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Choi HJ, Sun D, Jakobs TC. Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express putative mechanosensitive channels. Mol Vis 2015;21:749-66.Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish whether optic nerve head astrocytes express candidate molecules to sense tissue stretch. METHODS: We used conventional PCR, quantitative PCR, and single-cell reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) to assess the expression of various members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family and of the recently characterized mechanosensitive channels Piezo1 and 2 in optic nerve head tissue and in single, isolated astrocytes. RESULTS: Most TRP subfamilies (TRPC, TRPM, TRPV, TRPA, and TRPP) and Piezo1 and 2 were expressed in the optic nerve head of the mouse. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that TRPC1, TRPM7, TRPV2, TRPP2, and Piezo1 are the dominant isoforms in each subfamily. Single-cell RT-PCR revealed that many TRP isoforms, TRPC1-2, TRPC6, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPM2, TRPM4, TRPM6-7, TRPP1-2, and Piezo1-2, are expressed in astrocytes of the optic nerve head, and that most astrocytes express TRPC1 and TRPP1-2. Comparisons of the TRPP and Piezo expression levels between different tissue regions showed that Piezo2 expression was higher in the optic nerve head and the optic nerve proper than in the brain and the corpus callosum. TRPP2 also showed higher expression in the optic nerve head. CONCLUSIONS: Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express multiple putative mechanosensitive channels, in particular the recently identified channels Piezo1 and 2. The expression of putative mechanosensitive channels in these cells may contribute to their responsiveness to traumatic or glaucomatous injury.

Choi HJ, Sun D, Jakobs TC. Isolation of intact astrocytes from the optic nerve head of adult mice. Exp Eye Res 2015;137:103-10.Abstract

The astrocytes of the optic nerve head are a specialized subtype of white matter astrocytes that form the direct cellular environment of the unmyelinated ganglion cell axons. Due to their potential involvement in glaucoma, these astrocytes have become a target of research. Due to the heterogeneity of the optic nerve tissue, which also contains other cell types, in some cases it may be desirable to conduct gene expression studies on small numbers of well-characterized astrocytes or even individual cells. Here, we describe a simple method to isolate individual astrocytes. This method permits obtaining astrocytes with intact morphology from the adult mouse optic nerve and reduces contamination of the isolated astrocytes by other cell types. Individual astrocytes can be recognized by their morphology and collected under microscopic control. The whole procedure can be completed in 2-3 h. We also discuss downstream applications like multiplex single-cell PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Chronopoulos A, Roy S, Beglova E, Mansfield K, Wachtman L, Roy S. Hyperhexosemia-induced retinal vascular pathology in a novel primate model of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes 2015;Abstract

The paucity of animal models exhibiting full pathology of diabetic retinopathy (DR) has impeded understanding of the pathogenesis of DR and the development of therapeutic interventions. Here we investigated if hyperhexosemic marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) develop characteristic retinal vascular lesions including macular edema (ME), a leading cause of vision loss in DR. Marmosets maintained on 30% galactose (gal)-rich diet for two years were monitored for retinal vascular permeability, development of ME, and morphological characteristics including acellular capillaries (AC) and pericyte loss (PL), vessel tortuosity, and capillary basement membrane (BM) thickness. Excess vascular permeability, increased number of AC and PL, vascular BM thickening, and increased vessel tortuosity were observed in the retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images revealed significant thickening of the retinal foveal and the juxtafoveal area, and histological analysis showed incipient microaneurysms in retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Findings from this study indicate that hyperhexosemia can trigger retinal vascular changes similar to those seen in human DR including ME and microaneurysms. The striking similarities between the marmoset retina and the human retina, and the exceptionally small size of the monkey, offer significant advantages to this primate model of DR.

Chun BY, Rizzo JF. Dominant optic atrophy: updates on the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of the optic atrophy 1 mutation. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2016;Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Review recent advances in clinical and experimental studies of dominant optic atrophy (DOA) to better understand the complexities of pathophysiology caused by the optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) mutation. RECENT FINDINGS: DOA is the most commonly diagnosed inherited optic atrophy, causing progressive bilateral visual loss that begins early in life. During the past 25 years, there has been substantial progress in the understanding of the clinical, genetic, and pathophysiological basis of this disease. The histopathological hallmark of DOA is the primary degeneration of retinal ganglion cells, preferentially in the papillomacular bundle, which results temporal optic disc pallor and cecocentral scotomata in patients with DOA. Loss of OPA1 protein function by OPA1 gene mutations causes mitochondrial dysfunction because of the loss of mitochondrial fusion, impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, increases in reactive oxygen species, and altered calcium homeostasis. These factors lead to apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells by a haploinsufficiency mechanism. SUMMARY: Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of DOA provides insights that can be used to develop therapeutic approaches to the DOA.

Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

Ciolino JB, Ross AE, Tulsan R, Watts AC, Wang R-F, Zurakowski D, Serle JB, Kohane DS. Latanoprost-Eluting Contact Lenses in Glaucomatous Monkeys. Ophthalmology 2016;123(10):2085-92.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the ability of latanoprost-eluting contact lenses to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) of glaucomatous eyes of cynomolgus monkeys. DESIGN: Preclinical efficacy study of 3 treatment arms in a crossover design. PARTICIPANTS: Female cynomolgus monkeys with glaucoma induced in 1 eye by repeated argon laser trabeculoplasty. METHODS: Latanoprost-eluting low-dose contact lenses (CLLO) and high-dose contact lenses (CLHI) were produced by encapsulating a thin latanoprost-polymer film within the periphery of a methafilcon hydrogel, which was lathed into a contact lens. We assessed the IOP-lowering effect of CLLO, CLHI, or daily latanoprost ophthalmic solution in the same monkeys. Each monkey consecutively received 1 week of continuous-wear CLLO, 3 weeks without treatment, 5 days of latanoprost drops, 3 weeks without treatment, and 1 week of continuous-wear CLHI. On 2 consecutive days before initiation of each study arm, the IOP was measured hourly over 7 consecutive hours to establish the baseline IOP. Two-tailed Student t tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance were used for statistical analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intraocular pressure. RESULTS: Latanoprost ophthalmic solution resulted in IOP reduction of 5.4±1.0 mmHg on day 3 and peak IOP reduction of 6.6±1.3 mmHg on day 5. The CLLO reduced IOP by 6.3±1.0, 6.7±0.3, and 6.7±0.3 mmHg on days 3, 5, and 8, respectively. The CLHI lowered IOP by 10.5±1.4, 11.1±4.0, and 10.0±2.5 mmHg on days 3, 5, and 8, respectively. For the CLLO and CLHI, the IOP was statistically significantly reduced compared with the untreated baseline at most time points measured. The CLHI demonstrated greater IOP reduction than latanoprost ophthalmic solution on day 3 (P = 0.001) and day 5 (P = 0.015), and at several time points on day 8 (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Sustained delivery of latanoprost by contact lenses is at least as effective as delivery with daily latanoprost ophthalmic solution. More research is needed to determine the optimal continuous-release dose that would be well tolerated and maximally effective. Contact lens drug delivery may become an option for the treatment of glaucoma and a platform for ocular drug delivery.

Clermont A, Murugesan N, Zhou Q, Kita T, Robson PA, Rushbrooke LJ, Evans MD, Aiello LP, Feener EP. Plasma Kallikrein Mediates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-Induced Retinal Dysfunction and Thickening. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(6):2390-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: Plasma kallikrein is a serine protease and circulating component of inflammation, which exerts clinically significant effects on vasogenic edema. This study examines the role of plasma kallikrein in VEGF-induced retinal edema. METHODS: Intravitreal injections of VEGF and saline vehicle were performed in plasma prekallikrein-deficient (KLKB1-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice, and in both rats and mice receiving a selective plasma kallikrein inhibitor, VA999272. Retinal vascular permeability (RVP) and retinal thickness were measured by Evans blue permeation and optical coherence tomography, respectively. The retinal kallikrein kinin system was examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Retinal neovascularization was investigated in KLKB1-/- and WT mice subjected to oxygen-induced retinopathy. RESULTS: Vascular endothelial growth factor-induced RVP and retinal thickening were reduced in KLKB1-/- mice by 68% and 47%, respectively, compared to VEGF responses in WT mice. Plasma kallikrein also contributes to TNFα-induced retinal thickening, which was reduced by 52% in KLKB1-/- mice. Systemic administration of VA999272 reduced VEGF-induced retinal thickening by 57% (P < 0.001) in mice and 53% (P < 0.001) in rats, compared to vehicle-treated controls. Intravitreal injection of VEGF in WT mice increased plasma prekallikrein in the retina, which was diffusely distributed throughout the inner and outer retinal layers. Avascular and neovascular areas induced by oxygen-induced retinopathy were similar in WT and KLKB1-/- mice. CONCLUSIONS: Vascular endothelial growth factor increases extravasation of plasma kallikrein into the retina, and plasma kallikrein is required for the full effects of VEGF on RVP and retinal thickening in rodents. Systemic plasma kallikrein inhibition may provide a therapeutic opportunity to treat VEGF-induced retina edema.

Cocho L, Gonzalez-Gonzalez LA, Molina-Prat N, Doctor P, Sainz-de-la-Maza M, Foster SC. Scleritis in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener). Br J Ophthalmol 2016;100(8):1062-5.Abstract

AIMS: To describe and compare clinical features, complications and outcomes in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)-associated scleritis with those seen in idiopathic and other autoimmune-associated scleritis, and to further describe the features that may serve as an indicator of life-threatening systemic disease. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed electronic health records of all patients with scleritis seen at two tertiary care centres. Of 500 patients, 14 had GPA-associated scleritis and were included in this analysis. Measures included were age, gender, laterality, visual acuity and underlying systemic or ocular diseases. Clinical features (location, pain, inflammation) and ocular complications of these patients (decrease of vision, concomitant anterior uveitis and ocular hypertension) were studied and correlated. RESULTS: Fourteen of 500 patients with scleritis were GPA associated. Most of the patients with GPA-associated scleritis presented with sudden onset, bilateral, diffuse anterior scleral inflammation, with moderate-or-severe pain. Vision loss was not significantly different, and pain was more severe in these patients than in those with idiopathic scleritis. When compared with patients with other underlying autoimmune diseases, there were no significant differences found in epidemiological or clinical signs. Necrotising scleritis and corneal involvement were more commonly observed in GPA than in idiopathic scleritis and other autoimmune diseases and are often the presenting feature of the disease. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of necrotising changes or corneal involvement in the setting of scleral inflammation is highly suggestive of an underlying systemic vasculitis, of which GPA is the most common. These features should alert the doctor/optometrist and prompt a thorough diagnostic approach and an aggressive treatment given that it could reveal a life-threatening disease.

Cornelis MC, Byrne EM, Esko T, Nalls MA, Ganna A, Paynter N, Monda KL, Amin N, Fischer K, Renstrom F, Ngwa JS, Huikari V, Cavadino A, Nolte IM, Teumer A, Yu K, Marques-Vidal P, Rawal R, Manichaikul A, Wojczynski MK, Vink JM, Zhao JH, Burlutsky G, Lahti J, Mikkilä V, Lemaitre RN, Eriksson J, Musani SK, Tanaka T, Geller F, Luan J, Hui J, Mägi R, Dimitriou M, Garcia ME, Ho W-K, Wright MJ, Rose LM, Magnusson PKE, Pedersen NL, Couper D, Oostra BA, Hofman A, Ikram MA, Tiemeier HW, Uitterlinden AG, van Rooij FJA, Barroso I, Johansson I, Xue L, Kaakinen M, Milani L, Power C, Snieder H, Stolk RP, Baumeister SE, Biffar R, Gu F, Bastardot F, Kutalik Z, Jacobs DR, Forouhi NG, Mihailov E, Lind L, Lindgren C, Michaëlsson K, Morris A, Jensen M, Khaw K-T, Luben RN, Wang JJ, Männistö S, Perälä M-M, Kähönen M, Lehtimäki T, Viikari J, Mozaffarian D, Mukamal K, Psaty BM, Döring A, Heath AC, Montgomery GW, Dahmen N, Carithers T, Tucker KL, Ferrucci L, Boyd HA, Melbye M, Treur JL, Mellström D, Hottenga JJ, Prokopenko I, Tönjes A, Deloukas P, Kanoni S, Lorentzon M, Houston DK, Liu Y, Danesh J, Rasheed A, Mason MA, Zonderman AB, Franke L, Kristal BS, Karjalainen J, Reed DR, Westra H-J, Evans MK, Saleheen D, Harris TB, Dedoussis G, Curhan G, Stumvoll M, Beilby J, Pasquale LR, Feenstra B, Bandinelli S, Ordovas JM, Chan AT, Peters U, Ohlsson C, Gieger C, Martin NG, Waldenberger M, Siscovick DS, Raitakari O, Eriksson JG, Mitchell P, Hunter DJ, Kraft P, Rimm EB, Boomsma DI, Borecki IB, Loos RJF, Wareham NJ, Vollenweider P, Caporaso N, Grabe HJ, Neuhouser ML, Wolffenbuttel BHR, Hu FB, Hyppönen E, Järvelin M-R, Cupples LA, Franks PW, Ridker PM, van Duijn CM, Heiss G, Metspalu A, North KE, Ingelsson E, Nettleton JA, van Dam RM, Chasman DI. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption. Mol Psychiatry 2015;20(5):647-56.Abstract
Coffee, a major dietary source of caffeine, is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world and has received considerable attention regarding health risks and benefits. We conducted a genome-wide (GW) meta-analysis of predominately regular-type coffee consumption (cups per day) among up to 91 462 coffee consumers of European ancestry with top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed-up in ~30 062 and 7964 coffee consumers of European and African-American ancestry, respectively. Studies from both stages were combined in a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. Confirmed loci were examined for putative functional and biological relevance. Eight loci, including six novel loci, met GW significance (log10Bayes factor (BF)>5.64) with per-allele effect sizes of 0.03-0.14 cups per day. Six are located in or near genes potentially involved in pharmacokinetics (ABCG2, AHR, POR and CYP1A2) and pharmacodynamics (BDNF and SLC6A4) of caffeine. Two map to GCKR and MLXIPL genes related to metabolic traits but lacking known roles in coffee consumption. Enhancer and promoter histone marks populate the regions of many confirmed loci and several potential regulatory SNPs are highly correlated with the lead SNP of each. SNP alleles near GCKR, MLXIPL, BDNF and CYP1A2 that were associated with higher coffee consumption have previously been associated with smoking initiation, higher adiposity and fasting insulin and glucose but lower blood pressure and favorable lipid, inflammatory and liver enzyme profiles (P<5 × 10(-8)).Our genetic findings among European and African-American adults reinforce the role of caffeine in mediating habitual coffee consumption and may point to molecular mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in pharmacological and health effects of coffee.
Coleman AL, Lum FC, Velentgas P, Su Z, Gliklich RE, Gliklich RE. Practice patterns and treatment changes for open-angle glaucoma: the RiGOR study. J Comp Eff Res 2016;5(1):79-85.Abstract

AIMS: The RiGOR study provides a current picture of the types of glaucoma treatment over 12 months. METHODS: Patients were identified and enrolled at the time of decision to proceed with laser surgery procedure or other procedure such as incisional surgery or drainage device implantation, or initiation of a new or additional course of therapy with medication for glaucoma treatment. RESULTS: The most frequent type of treatments were prostaglandin analogues (60%) among patients with additional medication, selective laser trabeculoplasty (87%) among patients with laser surgery and trabeculectomy (57%) among patients with incisional surgery. CONCLUSION: For 36% of patients, a treatment cascade involves two or more therapies over a year. This demonstrates the complex nature of open-angle glaucoma treatment.

Coleman AL, Lum FC, Velentgas P, Su Z, Gliklich RE, Gliklich RE. Impact of treatment strategies for open angle glaucoma on intraocular pressure: the RiGOR study. J Comp Eff Res 2016;5(1):87-98.Abstract

AIMS: The RiGOR study's primary outcome measure was a 15% reduction in intraocular pressure (IOP) for patients with open-angle glaucoma at 1 year. METHODS: Patients received treatment according to the ophthalmologist's usual practice. RESULTS: A higher proportion of patients in the incisional and other surgery group achieved a 15% reduction in IOP than in the laser surgery or additional medication groups (82, 57, and 57% respectively). In multivariate regression analyses, incisional surgery patients were 2.7-times as likely as patients treated with additional medication to achieve a 15% reduction in IOP (odds ratio: 2.67; 95% CI: 2.01-3.57). CONCLUSION: Incisional and other surgical procedures are effective treatments. There were no differences in treatment response by race or ethnicity.

Coleman AL, Lum FC, Velentgas P, Campion D, Su Z, Gliklich RE, Gliklich RE. RiGOR: a prospective observational study comparing the effectiveness of treatment strategies for open-angle glaucoma. J Comp Eff Res 2016;5(1):65-78.Abstract

AIMS: The RigOR study was designed to assess comparative effectiveness of medications, laser trabeculoplasty and incisional surgery in patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) in the community initiating a new or additional course of therapy as judged necessary by their ophthalmologist. This paper focuses specifically on demographic and clinical characteristics of OAG patients at enrollment. PATIENTS & METHODS: A total of 2597 with OAG already on medical therapy were enrolled from 45 community and academic practices throughout the USA. RESULTS: Overall, 784 (30%) patients were treated with laser surgery, 436 with other surgical procedures (17%), and 1377 with additional medication (53%). Patients had mild (35%) or moderate (31%) glaucoma, with 28% with severe glaucoma. CONCLUSION: The RiGOR study enrolled a diverse population and will provide valuable information regarding visual function and treatment patterns among different racial/ethnic populations. African-American and Hispanic patients entered the study with poorer visual acuity and more severe glaucoma.

Coleman AL, Lum FC, Gliklich RE, Velentgas P, Su Z, Su Z. Quality of life and visual acuity outcomes in the Registry in Glaucoma Outcomes Research study. J Comp Eff Res 2016;5(1):99-111.Abstract

AIMS: The RiGOR study evaluated the association of treatment and patient-reported outcomes for open-angle glaucoma patients. METHODS: The Glaucoma Symptom Scale (National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) and visual acuity (VA) were collected as quality of life measures. RESULTS: The proportion of patients with improvement of at least two lines of vision was highest in the incisional surgery group (14.2% compared with 9.9% for laser surgery and 10.9% for additional medication). CONCLUSION: No clinically relevant differences were seen in benefit for the laser surgery or incisional surgery groups compared with additional medications for the Glaucoma Symptom Scale or NEI-VFQ measures or subscales. Differences in quality of life by race need to be explored in further studies.

Conde P, Rodriguez M, van der Touw W, Jimenez A, Burns M, Miller J, Brahmachary M, Chen H-M, Boros P, Rausell-Palamos F, Yun TJ, Riquelme P, Rastrojo A, Aguado B, Stein-Streilein J, Tanaka M, Zhou L, Zhang J, Lowary TL, Ginhoux F, Park CG, Cheong C, Brody J, Turley SJ, Lira SA, Bronte V, Gordon S, Heeger PS, Merad M, Hutchinson J, Chen S-H, Ochando J. DC-SIGN(+) Macrophages Control the Induction of Transplantation Tolerance. Immunity 2015;42(6):1143-58.Abstract

Tissue effector cells of the monocyte lineage can differentiate into different cell types with specific cell function depending on their environment. The phenotype, developmental requirements, and functional mechanisms of immune protective macrophages that mediate the induction of transplantation tolerance remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that costimulatory blockade favored accumulation of DC-SIGN-expressing macrophages that inhibited CD8(+) T cell immunity and promoted CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cell expansion in numbers. Mechanistically, that simultaneous DC-SIGN engagement by fucosylated ligands and TLR4 signaling was required for production of immunoregulatory IL-10 associated with prolonged allograft survival. Deletion of DC-SIGN-expressing macrophages in vivo, interfering with their CSF1-dependent development, or preventing the DC-SIGN signaling pathway abrogated tolerance. Together, the results provide new insights into the tolerogenic effects of costimulatory blockade and identify DC-SIGN(+) suppressive macrophages as crucial mediators of immunological tolerance with the concomitant therapeutic implications in the clinic.

Conlin PR, Asefzadeh B, Pasquale LR, Selvin G, Lamkin R, Cavallerano AA. Accuracy of a technology-assisted eye exam in evaluation of referable diabetic retinopathy and concomitant ocular diseases. Br J Ophthalmol 2015;99(12):1622-7.Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Digital retinal imaging using store-and-forward technology is used to screen for diabetic retinopathy (DR). Its usefulness in detecting non-diabetic eye diseases is uncertain. We determined the level of agreement between teleretinal imaging supplemented with visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements (ie, technology-assisted eye (TAE) exam) and a comprehensive eye exam in evaluation for DR and non-diabetic ocular conditions. METHODS: We conducted a prospective, observational study with two parallel evaluations. Patients with diabetes (n=317) had a TAE exam and a comprehensive eye exam on the same day. A subset of participants with normal baseline exams (n=72) had follow-up exams 1 year later. We measured the level of agreement for referable ocular findings. RESULTS: Agreement for referable ocular findings was moderate (n=389, agreement: 77%; κ: 0.55), due in part to ungradable exams (22%). However, about half of the ungradable exams had findings that warranted referral. There was substantial agreement for follow-up exams (n=72, agreement: 93%; κ: 0.63). Among all gradable exams (n=303), the TAE exam had 86% sensitivity and 84% specificity for referable ocular findings, with high agreement (≥94%) for DR and other major ocular diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: There was moderate-to-substantial agreement between a TAE exam and a comprehensive eye exam for referable ocular findings in patients with diabetes. Ungradable exams were a frequent marker of ocular pathology. Teleretinal imaging may be a useful evaluation for both diabetic and non-diabetic ocular conditions.

Connell N, Merabet LB. Uncovering the connectivity of the brain in relation to novel vision rehabilitation strategies. Neurology 2014;83(6):484-5.
Consugar MB, Navarro-Gomez D, Place EM, Bujakowska KM, Sousa ME, Fonseca-Kelly ZD, Taub DG, Janessian M, Wang DY, Au ED, Sims KB, Sweetser DA, Fulton AB, Liu Q, Wiggs JL, Gai X, Pierce EA. Panel-based genetic diagnostic testing for inherited eye diseases is highly accurate and reproducible, and more sensitive for variant detection, than exome sequencing. Genet Med 2015;17(4):253-61.Abstract

PURPOSE: Next-generation sequencing-based methods are being adopted broadly for genetic diagnostic testing, but the performance characteristics of these techniques with regard to test accuracy and reproducibility have not been fully defined. METHODS: We developed a targeted enrichment and next-generation sequencing approach for genetic diagnostic testing of patients with inherited eye disorders, including inherited retinal degenerations, optic atrophy, and glaucoma. In preparation for providing this genetic eye disease (GEDi) test on a CLIA-certified basis, we performed experiments to measure the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility, as well as the clinical sensitivity, of the test. RESULTS: The GEDi test is highly reproducible and accurate, with sensitivity and specificity of 97.9 and 100%, respectively, for single-nucleotide variant detection. The sensitivity for variant detection was notably better than the 88.3% achieved by whole-exome sequencing using the same metrics, because of better coverage of targeted genes in the GEDi test as compared with a commercially available exome capture set. Prospective testing of 192 patients with inherited retinal degenerations indicated that the clinical sensitivity of the GEDi test is high, with a diagnostic rate of 51%. CONCLUSION: Based on quantified performance metrics, the data suggest that selective targeted enrichment is preferable to whole-exome sequencing for genetic diagnostic testing.Genet Med 17 4, 253-261.

Contreras-Ruiz L, Mir FA, Turpie B, Krauss AH, Masli S. Sjögren's syndrome associated dry eye in a mouse model is ameliorated by topical application of integrin α4 antagonist GW559090. Exp Eye Res 2016;143:1-8.Abstract

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease associated with inflammation of exocrine glands with clinical manifestations of dry eye and dry mouth. Dry eye in this disease involves inflammation of the ocular surface tissues - cornea and conjunctiva. While systemic blockade of adhesion molecules has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, the purpose of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacy of topical application of an integrin α4 adhesion molecule antagonist in a mouse model of dry eye associated with Sjögren's syndrome. To assess this spontaneously developed ocular surface inflammation related to Sjögren's syndrome in TSP-1null mice (12 wks) was evaluated. Mice were treated with topical formulations containing 0.1% dexamethasone or 30 mg/ml GW559090 or vehicle control. Corneal fluorescein staining and conjunctival goblet cell density were assessed. Real-time PCR analysis was performed to assess expression of the inflammatory marker IL-1β in the cornea and Tbet and RORγt in the draining lymph nodes. Ocular surface inflammation was detectable in TSP-1null mice (≥12 wk old), which resulted in increased corneal fluorescein staining indicative of corneal barrier disruption and reduced conjunctival goblet cell density. These changes were accompanied by increased corneal expression of IL-1β as compared to WT controls and an altered balance of Th1 (Tbet) and Th17 (RORγt) markers in the draining lymph nodes. Topically applied dexamethasone and GW559090 significantly reduced corneal fluorescein staining compared to vehicle treatment (p = 0.023 and p < 0.001, respectively). This improved corneal barrier integrity upon adhesion molecule blockade was consistent with significantly reduced corneal expression of pro-inflammatory IL-1β compared to vehicle treated groups (p < 0.05 for both treatments). Significant improvement in goblet cell density was also noted in mice treated with 0.1% dexamethasone and GW559090 (p < 0.05 for both). We conclude that similar to topical dexamethasone, topically administered GW559090 successfully improved corneal barrier integrity and inflammation in an established ocular surface disease associated with Sjögren's syndrome.

Contreras-Ruiz L, Ryan DS, Sia RK, Bower KS, Dartt DA, Masli S. Polymorphism in THBS1 gene is associated with post-refractive surgery chronic ocular surface inflammation. Ophthalmology 2014;121(7):1389-97.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) gene with development of chronic ocular surface inflammation (keratoconjunctivitis) after refractive surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Active duty U.S. Army soldiers (n = 143) who opted for refractive surgery. METHODS: Conjunctival impression cytology samples collected from participants before the surgery were used to harvest DNA for genotyping 5 THBS1 SNPs (rs1478604, rs2228262, rs2292305, rs2228262, and rs3743125) using the Sequenom iPLEX Gold platform (Sequenom, San Diego, CA). Samples collected after surgery were used to harvest RNA for gene expression analysis by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Participants were followed for 1 year after surgery to monitor the status of keratoconjunctivitis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Genetic basis of the development of chronic keratoconjunctivitis after refractive surgery. RESULTS: Carriers of minor alleles of 3 SNPs each were found to be more susceptible to developing chronic keratoconjunctivitis (rs1478604: odds ratio [OR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.41-4.47; P = 2.5 × 10(-3); rs2228262 and rs2292305: OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.05-3.51; P = 4.8 × 10(-2)). Carriers of the rs1478604 minor allele expressed significantly reduced levels of thrombospondin 1 (TSP1) (P = 0.042) and increased levels of an inflammatory cytokine associated with keratoconjunctivitis, interleukin-1β (P = 0.025), in their ocular surface epithelial cells compared with homozygous major allele controls. CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variation in the THBS1 gene that results in decreased expression of the encoded glycoprotein TSP1 in ocular surface epithelial cells significantly increases the susceptibility to develop chronic ocular surface inflammation after refractive surgery. Further investigation of THBS1 SNPs in a larger sample size is warranted.

Cordero-Coma M, Sobrin L. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy in uveitis. Surv Ophthalmol 2015;60(6):575-89.Abstract

Since the first reported use in 2001 of an anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) agent, infliximab, for the treatment of uveitis, several new anti-TNF-α agents have emerged for the treatment of refractory noninfectious uveitides, although their use remains off-label in the US. These agents have demonstrated remarkable clinical antiinflammatory efficacy and a potential immunoregulatory role in selected uveitis patients, but it is currently unclear whether they can modify the natural history of disease. We review the rationale and clinical indications for this therapy, the differences between agents, how to manage dosing and intervals, and how to screen for and identify potential side effects. We also present a summary of the science behind the use of anti-TNF-α agents in ocular inflammation and the evidence for their efficacy.

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