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Alkharashi M, Hunter DG. Reduced surgical success rate of rectus muscle plication compared to resection. J AAPOS 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the surgical success of rectus muscle plication compared to resection and to compare the short- and long-term changes in ocular alignment after both procedures. METHODS: The medical records of all patients who underwent a rectus muscle tightening procedure (resection or plication) at a single institution over a 5-year period by a single surgeon were reviewed retrospectively. Binocular alignment was recorded before and immediately after surgery and again at 6-12 weeks and final follow-up visit. Primary outcome was surgical success rate, defined as distance alignment of ≤10(Δ) for horizontal and ≤6(Δ) for vertical strabismus. Secondary outcomes were reoperation rate and postoperative alignment drift. RESULTS: A total of 72 surgeries were identified for inclusion: 48 resections and 24 plications. Surgical success was significantly higher in the resection group than in the plication group (89% vs 58%; P = 0.005) at both 6-12 weeks' follow-up (P = 0.005) and at mean final follow-up of 19 ± 13 months (range, 3-56 months [n = 48]; P = 0.03). Reoperations were performed in 3 patients in the plication group (12.5%), all for undercorrection; there were no reoperations in the resection group (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Rectus muscle plication has many potential advantages over resection, including sparing of the ciliary circulation. In our experience, however, patients treated with plication had lower surgical success rates and a higher reoperation rate. Surgeons should monitor their long-term results before considering plication as their procedure of choice over resection.
Alkharashi M, Dagi AF, Dagi LR. Pericardial patch graft repair of severe localized scleral thinning encountered during strabismus surgery. J AAPOS 2017;21(2):156-156.e1.Abstract

This article presents a surgical technique using a pericardial patch for the permanent repair of severe scleral thinning encountered during strabismus surgery. In the present case scleral thinning resulted from buckle removal. Familiarity with this technique may prove important for the strabismus surgeon treating patients with a history of surface ocular hardware or disease-induced scleral thinning. This video article may be viewed atjaapos.org.

de Almeida LM, Pires C, Cerdeira LT, de Oliveira TGM, McCulloch JA, Perez-Chaparro PJ, Sacramento AG, Brito AC, da Silva JL, de Araújo MRE, Lincopan N, Martin MJ, Gilmore MS, Mamizuka EM. Complete Genome Sequence of Linezolid-Susceptible Staphylococcus haemolyticus Sh29/312/L2, a Clonal Derivative of a Linezolid-Resistant Clinical Strain. Genome Announc 2015;3(3)Abstract

We report the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of an in vitro susceptible derivative revertant mutant from a bloodstream isolate involved in a nosocomial outbreak in Brazil. The WGS comprises 2.5 Mb with 2,500 protein-coding sequences, 16rRNA genes, and 60 tRNA genes.

von Alpen D, Tran HV, Guex N, Venturini G, Munier FL, Schorderet DF, Haider NB, Escher P. Differential Dimerization of Variants Linked to Enhanced S-Cone Sensitivity Syndrome (ESCS) Located in the NR2E3 Ligand-Binding Domain. Hum Mutat 2015;36(6):599-610.Abstract

NR2E3 encodes the photoreceptor-specific nuclear hormone receptor that acts as a repressor of cone-specific gene expression in rod photoreceptors, and as an activator of several rod-specific genes. Recessive variants located in the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of NR2E3 cause enhanced short wavelength sensitive- (S-) cone syndrome (ESCS), a retinal degeneration characterized by an excess of S-cones and non-functional rods. We analyzed the dimerization properties of NR2E3 and the effect of disease-causing LBD missense variants by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET(2) ) protein interaction assays. Homodimerization was not affected in presence of p.A256V, p.R039G, p.R311Q, and p.R334G variants, but abolished in presence of p.L263P, p.L336P, p.L353V, p.R385P, and p.M407K variants. Homology modeling predicted structural changes induced by NR2E3 LBD variants. NR2E3 LBD variants did not affect interaction with CRX, but with NRL and rev-erbα/NR1D1. CRX and NRL heterodimerized more efficiently together, than did either with NR2E3. NR2E3 did not heterodimerize with TLX/NR2E1 and RXRα/NR2C1. The identification of a new compound heterozygous patient with detectable rod function, who expressed solely the p.A256V variant protein, suggests a correlation between LBD variants able to form functional NR2E3 dimers and atypical mild forms of ESCS with residual rod function.

Altamura M, Padalino FA, Stella E, Balzotti A, Bellomo A, Palumbo R, Di Domenico A, Mammarella N, Fairfield B. Facial Emotion Recognition in Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Aging. J Nerv Ment Dis 2016;204(3):188-93.Abstract

Emotional face recognition is impaired in bipolar disorder, but it is not clear whether this is specific for the illness. Here, we investigated how aging and bipolar disorder influence dynamic emotional face recognition. Twenty older adults, 16 bipolar patients, and 20 control subjects performed a dynamic affective facial recognition task and a subsequent rating task. Participants pressed a key as soon as they were able to discriminate whether the neutral face was assuming a happy or angry facial expression and then rated the intensity of each facial expression. Results showed that older adults recognized happy expressions faster, whereas bipolar patients recognized angry expressions faster. Furthermore, both groups rated emotional faces more intensely than did the control subjects. This study is one of the first to compare how aging and clinical conditions influence emotional facial recognition and underlines the need to consider the role of specific and common factors in emotional face recognition.

Altschwager P, Moskowitz A, Fulton AB, Hansen RM. Multifocal ERG Responses in Subjects With a History of Preterm Birth. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(5):2603-2608.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess cone-mediated central retinal function in children with a history of preterm birth, including subjects with and without retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) records activity of the postreceptor retinal circuitry. Methods: mfERG responses were recorded to an array of 103 hexagonal elements that subtended 43° around a central fixation target. The amplitude and latency of the first negative (N1) and first positive (P1) response were evaluated in six concentric rings centered on the fovea. Responses were recorded from 40 subjects with a history of preterm birth (severe ROP, mild ROP, no ROP) and 19 term-born control subjects. Results: The amplitude of N1 and P1 varied significantly with eccentricity and ROP severity. For all four groups, these amplitudes were largest in the center and decreased with eccentricity. At all eccentricities, N1 amplitude was significantly smaller in severe ROP and did not differ significantly among the other three groups (mild ROP, no ROP, term-born controls). P1 amplitude in all preterm groups was significantly smaller than in controls; P1 amplitude was similar in no ROP and mild ROP and significantly smaller in severe ROP. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that premature birth alone affects cone-mediated central retinal function and that the magnitude of the effect varies with severity of the antecedent ROP. The lack of difference in mfERG amplitude between the mild and no ROP groups is evidence that the effect of ROP on the neurosensory retina may not depend solely on appearance of abnormal retinal vasculature.
Amarnani D, Machuca-Parra AI, Wong LL, Marko CK, Stefater JA, Stryjewski TP, Eliott D, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kim LA. Effect of Methotrexate on an In Vitro Patient-Derived Model of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(10):3940-3949.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a method for isolating, culturing, and characterizing cells from patient-derived membranes in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) to be used for drug testing. Methods: PVR membranes were obtained from six patients with grade C PVR. Membrane fragments were analyzed by gross evaluation, fixed for immunohistologic studies to establish cell identity, or digested with collagenase II to obtain single cell suspensions for culture. PVR-derived primary cultures were used to examine the effects of methotrexate (MTX) on proliferation, migration, and cell death. Results: Gross analysis of PVR membranes showed presence of pigmented cells, indicative of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Immunohistochemistry identified cells expressing α-smooth muscle actin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, Bestrophin-1, and F4/80, suggesting the presence of multiple cell types in PVR. Robust PVR primary cultures (C-PVR) were successfully obtained from human membranes, and these cells retained the expression of cell identity markers in culture. C-PVR cultures formed membranes and band-like structures in culture reminiscent of the human condition. MTX significantly reduced the proliferation and band formation of C-PVR, whereas it had no significant effect on cell migration. MTX also induced regulated cell death within C-PVR as assessed by increased expression of caspase-3/7. Conclusions: PVR cells obtained from human membranes can be successfully isolated, cultured, and profiled in vitro. Using these primary cultures, we identified MTX as capable of significantly reducing growth and inducing cell death of PVR cells in vitro.
Amouzegar A, Mittal SK, Sahu A, Sahu SK, Chauhan SK. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Modulate Differentiation of Myeloid Progenitor Cells During Inflammation. Stem Cells 2017;35(6):1532-1541.Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess distinct immunomodulatory properties and have tremendous potential for use in therapeutic applications in various inflammatory diseases. MSCs have been shown to regulate pathogenic functions of mature myeloid inflammatory cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils. Intriguingly, the capacity of MSCs to modulate differentiation of myeloid progenitors (MPs) to mature inflammatory cells remains unknown to date. Here, we report the novel finding that MSCs inhibit the expression of differentiation markers on MPs under inflammatory conditions. We demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of MSCs is dependent on direct cell-cell contact and that this intercellular contact is mediated through interaction of CD200 expressed by MSCs and CD200R1 expressed by MPs. Furthermore, using an injury model of sterile inflammation, we show that MSCs promote MP frequencies and suppress infiltration of inflammatory cells in the inflamed tissue. We also find that downregulation of CD200 in MSCs correlates with abrogation of their immunoregulatory function. Collectively, our study provides unequivocal evidence that MSCs inhibit differentiation of MPs in the inflammatory environment via CD200-CD200R1 interaction. Stem Cells 2017;35:1532-1541.
Amparo F, Yin J, Di Zazzo A, Abud T, Jurkunas UV, Hamrah P, Dana R. Evaluating Changes in Ocular Redness Using a Novel Automated Method. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2017;6(4):13.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate interobserver concordance in measured ocular redness among a group of raters using an objective computer-assisted method (ocular redness index [ORI]) and a group of clinicians using an ordinal comparative scale. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study to evaluate ocular redness in clinical photographs of 12 patients undergoing pterygium surgery. Photographs were acquired preoperatively, and at 1 week and 1 month postoperatively. One group of clinicians graded conjunctival redness in the photographs using an image-based comparative scale. A second group applied the ORI to measure redness in the same photographs. We evaluated redness change between time points, level of agreement among raters, and assessed redness score differences among observers within each group. RESULTS: Interobserver agreement using the image-based redness scale was 0.458 (P < 0.001). Interobserver agreement with the ORI was 0.997 (P < 0.001). We observed statistically significant differences among clinicians' measurements obtained with the image-based redness scale (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences among measurements obtained with the ORI (P = 0.27). We observed a significant change in redness between baseline and follow-up visits with all scoring methods. Detailed analysis of redness change was performed only in the ORI group due to availability of continuous scores. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the ORI scores provide higher consistency among raters than ordinal scales, and can discriminate redness changes that clinical observers often can miss. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: The ORI may be a reliable alternative to measure ocular redness objectively in the clinic and in clinical trials.
Amparo F, Schaumberg DA, Dana R. Comparison of Two Questionnaires for Dry Eye Symptom Assessment: The Ocular Surface Disease Index and the Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye. Ophthalmology 2015;122(7):1498-503.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare patient-reported symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) as assessed by the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), a 12-item symptom frequency-based questionnaire, and the Symptom Assessment iN Dry Eye (SANDE), a 2-item frequency- and severity-based visual analog scale. DESIGN: Clinic-based evaluation of a diagnostic test. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 114 patients with DED. METHODS: Patients were administered the OSDI and SANDE questionnaires at baseline and follow-up visits to evaluate DED-related symptoms. The correlations between both questionnaires' scores were evaluated using the Spearman coefficient, and their clinical differences were assessed using Bland-Altman analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Baseline and follow-up visit OSDI and SANDE dry eye symptom scores. RESULTS: At the baseline visit, the OSDI and SANDE questionnaire scores were significantly correlated (R = 0.64; P < 0.001). Moreover, a significant correlation was found between changes in the OSDI and SANDE scores from baseline to follow-up visits (R = 0.47; P < 0.001). A Bland-Altman analysis, after score normalization, revealed a difference (bias) of less than 2 centesimal units between the scores of the 2 questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: Data collected from the SANDE questionnaire showed a significant correlation and negligible score differences with those from the OSDI, suggesting that the SANDE visual analog scale-based questionnaire has the potential to provide clinicians with a short, quick, and reliable measure for DED symptoms.

Amphornphruet A, Silpa-Archa S, Preble JM, Foster SC. Endogenous Cryptococcal Endophthalmitis in Immunocompetent Host: Case Report and Review of Multimodal Imaging Findings and Treatment. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2017;:1-5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe a case of bilateral endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in an immunocompetent host and to review adjunctive ophthalmic imaging patterns and treatment. METHODS: A retrospective case report. RESULTS: A 45-year-old female patient with two distinct presentations of endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in each eye presented initially with progressive blurred vision in the left eye, beginning more than 10 years after a craniotomy with ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Complete ophthalmic imaging was conducted and compared with data from previous literature. Administration of amphotericin-B had poorly responded; however, consolidation of fluconazole resulted in disease stabilization. CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral intraocular cryptococcal infection can present with two distinct patterns of posterior segment findings. A review of ophthalmic imaging patterns found consistency in some characteristics of A-scan ultrasonogram and fundus fluorescein angiogram. Besides conventional treatment, voriconazole is likely to play an important role in the management of cryptococcal endophthalmitis.

Andzelm MM, Cherry TJ, Harmin DA, Boeke AC, Lee C, Hemberg M, Pawlyk B, Malik AN, Flavell SW, Sandberg MA, Raviola E, Greenberg ME. MEF2D Drives Photoreceptor Development through a Genome-wide Competition for Tissue-Specific Enhancers. Neuron 2015;86(1):247-63.Abstract

Organismal development requires the precise coordination of genetic programs to regulate cell fate and function. MEF2 transcription factors (TFs) play essential roles in this process but how these broadly expressed factors contribute to the generation of specific cell types during development is poorly understood. Here we show that despite being expressed in virtually all mammalian tissues, in the retina MEF2D binds to retina-specific enhancers and controls photoreceptor cell development. MEF2D achieves specificity by cooperating with a retina-specific factor CRX, which recruits MEF2D away from canonical MEF2 binding sites and redirects it to retina-specific enhancers that lack the consensus MEF2-binding sequence. Once bound to retina-specific enhancers, MEF2D and CRX co-activate the expression of photoreceptor-specific genes that are critical for retinal function. These findings demonstrate that broadly expressed TFs acquire specific functions through competitive recruitment to enhancers by tissue-specific TFs and through selective activation of these enhancers to regulate tissue-specific genes.

Annunziata R, Kheirkhah A, Aggarwal S, Cavalcanti BM, Hamrah P, Trucco E. Two-Dimensional Plane for Multi-Scale Quantification of Corneal Subbasal Nerve Tortuosity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(3):1132-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the performance of a novel system for automated tortuosity estimation and interpretation. METHODS: A supervised strategy (driven by observers' grading) was employed to automatically identify the combination of tortuosity measures (i.e., tortuosity representation) leading to the best agreement with the observers. We investigated 18 tortuosity measures including curvature and density of inflection points, computed at multiple spatial scales. To leverage tortuosity interpretation, we propose the tortuosity plane (TP) onto which each image is mapped. Experiments were carried out on 140 images of subbasal nerve plexus of the central cornea, covering four levels of tortuosity. Three experienced observers graded each image independently. RESULTS: The best tortuosity representation was the combination of mean curvature at spatial scales 2 and 5. These tortuosity measures were the axes of the proposed TP (interpretation). The system for tortuosity estimation revealed strong agreement with the observers on a global and per-level basis. The agreement with each observer (Spearman's correlation) was statistically significant (αs = 0.05, P < 0.0001) and higher than that of at least one of the other observers in two out of three cases (ρOUR = 0.7594 versus ρObs3 = 0.7225; ρOUR = 0.8880 versus ρObs1 = 0.8017, ρObs3 = 0.7315). Based on paired-sample t-tests, these improvements were significant (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our automated system stratifies images by four tortuosity levels (discrete scale) matching or exceeding the accuracy of experienced observers. Of importance, the TP allows the assessment of tortuosity on a two-dimensional continuous scale, thus leading to a finer discrimination among images.

Annunziata R, Kheirkhah A, Aggarwal S, Hamrah P, Trucco E. A fully automated tortuosity quantification system with application to corneal nerve fibres in confocal microscopy images. Med Image Anal 2016;32:216-32.Abstract

Recent clinical research has highlighted important links between a number of diseases and the tortuosity of curvilinear anatomical structures like corneal nerve fibres, suggesting that tortuosity changes might detect early stages of specific conditions. Currently, clinical studies are mainly based on subjective, visual assessment, with limited repeatability and inter-observer agreement. To address these problems, we propose a fully automated framework for image-level tortuosity estimation, consisting of a hybrid segmentation method and a highly adaptable, definition-free tortuosity estimation algorithm. The former combines an appearance model, based on a Scale and Curvature-Invariant Ridge Detector (SCIRD), with a context model, including multi-range learned context filters. The latter is based on a novel tortuosity estimation paradigm in which discriminative, multi-scale features can be automatically learned for specific anatomical objects and diseases. Experimental results on 140 in vivo confocal microscopy images of corneal nerve fibres from healthy and unhealthy subjects demonstrate the excellent performance of our method compared to state-of-the-art approaches and ground truth annotations from 3 expert observers.

Arafat SN, Robert M-C, Shukla AN, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J, Ciolino JB. UV cross-linking of donor corneas confers resistance to keratolysis. Cornea 2014;33(9):955-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a modified ex vivo corneal cross-linking method that increases stromal resistance to enzymatic degradation for use as a carrier for the Boston keratoprosthesis. METHODS: Ex vivo cross-linking of human corneas was performed using Barron artificial anterior chambers. The corneas were deepithelialized, pretreated with riboflavin solution (0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran), and irradiated with ultraviolet A (UV-A) light (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for various durations. The combined effect of UV-A and gamma (γ) irradiation was also assessed using the commercially available γ-irradiated corneal donors. The corneas were then trephined and incubated at 37°C with 0.3% collagenase A solution. The time to dissolution of each cornea was compared across treatments. RESULTS: Deepithelialized corneas (no UV light, no riboflavin) dissolved in 5.8 ± 0.6 hours. Cross-linked corneas demonstrated increased resistance to dissolution, with a time to dissolution of 17.8 ± 2.6 hours (P < 0.0001). The corneal tissues' resistance to collagenase increased with longer UV-A exposure, reaching a plateau at 30 minutes. Cross-linking both the anterior and posterior corneas did not provide added resistance when compared with cross-linking the anterior corneas only (P > 0.05). γ-irradiated corneas dissolved as readily as deepithelialized controls regardless of whether they were further cross-linked (5.6 ± 1.2 hours) or not (6.1 ± 0.6 hours) (P = 0.43). CONCLUSIONS: Collagen cross-linking of the deepithelialized anterior corneal surface for 30 minutes conferred optimal resistance to in vitro keratolysis by collagenase A.

Arafat SN, Robert M-C, Abud T, Spurr-Michaud S, Amparo F, Dohlman CH, Dana R, Gipson IK. Elevated Neutrophil Elastase in Tears of Ocular Graft-Versus-Host Disease Patients. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;176:46-52.Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the levels of neutrophil elastase (NE), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in tear washes of patients with ocular graft-vs-host disease (oGVHD). DESIGN: Case-control study. METHODS: Based on established criteria, oGVHD patients (n = 14; 28 eyes) and age-/sex-matched healthy controls (n = 14; 28 eyes) were enrolled. Tear washes were collected and analyzed for NE using a single-analyte enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). MMPs (1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12), MPO, and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 were analyzed using multianalyte bead-based ELISA assays. Total MMP activity was measured using a fluorimetric assay. Correlation studies were performed between NE, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO within study groups. RESULTS: NE, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO levels were elevated in oGVHD tears when compared with controls (P < .0001). NE was the most elevated analyte. MMP activity was higher and TIMP-1 levels were lower in oGVHD than in control (P < .0001). In oGVHD, NE significantly correlated with MMP-8 (r = 0.92), MMP-9 (r = 0.90), and MPO (r = 0.79) (P < .0001). MMP-8 correlated with MMP-9 (r = 0.96, P < .0001), and MPO (r = 0.60, P = .001). MMP-9 correlated with MPO (r = 0.55, P = .002). In controls, NE, MMP-9, and MPO significantly correlated with each other (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: The marked increase in NE in oGVHD tears that correlated strongly with elevated MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO suggests a common neutrophilic source and provides evidence of neutrophil activity on the ocular surface of oGVHD patients.

Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Valdez CN, Marko CK, D'Amore PA. From pathobiology to the targeting of pericytes for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Curr Diab Rep 2015;15(2):573.Abstract

Pericytes, the mural cells that constitute the capillaries along with endothelial cells, have been associated with the pathobiology of diabetic retinopathy; however, therapeutic implications of this association remain largely unexplored. Pericytes appear to be highly susceptible to the metabolic challenges associated with a diabetic environment, and there is substantial evidence that their loss may contribute to microvascular instability leading to the formation of microaneurysms, microhemorrhages, acellular capillaries, and capillary nonperfusion. Since pericytes are strategically located at the interface between the vascular and neural components of the retina, they offer extraordinary opportunities for therapeutic interventions in diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, the availability of novel imaging methodologies now allows for the in vivo visualization of pericytes, enabling a new generation of clinical trials that use pericyte tracking as clinical endpoints. The recognition of multiple signaling mechanisms involved in pericyte development and survival should allow for a renewed interest in pericytes as a therapeutic target for diabetic retinopathy.

Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Primo V, Graham M, James A, Manent J, D'Amore PA. Notch signaling functions in retinal pericyte survival. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(8):5191-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: Pericytes, the vascular cells that constitute the outer layer of capillaries, have been shown to have a crucial role in vascular development and stability. Loss of pericytes precedes endothelial cell dysfunction and vascular degeneration in small-vessel diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. Despite their clinical relevance, the cellular pathways controlling survival of retinal pericytes remain largely uncharacterized. Therefore, we investigated the role of Notch signaling, a master regulator of cell fate decisions, in retinal pericyte survival. METHODS: A coculture system of ligand-dependent Notch signaling was developed using primary cultured retinal pericytes and a mesenchymal cell line derived from an inducible mouse model expressing the Delta-like 1 Notch ligand. This model was used to examine the effect of Notch activity on pericyte survival using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and a light-induced cell death assay. The effect of Notch gain- and loss-of-function was analyzed in monocultures of retinal pericytes using antibody arrays to interrogate the expression of apoptosis-related proteins. RESULTS: Primary cultured retinal pericytes differentially expressed key molecules of the Notch pathway and displayed strong expression of canonical Notch/RBPJK (recombination signal-binding protein 1 for J-kappa) downstream targets. A gene expression screen using gain- and loss-of-function approaches identified genes relevant to cell survival as downstream targets of Notch activity in retinal pericytes. Ligand-mediated Notch activity protected retinal pericytes from light-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS: Our results have identified signature genes downstream of Notch activity in retinal pericytes and suggest that tight regulation of Notch signaling is crucial for pericyte survival.
Arendt D, Musser JM, Baker CVH, Bergman A, Cepko C, Erwin DH, Pavlicev M, Schlosser G, Widder S, Laubichler MD, Wagner GP. The origin and evolution of cell types. Nat Rev Genet 2016;17(12):744-757.Abstract

Cell types are the basic building blocks of multicellular organisms and are extensively diversified in animals. Despite recent advances in characterizing cell types, classification schemes remain ambiguous. We propose an evolutionary definition of a cell type that allows cell types to be delineated and compared within and between species. Key to cell type identity are evolutionary changes in the 'core regulatory complex' (CoRC) of transcription factors, that make emergent sister cell types distinct, enable their independent evolution and regulate cell type-specific traits termed apomeres. We discuss the distinction between developmental and evolutionary lineages, and present a roadmap for future research.

Argüeso P. Proteolytic activity in the meibomian gland: Implications to health and disease. Exp Eye Res 2017;163:53-57.Abstract
The function of the meibomian gland in the upper and lower eyelids is critical to maintaining homeostasis at the ocular surface. Highly specialized meibocytes within the gland must differentiate and accumulate intracellular lipid droplets that are released into the tear film following rupture of the cell membrane. Proteases and their inhibitors have been recognized as key players in remodeling extracellular matrices and promoting the normal integrity of glandular tissue. They modulate a wide range of biological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, and can contribute to disease when aberrantly expressed. Deciphering the role of proteolytic activity in the meibomian gland offers an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive and fundamental understanding of the developmental, physiological, and pathological processes associated with this gland.

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