Chen Y, Chauhan SK, Tan X, Dana R. Interleukin-7 and -15 maintain pathogenic memory Th17 cells in autoimmunity. J Autoimmun 2017;77:96-103.Abstract

Th17 cells are principal mediators of many autoimmune conditions. Recently, memory Th17 cells have been revealed as crucial in mediating the chronicity of various refractory autoimmune disorders; however, the underlying mechanisms maintaining memory Th17 cells have remained elusive. Here, using a preclinical model of ocular autoimmune disease we show that both IL-7 and IL-15 are critical for maintaining pathogenic memory Th17 cells. Neutralization of these cytokines leads to substantial reduction of memory Th17 cells; both IL-7 and IL-15 provide survival signals via activating STAT5, and IL-15 provides additional proliferation signals via activating both STAT5 and Akt. Topical neutralization of ocular IL-7 or IL-15 effectively reduces memory Th17 cells at the inflammatory site and draining lymphoid tissues, while topical neutralization of IL-17 alone, the major pathogenic cytokine secreted by Th17 cells, does not diminish memory Th17 cells at the draining lymphoid tissues. Our results suggest that the effective removal of pathogenic memory Th17 cells via abolishing environmental IL-7 or IL-15 is likely to be a novel strategy in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Chen X, Chen Y, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR, Sun X, Fan BJ. Association of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) Variants with Primary Angle Closure and Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma. PLoS One 2016;11(6):e0157093.Abstract

Shorter axial length observed in patients with primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) might be due to altered matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) activity resulting in ECM remodeling during eye growth and development. This study aimed to evaluate common variants in MMP9 for association with PACG. Six tag SNPs of MMP9 were genotyped in a Chinese sample of 1,030 cases, including 572 PACG and 458 primary angle closure (PAC), and 499 controls. None of 6 SNPs were significantly associated with overall PAC/PACG (P > 0.07) or with PAC/PACG subgroups (Pc > 0.18). Meta-analysis of two non-Chinese studies revealed significant association between rs17576 and PACG (ORs = 0.56, P < 0.0001); however, meta-analysis of our dataset with 4 Chinese datasets did not replicate this association (ORs = 1.23, P = 0.29). Prior significant association for rs3918249 in one Caucasian study (OR = 0.63, P = 0.006) was not replicated in meta-analysis of 3 Chinese studies including this study (ORs = 0.91, P = 0.13). Significant heterogeneity between non-Chinese and Chinese datasets precluded overall meta-analysis for rs17576 and rs3918249 (Q = 0.001 and 0.04 respectively). rs17577 was nominally associated with PACG in one Caucasian study (OR = 1.71, P = 0.02), but not in 3 Chinese studies including our study (ORs = 1.20, P = 0.07). Overall meta-analysis revealed nominal association for rs17577 and PAC/PACG (ORs = 1.26, Pc = 0.05). Meta-analysis did not show significant association between the other SNPs and PAC/PACG (P > 0.47). The largest association study to date did not find significant association between MMP9 and PAC/PACG in Chinese; meta-analysis with other Chinese datasets did not produce significant association. In most instances combination with non-Chinese datasets was not possible except for one variant showing nominally significant association. More work is needed to define the role of MMP9 variants in PACG.

Chen X, Jakobiec FA, Yadav P, Werdich XQ, Fay A. Melkersson-rosenthal syndrome with isolated unilateral eyelid edema: an immunopathologic study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(3):e70-7.Abstract

Lymphedema is caused by defective drainage of the lymphatic system. In Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, involvement is predominantly of the lumens with blockage of lymphatic channels by histiocytic-epithelioid cell clusters accompanied by dermal granulomas and lymphocytes. It is a localized, painless, nonitching, and nonpitting form of lymphedema. Besides the eyelids, the disease can cause lip edema, facial palsy, and/or fissured tongue. It is rare and has received little attention in the ophthalmic literature, either in its complete triadic form, or more frequently, in its monosymptomatic forms. Pathogenesis is not well understood, and there is no effective therapy. The authors describe a case of Melkesson-Rosenthal syndrome in a 45-year-old Hispanic man with isolated unilateral upper eyelid edema. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations of an eyelid biopsy specimen revealed intravascular and extravascular clusters of histiocytic-epithelioid cells that were CD68/163-positive. Variable numbers of mostly T-lymphocytes were found in the epidermis, dermis, and orbicularis muscle and by virtue of the associated granulomas established the diagnosis of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. CD4 helper and CD8 suppressor T-lymphocytes were equally represented. CD20 B-lymphocytes were exceedingly sparse. Conspicuous CD1a-positive Langerhans' cells were present in the epidermis, sometimes formed subepithelial loose aggregates and were also incorporated in the granulomas. The differential diagnosis includes the far more common condition of acne rosacea. Management of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, and of angioedema in general, is reviewed.

Chen X, Bleier BS, Lefebvre DR, Lee NG. Pseudomonas Aeruginosa: A Masquerader in Sino-Orbital Infections. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2016;32(5):374-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report 2 immunocompromised patients with sino-orbital necrotizing pseudomonas infections and review the literature. METHODS: This is a noncomparative, retrospective case series, and review. The clinical data of 2 patients with histopathologic and microbiologic diagnoses of pseudomonas sinus infections causing orbital cellulitis were obtained from medical records. A retrospective literature review was performed on all reported cases of periorbital pseudomonas infections. RESULTS: One patient with acquired immune deficiency syndrome was noted to have orbital cellulitis with clear visualization of eschar in the middle turbinate on nasal endoscopy. A second patient also had orbital cellulitis with ophthalmoplegia and presence of eschar in the sinus. Both patients had some degree of erosion through the lamina papyracea found on orbital imaging and both had intact vision without optic neuropathy. Pseudomonas infection was confirmed in both cases with permanent histopathology and cultures from conservative sinus debridement. CONCLUSIONS: Pseudomonas sino-orbital infections must be considered in the differential diagnosis in cases of eschar and orbital wall erosion especially when vision is preserved in immunocompromised individuals. This finding obviates the need for radical debridement including orbital exenteration, which can be indicated in cases of invasive fungal disease.

Cherfan DG, Melki SA. Corneal perforation by an astigmatic keratotomy performed with an optical coherence tomography-guided femtosecond laser. J Cataract Refract Surg 2014;40(7):1224-7.Abstract

UNLABELLED: We present a case of corneal perforation secondary to an intrastromal astigmatic keratotomy performed with an optical coherence tomography-guided femtosecond laser. The keratotomy was concomitant with cataract surgery and resulted in a flat anterior chamber prior to the start of lens extraction. Interrupted nylon sutures were placed to seal the keratotomy prior to phacoemulsification. Escape of cavitation bubbles into the anterior chamber or the liquid interface can alert the surgeon to the possibility of unintended perforation of the endothelium or the epithelium, respectively. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Neither author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Chi M, Kim JH, Basham R, Yoon MK, Vagefi R, Kersten RC. Temporal Artery Calciphylaxis Presenting as Temporal Arteritis in a Case of Rhinoorbitocerebral Mucormycosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e132-5.Abstract

Mucormycosis is a rare often fatal opportunistic fungal infection. It is typically described in patients with diabetes in ketoacidotic status and is rare in renal transplant recipients. Calciphylaxis is a rare and highly morbid disease of vascular calcification affecting patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The first case of a renal transplant recipient who was inflicted with both rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis and calciphylaxis is reported. A 45-year-old man presented with 2-day history of left upper blepharoptosis, periorbital pain, left-sided headache, binocular diplopia, and left V2 numbness. He had undergone renal transplant for ESRD 7 months earlier with resultant immunosuppressive therapy. MRI and nasal biopsy confirmed rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Immunosuppressive therapy was stopped and antifungal therapy begun. He had orbital exenteration for progressive rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Two months later, the patient reported new-onset intermittent bitemporal headache and bilateral swollen, tender temporal arteries. Temporal artery biopsy revealed features consistent with calciphylaxis. Clinical presentation, treatment course, and follow up are discussed.

Cho H, Pillai P, Nicholson L, Sobrin L. Inflammatory Papillitis in Uveitis: Response to Treatment and Use of Optic Nerve Optical Coherence Tomography for Monitoring. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2016;24(2):194-206.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the clinical course of uveitis-associated inflammatory papillitis and evaluate the utility and reproducibility of optic nerve spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). METHODS: Data on 22 eyes of 14 patients with uveitis-related papillitis and optic nerve imaging were reviewed. SD-OCT measure reproducibility was determined and parameters were compared in active vs. inactive uveitis. RESULTS: Papillitis resolution lagged behind uveitis resolution in three patients. For SD-OCT measures, the intraclass correlation coefficients were 99.1-100% and 86.9-100% for intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility, respectively. All SD-OCT optic nerve measures except inferior and nasal peripapillary retinal thicknesses were significantly higher in active vs. inactive uveitis after correction for multiple hypotheses testing. Mean optic nerve central thickness decreased from 545.1 to 362.9 µm (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Resolution of inflammatory papillitis can lag behind resolution of uveitis. SD-OCT assessment of papillitis is reproducible and correlates with presence vs. resolution of uveitis.

Cho H, Shin YU, Siegel NH, Yu HG, Sobrin L, Patel A, Durand ML, Miller JW, Husain D. Endogenous Endophthalmitis in the American and Korean Population: An 8-year Retrospective Study. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2016;:1-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study the clinical features of endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) in sample patient populations from the USA and South Korea over an 8-year period. METHODS: We reviewed data from 128 eyes of 60 American and 48 Korean patients diagnosed with EE and compared their clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Fungemia and liver abscess were the most common extraocular infection sources among American (26.7%) and Korean patients (33.3%), respectively. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida species were the most common pathogens of EE in the Korean and the American patients, respectively. Endophthalmitis caused by fungi had a better visual prognosis than that caused by bacteria (p = 0.001). Vitrectomy was beneficial for eyes with EE due to virulent bacteria presenting with worse than counting finger vision. CONCLUSIONS: The predisposing conditions and responsible organisms for EE vary in different regions of the world. The visual prognosis was strongly influenced by the underlying pathogen.

Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Lee NG. Limbal Mantle Cell Lymphoma of the Conjunctiva. Ophthalmology 2016;123(2):377.
Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Freitag SK, Jakobiec FA, Lee NG. Atypical location of primary orbital conjunctival epithelial cysts: a case series. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 2016;44(6):524-6.
Choi CJ, Chou JC, Lefebvre DR, Yoon MK. Margin Reflex Distance: Differences Based on Camera and Flash Positions. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2016;32(3):199-203.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of camera flash position on the measurement of photographic margin reflex distances (MRD). METHODS: Subjects without any ophthalmic disease were prospectively enrolled after institutional review board approval. Clinical measurements of MRD1 and interpalpebral fissure were obtained. Photographs were then taken with a digital single lens reflex with built-in pop-up flash (dSLR-pop), a dSLR with lens-mounted ring flash (dSLR-ring), a point-and-shoot camera, and a smartphone, each in 4 positions: with the camera upright, rotated 90°, 180°, and 270°. The images were analyzed using ImageJ software to measure MRD1, interpalpebral fissure, horizontal white-to-white, and distance from nasal limbus to the corneal light reflex. RESULTS: Thirty-two eyes of 16 subjects were included (ages 27-65). When using the dSLR-ring, point-and-shoot, and smartphone, the difference between clinical and photographic MRD1 did not reach statistical significance. There was, however, a statistically significant difference in the upright position with dSLR-pop (mean difference 0.703 mm, σ = 0.984 mm, p = 0.0008). For dSLR-pop, photographic MRD1 in upright versus inverted position differed significantly (mean difference -0.562 mm, σ =0.348 mm, p < 0.0001). Photographic MRD1 between dSLR-pop and dSLR-ring showed significant difference in upright position (mean difference -0.572 mm, σ = 0.701 mm, p = 0.0002). There were no statistically significant differences between clinical and photographic interpalpebral fissure, and among white-to-white and nasal limbus to light reflex measurements in any position in all 4 cameras. CONCLUSIONS: When using photographs for measurement of MRD1, cameras with a near-coaxial light source and aperture have values that are most similar to clinical measurements.

Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Chodosh J, Yoon MK. Eyelid Mass in Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 2. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2016;Abstract

Boston keratoprosthesis type 2 is used to treat severe corneal blindness secondary to cicatricial or autoimmune ocular surface disease. This case report describes an atypical eyelid mass in a 41-year-old woman with Stevens-Johnson syndrome who underwent placement of Boston keratoprosthesis type 2 in the left eye. The postoperative course was complicated by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus keratitis and endophthalmitis requiring replacement of the keratoprosthesis. Three months thereafter, the patient presented with a progressively enlarging upper eyelid mass adjacent to the keratoprosthesis optic causing distortion of the eyelid. Excisional biopsy revealed an elongated cystic mass abutting the superior aspect of the optic. Pathologic examination was consistent with a conjunctival cyst with lipogranulomatous reaction. Removal of eyelid margins and conjunctiva, and placement of a full-thickness blepharotomy are standard steps in placement of Boston keratoprosthesis type 2, which can lead to conjunctival cysts and lipogranulomas that present as eyelid masses.

Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Lee NG. Nonlimbal Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Conjunctiva. Ophthalmology 2016;123(2):254.
Choi CJ, Bauza A, Yoon MK, Sobel RK, Freitag SK. Full-Thickness Skin Graft as an Independent or Adjunctive Technique for Repair of Cicatricial Lower Eyelid Ectropion Secondary to Actinic Skin Changes. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(6):474-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To retrospectively review and describe full-thickness skin graft repair of lower eyelid cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin. METHODS: A retrospective, noncomparative chart review of all patients who underwent lower eyelid ectropion repair with placement of a full-thickness skin graft between June 2004 and March 2014 was conducted with IRB approval. The etiology of lower eyelid ectropion, demographics including age, gender, ethnicity, laterality, graft donor site, additional surgical procedures, graft viability, surgical success rate, complications, and clinical exam findings were summarized. RESULTS: Twenty-nine eyelids in 24 patients underwent skin grafting for repair of cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes. Ninety six percent of patients were male and 96% were Caucasian. Donor sites for skin grafts included upper eyelid (9, 31%), supraclavicular skin (9, 31%), postauricular skin (7, 24%), inner brachial skin (2, 7%), axilla (1, 3.5%), and preauricular skin (1, 3.5%). Twenty-four of 29 eyelids in the series underwent 1 or more additional procedures at the time of full-thickness skin grafting, including lateral tarsal strip (9 eyelids, 37.5%), punctoplasty (8, 33%), canthoplasty (7, 29%), excision of keratinized conjunctiva (2, 8%), transverse tarsotomy (1, 4%), ipsilateral external dacryocystorhinostomy (3, 12.5%), and lesion removal (1, 4%). There was 100% viability of the skin grafts. Overall surgical success rate was 76%, with asymptomatic recurrence rate of 17% and symptomatic recurrence rate of 7%. CONCLUSION: Repair of cicatricial lower eyelid ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes may be accomplished with full-thickness skin grafting, and is often performed in conjunction with additional procedures to fully address anatomic abnormalities.

Choi CJ, Peggy Chang H-Y, Lee NG. An Unusual Corneal Degeneration. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(6):667-668.
Choi CJ, Oropesa S, Callahan AB, Glass LR, Teo L, Cestari DM, Kazim M, Freitag SK. Patterns of visual field changes in thyroid eye disease. Orbit 2017;:1-7.Abstract

This article provides a systematic description of visual field changes in thyroid eye disease-compressive optic neuropathy (TED-CON). A retrospective, non-comparative chart review of patients with TED-CON and documented Humphrey Visual Field 24-2 or 30-2 testing was conducted with IRB approval. Ninety-six visual fields in 68 patients were classified into 7 broad categories (superior, inferior, diffuse, temporal, nasal, central/paracentral, enlarged blind spot) and 17 mutually exclusive patterns from the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS) or "other." Fifty-three of 96 visual fields (55%) showed an inferior defect using the broad categories, with the remaining 6 categories ranging from 2% to 14%. The five most common OHTS patterns were other (28%), partial arcuate (28%), partial peripheral rim (9%), arcuate (8%) and altitudinal (7%). Further sub-classification showed a predominance of inferior visual field defects, ranging from 33% to 93% of each category. Of the 78 visual fields in these five categories combined, 52 (67%) were inferior defects. Inferior defect is the most typical TED-CON-associated visual field change. While the OHTS categories are geared toward classification of glaucomatous patterns, the overall predominance of inferior field defects in TED-CON was clearly demonstrated. These "other" visual field changes showing central inferior defect up to but not crossing the horizontal meridian and not contiguous from blind spot to nasal meridian should be designated as "TED-CON pattern." The high proportion of visual fields falling under the "other" category, however, does demonstrate the need for a more specific and tailored visual field classification system for TED-CON.

Choi W, Byun YJ, Jung E, Noh H, Hajrasouliha AR, Sadrai Z, Chang EJ, Lee JH, Lee HK. Chemokine decoy receptor D6 mimicking trap (D6MT) prevents allosensitization and immune rejection in murine corneal allograft model. J Leukoc Biol 2015;97(2):413-24.Abstract

Although corneal allotransplantation is performed in the immune-privileged cornea, many grafts are still rejected after transplantation. This study examined the role of chemokine receptor D6 expression in a corneal allograft rejection, investigated the modulation of D6 expression in cells, and determined the effect of D6 on graft survival. Interestingly, D6 was highly expressed in CD45 -: cells and the corneal epithelium of accepted corneal allografts. From the mouse corneal allograft model, TGF-β was found to play a key role in D6 up-regulation, leading to reduced CCL2, CCL5, and CCL3. To modulate D6 chemokine binding, a D6MT was developed and showed effective chemokine trapping through SPR and FACS assays. By treating corneal allografts with D6MT, the allograft survival rate was improved, and (lymph) angiogenesis was reduced. Direct allosensitization and DC LN homing was drastically reduced in the mouse corneal allograft model. These findings suggest that TGF-β is a positive regulator of D6 expression, and it is a potential therapeutic target to enhance the survival of corneal allografts.

Choi CJ, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR, Foster SC, Chodosh J, Freitag SK. Conjunctival Squamous Cell Neoplasia Associated With Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2017;Abstract
The purpose of this study was to describe a possible causal relationship between ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP) and ocular surface squamous neoplasia. Two middle-aged female patients with already diagnosed OCP were studied in regard to the subsequent onset of conjunctival squamous neoplasia. Their clinical histories, ocular examinations, clinical photographs, and results of biopsies and any ancillary immunofluorescent laboratory evaluation studies were carefully reviewed. One patient had a preinvasive squamous dysplasia and the other an invasive squamous cell carcinoma, both in the unequivocal setting of OCP with bilateral conjunctivitis, symblephara, and forniceal foreshortening. The patients had been receiving intensive immunotherapy consisting of some combination of corticosteroids, rituximab, and interferon alpha. Both patients had a positive immunofluorescent study demonstrating immunoreactants at the level of the epithelial basement membrane. Each patient had 2 earlier negative immunofluorescent studies before a third was positive. While rare, there is 1 previous report of an association between OCP and conjunctival squamous neoplasia. The current report provides more data supporting the proposal that this conjunction is more than a random event. Repeat immunofluorescent studies after an initial negative result in a patient with strong clinical signs of OCP are imperative due to the frequency of false negative studies in the context of clinically persuasive disease.
Choi VW, Bigelow CE, McGee TL, Gujar AN, Li H, Hanks SM, Vrouvlianis J, Maker M, Leehy B, Zhang Y, Aranda J, Bounoutas G, Demirs JT, Yang J, Ornberg R, Wang Y, Martin W, Stout KR, Argentieri G, Grosenstein P, Diaz D, Turner O, Jaffee BD, Police SR, Dryja TP. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2015;2:15022.Abstract

Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year.

Choi CJ, Lefebvre DR, Yoon MK. Validation of the facial assessment by computer evaluation (FACE) program for software-aided eyelid measurements. Orbit 2016;35(3):117-20.Abstract

The aim of this article is to validate the accuracy of Facial Assessment by Computer Evaluation (FACE) program in eyelid measurements. Sixteen subjects between the ages of 27 and 65 were included with IRB approval. Clinical measurements of upper eyelid margin reflex distance (MRD1) and inter-palpebral fissure (IPF) were obtained. Photographs were then taken with a digital single lens reflex camera with built-in pop-up flash (dSLR-pop) and a dSLR with lens-mounted ring flash (dSLR-ring) with the cameras upright, rotated 90, 180, and 270 degrees. The images were analyzed using both the FACE and ImageJ software to measure MRD1 and IPF.Thirty-two eyes of sixteen subjects were included. Comparison of clinical measurement of MRD1 and IPF with FACE measurements of photos in upright position showed no statistically significant differences for dSLR-pop (MRD1: p = 0.0912, IPF: p = 0.334) and for dSLR-ring (MRD1: p = 0.105, IPF: p = 0.538). One-to-one comparison of MRD1 and IPF measurements in four positions obtained with FACE versus ImageJ for dSLR-pop showed moderate to substantial agreement for MRD1 (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.534 upright, 0.731 in 90 degree rotation, 0.627 in 180 degree rotation, 0.477 in 270 degree rotation) and substantial to excellent agreement in IPF (ICC = 0.740, 0.859, 0.849, 0.805). In photos taken with dSLR-ring, there was excellent agreement of all MRD1 (ICC = 0.916, 0.932, 0.845, 0.812) and IPF (ICC = 0.937, 0.938, 0.917, 0.888) values. The FACE program is a valid method for measuring margin reflex distance and inter-palpebral fissure.