon SJ, Andrusivova Z, Angelidis I, Ashenberg O, Bassler K, Bécavin C, Benhar I, Bergenstråhle J, Bergenstråhle L, Bolt L, Braun E, Bui LT, Callori S, Chaffin M, Chichelnitskiy E, Chiou J, Conlon TM, Cuoco MS, Cuomo ASE, Deprez M, Duclos G, Fine D, Fischer DS, Ghazanfar S, Gillich A, Giotti B, Gould J, Guo M, Gutierrez AJ, Habermann AC, Harvey T, He P, Hou X, Hu L, Hu Y, Jaiswal A, Ji L, Jiang P, Kapellos TS, Kuo CS, Larsson L, Leney-Greene MA, Lim K, Litviňuková M, Ludwig LS, Lukassen S, Luo W, Maatz H, Madissoon E, Mamanova L, Manakongtreecheep K, Leroy S, Mayr CH, Mbano IM, McAdams AM, Nabhan AN, Nyquist SK, Penland L, Poirion OB, Poli S, Qi CC, Queen R, Reichart D, Rosas I, Schupp JC, Shea CV, Shi X, Sinha R, Sit RV, Slowikowski K, Slyper M, Smith NP, Sountoulidis A, Strunz M, Sullivan TB, Sun D, Talavera-López C, Tan P, Tantivit J, Travaglini KJ, Tucker NR, Vernon KA, Wadsworth MH, Waldman J, Wang X, Xu K, Yan W, Zhao W, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK. Single-cell meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes across tissues and demographics. Nat Med 2021;27(3):546-559.Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and accessory proteases (TMPRSS2 and CTSL) are needed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cellular entry, and their expression may shed light on viral tropism and impact across the body. We assessed the cell-type-specific expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL across 107 single-cell RNA-sequencing studies from different tissues. ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL are coexpressed in specific subsets of respiratory epithelial cells in the nasal passages, airways and alveoli, and in cells from other organs associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission or pathology. We performed a meta-analysis of 31 lung single-cell RNA-sequencing studies with 1,320,896 cells from 377 nasal, airway and lung parenchyma samples from 228 individuals. This revealed cell-type-specific associations of age, sex and smoking with expression levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL. Expression of entry factors increased with age and in males, including in airway secretory cells and alveolar type 2 cells. Expression programs shared by ACE2TMPRSS2 cells in nasal, lung and gut tissues included genes that may mediate viral entry, key immune functions and epithelial-macrophage cross-talk, such as genes involved in the interleukin-6, interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor and complement pathways. Cell-type-specific expression patterns may contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and our work highlights putative molecular pathways for therapeutic intervention.
Mychaleckyj J, Valo E, Ichimura T, Ahluwalia T, Dina C, Miller R, Shabalin I, Gyorgy B, Cao J, Onengut-Gumuscu S, Satake E, Smiles A, Haukka J, Tregouet D-A, Costacou T, O'Neil K, Paterson A, Forsblom C, Keenan H, Pezzolesi M, Pragnell M, Galecki A, Rich S, Sandholm N, Klein R, Klein B, Susztak K, Orchard T, Korstanje R, King G, Hadjadj S, Rossing P, Bonventre J, Groop P-H, Warram J, Krolewski A. Association of Coding Variants in Hydroxysteroid 17-beta Dehydrogenase 14 (HSD17B14) with Reduced Progression to End Stage Kidney Disease in Type 1 Diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Rare variants in gene coding regions likely have a greater impact on disease-related phenotypes than common variants through disruption of their encoded protein. We searched for rare variants associated with onset of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) in individuals with type 1 diabetes at advanced kidney disease stage. METHODS: Gene-based exome array analysis of 15,449 genes in 5 large incidence cohorts of individuals with type 1 diabetes and proteinuria were analyzed for survival time-to-ESKD, testing the top gene in a 6th cohort (N=2,372/1,115 events all cohorts) and replicating in two retrospective case-control studies (N=1,072 cases, 752 controls). Deep resequencing of the top associated gene in 5 cohorts confirmed the findings. We performed immunohistochemistry and gene expression experiments in human control and diseased cells, and in mouse ischemia reperfusion and aristolochic acid nephropathy models. RESULTS: Protein coding variants in the hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 14 gene (HSD17B14), predicted to affect protein structure, had a net protective effect against development of ESKD at exome-wide significance (N=4,196; p-value=3.3x10-7). The HSD17B14 gene and encoded enzyme were robustly expressed in healthy human kidney, maximally in proximal tubular cells. Paradoxically, gene and protein expression were attenuated in human diabetic proximal tubules and in mouse kidney injury models. Expressed HSD17B14 gene and protein levels remained low without recovery after 21 days in a murine ischemic reperfusion injury model. Decreased gene expression was found in other chronic kidney disease-associated renal pathologies. CONCLUSIONS: HSD17B14 gene is mechanistically involved in diabetic kidney disease. The encoded sex steroid enzyme is a druggable target, potentially opening a new avenue for therapeutic development.
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Nathan A, Rossin EJ, Kaseke C, Park RJ, Khatri A, Koundakjian D, Urbach JM, Singh NK, Bashirova A, Tano-Menka R, Senjobe F, Waring MT, Piechocka-Trocha A, Garcia-Beltran WF, Iafrate JA, Naranbhai V, Carrington M, Walker BD, Gaiha GD. Structure-guided T cell vaccine design for SARS-CoV-2 variants and sarbecoviruses. Cell 2021;184(17):4401-4413.e10.Abstract
The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that escape convalescent and vaccine-induced antibody responses has renewed focus on the development of broadly protective T-cell-based vaccines. Here, we apply structure-based network analysis and assessments of HLA class I peptide stability to define mutationally constrained CD8+ T cell epitopes across the SARS-CoV-2 proteome. Highly networked residues are conserved temporally among circulating variants and sarbecoviruses and disproportionately impair spike pseudotyped lentivirus infectivity when mutated. Evaluation of HLA class I stabilizing activity for 18 globally prevalent alleles identifies CD8+ T cell epitopes within highly networked regions with limited mutational frequencies in circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and deep-sequenced primary isolates. Moreover, these epitopes elicit demonstrable CD8+ T cell reactivity in convalescent individuals but reduced recognition in recipients of mRNA-based vaccines. These data thereby elucidate key mutationally constrained regions and immunogenic epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome for a global T-cell-based vaccine against emerging variants and SARS-like coronaviruses.
Navaratnam J, Salvanos P, Vavvas DG, Bragadóttir R. Ultra-widefield autofluorescence imaging findings in retinoschisis, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and combined retinoschisis retinal detachment. Acta Ophthalmol 2021;99(2):195-200.Abstract
PURPOSE: Retinoschisis (RS), rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) and combined RS retinal detachment (RSRD) may resemble clinically and pose a diagnostic challenge. This study investigates the role of the fundus autofluorescence (AF) in differentiating RS, RRD and RSRD. METHODS: Fundus AF changes of 34 eyes diagnosed with RRD, 30 eyes with RS and 12 eyes with RSRD were retrospectively analysed. Ultra-widefield AF (UW-AF) image intensities obtained with the Optomap 200Tx were interpreted as hypo-, hyper- and isoautofluorescent or a mixed pattern with hypo- and hyperautofluorescence over and at the posterior margin (PM) of RRD, RS and RSRD. RESULTS: All RS eyes revealed isoautofluorescence over the area of RS, and nine eyes (30%) showed hypoautofluorescent PM. Among RRD, acute (≤2 weeks) and chronic (>2 weeks) RRD demonstrated distinct AF characteristics. Sixty-two per cent of RRD eyes had acute RRD. From those, 16 eyes (76%) demonstrated hypoautofluorescence over the detached area and 19 (90%) eyes with hyperautofluorescent PM. Sixty-two per cent of chronic RRD eyes demonstrated isoautofluorecence over the detached area. Eight RSRD eyes (67%) revealed hyperautofluorescence in the detached area. The positive predictive value (PPV) for hypoautofluorescence over the area of subretinal fluid (SRF) in RRD was 95%. The PPV for hyperautofluorescence over the area of SRF in RSRD was 100% and for isoautofluorescence for schitic area in RSRD and RS was 76%. CONCLUSION: The UW-AF can be a useful non-invasive adjuvant tool to distinguish between RRD, RS and RSRD. Hypo- or hyperautofluorescence over the area of interest and hyperautofluorescent PM indicates the presence of SRF.

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