PURPOSE: To evaluate serum cytokine profile from patients with active scleritis in a two-centre prospective case-control study.
METHODS: The serum of 20 active scleritis patients not treated with any local, periocular, or systemic immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) was analysed with multiplex assay to determine the levels of 11 cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-5, TNF-α, and TNF-β, and with ELISA to determine the levels of TGF-β1, IL-22, and IL-23. Twenty-five age-matched healthy volunteers were used as controls. In a subgroup of 13 patients with active disease, a second serum sample was obtained when the disease was inactive and levels of IL-22 were determined. Serum IL-22 levels from patients with active scleritis were correlated with type of scleritis (non-necrotizing and necrotizing), degree of inflammation (0-4+ :≤2+ and >2+), and associated systemic disease.
RESULTS: Serum levels of IL-22 were elevated in active scleritis patients compared to controls (6.41 ± 1.52 pg/ml versus 1.93 ± 0.39 pg/ml, p = 0.012) and significantly decreased after scleritis remission with the use of IMT (p = 0.005). There was no statistical association with scleritis type, degree of inflammation, or associated systemic disease. The serum levels of other cytokines were not significantly different from controls.
CONCLUSION: In our study cohort, IL-22 serum levels were significantly elevated in active scleritis patients compared to controls and decreased significantly after remission. Our results suggest that IL-22, a T helper (Th) 17- and Th22- derived cytokine, may play a critical role in the physiopathology of scleritis.
Cone photoreceptors function under daylight conditions and are essential for color perception and vision with high temporal and spatial resolution. A remarkable feature of cones is that, unlike rods, they remain responsive in bright light. In rods, light triggers a decline in intracellular calcium, which exerts a well studied negative feedback on phototransduction that includes calcium-dependent inhibition of rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) by recoverin. Rods and cones share the same isoforms of recoverin and GRK1, and photoactivation also triggers a calcium decline in cones. However, the molecular mechanisms by which calcium exerts negative feedback on cone phototransduction through recoverin and GRK1 are not well understood. Here, we examined this question using mice expressing various levels of GRK1 or lacking recoverin. We show that although GRK1 is required for the timely inactivation of mouse cone photoresponse, gradually increasing its expression progressively delays the cone response recovery. This surprising result is in contrast with the known effect of increasing GRK1 expression in rods. Notably, the kinetics of cone responses converge and become independent of GRK1 levels for flashes activating more than ∼1% of cone pigment. Thus, mouse cone response recovery in bright light is independent of pigment phosphorylation and likely reflects the spontaneous decay of photoactivated visual pigment. We also find that recoverin potentiates the sensitivity of cones in dim light conditions but does not contribute to their capacity to function in bright light.
Osteogenesis imperfecta comprises a rare group of genetic disorders caused by abnormal collagen that results in increased bone fragility and other sequelae. We describe a 37-year-old woman with osteogenesis imperfecta in whom two full-thickness scleral perforations were created by adjacent teeth of 0.5 mm forceps during traction testing while undergoing routine strabismus surgery. This case reviews the ocular findings of osteogenesis imperfecta and highlights the potential risk of ocular surgical complications in these patients.
The emergence of diabetes as a global epidemic is accompanied by the rise in diabetes‑related retinal complications. Diabetic retinopathy, if left undetected and untreated, can lead to severe visual impairment and affect an individual's productivity and quality of life. Globally, diabetic retinopathy remains one of the leading causes of visual loss in the working‑age population. Teleophthalmology for diabetic retinopathy is an innovative means of retinal evaluation that allows identification of eyes at risk for visual loss, thereby preserving vision and decreasing the overall burden to the health care system. Numerous studies worldwide have found teleophthalmology to be a reliable and cost‑efficient alternative to traditional clinical examinations. It has reduced barriers to access to specialized eye care in both rural and urban communities. In teleophthalmology applications for diabetic retinopathy, it is critical that standardized protocols in image acquisition and evaluation are used to ensure low image ungradable rates and maintain the quality of images taken. Innovative imaging technology such as ultrawide field imaging has the potential to provide significant benefit with integration into teleophthalmology programs. Teleophthalmology programs for diabetic retinopathy rely on a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach with partnerships across specialties and health care professionals to attain wider acceptability and allow evidence‑based eye care to reach a much broader population.
Since its discovery in the years of the French Revolution, the field of keratoprostheses has evolved significantly. However, the path towards its present state has not always been an easy one. Initially discarded for its devastating complications, the introduction of new materials and the discovery of antibiotics in the last century gave new life to the field. Since then, the use of keratoprostheses for severe ocular surface disorders and corneal opacities has increased significantly, to the point that it has become a standard procedure for corneal specialists worldwide. Although the rate of complications has significantly been reduced, these can impede the long-term success, since some of them can be visually devastating. In an attempt to overcome these complications, researchers in the field have been recently working on improving the design of the currently available devices, by introducing the use of new materials that are more biocompatible with the eye. Here we present an update on the most recent research in the field.
PURPOSE: To describe and further analyze the long-term results in visual acuity (VA), anatomical retention, and rate of complications from patients who underwent Boston keratoprosthesis (B-Kpro) type 1 after ocular chemical burns in the Dominican Republic. METHODS: A retrospective review of 42 eyes (22 OD:20 OS) of 36 patients who underwent B-Kpro type 1 implantation after severe ocular burn at Hospital Elías Santana in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, between April 2006 and October 2014, were included. RESULTS: Demographics, VA, anatomical retention, and the rates of postoperative complications and concurrent surgeries were evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: The excellent anatomical retention rates and visual outcomes presented in this study support the remarkable capability of B-Kpro type 1 to restore functional VA in eyes with severe chemical injuries. However, strict control of the postoperative complications is necessary for long-term success. In conclusion, the use of a B-Kpro type 1 after severe chemical burn is a viable option in patients otherwise condemned to the high risk of failure associated with conventional corneal grafts.
Galectins have emerged as potent immunoregulatory agents that control chronic inflammation through distinct mechanisms. Here, we report that treatment with Galectin-8 (Gal-8), a tandem-repeat member of the galectin family, reduces retinal pathology and prevents photoreceptor cell damage in a murine model of experimental autoimmune uveitis. Gal-8 treatment increased the number of regulatory T cells (Treg) in both the draining lymph node (dLN) and the inflamed retina. Moreover, a greater percentage of Treg cells in the dLN and retina of Gal-8 treated animals expressed the inhibitory coreceptor cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4, the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10, and the tissue-homing integrin CD103. Treg cells in the retina of Gal-8-treated mice were primarily inducible Treg cells that lack the expression of neuropilin-1. In addition, Gal-8 treatment blunted production of inflammatory cytokines by retinal T helper type (TH) 1 and TH17 cells. The effect of Gal-8 on T cell differentiation and/or function was specific for tissues undergoing an active immune response, as Gal-8 treatment had no effect on T cell populations in the spleen. Given the need for rational therapies for managing human uveitis, Gal-8 emerges as an attractive therapeutic candidate not only for treating retinal autoimmune diseases, but also for other TH1- and TH17-mediated inflammatory disorders.
Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4, or lubricin) is a lubricating mucin-like glycoprotein recently discovered at the ocular surface, where it functions as a boundary lubricant and appears to play a protective role. Recent technological advances have enabled abundant expression of full-length recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4). The objectives of this study were to 1) biochemically characterize the gross structure and glycosylations of full-length rhPRG4, and 2) assess the ocular surface boundary lubricating ability of rhPRG4 at both human cornea-eyelid and human cornea-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) biointerfaces. rhPRG4 expressed by a Chinese hamster ovary cell line was characterized and compared to native bovine PRG4 by SDS-PAGE western blotting, and protein identity was assessed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Human corneas were articulated against PDMS or human eyelids, at effective sliding velocities of 0.3-30 mm/s under physiological loads of ∼15 kPa, to assess and compare the ocular lubricating ability of rhPRG4 to PRG4. Samples were tested serially in PRG4, rhPRG4 (both 300 μg/ml), then saline. Western blotting indicated that rhPRG4 had immunoreactivity at the appropriate apparent molecular weight, and possessed O-linked glycosylation consistent with that of PRG4. rhPRG4 protein identity was confirmed by MS/MS. Both PRG4 and rhPRG4 significantly, and similarly, reduced friction compared to saline at both human cornea - PDMS and human cornea-eyelid biointerfaces. In conclusion, the rhPRG4 studied here demonstrated appropriate higher order structure, O-linked glycosylations, and ocular surface boundary lubricating. Purified rhPRG4 may have clinical utility as a topical treatment of dry eye disease or contact lens biomaterial coating to promote more comfortable wear.
Age-related decreases in neural function result in part from alterations in synapses. To identify molecular defects that lead to such changes, we focused on the outer retina, in which synapses are markedly altered in old rodents and humans. We found that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 and one of its substrates, AMPK, regulate this process. In old mice, synaptic remodeling was accompanied by specific decreases in the levels of total LKB1 and active (phosphorylated) AMPK. In the absence of either kinase, young adult mice developed retinal defects similar to those that occurred in old wild-type animals. LKB1 and AMPK function in rod photoreceptors where their loss leads to aberrant axonal retraction, the extension of postsynaptic dendrites and the formation of ectopic synapses. Conversely, increasing AMPK activity genetically or pharmacologically attenuates and may reverse age-related synaptic alterations. Together, these results identify molecular determinants of age-related synaptic remodeling and suggest strategies for attenuating these changes.
IMPORTANCE: Current treatments for cystoid macular edema (CME) in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are not always effective, may lead to adverse effects, and may not restore visual acuity. The present research lays the rationale for evaluating whether an iodine supplement could reduce CME in RP. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether central foveal thickness (CFT) in the presence of CME is related to dietary iodine intake inferred from urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in nonsmoking adults with RP. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a cross-sectional observational study of 212 nonsmoking patients aged 18 to 69 years referred to our institution for RP with visual acuity of no worse than 20/200 in at least 1 eye. EXPOSURE: Retinitis pigmentosa with or without CME. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: With the eye as the unit of analysis, the relationship of log CFT measured by optical coherence tomography to UIC measured from multiple spot samples and represented as a 3-level classification variable (<100, 100-199, and ≥200 µg/L), assigning greater weight to patients with more reliable UIC estimates. RESULTS: Analyses were limited to 199 patients after excluding 11 who failed to return urine samples for measuring UIC and 2 outliers for UIC. Of the 199 patients, 36.2% had CME in 1 or both eyes. Although log CFT was inversely related to UIC based on findings from all eyes (P = .02), regression of log CFT on UIC separately for eyes with and without CME showed a strong inverse significant relationship for the former group (P < .001) and no significant relationship for the latter group (P = .66) as tested. For the eyes with CME, CFT ranged from a geometric mean of 267 µm for a median UIC of less than 100 µg/L to a geometric mean of 172 µm for a median UIC of 200 µg/L or greater. In contrast, we found no significant association between CME prevalence and UIC based on the entire sample as tested (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.38-2.67]; P = .99). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: A higher UIC in nonsmoking adults with RP was significantly associated with less central foveal swelling in eyes with CME. Additional study is required to determine whether an iodine supplement can limit or reduce the extent of CME in patients with RP.
This review highlights recent findings that describ how purines modulate the physiological and pathophysiological responses of ocular tissues. For example, in lacrimal glands the cross-talk between P2X7 receptors and both M3 muscarinic receptors and α1D-adrenergic receptors can influence tear secretion. In the cornea, purines lead to post-translational modification of EGFR and structural proteins that participate in wound repair in the epithelium and influence the expression of matrix proteins in the stroma. Purines act at receptors on both the trabecular meshwork and ciliary epithelium to modulate intraocular pressure (IOP); ATP-release pathways of inflow and outflow cells differ, possibly permitting differential modulation of adenosine delivery. Modulators of trabecular meshwork cell ATP release include cell volume, stretch, extracellular Ca(2+) concentration, oxidation state, actin remodeling and possibly endogenous cardiotonic steroids. In the lens, osmotic stress leads to ATP release following TRPV4 activation upstream of hemichannel opening. In the anterior eye, diadenosine polyphosphates such as Ap4A act at P2 receptors to modulate the rate and composition of tear secretion, impact corneal wound healing and lower IOP. The Gq11-coupled P2Y1-receptor contributes to volume control in Müller cells and thus the retina. P2X receptors are expressed in neurons in the inner and outer retina and contribute to visual processing as well as the demise of retinal ganglion cells. In RPE cells, the balance between extracellular ATP and adenosine may modulate lysosomal pH and the rate of lipofuscin formation. In optic nerve head astrocytes, mechanosensitive ATP release via pannexin hemichannels, coupled with stretch-dependent upregulation of pannexins, provides a mechanism for ATP signaling in chronic glaucoma. With so many receptors linked to divergent functions throughout the eye, ensuring the transmitters remain local and stimulation is restricted to the intended target may be a key issue in understanding how physiological signaling becomes pathological in ocular disease.
We conducted a nested candidate gene study and pathway-based enrichment analysis on data from a multi-national 77,000-person project on the molecular genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to identify AMD-associated DNA-sequence variants in genes encoding constituents of a netrin-1 (NTN1)-based signaling pathway that converges on DNA-binding transcription complexes through a 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate-calcineurin (cAMP-CN)-dependent axis. AMD-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existed in 9 linkage disequilibrium-independent genomic regions; these included loci overlapping NTN1 (rs9899630, P ≤ 9.48 x 10-5), DCC (Deleted in Colorectal Cancer)-the gene encoding a primary NTN1 receptor (rs8097127, P ≤ 3.03 x 10-5), and 6 other netrin-related genes. Analysis of the NTN1-DCC pathway with exact methods demonstrated robust enrichment with AMD-associated SNPs (corrected P-value = 0.038), supporting the idea that processes driven by NTN1-DCC signaling systems operate in advanced AMD. The NTN1-DCC pathway contains targets of FDA-approved drugs and may offer promise for guiding applied clinical research on preventive and therapeutic interventions for AMD.
BACKGROUND: Social media offers a new way to provide education, reminders, and support for patients with a variety of health conditions. Most of these interventions use one-way, provider-patient communication. Incorporating social media tools to improve postoperative (postop) education and follow-up care has only been used in limited situations. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and efficacy of two-way social media messaging to deliver reminders and educational information about postop care to cataract patients. METHODS: A total of 98 patients undergoing their first eye cataract surgery were divided into two groups: a no message group receiving usual pre- and postop care and a message group receiving usual care plus messages in a mobile social media format with standardized content and timing. Each patient in the message group received nine messages about hand and face hygiene, medication and postop visit adherence, and links to patient education videos about postop care. Patients could respond to messages as desired. Main outcome measures included medication adherence, postop visit adherence, clinical outcomes, and patients' subjective assessments of two-way messaging. The number, types, content, and timing of responses by patients to messages were recorded. RESULTS: Medication adherence was better in the message group at postop day 7, with high adherence in 47 patients (96%, 47/49) versus 36 patients (73%, 36/49) in the no message group (P=.004), but no statistically significant differences in medication adherence between the groups were noted at preop and postop day 30. Visit adherence was higher at postop day 30 in the message group (100%, 49/49) versus the no message group (88%, 43/49; P=.03) but was 100% (49/49) in both groups at postop day 1 and 7. Final visual outcomes were similar between groups. A total of 441 standardized messages were sent to the message group. Out of 270 responses generated, 188 (70%) were simple acknowledgments or "thank you," and 82 (30%) responses were questions that were divided into three general categories: administrative, postop care, and clinical issues. Out of the 82 question responses, 31 (11%) were about administrative issues, 28 (10%) about postop care, and 23 (9%) about clinical symptoms. All the messages about symptoms were triaged by nurses or ophthalmologists and only required reassurance or information. Patients expressed satisfaction with messaging. CONCLUSIONS: Two-way social media messaging to deliver postop information to cataract patients is feasible and improves early medication compliance. Further design improvements can streamline work flow to optimize efficiency and patient satisfaction.
Staphylococcus aureus contains two distinct teichoic acid (TA) polymers, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and wall teichoic acid (WTA), which are proposed to play redundant roles in regulating cell division. To gain insight into the underlying biology of S. aureus TAs, we used a small molecule inhibitor to screen a highly saturated transposon library for cellular factors that become essential when WTA is depleted. We constructed an interaction network connecting WTAs with genes involved in LTA synthesis, peptidoglycan synthesis, surface protein display, and D-alanine cell envelope modifications. Although LTAs and WTAs are synthetically lethal, we report that they do not have the same synthetic interactions with other cell envelope genes. For example, D-alanylation, a tailoring modification of both WTAs and LTAs, becomes essential when the former, but not the latter, are removed. Therefore, D-alanine-tailored LTAs are required for survival when WTAs are absent. Examination of terminal phenotoypes led to the unexpected discovery that cells lacking both LTAs and WTAs lose their ability to form Z rings and can no longer divide. We have concluded that the presence of either LTAs or WTAs on the cell surface is required for initiation of S. aureus cell division, but these polymers act as part of distinct cellular networks.
PURPOSE: Keratoconus (KC) is a complex corneal dystrophy with multifactorial etiology. Previous studies have shown evidence of mitochondrial abnormalities in KC; however, the exact cause of these abnormalities remains unknown. The aim of this study was to identify if transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) isoforms play a role in the regulation of mitochondrial proteins in human KC cells (HKC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human corneal fibroblasts (HCF) and HKC were isolated and cultured for 4 weeks in three different conditions: (a) CONTROL: MEM + 10%FBS, (b) MEM + 10%FBS + TGF-β1 and (c) MEM + 10%FBS + TGF-β3. All samples were processed for mitochondrial damage analysis using real-time PCR. RESULTS: We quantified and analyzed 84 mitochondrial and five housekeeping genes in HCFs and HKCs. Our data showed that when TGF-β1 and/or TGF-β3 were compared with control in HCFs, nine genes were significantly different; however, no genes were significantly regulated by the TGF-β isoforms in HKCs. Significant differences were also seen in seven genes when HFCs were compared with HKCs, in all three conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our data support the growing consensus that mitochondrial dysfunction is a key player in KC disease. These in vitro data show clear links between mitochondrial function and TGF-β isoforms, with TGF-β1 severely disrupting KC-mitochondrial function, while TGF-β3 maintained it, thus suggesting that TGF-β may play a role in KC-disease treatment.
PURPOSE: To quantify the severity of ocular pain in patients with dry eye disease (DED) and evaluate factors associated with pain severity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: Eighty-four patients with DED were asked to score their severity level of ocular pain using a 10-point scale, with 10 indicating the most severe pain. All patients also had a comprehensive ophthalmic assessment including a detailed history, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, and ocular surface examination. Regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with ocular pain severity. RESULTS: The mean OSDI score was 45.6 ± 23.1. At least some degree of ocular pain (score >1) was reported by 88.1% of patients, including mild pain (scores 2-4) in 46.4%, moderate pain (scores 5-7) in 34.5%, and severe pain (scores 8-10) in 7.1% of patients. Ocular pain levels significantly correlated with the OSDI score (rs = 0.49, P < .001). Regression analysis showed that the severity of ocular pain had a significant association with use of antidepressant medications (P = .045) but not with tear breakup time, corneal fluorescein staining, or ocular medications used by patients. In patients without pain, a significant correlation was seen between OSDI and corneal fluorescein staining scores (rs = 0.67, P = .01). However, such a correlation was not observed in those with ocular pain. CONCLUSIONS: A majority of patients with DED report some degree of ocular pain, which correlates only moderately with the OSDI score. Severity of ocular pain correlates with nonocular comorbidities such as use of antidepressant medications rather than with clinical signs of DED.
Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) represents an experimental model for human endogenous uveitis, which is caused by Th1/Th17 cell-mediated inflammation. Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize lipid antigens and produce large amounts of cytokines upon activation. To examine the role of NKT cells in the development of uveitis, EAU was elicited by immunization with a peptide from the human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (hIRBP1-20) in complete Freund's adjuvant and histopathology scores were evaluated in C57BL/6 (WT) and NKT cell-deficient mice. NKT cell-deficient mice developed more severe EAU pathology than WT mice. When WT mice were treated with ligands of the invariant subset of NKT cells (α-GalCer or RCAI-56), EAU was ameliorated in mice treated with RCAI-56 but not α-GalCer. IRBP-specific Th1/Th17 cytokines were reduced in RCAI-56-treated compared with vehicle-treated mice. Although the numbers of IRBP-specific T cells detected by hIRBP3-13/I-A(b) tetramers in the spleen and the draining lymph node were the same for vehicle and RCAI-56 treatment groups, RORγt expression by tetramer-positive cells in RCAI-56-treated mice was lower than in control mice. Moreover, the eyes of RCAI-56-treated mice contained fewer IRBP-specific T cells compared with control mice. These results suggest that invariant NKT (iNKT) cells suppress the induction of Th17 cells and infiltration of IRBP-specific T cells into the eyes, thereby reducing ocular inflammation. However, in sharp contrast to the ameliorating effects of iNKT cell activation during the initiation phase of EAU, iNKT cell activation during the effector phase exacerbated disease pathology. Thus, we conclude that iNKT cells exhibit dual roles in the development of EAU.
There is currently considerable controversy about existence and classification of "lymphatic vessels" in the eye. Some of the confusion is certainly caused by inappropriate use (or nonuse) of the correct immunohistochemical markers. Many experts in the field expressed the need for a consensus statement, and, in this perspective, authors offer arguments and solutions to reliably continue with immunohistochemical ocular lymphatic research.
Purpose: Using quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF), we analyzed short-wavelength autofluorescent (SW-AF) rings in RP. Methods: Short-wavelength autofluorescent images (486 nm excitation) of 40 patients with RP (69 eyes) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference. Mean qAF was measured in eight preset segments (qAF8) and in region of interest (ROI)-qAF (200-700 μm) within and external to the borders of the rings at superior, temporal, and inferior sites relative to the ring. For both groups, qAF in patients with RP was compared to age-similar and race/ethnicity-matched healthy eyes at equivalent retinal locations. Results: In 71% of eyes of RP patients, qAF8 acquired internal to the inner border of the ring, was within the 95% confidence interval (CI) for healthy eyes, while in the remaining RP eyes qAF8 was either higher or lower than the CI. Measured external to the ring, qAF8 values were within the CI in 47% of RP eyes with the other eyes being higher or lower. In 28% of sites measured by ROI-qAF within the SW-AF ring, values were above the 95% CI of healthy controls. Region of interest-qAF measured just external to the ring was within the CI of healthy eyes in 74% of locations. The average local elevation in qAF within the ring was approximately 15%. In SD-OCT scans, photoreceptor-attributable reflectivity bands were thinned within and external to the ring. Conclusions: Increased fluorophore production may be a factor in the formation of the SW-AF rings in RP.