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Zandi S, Nakao S, Chun K-H, Fiorina P, Sun D, Arita R, Zhao M, Kim E, Schueller O, Campbell S, Taher M, Melhorn MI, Schering A, Gatti F, Tezza S, Xie F, Vergani A, Yoshida S, Ishikawa K, Yamaguchi M, Sasaki F, Schmidt-Ullrich R, Hata Y, Enaida H, Yuzawa M, Yokomizo T, Kim Y-B, Sweetnam P, Ishibashi T, Hafezi-Moghadam A. ROCK-Isoform-Specific Polarization of Macrophages Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Cell Rep 2015;10(7):1173-86.Abstract

Age is a major risk factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the underlying cause is unknown. We find increased Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) signaling and M2 characteristics in eyes of aged mice, revealing immune changes in aging. ROCK isoforms determine macrophage polarization into M1 and M2 subtypes. M2-like macrophages accumulated in AMD, but not in normal eyes, suggesting that these macrophages may be linked to macular degeneration. M2 macrophages injected into the mouse eye exacerbated choroidal neovascular lesions, while M1 macrophages ameliorated them, supporting a causal role for macrophage subtypes in AMD. Selective ROCK2 inhibition with a small molecule decreased M2-like macrophages and choroidal neovascularization. ROCK2 inhibition upregulated M1 markers without affecting macrophage recruitment, underlining the plasticity of these macrophages. These results reveal age-induced innate immune imbalance as underlying AMD pathogenesis. Targeting macrophage plasticity opens up new possibilities for more effective AMD treatment.

Zareian R, Susilo ME, Paten JA, McLean JP, Hollmann J, Karamichos D, Messer CS, Tambe DT, Saeidi N, Zieske JD, Ruberti JW. Human Corneal Fibroblast Pattern Evolution and Matrix Synthesis on Mechanically Biased Substrates. Tissue Eng Part A 2016;22(19-20):1204-1217.Abstract

In a fibroblast colony model of corneal stromal development, we asked how physiological tension influences the patterning dynamics of fibroblasts and the orientation of deposited extracellular matrix (ECM). Using long-term live-cell microscopy, enabled by an optically accessible mechanobioreactor, a primary human corneal fibroblast colony was cultured on three types of substrates: a mechanically biased, loaded, dense, disorganized collagen substrate (LDDCS), a glass coverslip, and an unloaded, dense, disorganized collagen substrate (UDDCS). On LDDCS, fibroblast orientation and migration along a preferred angle developed early, cell orientation was correlated over long distances, and the colony pattern was stable. On glass, fibroblast orientation was poorly correlated, developed more slowly, and colony patterns were metastable. On UDDCS, cell orientation was correlated over shorter distances compared with LDDCS specimens. On all substrates, the ECM pattern reflected the cell pattern. In summary, mechanically biasing the collagen substrate altered the early migration behavior of individual cells, leading to stable emergent cell patterning, which set the template for newly synthesized ECM.

Zeng Z, Zhang J, Jing S, Cheng Z, Bofill-Mas S, Maluquer de Motes C, Hundesa A, Girones R, Seto D, Zhang Q. Genome Sequence of a Cynomolgus Macaque Adenovirus (CynAdV-1) Isolate from a Primate Colony in the United Kingdom. Genome Announc 2016;4(6)Abstract

The genome sequence of a simian adenovirus from a cynomolgus macaque, denoted CynAdV-1, is presented here. Phylogenetic analysis supports CynAdV-1 in an independent clade, comprising a new simian adenovirus (SAdV) species. These genome data are critical for understanding the evolution and relationships of primate adenoviruses, including zoonosis and emergent human pathogens.

Zhang C, Ding H, He M, Liu L, Liu L, Li G, Niu B, Zhong X. Comparison of Early Changes in Ocular Surface and Inflammatory Mediators between Femtosecond Lenticule Extraction and Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction. PLoS One 2016;11(3):e0149503.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the short-term changes in ocular surface measures and tear inflammatory mediators after femtosecond lenticule extraction (FLEx) and small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedures. METHODS: Eighteen subjects (18 eyes) underwent FLEx and 23 subjects (23 eyes) underwent SMILE in this single-center and prospective study. Central corneal sensitivity, Schirmer I test (SIT), noninvasive tear breakup time (NI-TBUT), tear meniscus height, corneal fluorescein (FL) staining, and ocular surface disease index (OSDI) were assessed in all patients. Concentrations of interleukin-1α (IL-1α), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nerve growth factor (NGF), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in collected tears were measured by multiplex antibody microarray. RESULTS: Central corneal sensitivity was reduced in both groups, but the scores in the SMILE group were higher than those in the FLEx group at all time points postoperatively (P<0.01). Lower FL scores and longer NI-BUT were observed in the SMILE group 1 week after surgery (P<0.05). OSDI scores in both groups increased rapidly at 1 day and 1 week postoperatively, then returned to their preoperative levels within 1 month (P<0.05). There were no significant differences in SIT or tear meniscus height between the two groups. Lower and faster recovery of tear NGF, TGF-β1 and IL-1α concentration were found in the SMILE group compared to the FLEx group postoperatively. No significant difference was found in tear TNF-α, IFN-γ and MMP-9 for either group before or after surgery. Tear NGF, TGF-β1 and IL-1α show a correlation with ocular surface changes after FLEx or SMILE surgery. CONCLUSION: SMILE has superiority over FLEx in early ocular surface changes and NGF, TGF-β1 and IL-1α may contribute to the process of ocular surface recovery. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02540785.

Zhang P, Zhu M, Geng-Spyropoulos M, Shardell M, Gonzalez-Freire M, Gudnason V, Eiriksdottir G, Schaumberg D, Van Eyk JE, Ferrucci L, Semba RD. A novel, multiplexed targeted mass spectrometry assay for quantification of complement factor H (CFH) variants and CFH-related proteins 1-5 in human plasma. Proteomics 2017;17(6)Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual loss among older adults. Two variants in the complement factor H (CFH) gene, Y402H and I62V, are strongly associated with risk of AMD. CFH is encoded in regulator of complement activation gene cluster in chromosome 1q32, which includes complement factor related (CFHR) proteins, CFHR1 to CFHR5, with high amino acid sequence homology to CFH. Our goal was to build a SRM assay to measure plasma concentrations of CFH variants Y402, H402, I62, and V62, and CFHR1-5. The final assay consisted of 24 peptides and 72 interference-free SRM transition ion pairs. Most peptides showed good linearity over 0.3-200 fmol/μL concentration range. Plasma concentrations of CFH variants and CFHR1-5 were measured using the SRM assay in 344 adults. Plasma CFH concentrations (mean, SE in μg/mL) by inferred genotype were: YY402, II62 (170.1, 31.4), YY402, VV62 (188.8, 38.5), HH402, VV62 (144.0, 37.0), HY402, VV62 (164.2, 42.3), YY402, IV62 (194.8, 36.8), HY402, IV62 (181.3, 44.7). Mean (SE) plasma concentrations of CFHR1-5 were 1.63 (0.04), 3.64 (1.20), 0.020 (0.001), 2.42 (0.18), and 5.49 (1.55) μg/mL, respectively. This SRM assay should facilitate the study of the role of systemic complement and risk of AMD.

Zhang C, Zhang Q, Wang F, Liu Q. Knockdown of poc1b causes abnormal photoreceptor sensory cilium and vision impairment in zebrafish. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2015;465(4):651-7.Abstract

Proteomic analysis of the mouse photoreceptor sensory cilium identified a set of cilia proteins, including Poc1 centriolar protein b (Poc1b). Previous functional studies in human cells and zebrafish embryos implicated that Poc1b plays important roles in centriole duplication and length control, as well as ciliogenesis. To study the function of Poc1b in photoreceptor sensory cilia and other primary cilia, we expressed a tagged recombinant Poc1b protein in cultured renal epithelial cells and rat retina. Poc1b was localized to the centrioles and spindle bundles during cell cycle progression, and to the basal body of photoreceptor sensory cilia. A morpholino knockdown and complementation assay of poc1b in zebrafish showed that loss of poc1b led to a range of morphological anomalies of cilia commonly associated with human ciliopathies. In the retina, the development of retinal laminae was significantly delayed and the length of photoreceptor outer segments was shortened. Visual behavior studies revealed impaired visual function in the poc1b morphants. In addition, ciliopathy-associated developmental defects, such as small eyes, curved body axis, heart defects, and shortened cilia in Kupffer's vesicle, were observed as well. These data suggest that poc1b is required for normal development and ciliogenesis of retinal photoreceptor sensory cilia and other cilia. Furthermore, this conclusion is supported by recent findings that mutations in POC1B gene have been identified in patients with inherited retinal dystrophy and syndromic retinal ciliopathy.

Zhang MM, Papakostas TD, Malcolm AW, Ancell KK, Biscotti CV, Gragoudas ES, Daniels AB. Multiple simultaneous choroidal melanomas arising in the same eye: globe salvage by radiotherapy. Acta Ophthalmol 2016;94(8):e799-e802.Abstract

PURPOSE: Multiple choroidal melanomas arising in the same eye is a very rare entity, usually leading ophthalmologists to entertain other diagnoses. Historically, the only available treatment reported for this rare entity was enucleation. In this study we demonstrate in a series of patients with multiple simultaneous choroidal melanomas that eye salvage is possible using a variety of radiotherapy techniques. OBSERVATIONS: Both patients presented with two simultaneous choroidal melanomas in one eye. The first patient was only 30 years old and presented with two largely amelanotic tumours with large exudative retinal detachment. Cytology from fine needle aspiration biopsies from both tumours with immunohistochemistry confirmed two separate melanomas. Sequential radioactive iodine plaque brachytherapy led to regression of both tumours. The second, older patient's two tumours both had the typical appearance of choroidal melanoma and he underwent proton beam irradiation to the entire field leading to tumour regression. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple choroidal melanomas can rarely arise simultaneously in the same eye, and despite their variable appearance, a definitive diagnosis can be aided by cytology and immunohistochemistry in atypical-appearing cases. While all other previously reported cases have necessitated enucleation, we demonstrate that globe salvage is possible using either proton beam irradiation to the entire tumour field, or with sequential radioactive plaque brachytherapy.

Zhao J, Zhu T-H, Chen W-C, Peng S-M, Huang X-S, Cho K-S, Chen DF, Liu G-S. Optic neuropathy and increased retinal glial fibrillary acidic protein due to microbead-induced ocular hypertension in the rabbit. Int J Ophthalmol 2016;9(12):1732-1739.Abstract

AIM: To characterize whether a glaucoma model with chronic elevation of the intraocular pressure (IOP) was able to be induced by anterior chamber injection of microbeads in rabbits. METHODS: In order to screen the optimal dose of microbead injection, IOP was measured every 3d for 4wk using handheld applanation tonometer after a single intracameral injection of 10 µL, 25 µL, 50 µL or 100 µL microbeads (5×10(6) beads/mL; n=6/group) in New Zealand White rabbits. To prolong IOP elevation, two intracameral injections of 50 µL microbeads or phosphate buffer saline (PBS) were made respectively at days 0 and 21 (n=24/group). The fellow eye was not treated. At 5wk after the second injection of microbeads or PBS, bright-field microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to assess the changes in the retina. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the retina was evaluated by immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot at 5wk after the second injection of microbeads. RESULTS: Following a single intracameral injection of 10 µL, 25 µL, 50 µL or 100 µL microbead, IOP levels showed a gradual increase and a later decrease over a 4wk period after a single injection of microbead into the anterior chamber of rabbits. A peak IOP was observed at day 15 after injection. No significant difference in peak value of IOP was found between 10 µL and 25 µL groups (17.13±1.25 mm Hg vs 17.63±0.74 mm Hg; P=0.346). The peak value of IOP from 50 µL group (23.25±1.16 mm Hg) was significantly higher than 10 µL and 25 µL groups (all P<0.05). Administration of 100 µL microbead solution (23.00±0.93 mm Hg) did not lead to a significant increase in IOP compared to the 50 µL group (P=0.64). A prolonged elevated IOP duration up to 8wk was achieved by administering two injections of 50 µL microbeads (20.48±1.21 mm Hg vs 13.60±0.90 mm Hg in PBS-injected group; P<0.05). The bright-field and TEM were used to assess the changes of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Compared with PBS-injected group, the extended IOP elevation was associated with the degeneration of optic nerve, the reduction of RGC axons (47.16%, P<0.05) and the increased GFAP expression in the retina (4.74±1.10 vs 1.00±0.46, P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Two injections of microbeads into the ocular anterior chamber of rabbits lead to a prolonged IOP elevation which results in structural abnormality as well as loss in RGCs and their axons without observable ocular structural damage or inflammatory response. We have therefore established a novel and practical model of experimental glaucoma in rabbits.

Zhao J, Zhu T, Chen W, Fan BJ, He L, Yang B, Deng Z. Human Leukocyte Antigens-B and -C Loci Associated with Posner-Schlossman Syndrome in a Southern Chinese Population. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0132179.Abstract

The etiology of Posner-Schlossman syndrome (PSS) remains unknown. The association of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) allelic diversity with PSS has been poorly investigated. To evaluate the association of allelic polymorphisms of class I HLA-A, -B and -C and class II HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1 with PSS, 100 unrelated patients with PSS and 128 age- and ethnically matched control subjects were recruited from a southern Chinese Han population. Polymorphisms in exons 2-4 for HLA-A, -B, -C loci, exon 2 for HLA-DRB1 and exons 2,3 for HLA-DQB1 were analyzed for association with PSS at allele and haplotype levels. The allele frequency of HLA-C*1402 in PSS patients was significantly higher than that in controls (P = 0.002, OR = 4.12). This association survived the Bonferroni correction (Pc = 0.04). The allele frequency of HLA-B*1301 in PSS patients was lower than that in the control group (P = 0.003, OR = 0.21), although this association did not survive the Bonferroni correction (Pc = 0.16). In PSS patients, the haplotype frequencies of HLA-A*1101~C*1402 and B*5101~C*1402 were higher than that in controls (P = 0.03, OR = 4.44; P = 0.02, OR = 3.20; respectively), while the HLA-B*1301~C*0304 was lower than that in controls (P = 0.007, OR = 0.23), although these associations did not survive the Bonferroni correction (Pc > 0.16). This study for the first time demonstrated that polymorphisms at the HLA-B and HLA-C loci were nominally associated with PSS in the southern Chinese Han population. Our results suggest that HLA-C*1402, A*1101~C*1402 and B*5101~C*1402 might be risk factors for PSS, whereas HLA-B*1301 plus B*1301~C*0304 might be protective factors against PSS, but even larger datasets are required to confirm these findings. Findings from this study provide valuable new clues for investigating the mechanisms and development of new diagnosis and treatment for PSS.

Zhao J, Chen W, Huang X, Peng S, Zhu T, Deng Z, Liang P, Chang H, Fan BJ. Serum Th1 and Th17 related cytokines and autoantibodies in patients with Posner-Schlossman syndrome. PLoS One 2017;12(4):e0175519.Abstract

Posner-Schlossman syndrome (PSS) shares some clinical features with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. Cytokines and autoantibodies have been associated with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. However, the role of serum cytokines and autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of PSS remains unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the associations of type 1 T helper (Th1) and Th17 related cytokines and autoantibodies with PSS. Peripheral blood serum samples were collected from 81 patients with PSS and 97 gender- and age-matched healthy blood donors. Th1 and Th17 related cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon- γ (IFN-γ), IL-6 and IL-17, and glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) were determined by double antibody sandwich ELISA. Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-keratin antibody (AKA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) were detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Anti-cardiolipin antibody (ACA)-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) were detected by indirect ELISA. Serum levels of IL-1β, IL-12 and IL-6 in PSS patients were significantly lower than those in controls (P < 0.003), and these associations survived the Bonferroni correction (Pc < 0.018). There was no significant difference in serum levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17 between the PSS and control groups (Pc > 0.12). Positive rate of serum anti-dsDNA in PSS patients was significantly higher than that in the control group (P = 0.002, Pc = 0.018), while positive rates of serum ANA, AKA, ANCA, ACA-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, GPI and anti-CCP in the PSS group were not significantly different from those in the control group (Pc > 0.09). These results suggest that anti-dsDNA may contribute to the pathogenesis of PSS, while Th1 and Th17 related cytokines and other autoantibodies may not be major contributors to PSS.

Zhou X, Ramke M, Chintakuntlawar AV, Lee JY, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J. Role of MyD88 in adenovirus keratitis. Immunol Cell Biol 2017;95(1):108-116.Abstract

Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are critical to the early detection and innate immune responses to pathogens. In particular, the toll-like receptor (TLR) system and its associated adaptor proteins have essential roles in early host responses to infection. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, caused by the human adenovirus, is a severe ocular surface infection associated with corneal inflammation (stromal keratitis). We previously showed that adenovirus capsid was a key molecular pattern in adenovirus keratitis, with viral DNA having a lesser role. We have now investigated the role of the adaptor molecule MyD88 in a mouse model of adenovirus keratitis in which there is no viral replication. In MyD88(-/-) mice infected with human adenovirus type 37, clinical keratitis was markedly reduced, along with infiltration of CD45(+) cells, and expression of inflammatory cytokines. Reduction of inflammatory cytokines was also observed in infected primary human corneal fibroblasts pretreated with a MyD88 inhibitory peptide. Keratitis similar to wild type mice was observed in TLR2, TLR9 and IL-1R knockout mice, but was reduced in TLR2/9 double knockout mice, consistent with synergy of TLR2 and TLR9 in the response to adenovirus infection. MyD88 co-immunoprecipitated with Src kinase in mice corneas and in human corneal fibroblasts infected with adenovirus, and MyD88 inhibitory peptide reduced Src phosphorylation, linking MyD88 activation to inflammatory gene expression through a signaling cascade previously shown to be directed by Src. Our findings reveal a critical role for the PRRs TLR2 and 9, and their adaptor protein MyD88, in corneal inflammation upon adenovirus infection.

Zhou C, Robert M-C, Kapoulea V, Lei F, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Dohlman CH, Paschalis EI. Sustained Subconjunctival Delivery of Infliximab Protects the Cornea and Retina Following Alkali Burn to the Eye. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(1):96-105.Abstract

Purpose: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is upregulated in eyes following corneal alkali injury and contributes to corneal and also retinal damage. Prompt TNF-α inhibition by systemic infliximab ameliorates retinal damage and improves corneal wound healing. However, systemic administration of TNF-α inhibitors carries risk of significant complications, whereas topical eye-drop delivery is hindered by poor ocular bioavailability and the need for patient adherence. This study investigates the efficacy of subconjunctival delivery of TNF-α antibodies using a polymer-based drug delivery system (DDS). Methods: The drug delivery system was prepared using porous polydimethylsiloxane/polyvinyl alcohol composite fabrication and loaded with 85 μg of infliximab. Six Dutch-belted pigmented rabbits received ocular alkali burn with NaOH. Immediately after the burn, subconjunctival implantation of anti-TNF-α DDS was performed in three rabbits while another three received sham DDS (without antibody). Rabbits were followed with photography for 3 months. Results: After 3 months, the device was found to be well tolerated by the host and the eyes exhibited less corneal damage as compared to eyes implanted with a sham DDS without drug. The low dose treatment suppressed CD45 and TNF-α expression in the burned cornea and inhibited retinal ganglion cell apoptosis and optic nerve degeneration, as compared to the sham DDS treated eyes. Immunolocalization revealed drug penetration in the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and choroid, with residual infliximab in the DDS 3 months after implantation. Conclusions: This reduced-risk biologic DDS improves corneal wound healing and provides retinal neuroprotection, and may be applicable not only to alkali burns but also to other inflammatory surgical procedures such as penetrating keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis implantation.

Zhu H, Alt C, Webb RH, Melki S, Kochevar IE. Corneal Crosslinking With Rose Bengal and Green Light: Efficacy and Safety Evaluation. Cornea 2016;35(9):1234-41.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate crosslinking of cornea in vivo using green light activation of Rose Bengal (RGX) and assess potential damaging effects of the green light on retina and iris. METHODS: Corneas of Dutch belted rabbits were de-epithelialized, then stained with Rose Bengal and exposed to green light, or not further treated. Corneal stiffness was measured by uniaxial tensiometry. Re-epithelialization was assessed by fluorescein fluorescence. Keratocytes were counted on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained sections, and iris cell damage was assessed by lactate dehydrogenase staining. Thermal effects on the blood-retinal barrier (BRB) were assessed by fluorescein angiography and those on photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and choriocapillaris by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: RGX (10-min irradiation; 150 J/cm) increased corneal stiffness 1.9-fold on day 1 (1.25 ± 0.21 vs. 2.38 ± 0.59 N/mm; P = 0.036) and 2.8-fold compared with controls on day 28 (1.70 ± 0.74 vs. 4.95 ± 1.86 N/mm; P = 0.003). Keratocytes decreased only in the anterior stroma on day 1 (24.0 ± 3.0 vs. 3.67 ± 4.73, P = 0.003) and recovered by day 28 (37.7 ± 8.9 vs. 34.5 ± 2.4, P = 0.51). Iris cells were not thermally damaged. No evidence of BRB breakdown was detected on days 1 or 28. Retina from RGX-treated eyes seemed normal with RPE cells showing intact nuclei shielded apically by melanosomes, morphologically intact photoreceptor outer segments, normal outer nuclear layer thickness, and choriocapillaris containing intact erythrocytes. CONCLUSIONS: The substantial corneal stiffening produced by RGX together with the lack of significant effects on keratocytes and no evidence for retina or iris damage suggest that RGX-initiated corneal crosslinking may be a safe, rapid, and effective treatment.

Zhu R, Cho K-S, Chen DF, Yang L. Ephrin-A2 and -A3 are negative regulators of the regenerative potential of Möller cells. Chin Med J (Engl) 2014;127(19):3438-42.Abstract

BACKGROUND: In a previous study, we demonstrated that ephrin-A2 and -A3 negatively regulate the growth of neural progenitor cells in the central nervous system. Adult mice deficient in ephrin-A2 and -A3 (A2(-/-)A3(-/-)) displayed active ongoing neurogenesis throughout the brain, and mice deficient in ephrin-A3 alone showed increased proliferation of ciliary epithelium derived retinal stem cells. This study aimed to detect that the increase in proliferation and neurogenic potential of Müller cells is influenced by the absence of ephrin-A2 and -A3. METHODS: We assessed the retinal and Müller cell expression of ephrin-As and their receptor and neural progenitor cell markers by immunostaining and real-time PCR. We cultured purified primary Müller cells derived from wild-type and A2(-/-)A3(-/-) mice in a defined culture medium that enables trans-differentiation of Müller cells into retinal neurons. To evaluate proliferating Müller cells in vivo, we injected 5'-ethylnyl-2'-deoxiuridine (EdU) intraperitoneally to adult mice. RESULTS: Expression of ephrin-A2/A3 and their receptor EphA4 were detected in the retinas of adult mice, with EphA4 expression particularly enriched in Müller cells. Müller cells of A2(-/-)A3(-/-) mice exhibited significantly elevated expression of retinal progenitor cell markers, Pax6 and Chx10, when compared with those from wild-type mice. Moreover, a higher percentage of Müller cells of A2(-/-)A3(-/-) mice trans-differentiated and became recoverin+ and β-III-tublin+ in the culture than those from wild type mice. Strikingly, an increased number of EdU+ retinal cells was detected in the retinas of adult A2(-/-)A3(-/-) mice as compared with wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: Ephrin-A2 and -A3 are negative regulators of the proliferative and neurogenic potentials of Müller cells. Manipulating ephrin-A signaling may thus represent a novel strategy for stimulating neuroregeneration from endogenous progenitors to participate in retinal repair in case of disease or damage.

Zinn E, Vandenberghe LH. Adeno-associated virus: fit to serve. Curr Opin Virol 2014;8C:90-97.Abstract

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a helper-dependent parvovirus which has not been linked with human disease. This aspect, in combination with its broad cell and tissue tropism, and limited viral host response has made it an attractive vector system for gene therapy. The viral protein capsid, the primary interface with the host, is the main determinant for these phenotypes, is highly variable, and is most subject to pressures during replication. Here, we explore the evolutionary path of AAV and other parvoviruses in respect to these phenotypes, as well as directed evolution and engineering strategies that have exploited the lessons learned from natural selection in order to address remaining limitations of AAV as a therapeutic gene transfer platform.

Zinn E, Pacouret S, Khaychuk V, Turunen HT, Carvalho LS, Andres-Mateos E, Shah S, Shelke R, Maurer AC, Plovie E, Xiao R, Vandenberghe LH. In Silico Reconstruction of the Viral Evolutionary Lineage Yields a Potent Gene Therapy Vector. Cell Rep 2015;12(6):1056-68.Abstract

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have emerged as a gene-delivery platform with demonstrated safety and efficacy in a handful of clinical trials for monogenic disorders. However, limitations of the current generation vectors often prevent broader application of AAV gene therapy. Efforts to engineer AAV vectors have been hampered by a limited understanding of the structure-function relationship of the complex multimeric icosahedral architecture of the particle. To develop additional reagents pertinent to further our insight into AAVs, we inferred evolutionary intermediates of the viral capsid using ancestral sequence reconstruction. In-silico-derived sequences were synthesized de novo and characterized for biological properties relevant to clinical applications. This effort led to the generation of nine functional putative ancestral AAVs and the identification of Anc80, the predicted ancestor of the widely studied AAV serotypes 1, 2, 8, and 9, as a highly potent in vivo gene therapy vector for targeting liver, muscle, and retina.

van Zyl T, Stagner AM, Lee NG. An Atypical Ulcerated Lesion at the Eyelid Margin. JAMA Ophthalmol 2016;134(6):703-4.
van Zyl T, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Yoon MK. Histopathologic features of a resolving orbital Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2015;253(12):2341-3.
van Zyl T, Papakostas TD, Sobrin L. Vision Loss and Paresthesias in a Young Man. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(10):1207-8.

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