2022

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Gaier ED, Rasool N, Rizzo JF. Sectoral Sparing Associated With a Cilioretinal Artery in Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(2):e514-e516.Abstract
ABSTRACT: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a life-threatening vasculitis occurring in older adults that can cause blindness by ischemia of the choroid, retina, and optic nerve. We report a case of a patient who presented with "occult" GCA with severe anterior ischemic optic neuropathy affecting both optic nerves, delayed choroidal filling, and a concomitant cilioretinal artery occlusion in the left eye. The retinal territory supplied by the affected cilioretinal artery was hypoperfused, yet this retinal territory at least partially corresponded to the only preserved visual field in that eye. The sector of the optic disc corresponding to the emergence of the cilioretinal artery was the only sector spared by pallid edema. This pattern of sectoral sparing associated with a cilioretinal artery has been observed in other patients with GCA and in animal models of posterior ciliary artery occlusion. This case serves as a clear example of an incompletely understood phenomenon in posterior pole circulation in vascular occlusive disease that deserves further study.
Galetta K, Ryan S, Manzano G, Chibnik LB, Balaban D, Prasad S, Chwalisz BK, Salazar-Camelo A, Conway S, Levy M, Matiello M. Treatment outcomes of first-ever episode of severe optic neuritis. Mult Scler Relat Disord 2022;66:104020.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Severe optic neuritis (ON) is an acute inflammatory attack of the optic nerve(s) leading to severe visual loss that may occur in isolation or as part of a relapsing neuroinflammatory disease, such neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody associated disease (MOGAD), or more rarely multiple sclerosis (MS). In cases of first-ever severe ON of uncertain etiology best treatment strategies remain unclear. METHODS: We reviewed records of all patients with a documented diagnosis of ON between 2004 and 2019 at Mass General Brigham (MGB) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) hospitals. Out of 381 patients identified, 90 (23.6%) satisfied the study criteria for severe ON with visual acuity (VA) equal to or worse than 20/200 (logMAR=1) at nadir in the affected eye and had sufficient follow-up data. Treatment strategies with corticosteroids only or treatment escalation with therapeutic plasma exchange (PLEX) after steroids were compared and evaluated for differences in visual outcomes at follow-up. RESULTS: Of the 90 patients with severe optic neuritis, 71(78.9%) received corticosteroids only, and 19 (17.0%) underwent PLEX following corticosteroids. Of the 71 patients who received steroids without escalation to PLEX, 30 patients (42.2%) achieved complete recovery (VA 20/20 on the affected eye), whereas 35 (49.3%) had a partial recovery and 6 (8.4%) had no recovery. Among the 19 corticosteroid non-responders patients who underwent escalation treatment, 13 (68.4%) made complete recovery, 6 (31.6%) had partial visual recoveries (p=0.0434). The median delta logMAR of patients who underwent escalation of care was -1.2 compared with 2.0 for the ones who did not (p=0.0208). A change of delta logmar 2.0 is equivalent of going from hand motion to light perception and the positive delta value refers to intra-attack worsening. Other than not responding to steroids, patients who underwent PLEX tended to have more severe ON with significantly worse nadir visual acuity compared with those who received corticosteroids alone (logMAR 3.12 (min 2.0 - max 5.0) vs. 2.17 (min 1.3 - max 3.0); p=0.004). CONCLUSION: In our cohort of first-ever severe optic neuritis of unknown etiology, patients that did not respond adequately to corticosteroids benefited from treatment escalation to PLEX, followed in most cases by Rituximab, regardless of final etiology. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the best treatment strategies.
Galli J, Loi E, Strobio C, Micheletti S, Martelli P, Merabet LB, Pasini N, Semeraro F, Fazzi E, Fazzi E. Neurovisual profile in children affected by Angelman syndrome. Brain Dev 2022;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Angelman syndrome (AS) is a rare neurogenetic disorder caused by altered expression of the maternal copy of the UBE3A gene. Together with motor, cognitive, and speech impairment, ophthalmological findings including strabismus, and ocular fundus hypopigmentation characterize the clinical phenotype. The aim of this study was to detail the neurovisual profile of children affected by AS and to explore any possible genotype-phenotype correlations. METHODS: Thirty-seven children (23 females, mean age 102.8 ± 54.4 months, age range 22 to 251 months) with molecular confirmed diagnosis of AS were enrolled in the study. All underwent a comprehensive video-recorded neurovisual evaluation including the assessment of ophthalmological aspects, oculomotor functions, and basic visual abilities. RESULTS: All children had visual impairments mainly characterized by refractive errors, ocular fundus changes, strabismus, discontinuous/jerky smooth pursuit and altered saccadic movements, and/or reduced visual acuity. Comparing the neurovisual profiles between the deletion and non-deletion genetic subgroups, we found a significant statistical correlation between genotype and ocular fundus hypopigmentation (p = 0.03), discontinuous smooth pursuit (p < 0.05), and contrast sensitivity abnormalities (p < 0.01) being more frequent in the deletion subgroup. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects affected by AS present a wide spectrum of neurovisual impairments that lead to a clinical profile consistent with cerebral visual impairment (CVI). Moreover, subjects with a chromosome deletion show a more severe visual phenotype with respect to ocular fundus changes, smooth pursuit movements, and contrast sensitivity. Early detection of these impaired visual functions may help promote the introduction of neurovisual habilitative programs which can improve children's visual, neuromotor, and cognitive outcomes.
Gardiner SK, Kinast RM, De Moraes CG, Budenz DL, Jeoung JW, Lind JT, Myers JS, Nouri-Mahdavi K, Rhodes LA, Strouthidis NG, Chen TC, Mansberger SL. Clinicians' Use of Quantitative Information while Assessing the Rate of Functional Progression in Glaucoma. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2022;5(5):498-506.Abstract
PURPOSE: Clinicians use both global and point-wise information from visual fields to assess the rate of glaucomatous functional progression. We asked which objective, quantitative measures best correlated with subjective assessment by glaucoma experts. In particular, we aimed to determine how much that judgment was based on localized rates of change vs. on global indices reported by the perimeter. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven academic, expert glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of functional progression, from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression), for a series of 5 biannual clinical printouts from 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants, 20 of which were scored twice to assess repeatability. METHODS: Regression models were used to predict the average of the 11 clinicians' scores based on objective rates of change of mean deviation (MD), visual field index (VFI), pattern standard deviation (PSD), the Nth fastest progressing location, and the Nth fastest progressing of 10 anatomically defined clusters of locations after weighting by eccentricity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Correlation between the objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: The average MD of the study eyes was -2.4 dB (range, -16.8 to +2.8 dB). The mean clinician score was highly repeatable, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.95. It correlated better with the rate of change of VFI (pseudo-R2 = 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI, 0.60-0.83]) than with MD (pseudo-R2 = 0.63, 95% CI [0.45-0.76]) or PSD (pseudo-R2 = 0.41, 95% CI [0.26-0.55]). Using point-wise information, the highest correlations were found with the fifth-fastest progressing location (pseudo-R2 = 0.71, 95% CI [0.56-0.80]) and the fastest-progressing cluster after eccentricity weighting (pseudo-R2 = 0.61, 95% CI [0.48-0.72]). Among 25 eyes with an average VFI of > 99%, the highest observed pseudo-R2 value was 0.34 (95% CI [0.16-0.61]) for PSD. CONCLUSIONS: Expert academic glaucoma specialists' assessment of the rate of change correlated best with VFI rates, except in eyes with a VFI near the ceiling of 100%. Sensitivities averaged within clusters of locations have been shown to detect change sooner, but the experts' opinions correlated more closely with global VFI. This could be because it is currently the only index for which the perimeter automatically provides a quantitative estimate of the rate of functional progression.
Gardiner SK, Kinast RM, Chen TC, Strouthidis NG, De Moraes CG, Nouri-Mahdavi K, Myers JS, Jeoung JW, Lind JT, Rhodes LA, Budenz DL, Mansberger SL. Clinicians' Use of Quantitative Information When Assessing the Rate of Structural Progression in Glaucoma. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2022;5(5):507-515.Abstract
PURPOSE: OCT scans contain large amounts of information, but clinicians often rely on reported layer thicknesses when assessing the rate of glaucomatous progression. We sought to determine which of these quantifications most closely relate to the subjective assessment of glaucoma experts who had all the diagnostic information available. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of structural progression from a series of 5 biannual clinical OCT printouts. METHODS: A total of 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants were included; 20 were scored twice to assess repeatability. Scores ranged from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression). Generalized estimating equation linear models were used to predict the mean clinician score from the rates of change of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) or minimum rim width (MRW) globally or in the most rapidly thinning of the 6 sectors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The correlation between the objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: Average RNFLT within the series of study eyes was 79.3 μm (range, 41.4-126.6). Some 95% of individual clinician scores varied by ≤ 1 point when repeated. The mean clinician score was more strongly correlated with the rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector in %/year (pseudo-R2 = 0.657) than the rate of global RNFLT (0.372). The rate of MRW in the most rapidly changing sector had pseudo-R2 = 0.149. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector predicted experts' assessment of the rate of structural progression better than global rates or MRW. Sectoral rates may be a useful addition to current clinical printouts.
Garg I, Uwakwe C, Le R, Lu ES, Cui Y, Wai KM, Katz R, Zhu Y, Moon JY, Li CY, Laíns I, Eliott D, Elze T, Kim LA, Wu DM, Miller JW, Husain D, Vavvas DG, Miller JB. Nonperfusion Area and Other Vascular Metrics by Wider Field Swept-Source OCT Angiography as Biomarkers of Diabetic Retinopathy Severity. Ophthalmol Sci 2022;2(2)Abstract
Purpose: To study the wider field swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (WF SS-OCTA) metrics, especially non-perfusion area (NPA), in the diagnosing and staging of DR. Design: Cross-sectional observational study (November 2018-September 2020). Participants: 473 eyes of 286 patients (69 eyes of 49 control patients and 404 eyes of 237 diabetic patients). Methods: We imaged using 6mm×6mm and 12mm×12mm angiograms on WF SS-OCTA. Images were analyzed using the ARI Network and FIJI ImageJ. Mixed effects multiple regression models and receiver operator characteristic analysis was used for statistical analyses. Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative metrics such as vessel density (VD); vessel skeletonized density (VSD); foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area, circularity, and perimeter; and NPA in DR and their relative performance for its diagnosis and grading. Results: Among patients with diabetes (median age 59 years), 51 eyes had no DR, 185 eyes (88 mild, 97 moderate-severe) had non-proliferative DR (NPDR); and 168 eyes had proliferative DR (PDR). Trend analysis revealed a progressive decline in superficial capillary plexus (SCP) VD and VSD, and increased NPA with increasing DR severity. Additionally, there was a significant reduction in deep capillary plexus (DCP) VD and VSD in early DR (mild NPDR), but the progressive reduction in advanced DR stages was not significant. NPA was the best parameter to diagnose DR (AUC:0.96), whereas all parameters combined on both angiograms efficiently diagnosed (AUC:0.97) and differentiated between DR stages (AUC range:0.83-0.97). The presence of diabetic macular edema was associated with reduced SCP and DCP VD and VSD within mild NPDR eyes, whereas an increased VD and VSD in SCP among moderate-severe NPDR group. Conclusions: Our work highlights the importance of NPA, which can be more readily and easily measured with WF SS-OCTA compared to fluorescein angiography. It is additionally quick and non-invasive, and hence can be an important adjunct for DR diagnosis and management. In our study, a combination of all OCTA metrics on both 6mm×6mm and 12mm×12mm angiograms had the best diagnostic accuracy for DR and its severity. Further longitudinal studies are needed to assess NPA as a biomarker for progression or regression of DR severity.
Georgakopoulos CD, Tsapardoni FN, Makri OE, Vavvas D. TWO-YEAR RESULTS OF INTRAVITREAL INJECTIONS OF AFLIBERCEPT IN COATS DISEASE: A CASE REPORT. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2022;16(4):473-478.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report long-term results of treatment with intravitreal injections of aflibercept in a newly diagnosed case of Coats disease. METHODS: An 18-year-old man presented to the retina clinic of our hospital complaining of blurred vision in the right eye for the past 3 months. His past medical and ocular history were unremarkable. The best-corrected visual acuity was 20/200 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye. Fundoscopy in the right eye revealed extensive macular edema with a circinate ring of hard exudates in the posterior pole temporally to the macula. Optical coherence tomography demonstrated macular edema with subretinal fluid. Peripheral telangiectasias and light bulb aneurysms in the inferior temporal arcade as well as in the nasal far periphery were found in the right eye in fluorescein angiography, confirming the diagnosis of stage 2B Coats disease. The left eye was normal. RESULTS: The original therapeutic strategy proposed was antivascular endothelial growth factor injections in the right eye, followed by laser photocoagulation. However, the patient did not consent to laser treatment and was treated with aflibercept monotherapy with 8 monthly intravitreal injections of aflibercept, followed by 6 injections every 2 months for a total of 14 injections over a period of 2 years. The best-corrected visual acuity in the right eye improved to 20/25 while optical coherence tomography imaging revealed significant decrease in retinal thickness with resolution of macular edema, and fluorescein angiography demonstrated prominent regression of aneurysms and leakage. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case treated with aflibercept monotherapy, suggesting the significant role of vascular endothelial growth factor in vascular permeability in Coats and supporting the rationale that antivascular endothelial growth factors are a valuable therapeutic option for Coats disease.
Gholizadeh S, Chen X, Yung A, Naderi A, Ghovvati M, Liu Y, Farzad A, Mostafavi A, Dana R, Annabi N. Development and optimization of an ocular hydrogel adhesive patch using definitive screening design (DSD). Biomater Sci 2022;Abstract
Adhesive hydrogels based on chemically modified photocrosslinkable polymers with specific physicochemical properties are frequently utilized for sealing wounds or incisions. These adhesive hydrogels offer tunable characteristics such as tailorable tissue adhesion, mechanical properties, swelling ratios, and enzymatic degradability. In this study, we developed and optimized a photocrosslinkable adhesive patch, GelPatch, with high burst pressure, minimal swelling, and specific mechanical properties for application as an ocular (sclera and subconjunctival) tissue adhesive. To achieve this, we formulated a series of hydrogel patches composed of different polymers with various levels of methacrylation, molecular weights, and hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties. A computerized multifactorial definitive screening design (DSD) analysis was performed to identify the most prominent components impacting critical response parameters such as adhesion, swelling ratio, elastic modulus, and second order interactions between applied components. These parameters were mathematically processed to generate a predictive model that identifies the linear and non-linear correlations between these factors. In conclusion, an optimized formulation of GelPatch was selected based on two modified polymers: gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and glycidyl methacrylated hyaluronic acid (HAGM). The ex vivo results confirmed adhesion and retention of the optimized hydrogel subconjunctivally and on the sclera for up to 4 days. The developed formulation has potential to be used as an ocular sealant for quick repair of laceration type ocular injuries.
Girach A, Audo I, Birch DG, Huckfeldt RM, Lam BL, Leroy BP, Michaelides M, Russell SR, Sallum JMF, Stingl K, Tsang SH, Yang P. RNA-based therapies in inherited retinal diseases. Ther Adv Ophthalmol 2022;14:25158414221134602.Abstract
Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are a genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous group of genetic eye disorders. There are more than 300 disease entities, and together this group of disorders affects millions of people globally and is a frequent cause of blindness or low-vision certification. However, each type is rare or ultra-rare. Characteristically, the impaired vision in IRDs is due to retinal photoreceptor dysfunction and loss resulting from mutation in a gene that codes for a retinal protein. Historically, IRDs have been considered incurable and individuals living with these blinding conditions could be offered only supportive care. However, the treatment landscape for IRDs is beginning to evolve. Progress is being made, driven by improvements in understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships, through advances in molecular genetic testing and retinal imaging. Alongside this expanding knowledge of IRDs, the current era of precision medicine is fueling a growth in targeted therapies. This has resulted in the first treatment for an IRD being approved. Several other therapies are currently in development in the IRD space, including RNA-based therapies, gene-based therapies (such as augmentation therapy and gene editing), cell therapy, visual prosthetics, and optogenetics. RNA-based therapies are a novel approach within precision medicine that have demonstrated success, particularly in rare diseases. Three antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) are currently in development for the treatment of specific IRD subtypes. These RNA-based therapies bring several key advantages in the setting of IRDs, and the potential to bring meaningful vision benefit to individuals living with inherited blinding disorders. This review will examine the increasing breadth and relevance of RNA-based therapies in clinical medicine, explore the key features that make AONs suitable for treating genetic eye diseases, and provide an overview of the three-leading investigational AONs in clinical trials.
Glonek T, Snogren T, Schmidt SY, Hearn SL, Isreb MA, Greiner JV. Phosphatic metabolism in dark- and light-adapted rat retinas. Exp Eye Res 2022;221:109141.Abstract
This study defines retinal phosphatic metabolites and their adjustment to illumination in rat retinas under conditions that preserve retinal function. Metabolic data are measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) spectroscopy after 10 min of light exposure in vivo compared with retinas from dark-adapted rats. Multiple high-energy and low-energy phosphatic metabolites of intermediary metabolism were quantified. The concentration of the high-energy phosphate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) remained unchanged from dark- to light-adaptation. Under the same conditions the concentrations of the high-energy phosphates guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and creatine phosphate increased, whereas the inorganic phosphate decreased. Comparing dark-adapted controls with retinas light-adapted either in vitro or in vivo, the evidence is consistent with a light-dependent increase in GTP and a decrease in cyclic guanosine monophosphate. Although cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels were lower in retinas light-adapted in vivo than in the dark-adapted controls, this did not seem to be an effect of light, as cAMP levels decreased similarly after 10 min incubation in dark or light in parallel with recovery of ATP/adenosine diphosphate ratios. This study: (1) reports on retinal metabolic changes with adjustment in illumination, (2) provides baseline measurements of retinal phosphatic metabolites in whole retinas, and (3) reports on the validity of chromatographic and spectroscopic methods used for studying retinal metabolism establishing a high correlation among measurements made using HPLC and 31P NMR.
Gnanaguru G, Mackey A, Choi EY, Arta A, Rossato FA, Gero TW, Urquhart AJ, Scott DA, D'Amore PA, Ng YSE. Discovery of sterically-hindered phenol compounds with potent cytoprotective activities against ox-LDL-induced retinal pigment epithelial cell death as a potential pharmacotherapy. Free Radic Biol Med 2022;178:360-368.Abstract
Late-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or geographic atrophy (GA) is an irreversible blinding condition characterized by degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the associated photoreceptors. Clinical and genetic evidence supports a role for dysfunctional lipid processing and accumulation of harmful oxidized lipids in the pathogenesis of GA. Using an oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced RPE death assay, we screened and identified sterically-hindered phenol compounds with potent protective activities for RPE. The phenol-containing PPARγ agonist, troglitazone, protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death, whereas other more potent PPARγ agonists did not protect RPE cells. Knockdown of PPARγ did not affect the protective activity of troglitazone in RPE, confirming the protective function is not due to the thiazolidine (TZD) group of troglitazone. Prototypical hindered phenol trolox and its analogs potently protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death whereas potent antioxidants without the phenol group failed to protect RPE. Hindered phenols preserved lysosomal integrity against ox-LDL-induced damage and FITC-labeled trolox was localized to the lysosomes in RPE cells. Analogs of trolox inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation induced by ox-LDL uptake in a dose-dependent fashion and were effective at sub-micromolar concentrations. Treatment with trolox analog 2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-6-chromanol (PMC) significantly induced the expression of the lysosomal protein NPC-1 and reduced intracellular cholesterol level upon ox-LDL uptake. Our data indicate that the lysosomal-localized hindered phenols are uniquely potent in protecting the RPE against the toxic effects of ox-LDL, and may represent a novel pharmacotherapy to preserve the vision in patients with GA.
Goldstein JE, Guo X, Swenor BK, Boland MV, Smith K. Using Electronic Clinical Decision Support to Examine Vision Rehabilitation Referrals and Practice Guidelines in Ophthalmology. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2022;11(10):8.Abstract
Purpose: To examine ophthalmologist use of an electronic health record (EHR)-based clinical decision support system (CDSS) to facilitate low vision rehabilitation (LVR) care referral. Methods: The CDSS alert was designed to appear when best documented visual acuity was <20/40 or hemianopia or quadrantanopia diagnosis was identified during an ophthalmology encounter from November 6, 2017, to April 5, 2019. Fifteen ophthalmologists representing eight subspecialties from an academic medical center were required to respond to the referral recommendation (order, don't order). LVR referral rates and ophthalmologist user experience were assessed. Encounter characteristics associated with LVR referrals were explored using multilevel logistic regression analysis. Results: The alert appeared for 3625 (8.9%) of 40,931 eligible encounters. The referral rate was 14.8% (535/3625). Of the 3413 encounters that met the visual acuity criterion only, patients who were worse than 20/60 were more likely to be referred, and 32.4% of referred patients were between 20/40 and 20/60. Primary reasons for deferring referrals included active medical or surgical treatment, refractive-related issues, and previous connection to LVR services. Eleven of the 13 ophthalmologists agreed that the alert was useful in identifying candidates for LVR services. Conclusions: A CDSS for patient identification and referral offers an acceptable mechanism to apply practice guidelines and prompt ophthalmologists to facilitate LVR care. Further study is warranted to optimize ophthalmologist user experience while refining alert criteria beyond visual acuity. Translational Relevance: The CDSS provides the framework for multi-center research to assess the development of pragmatic algorithms and standards for facilitating LVR care.
Gomes PJ, Ciolino JB, Arranz P, Hernández G, Fernández N. Efficacy of once-daily ophthalmic bilastine for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis: a dose-finding study. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2022;
Gomez A, Mercado C, Venkateswaran N, de la Sen-Corcuera B, Miller D, Dubovy S, Salero E, Sabater AL. Brief incubation of corneal grafts in activated platelet rich plasma enhances corneal endothelial cell survival and regeneration. Exp Eye Res 2022;220:109100.Abstract
Corneal transplantation is the most frequent organ transplantation worldwide. Unfortunately, corneal graft failure is common and endothelial decompensation is considered the major cause. Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) lack the capacity to reproduce, and perioperative and postoperative endothelial cell loss remains a significant challenge associated with corneal graft viability. Therefore, strategies to preserve CEC density are critical to extend graft survival. Activated platelet rich plasma (aPRP), a product extracted from autologous blood, has both antioxidant and regenerative properties. aPRP eye drops have shown effectiveness in the treatment of corneal pathologies such as ulcers, dry eye, and burns. Our purpose is to determine the protective and regenerative effect of aPRP on corneal grafts by evaluating aPRP's effect on the survival and proliferation of human CECs. Human corneal grafts were incubated in aPRP for 15 min to assess the activation of the CEC pAkt survival pathway as measured by ELISA. Evaluation of the protective effect of aPRP was made using an apoptotic model, which simulated oxidative stress conditions. Expression of apoptotic markers was measured using ELISA and endothelial cell viability was determined by optical microscopy. The CEC proliferation rate was measured in vitro with Ki-67 staining. Corneal graft gross structure was evaluated by Hematoxylin & Eosin and Masson trichrome staining. Our results indicate that a short incubation of human corneal grafts in aPRP protects CECs from apoptosis by upregulating the pAkt survival pathway and promoting CEC proliferation. Additionally, aPRP incubation does not induce histological changes in the grafts. A brief pre-treatment of human corneal grafts in aPRP may be beneficial for transplant longevity, as it protects CECs from apoptosis by upregulating intracellular survival pathways and promoting proliferation. In addition, this approach appears to be safe and has the potential to improve surgical outcomes following corneal transplantation.
Gong Y, Tomita Y, Edin ML, Ren A, Ko M, Yang J, Bull E, Zeldin DC, Hellström A, Fu Z, Smith LEH. Cytochrome P450 oxidase 2J inhibition suppresses choroidal neovascularization in mice. Metabolism 2022;134:155266.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) leads to blindness. It has been widely reported that increased intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) diets reduce CNV. Of the three major pathways metabolizing ω-3 (and ω-6 LCPUFA), the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways generally produce pro-angiogenic metabolites from ω-6 LCPUFA and anti-angiogenic ones from ω-3 LCPUFA. Howevehr, cytochrome P450 oxidase (CPY) 2C produces pro-angiogenic metabolites from both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA. The effects of CYP2J2 products on ocular neovascularization are still unknown. Understanding how each metabolic pathway affects the protective effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on retinal neovascularization may lead to therapeutic interventions. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of LCPUFA metabolites through CYP2J2 pathway and CYP2J2 regulation on CNV both in vivo and ex vivo. METHODS: The impact of CYP2J2 overexpression and inhibition on neovascularization in the laser-induced CNV mouse model was assessed. The plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites were measured by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy. The choroidal explant sprouting assay was used to investigate the effects of CYP2J2 inhibition and specific LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolites on angiogenesis ex vivo. RESULTS: CNV was exacerbated in Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice and was associated with increased levels of plasma docosahexaenoic acids. Inhibiting CYP2J2 activity with flunarizine decreased CNV in both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA-fed wild-type mice. In Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice, flunarizine suppressed CNV by 33 % and 36 % in ω-6, ω-3 LCPUFA diets, respectively, and reduced plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites. The pro-angiogenic role of CYP2J2 was corroborated in the choroidal explant sprouting assay. Flunarizine attenuated ex vivo choroidal sprouting, and 19,20-EDP, a ω-3 LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolite, increased sprouting. The combined inhibition of CYP2J2 with flunarizine and CYP2C8 with montelukast further enhanced CNV suppression via tumor necrosis factor-α suppression. CONCLUSIONS: CYP2J2 inhibition augmented the inhibitory effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on CNV. Flunarizine suppressed pathological choroidal angiogenesis, and co-treatment with montelukast inhibiting CYP2C8 further enhanced the effect. CYP2 inhibition might be a viable approach to suppress CNV in AMD.
Gong L, Guan Y, Cho W, Li B, Pan L, Yang Z, Wu M, Yang Z, Chauhan SK, Zeng W. A new non-human primate model of desiccating stress-induced dry eye disease. Sci Rep 2022;12(1):7957.Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED), a multifactorial ocular surface disease, is estimated to affect up to 34% of individuals over 50 years old. Although numerous animal models, including rodents and rabbits, have been developed to mimic the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in dry eye, there is a lack of non-human primate (NHP) models, critical for translational drug studies. Here, we developed a novel desiccating stress-induced dry eye disease model using Rhesus macaque monkeys. The monkeys were housed in a controlled environment room for 21 to 36 days under humidity, temperature, and airflow regulation. Following desiccating stress, NHPs demonstrated clinical symptoms similar to those of humans, as shown by increased corneal fluorescein staining (CFS) and decreased tear-film breakup time (TFBUT). Moreover, corticosteroid treatment significantly reduced CFS scoring, restored TFBUT, and prevented upregulation of tear proinflammatory cytokines as observed in dry eye patients following steroid treatment. The close resemblance of clinical symptoms and treatment responses to those of human DED patients provides great translational value to the NHP model, which could serve as a clinically relevant animal model to study the efficacy of new potential treatments for DED.
Gostimir M, Liou V, Yoon MK. Safety of Botulinum Toxin A Injections for Facial Rejuvenation: A Meta-Analysis of 9,669 Patients. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To quantitatively evaluate safety profile for botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) injections among patients undergoing treatment for cosmetic indications is produced, with special attention to clinically relevant covariates and their relative impact on safety. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed (1996-January 2020) and Embase (1947-January 2020) to identify all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that reported safety data for patients receiving BTX-A for cosmetic indications compared to placebo. A meta-analysis was performed to determine pooled risk ratios (RR) for treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) and for specific adverse events. Meta-regression and additional analyses were performed for significant and/or clinically relevant covariates. RESULTS: Following the review of 8,690 studies, 32 RCTs involving 9,669 patients were included. The pooled RR of any TRAE occurring after BTX-A injection compared to placebo injection was 1.53 (95% CI, 1.33-1.77; p < 0.001). Statistically significant covariates included individual injection volume and total injection volume. The type of BTX-A formulation, treatment site, total BTX-A units, and BTX-A units per injection were not significant. Specific adverse events more likely to occur following BTX-A injection rather than placebo injection included eyelid/eyebrow malposition (RR 3.55; p < 0.001), facial paresis (RR 2.42; p = 0.316), and headache (RR 1.45; p = 0.003). Injection site reactions and injection site bruising occurred at similar rates in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The overall safety profile of BTX-A is acceptable and consistent with previous publications. The authors' additional analyses provide a relative comparison of the impact of various treatment parameters on safety.
Gotti G, Stevenson K, Kay-Green S, Blonquist TM, Mantagos JS, Silverman LB, Place AE. Ocular abnormalities at diagnosis and after the completion of treatment in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2022;69(4):e29542.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Ocular abnormalities (OA) in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are common findings both at diagnosis and later in follow-up. The frequency, predictors, and prognostic impact of OA in the context of recent ALL protocols are not well characterized. PROCEDURE: Single-center retrospective analysis of the medical records of 224 patients with ALL enrolled on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) ALL Consortium Protocol 05-001. RESULTS: Overall, 217 (98%) patients had at least one ophthalmic exam. Retinal hemorrhages were the most frequent abnormalities at diagnosis (11%) and cataracts at later time points (13%). OA at diagnosis were associated with age ≥10 years and with the severity of anemia and thrombocytopenia; they were also univariately associated with lower 5-year event-free survival (EFS) (high risk [HR] = 3.09 [95% CI: 1.38-6.94]; p = .006), but not in a disease-free survival (DFS) model adjusted for end-induction minimal residual disease (p = .82). The cumulative incidence of cataract was 13.1% ± 2.8% at 43 months from diagnosis; its development was associated with high presenting white blood cell count (≥50,000/μl) (p = .010), male sex (p = .036), higher risk group (p = .025), and cranial radiation (p = .004). Cataract was associated with decreased visual acuity. CONCLUSIONS: OA at diagnosis, present in 12% of patients, were associated with older age, anemia, and thrombocytopenia and did not carry a significant prognostic impact. Cataracts were detected in over 10% of patients and were associated with decreased visual acuity, thus supporting routine screening after completion of therapy, especially for those treated with high-risk protocols.
Gotti G, Stevenson K, Kay-Green S, Blonquist TM, Mantagos JS, Silverman LB, Place AE. Reply to: Comment on: [Ocular abnormalities at diagnosis and after the completion of treatment in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia]. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2022;:e29833.Abstract
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Göz Aytürk D, You W, Cepko CL. Mouse Lines with Cre-Mediated Recombination in Retinal Amacrine Cells. eNeuro 2022;9(1)Abstract
Amacrine cells (ACs) are the most diverse neuronal cell type in the vertebrate retina. Yet little is known about the contribution of ACs to visual processing and retinal disease. A major challenge in evaluating AC function is genetic accessibility. A classic tool of mouse genetics, Cre-mediated recombination, can provide such access. We have screened existing genetically-modified mouse strains and identified multiple candidates that express Cre-recombinase in subsets of retinal ACs. The Cre-expressing mice were crossed to fluorescent-reporter mice to assay Cre expression. In addition, a Cre-dependent fluorescent reporter plasmid was electroporated into the subretinal space of Cre strains. Herein, we report three mouse lines (Tac1::IRES-cre, Camk2a-cre, and Scx-cre) that express Cre recombinase in sub-populations of ACs. In two of these lines, recombination occurred in multiple AC types and a small number of other retinal cell types, while recombination in the Camk2a-cre line appears specific to a morphologically distinct AC. We anticipate that these characterized mouse lines will be valuable tools to the community of researchers who study retinal biology and disease.

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