Purpose: Antitumor T cells need expression of HLA class I molecules but can be inhibited by ligands such as programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). We determined expression and regulation of these molecules in human conjunctival melanoma (CM) samples, cell lines, and murine xenografts. Methods: Immunofluorescence staining was performed to examine the expression of HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) in 23 primary CM samples. HLA class I expression was compared with clinicopathologic characteristics, the presence of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, and PD-L1/PD-1 status. The effect of interferon γ (IFN-γ) on HLA class I expression was tested on three CM cell lines using quantitative PCR and flow cytometry. Furthermore, HLA class I expression was determined in CM cell line-derived murine xenografts. Results: One third of tumors had positive HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and B2M expression. A positive expression was especially seen in thin and epibulbar tumors but was not associated with recurrences. HLA class I expression was correlated with M2 macrophage density and tended to associate with CD8+ T-cell density but was independent of PD-L1 or PD-1 expression. IFN-γ upregulated HLA class I expression and genes involved in HLA transcription and transportation on CM cell lines. Murine xenografts showed a comparable HLA class I expression as their respective cell lines. Conclusions: Our data indicate that subsets of CM have positive HLA class I expression, and HLA class I and PD-L1/PD-1 are expressed independently. When one considers immunotherapy, one should also analyze HLA class I expression, whose downregulation can limit the efficacy of T cell-mediated therapies.
PURPOSE: To describe the outcomes of the use of rituximab in the treatment of refractory noninfectious scleritis. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Review of the medical charts of patients with noninfectious scleritis refractory to conventional immunomodulatory therapy who were seen at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution between 2005 and 2015. The primary outcome measure in this study was steroid-free remission. Secondary outcomes were favorable response (decrease in scleritis activity score) and decrease in steroid dependence. RESULTS: There were 15 patients, with a mean follow-up duration of 34 months. Fourteen patients (93.3%) showed a clinical improvement, with 13 (86.6%) achieving a scleritis activity score of zero at 6 months. To date, 2 patients continue to enjoy durable drug-free remission (28 and 32 months follow-up). There was only 1 adverse effect recorded (infusion hypotension) requiring cessation of rituximab. CONCLUSION: Rituximab can be an effective treatment modality for recalcitrant noninfectious scleritis and, in some, can result in long-term durable drug-free remission.
PURPOSE: This study retrospectively reviews preseptal cellulitis and abscesses involving the eyebrow to elucidate the bacteriology and potential causative factors. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted to identify patients who had been diagnosed with preseptal cellulitis or abscess involving the eyebrow at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary between 2008 and 2015. Demographic, clinical, and microbiological data were collected. RESULTS: Eighty patients with eyebrow infections were identified, of whom 49 (61.3%) were female and 31 (38.7%) were male. The median age was 37 years (range 14-67 years). Eyebrow abscess was present in 54 cases (67.5%), while 26 cases (32.5%) were limited to preseptal cellulitis without abscess formation. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in 20 abscesses (39.2% of culture results), and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus was found in 12 abscesses (23.5% of culture results). Coagulase-negative staphylococci were present in 7 eyebrow abscesses (13.7% of culture results). Clinical history was remarkable for eyebrow hair removal (tweezing, waxing, threading, or shaving) in 17 cases (21.3%), manipulation of acne lesions ("popping," "picking," or "squeezing") in 6 cases (7.5%), and both brow hair removal and acne manipulation in 1 case (1.3%). CONCLUSIONS: There is a high incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the bacteriology of eyebrow infections. Empirical antibiotic coverage for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus should be strongly considered in any patient with an eyebrow area abscess or preseptal cellulitis. Individuals who practice cosmetic eyebrow grooming should be encouraged to consider hygiene practices, which could reduce the risk of infection.
Gene therapy is a promising approach in the treatment of inherited and common complex disorders of the retina. Preclinical and clinical studies have validated the use of adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) as a safe and efficient delivery vehicle for gene transfer. RPE and rods, and to a lesser extent, cone photoreceptors can be efficiently targeted with AAV. Other retinal cell types however are more challenging targets. The aim of this study was to characterize the transduction profile and efficiency of in silico designed, synthetic Anc80 AAVs for retinal gene transfer. Three Anc80 variants were evaluated for retinal targeting in mice and primates following subretinal delivery. In the murine retina Anc80L65 demonstrated high level of RPE and photoreceptor targeting with comparable cone photoreceptor affinity compared to other AAVs. Remarkably, Anc80L65 enhanced transduction kinetics with visible expression as early as day 1 and steady state mRNA levels at day 3. Inner retinal tropism of Anc80 variants demonstrated distinct transduction patterns of Müller glia, retinal ganglion cells and INL neurons. Finally, murine findings with Anc80L65 qualitatively translated to the Rhesus macaque in terms of cell targets, levels and onset of expression. Our findings support the use of Anc80L65 for therapeutic subretinal gene delivery.
Colour vision is only achieved in the presence of healthy and functional cone photoreceptors found in the retina. It is an essential component of human vision and usually the first complaint patients undergoing vision degeneration have is the loss of daylight colour vision. Therefore, an understanding of the biology and basic mechanisms behind cone death under the degenerative state of retinal dystrophies and how the activation of the apoptotic pathway is triggered will provide valuable knowledge. It will also have broader applications for a spectrum of visual disorders and will be critical for future advances in translational research.
The maturity in our understanding of the genetics and the pathogenesis of disease in degenerative retinal disorders has intersected in past years with a novel treatment paradigm in which a genetic intervention may lead to sustained therapeutic benefit, and in some cases even restoration of vision. Here, we review this prospect of retinal gene therapy, discuss the enabling technologies that have led to first-in-human demonstrations of efficacy and safety, and the road that led to this exciting point in time.
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.
Converging evidence suggests that the perception of auditory pitch exhibits a characteristic spatial organization. This pitch-space association can be demonstrated experimentally by the Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes (SMARC) effect. This is characterized by faster response times when a low-positioned key is pressed in response to a low-pitched tone, and a high-positioned key is pressed in response to a high-pitched tone. To investigate whether the development of this pitch-space association is mediated by normal visual experience, we tested a group of early blind individuals on a task that required them to discriminate the timbre of different instrument sounds with varying pitch. Results revealed a comparable pattern in the SMARC effect in both blind participants and sighted controls, suggesting that the lack of prior visual experience does not prevent the development of an association between pitch height and vertical space.
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.