More than one hundred naturally occurring variants of adeno-associated virus (AAV) have been identified, and this library has been further expanded by an array of techniques for modification of the viral capsid. AAV capsid variants possess unique antigenic profiles and demonstrate distinct cellular tropisms driven by differences in receptor binding. AAV capsids can be chemically modified to alter tropism, can be produced as hybrid vectors that combine the properties of multiple serotypes, and can carry peptide insertions that introduce novel receptor-binding activity. Furthermore, directed evolution of shuffled genome libraries can identify engineered variants with unique properties, and rational modification of the viral capsid can alter tropism, reduce blockage by neutralizing antibodies, or enhance transduction efficiency. This large number of AAV variants and engineered capsids provides a varied toolkit for gene delivery to the CNS and retina, with specialized vectors available for many applications, but selecting a capsid variant from the array of available vectors can be difficult. This chapter describes the unique properties of a range of AAV variants and engineered capsids, and provides a guide for selecting the appropriate vector for specific applications in the CNS and retina.
To explain the biological foundations of art appreciation is to explain one of our species' distinctive traits. Previous neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have pointed to the prefrontal and the parietal cortex as two critical regions mediating esthetic appreciation of visual art. In this study, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the left prefrontal cortex and the right posterior parietal cortex while participants were evaluating whether they liked, and by how much, a particular painting. By depolarizing cell membranes in the targeted regions, TMS transiently interferes with the activity of specific cortical areas, which allows clarifying their role in a given task. Our results show that both regions play a fundamental role in mediating esthetic appreciation. Critically though, the effects of TMS varied depending on the type of art considered (i.e. representational vs. abstract) and on participants' a-priori inclination toward one or the other.
PURPOSE: To analyze bilateral corneal immune cell and nerve alterations in patients with unilateral herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and their correlation with corneal sensation and clinical findings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a prospective, cross-sectional, controlled, single-center study. Twenty-four eyes of 24 HZO patients and their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and normal controls (n = 24) were included. Laser IVCM (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph/Rostock Cornea Module), corneal esthesiometry (Cochet-Bonnet) were performed. Changes in corneal dendritiform cell (DC) density and morphology, number and length of subbasal nerve fibers and their correlation to corneal sensation, pain, lesion location, disease duration, and number of episodes were analyzed. RESULTS: HZO-affected and contralateral eyes showed a significant increase in DC influx of the central cornea as compared to controls (147.4 ± 33.9, 120.1 ± 21.2, and 23.0 ± 3.6 cells/mm2; p < 0.0001). In HZO eyes DCs were larger in area (319.4 ± 59.8 μm2; p < 0.001) and number of dendrites (3.5 ± 0.4 n/cell; p = 0.01) as compared to controls (52.2 ± 11.7, and 2.3 ± 0.5). DC density and size showed moderate negative correlation with total nerve length (R = -0.43 and R = -0.57, respectively; all p < 0.001). A higher frequency of nerve beading and activated DCs close to nerve fibers were detected specifically in pain patients. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic unilateral HZO causes significant bilateral increase in corneal DC density and decrease of the corneal subbasal nerves as compared to controls. Negative correlation was observed for DC density and size to nerve parameters, suggesting interplay between the immune and nervous systems. Patients with chronic pain also showed increased nerve beading and activated DCs.
Lineage studies conducted in the retina more than 25 years ago demonstrated the multipotency of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs). The number and types of cells produced by individual RPCs, even from a single time point in development, were found to be highly variable. This raised the question of whether this variability was due to intrinsic differences among RPCs or to extrinsic and/or stochastic effects on equivalent RPCs or their progeny. Newer lineage studies that have made use of molecular markers of RPCs, retrovirus-mediated lineage analyses of specific RPCs and live imaging have begun to provide answers to this question. RPCs that produce two postmitotic daughter cells - that is, terminally dividing RPCs - have been the most well characterized RPCs to date, and have been shown to produce specific types of daughter cells. In addition, recent studies have begun to shed light on the mechanisms that drive the temporal order in which retinal cells are born.
OBJECTIVE: Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is a devastating ocular condition causing permanent vision loss. Little is known about risk factors for developing this disease. We assessed demographic, systemic, and ocular factors associated with NAION. DESIGN: Retrospective longitudinal cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Beneficiaries between 40 and 75 years old without NAION at baseline enrolled in a large U.S. managed care network. METHODS: Enrollees were monitored continuously for ≥2 years between 2001 and 2014 to identify those newly diagnosed with NAION (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code 377.41). All persons were under ophthalmic surveillance and all cases had ≥1 confirmatory ICD-9-CM code for NAION during follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Multivariable Cox regression modeling was used to generate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to describe the statistical relationship between selected demographic characteristics, systemic and ocular conditions, and the hazard of developing NAION. RESULTS: Of 1 381 477 eligible enrollees, 977 (0.1%) developed NAION during a mean ± standard deviation (SD) follow-up of 7.8±3.1 years. The mean ± SD age for NAION cases at the index date was 64.0±9.2 years vs. 58.4±9.4 years for the remainder of the beneficiaries. After adjustment for confounding factors, each additional year older was associated with a 2% increased hazard of NAION (HR = 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01-1.03). Female subjects had a 36% decreased hazard of developing NAION (HR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.55-0.74) compared with male subjects. Compared with whites, Latinos had a 46% decreased hazard of developing NAION (HR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.36-0.82), whereas African ancestry was not significantly associated with NAION (HR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.72-1.15). Systemic diseases associated with NAION included hypertension (HR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.26-2.07) and hypercoagulable states (HR = 2.46; 95% CI: 1.51-4.00). Although diabetes mellitus (DM) was not significantly associated with NAION compared with those without DM (P = 0.45), patients with end-organ involvement from DM had a 27% increased hazard of NAION relative to those with uncomplicated DM (HR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.01-1.59). Ocular diseases associated with NAION were age-related macular degeneration (HR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.08-1.54) and retinal vein occlusion (HR = 3.94; 95% CI: 3.11-4.99). CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified several modifiable risk factors that may be associated with NAION. Should future studies confirm these findings, they may offer opportunities to prevent or treat this debilitating condition.
We report a case of a 57-year-old man who presented with decreased visual acuity in the left eye secondary to nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) while on therapy with interferon-α for hepatitis C. Fundus fluorescein angiography revealed late leakage of both optic discs, consistent with bilateral disease. One week later, the patient developed clinical signs and symptoms consistent with NAION in the fellow eye. Fluorescein angiography may play an important role in identifying subclinical NAION in patients taking interferon-α.
IMPORTANCE: Understanding the criteria for when strabismus becomes detectable by non-health care professionals could influence the goals for determining the success of surgical intervention and how patients with such misalignments are counseled. OBJECTIVE: To examine the magnitude at which strabismus is detectable by lay observers in an ethnically diverse set of images. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Photographs of 12 ethnically diverse models (black, white, and Asian) were simulated to have strabismus from esotropia of 21 prism diopters (∆) to exotropia of 21∆. From July 1, 2007, to October, 1, 2008, images were presented to 120 non-health care professionals aged 21 years or older from the general community in Boston, Massachusetts, who were asked whether strabismus was present. Analysis was conducted from November 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The threshold angle for detecting strabismus to enable 70% of lay observers to make a positive determination whether strabismus is present. RESULTS: In white and black models, the threshold allowing a 70% positive detection rate was higher for esotropia than for exotropia (P < .001 for both). For white models, the threshold was 23.2∆ (95% CI, 21.0∆ to 26.5∆) for esotropia and 13.5∆ (95% CI, 12.5∆ to 14.6∆) for exotropia. For black models, the threshold was 20.8∆ (95% CI, 19.2∆ to 22.2∆) for esotropia and 16.3∆ (95% CI, 15.5∆ to 17.2∆) for exotropia. Asian models showed an opposite trend, with the threshold allowing a 70% positive detection rate for esotropia (14.3∆; 95% CI, 13.2∆ to 15.7∆) being lower than that for exotropia (20.9∆; 95% CI, 18.0∆ to 24.6∆) (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Esotropia was easier for lay observers to detect than exotropia in Asian models, and exotropia was easier to detect than esotropia in white and black models. This information should be considered when managing patients who have concerns about the social significance of their strabismus. Future studies should include diverse individuals and make an effort to account for individual factors that may alter the perception of strabismus.
PURPOSE: To present a goal-determined methodology for monitoring outcomes after surgery for exotropia. METHODS: The goal-determined metric required surgeons to rank four possible goals preoperatively: (1) binocular potential, (2) restoration of eye contact, (3) diplopia control; and (4) torticollis management. Potential preoperative risk factors were noted. Goal-specific outcomes criteria were applied to the latest sensory-motor examination, 2-6 months after surgery. The medical records of patients who underwent surgery from 2007 to 2012 were retrospectively reviewed with respect to the goal-directed metric. RESULTS: A total of 852 patients were evaluated in the study period: 411 for restoration of eye contact; 347 for binocular potential; 78 for diplopia resolution; and16 for torticollis management. Excellent (62%) or good (16%) outcomes were achieved in 78%. Procedures to resolve diplopia (OR, 6.56; 95% CI, 3.39-12.68) and to restore eye contact (OR, 3.74; 95% CI, 2.65-5.29) were more likely to result in excellent outcomes than procedures to improve binocular potential. Simultaneous surgery for dissociated vertical deviation (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.92) and preoperative near deviation ≥50(Δ) (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.17-0.42) limited likelihood of an excellent outcome. Outcomes monitored by simultaneous rather than alternate prism and cover test were more likely graded excellent (OR, 5.16; 95% CI, 3.50-7.62). Applying motor criteria from the binocular potential goal to the entire cohort diminished putative outcomes (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Goal-determined metric monitoring outcomes of exotropia surgery provides outcomes germane to the reason for intervention, enables analysis of risk factors affecting outcomes, and facilitates reporting on heterogeneous populations.
In March 2015, a meeting was held in London, United Kingdom, to address the progress in targeting the unmet need for dry eye disease (DED) treatment. The meeting, which launched the i(2) = initiating innovation series, was sponsored by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS; www.TearFilm.org) and supported by Dompé. The TFOS i(2) meeting was designed to review advances in the understanding of DED since publication of the 2007 TFOS International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS) report, and to help launch the highly anticipated sequel, DEWS II. The meeting was structured to discuss the scope of the DED problem, to review the clinical challenges of DED, and to consider the treatment challenges of DED. This article provides a synopsis of the presentations of this TFOS i(2) meeting.
The authors describe a 4-year-old girl presenting with a 2-year history of a superomedial eyelid "bump" that appeared cystic on MRI. The clinical diagnosis was dermoid cyst, possibly of conjunctival origin. Following excision, histology showed a cyst that contained keratin and lanugo hairs in its lumen with sebaceous glands and chronic inflammation in its fibrous wall. An unanticipated finding was the presence of a trichilemmal (pilar) variety of epithelial lining that stained positively for calretinin, an immunostain that identifies trichilemmal epithelium. To the authors' knowledge this is the first case of a dermoid cyst with trichilemmal lining. This study was conducted in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and in conformity with the Oslo declaration.
Two cases of limbal cysts lined by nonkeratinizing epithelium were studied with a panel of cytokeratins. One was a long-standing lesion in a 30-year-old man, whereas the other was excised from a 40-year-old man following pterygium surgery. Each cyst was immunostained with a panel of cytokeratins that were specific exclusively and separately for corneal and conjunctival epithelia. The epithelial lining of each cyst was CK12 positive for corneal epithelium and CK13 negative for conjunctival epithelium. It is hypothesized that a subset of corneoscleral cysts contain corneal epithelium, probably derived from a type of limbal stem cell differentiation.
OBJECTIVE: In angiogenesis, circulating mononuclear cells are recruited to vascular lesions; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Here, we characterize the functional role of protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7)-expressing CD11b(+) mononuclear cells in vitro and in vivo using a mouse model of angiogenesis. Although the frequencies of PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells in the bone marrow remained similar after vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced neovascularization, we observed an 11-fold increase in the cornea. Importantly, vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced chemotaxis of PTK7(+) cells was mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. In a coculture with endothelial cells, PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells stabilized the vascular network for 2 weeks by expressing high levels of angiopoietin-1. The enhanced vascular stability was abolished by knockdown of angiopoietin-1 in PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells and could be restored by angiopoietin-1 treatment. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that PTK7 expression in perivascular mononuclear cells induces vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and angiopoietin-1 expression and thus contributes to vascular stabilization in angiogenesis.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of host immunity (allospecific) and surgical manipulation (non-allospecific) on corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in corneal transplantation. METHODS: Draining lymph nodes and grafted C57BL/6 corneas were harvested from syngeneic recipients, allograft acceptors, and allograft rejectors (BALB/c) 1, 3, and 8 weeks after transplantation. We analyzed CEC apoptosis using an ex vivo cornea-in-the-cup assay, and visualized cell-to-cell junctions using immunohistochemical staining (ZO-1). Automatic cell analysis using Confoscan software was used to measure CEC density as well as changes in CEC morphology by quantifying the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) and shape (pleomorphism). RESULTS: The cornea-in-the-cup assay showed that allogeneic acceptor T cells and to an even greater extent rejector T cells (but not syngeneic T cells) induced CEC apoptosis. CEC density after corneal transplantation was significantly reduced in allogeneic acceptors compared with syngeneic grafts (P<0.001), and CEC density was even further reduced in the allo-rejector group compared with the allo-acceptor group. Allogeneic grafts showed a greater increase in the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) when compared with syngeneic grafts 1 week after transplantation (P=P<0.001). However, pleomorphism was not significantly different between syngeneic and allo-acceptor grafts, indicating that polymegethism (but not pleomorphism or cell density) is a sensitive indicator of the effect of alloimmunity on CECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that host alloimmunity rather than surgical manipulation alone is the major cause of CEC damage in corneal transplantation, and such morphologic changes of CECs can be detected before the clinically visible onset of allograft rejection.
OBJECTIVE: To design and implement a teaching skills curriculum that addressed the needs of an ophthalmology residency training program, to assess the effect of the curriculum, and to present important lessons learned. DESIGN: A teaching skills curriculum was designed for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology. Results of a needs assessment survey were used to guide curriculum objectives. Overall, 3 teaching workshops were conducted between October 2012 and March 2013 that addressed areas of need, including procedural teaching. A postcurriculum survey was used to assess the effect of the curriculum. SETTING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a tertiary care institution in Boston, MA. PARTICIPANTS: Overall, 24 residents in the HMS Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology were included. RESULTS: The needs assessment survey demonstrated that although most residents anticipated that teaching would be important in their future career, only one-third had prior formal training in teaching. All residents reported they found the teaching workshops to be either very or extremely useful. All residents reported they would like further training in teaching, with most residents requesting additional training in best procedural teaching practices for future sessions. CONCLUSIONS: The pilot year of the resident-as-teacher curriculum for the HMS Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology demonstrated a need for this curriculum and was perceived as beneficial by the residents, who reported increased comfort in their teaching skills after attending the workshops.
Fungal endophthalmitis is an important cause of vision loss worldwide with a large body of literature describing the treatment of the disease. The evidence supporting the use of pars plana vitrectomy in the management of fungal endophthalmitis is largely comprised of case reports and case series and demonstrates the important role of vitrectomy surgery. Vitrectomy can improve the likelihood of establishing the diagnosis, enhance the treatment of infection by removing fungal elements in the vitreous, aid in the removal of other inoculated intraocular structures, and is an important tool in the management of vision-threatening post-infectious sequelae like retinal detachment and epiretinal membrane.
Fenofibrate, a specific agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα), displays robust therapeutic effects on diabetic retinopathy (DR) in type 2 diabetic patients. Our recent studies have shown that PPARα is down-regulated in the diabetic retina, which contributes to the pathogenesis of DR. However, the mechanism for diabetes-induced down-regulation of PPARα remains unknown. We investigated the role of microRNA-21 (miR-21) in regulating PPARα in DR. MiR-21 was over-expressed, while PPARα levels were decreased in the retina of db/db mice, a type 2 diabetic model. Such alterations were also observed in palmitate-treated retinal endothelial cells. MiR-21 targeted PPARα by inhibiting its mRNA translation. Knockout of miR-21 prevented the decrease of PPARα, alleviated microvascular damage, ameliorated inflammation and reduced cell apoptosis in the retina of db/db mice. Intravitreal injection of miR-21 inhibitor attenuated PPARα down-regulation and ameliorated retinal inflammation in db/db mice. Further, retinal miR-21 levels were increased, while PPARα levels were decreased in oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Knockout of miR-21 prevented PPARα down-regulation and ameliorated retinal neovascularization and inflammation in OIR retinas. In conclusion, diabetes-induced over-expression of miR-21 in the retina is responsible, at least in part, for PPARα down-regulation in DR. Targeting miR-21 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for DR.