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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.

Cousins CC, Kang JH, Bovee C, Wang J, Greenstein SH, Turalba A, Shen LQ, Brauner S, Boumenna T, Blum S, Levkovitch-Verbin H, Ritch R, Wiggs JL, Knepper PA, Pasquale LR. Nailfold capillary morphology in exfoliation syndrome. Eye (Lond) 2017;Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of the study was to investigate nailfold microvascular morphology in exfoliation syndrome with or without glaucoma (XFS/XFG) compared with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and control subjects using nailfold capillary videomicroscopy.Patients and methodsWe used a JH-1004 capillaroscope to perform nailfold capillary videomicroscopy on the fourth and fifth digit of the non-dominant hand. We enrolled 56 XFS/XFG patients, 87 POAG patients, and 75 control subjects. Masked observers graded the videos for hemorrhages, avascular zones ≥200 microns (μm), and degree of microvascular tortuosity on a four-point subjective scale. Multivariable odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals and P-for trends for assessing the relation between morphological changes and POAG or XFS/XFG were obtained from logistic regression analyses. We also assessed this relation with XFS/XFG compared with POAG in multivariable models.ResultsAfter adjusting for multiple covariates, nailfold hemorrhages, avascular zones ≥200 μm, and higher degree of vascular tortuosity were more common in XFS/XFG vs controls (P-for trend ≤0.0001) and in POAG vs controls (P-for trend ≤0.01). For each 100 capillaries, the number of hemorrhages was similar (P-for trend=0.91) between XFS/XFG and POAG patients; however, there were more avascular zones per 100 capillaries with borderline significance (P-for trend=0.04) in the XFS/XFG group. XFS/XFG patients had more tortuosity than POAG patients; specifically, having a tortuosity score ≥1.5 was associated with a 4.4-fold increased odds of XFS/XFG (95% confidence interval: 1.5-13.3) relative to a tortuosity score <1.0 (P-for trend=0.005).ConclusionA high degree of nailfold capillary tortuosity is a distinct non-ocular feature associated with XFS/XFG compared with either POAG or controls.Eye advance online publication, 13 January 2017; doi:10.1038/eye.2016.312.

Crnej A, Omoto M, Dohlman TH, Dohlman CH, Dana R. Corneal inflammation after miniature keratoprosthesis implantation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(1):185-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare corneal inflammation after syngeneic and allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty (PK) with miniature Keratoprosthesis (m-KPro) implantation in mice. METHODS: BALB/C (syngeneic) or C57BL/6 (allogeneic) corneas were transplanted onto BALB/C host beds as part of PK or m-KPro implantation. Corneal inflammation was assessed by determining the frequencies of CD45(+) leukocytes, CD4(+) T cells, CD11b(+) cells, and Gr-1(+) granulocytes/monocytes by flow cytometry at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post transplantation. In addition, expression levels of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β were analyzed using real-time qPCR at 8 weeks post transplantation. RESULTS: Cell frequencies in the syngeneic (syn) and allogeneic (allo) m-KPro groups were higher compared with the syngeneic and allogeneic PK groups, respectively, at all time points. However, after week 4, frequencies of all analyzed immune cells were higher in the alloPK group as compared with synKPro group. At 8 weeks, the expression of TNF-α was higher in synKPro, alloPK, and alloKPro groups compared with the naïve and synPK groups. The expression of IL-1β was significantly higher in both KPro groups as compared with PK groups. CONCLUSIONS: Although the m-KPro device augments the inflammatory response in the cornea after its implantation, allogenicity (of the carrier tissue) is also a significant contributor to corneal inflammation. These data suggest that using syngeneic or decellularized corneal tissue as a Boston-KPro carrier could reduce the postoperative inflammation response.

Crnej A, Omoto M, Dohlman TH, Gonzalez-Andrades M, Paschalis EI, Cruzat A, Vu KTH, Doorenbos M, Chen DF, Dohlman CH, Dana R. Effect of Penetrating Keratoplasty and Keratoprosthesis Implantation on the Posterior Segment of the Eye. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(4):1643-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare the effects of post-penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and post-keratoprosthesis (KPro) surgery-related inflammation on the posterior segment of the eye and to assess inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) on these effects. METHODS: BALB/C (syngeneic) or C57BL/6 (allogeneic) corneas were transplanted onto BALB/C host beds as part of PK or miniature KPro (m-KPro) implantation. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured via an intracameral pressure sensor; tissues were harvested and analyzed 8 weeks after surgery. Expression of TNFα and IL-1β in the retina was analyzed using real-time quantitative (q)PCR. Optic nerve degeneration (axon count, circularity, and area) was assessed quantitatively using ImageJ software. After m-KPro implantation, mice were treated with saline, anti-TNFα, or anti-IL-1β antibody, and axonal loss was assessed after 10 weeks. RESULTS: Mean IOP was within normal limits in the operated and fellow eyes in all groups. The mRNA expression of TNFα and IL-1β was highest in m-KPro groups with either syngeneic or an allogeneic carrier. We observed optic nerve degeneration in both allogeneic PK and m-KPro implanted eyes with an allogeneic carrier. However, TNFα blockade significantly reduced axonal loss by 35%. CONCLUSIONS: Allogeneic PK and m-KPro implants with an allogeneic carrier lead to chronic inflammation in the posterior segment of the eye, resulting in optic nerve degeneration. In addition, blockade of TNFα prevents axonal degeneration in this preclinical model of allogeneic m-KPro (alloKPro) implantation.

Crnej A, Kheirkhah A, Ren A, Mullins A, Lavric A, Suri K, Hamrah P, Dana R. Patients' Perspectives on Their Dry Eye Disease. Ocul Surf 2016;14(4):440-446.Abstract

PURPOSE: Although it has been known that patients' perspectives on their disease can significantly affect their level of functional disability as well as disease outcome, limited data are available on patients' perceptions of their dry eye disease (DED). The aim of this questionnaire-based study was to evaluate patients' perspectives on their DED. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 91 patients with DED. In addition to clinical evaluation, all patients completed a questionnaire to evaluate their perspectives on their DED. This included their satisfaction with understanding DED, their opinion on the easiness of following doctors' advice, their opinion on the effectiveness of the treatment, their satisfaction with the eye care, and their general outlook on DED. RESULTS: This study included 75 (82%) women and 16 men (18%) with a mean age of 57 ± 14 years who had been treated for DED for 5.2 ± 5.4 years. 93% of the patients were satisfied with their understanding of DED, and 76% found it easy to follow their doctors' advice for DED management. Furthermore, 95% thought that the DED treatment had been helpful and 95% were satisfied with their eye care for DED. Forty-eight percent expressed optimism regarding the long-term prospects of their DED. CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of DED patients have positive perspectives on their disease, close to half report a lack of optimism regarding the long-term outlook for their condition.

Cronin T, Vandenberghe LH, Hantz P, Juttner J, Reimann A, Kacsó A-E, Huckfeldt RM, Busskamp V, Kohler H, Lagali PS, Roska B, Bennett J. Efficient transduction and optogenetic stimulation of retinal bipolar cells by a synthetic adeno-associated virus capsid and promoter. EMBO Mol Med 2014;6(9):1175-90.Abstract

In this report, we describe the development of a modified adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid and promoter for transduction of retinal ON-bipolar cells. The bipolar cells, which are post-synaptic to the photoreceptors, are important retinal targets for both basic and preclinical research. In particular, a therapeutic strategy under investigation for advanced forms of blindness involves using optogenetic molecules to render ON-bipolar cells light-sensitive. Currently, delivery of adequate levels of gene expression is a limiting step for this approach. The synthetic AAV capsid and promoter described here achieves high level of optogenetic transgene expression in ON-bipolar cells. This evokes high-frequency (~100 Hz) spiking responses in ganglion cells of previously blind, rd1, mice. Our vector is a promising vehicle for further development toward potential clinical use.

da Cruz L, Dorn JD, Humayun MS, Dagnelie G, Handa J, Barale P-O, Sahel J-A, Stanga PE, Hafezi F, Safran AB, Salzmann J, Santos A, Birch D, Spencer R, Cideciyan AV, de Juan E, Duncan JL, Eliott D, Fawzi A, Olmos de Koo LC, Ho AC, Brown G, Haller J, Regillo C, Del Priore LV, Arditi A, Greenberg RJ, Greenberg RJ. Five-Year Safety and Performance Results from the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System Clinical Trial. Ophthalmology 2016;123(10):2248-54.Abstract

PURPOSE: The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, CA) was developed to restore some vision to patients blind as a result of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or outer retinal degeneration. A clinical trial was initiated in 2006 to study the long-term safety and efficacy of the Argus II System in patients with bare or no light perception resulting from end-stage RP. DESIGN: Prospective, multicenter, single-arm clinical trial. Within-patient controls included the nonimplanted fellow eye and patients' native residual vision compared with their vision with the Argus II. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty participants in 10 centers in the United States and Europe. METHODS: The worse-seeing eye of blind patients was implanted with the Argus II. Patients wore glasses mounted with a small camera and a video processor that converted images into stimulation patterns sent to the electrode array on the retina. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measures were safety (the number, seriousness, and relatedness of adverse events) and visual function, as measured by 3 computer-based, objective tests. Secondary measures included functional vision performance on objectively scored real-world tasks. RESULTS: Twenty-four of 30 patients remained implanted with functioning Argus II Systems at 5 years after implantation. Only 1 additional serious adverse event was experienced after the 3-year time point. Patients performed significantly better with the Argus II on than off on all visual function tests and functional vision tasks. CONCLUSIONS: The 5-year results of the Argus II trial support the long-term safety profile and benefit of the Argus II System for patients blind as a result of RP. The Argus II is the first and only retinal implant to have market approval in the European Economic Area, the United States, and Canada.

Cruzat A, Schrems WA, Schrems-Hoesl LM, Cavalcanti BM, Baniasadi N, Witkin D, Pavan-Langston D, Dana R, Hamrah P. Contralateral Clinically Unaffected Eyes of Patients With Unilateral Infectious Keratitis Demonstrate a Sympathetic Immune Response. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(11):6612-20.Abstract

PURPOSE: To analyze the contralateral unaffected eyes of patients with microbial keratitis (MK) for any immune cell or nerve changes by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: A prospective study was performed on 28 patients with MK, including acute bacterial, fungal, and Acanthamoeba keratitis, as well as on their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and on control groups, which consisted of 28 age-matched normal controls and 15 control contact lens (CL) wearers. Laser IVCM with the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module and Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometry of the central cornea were performed. Two masked observers assessed central corneal dendritiform cell density and subbasal corneal nerve parameters. RESULTS: The contralateral clinically unaffected eyes of patients with MK demonstrated significant diminishment in nerve density (15,603.8 ± 1265.2 vs. 24,102.1 ± 735.6 μm/mm2), total number of nerves (11.9 ± 1.0 vs. 24.9 ± 1.2/frame), number of branches (1.7 ± 0.2 vs. 19.9 ± 1.3/frame), and branch nerve length (5775.2 ± 757.1 vs. 12,715.4 ± 648.4 μm/mm2) (P < 0.001 for all parameters) compared to normal controls and CL wearers. Further, dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes was significantly increased as compared to that in controls (117.5 ± 19.9 vs. 24.2 ± 3.5 cells/mm2, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a subclinical involvement in the contralateral clinically unaffected eyes in patients with unilateral acute MK. In vivo confocal microscopy reveals not only a diminishment of the subbasal corneal nerves and sensation, but also an increase in dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes of MK patients. These findings show bilateral immune alterations in a clinically unilateral disease.

Cruzat A, Qazi Y, Hamrah P. In Vivo Confocal Microscopy of Corneal Nerves in Health and Disease. Ocul Surf 2017;15(1):15-47.Abstract

In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) is becoming an indispensable tool for studying corneal physiology and disease. Enabling the dissection of corneal architecture at a cellular level, this technique offers fast and noninvasive in vivo imaging of the cornea with images comparable to those of ex vivo histochemical techniques. Corneal nerves bear substantial relevance to clinicians and scientists alike, given their pivotal roles in regulation of corneal sensation, maintenance of epithelial integrity, as well as proliferation and promotion of wound healing. Thus, IVCM offers a unique method to study corneal nerve alterations in a myriad of conditions, such as ocular and systemic diseases and following corneal surgery, without altering the tissue microenvironment. Of particular interest has been the correlation of corneal subbasal nerves to their function, which has been studied in normal eyes, contact lens wearers, and patients with keratoconus, infectious keratitis, corneal dystrophies, and neurotrophic keratopathy. Longitudinal studies have applied IVCM to investigate the effects of corneal surgery on nerves, demonstrating their regenerative capacity. IVCM is increasingly important in the diagnosis and management of systemic conditions such as peripheral diabetic neuropathy and, more recently, in ocular diseases. In this review, we outline the principles and applications of IVCM in the study of corneal nerves in various ocular and systemic diseases.

Cruzat A, Hamrah P, Cavalcanti BM, Zheng L, Colby K, Pavan-Langston D. Corneal Reinnervation and Sensation Recovery in Patients With Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus: An In Vivo and Ex Vivo Study of Corneal Nerves. Cornea 2016;35(5):619-25.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study corneal reinnervation and sensation recovery in Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO). METHODS: Two patients with HZO were studied over time with serial corneal esthesiometry and laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). A Boston keratoprosthesis type 1 was implanted, and the explanted corneal tissues were examined by immunofluorescence histochemistry for βIII-tubulin to stain for corneal nerves. RESULTS: The initial central corneal IVCM performed in each patient showed a complete lack of the subbasal nerve plexus, which was in accordance with severe loss of sensation (0 of 6 cm) measured by esthesiometry. When IVCM was repeated 2 years later before undergoing surgery, case 1 showed a persistent lack of central subbasal nerves and sensation (0 of 6). In contrast, case 2 showed regeneration of the central subbasal nerves (4786 μm/mm) with partial recovery of corneal sensation (2.5 of 6 cm). Immunostaining of the explanted corneal button in case 1 showed no corneal nerves, whereas case 2 showed central and peripheral corneal nerves. Eight months after surgery, IVCM was again repeated in the donor tissue around the Boston keratoprosthesis in both patients to study innervation of the corneal transplant. Case 1 showed no nerves, whereas case 2 showed new nerves growing from the periphery into the corneal graft. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that regaining corneal innervation and corneal function are possible in patients with HZO as shown by corneal sensation, IVCM, and ex vivo immunostaining, indicating zoster neural damage is not always permanent and it may recover over an extended period of time.

Cunningham CA, Wolfe JM. The role of object categories in hybrid visual and memory search. J Exp Psychol Gen 2014;143(4):1585-99.Abstract

In hybrid search, observers search for any of several possible targets in a visual display containing distracting items and, perhaps, a target. Wolfe (2012) found that response times (RTs) in such tasks increased linearly with increases in the number of items in the display. However, RT increased linearly with the log of the number of items in the memory set. In earlier work, all items in the memory set were unique instances (e.g., this apple in this pose). Typical real-world tasks involve more broadly defined sets of stimuli (e.g., any "apple" or, perhaps, "fruit"). The present experiments show how sets or categories of targets are handled in joint visual and memory search. In Experiment 1, searching for a digit among letters was not like searching for targets from a 10-item memory set, though searching for targets from an N-item memory set of arbitrary alphanumeric characters was like searching for targets from an N-item memory set of arbitrary objects. In Experiment 2, observers searched for any instance of N sets or categories held in memory. This hybrid search was harder than search for specific objects. However, memory search remained logarithmic. Experiment 3 illustrates the interaction of visual guidance and memory search when a subset of visual stimuli are drawn from a target category. Furthermore, we outline a conceptual model, supported by our results, defining the core components that would be necessary to support such categorical hybrid searches.

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Dagher Z, Gerhardinger C, Vaz J, Goodridge M, Tecilazich F, Lorenzi M. The Increased Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling Induced by Diabetes Protects Retinal Vessels. Am J Pathol 2017;187(3):627-638.Abstract

The roles of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in extracellular matrix production and vascular remodeling, coupled with increased TGF-β expression and signaling in diabetes, suggest TGF-β as an important contributor to the microangiopathy of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. To investigate whether increased TGF-β signaling could be a therapeutic target for preventing retinopathy, we used a pharmacologic approach (SM16, a selective inhibitor of the type 1 TGF-β receptor activin receptor-like kinase 5, orally active) to inhibit the increased, but not the basal, Tgf-β signaling in retinal vessels of diabetic rats. At the level of vascular gene expression, 3.5 months' diabetes induced minimal changes. Diabetes + SM16 for 3 weeks caused widespread changes in gene expression poised to enhance vascular inflammation, thrombosis, leakage, and wall instability; these changes were not observed in control rats given SM16. The synergy of diabetes and SM16 in altering gene expression was not observed in the lung. At the level of vascular network morphology, 7 months' diabetes induced no detectable changes. Diabetes + SM16 for 3 weeks caused instead distorted morphology and decreased density. Thus, in diabetes, retinal vessels become dependent on a small increase in TGF-β signaling via activin receptor-like kinase 5 to maintain early integrity. The increased TGF-β signaling may protect against rapid retinopathy progression and should not be a target of inhibitory interventions.

Dagi LR, Tiedemann LM, Heidary G, Robson CD, Hall AM, Zurakowski D. Using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography to detect optic neuropathy in patients with craniosynostosis. J AAPOS 2014;18(6):543-9.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Detecting and monitoring optic neuropathy in patients with craniosynostosis is a clinical challenge due to limited cooperation, and subjective measures of visual function. The purpose of this study was to appraise the correlation of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measured by spectral-domain ocular coherence tomography (SD-OCT) with indication of optic neuropathy based on fundus examination. METHODS: The medical records of all patients with craniosynostosis presenting for ophthalmic evaluation during 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. The following data were abstracted from the record: diagnosis, historical evidence of elevated intracranial pressure, current ophthalmic evaluation and visual field results, and current peripapillary RNFL thickness. RESULTS: A total of 54 patients were included (mean age, 10.6 years [range, 2.4-33.8 years]). Thirteen (24%) had evidence of optic neuropathy based on current fundus examination. Of these, 10 (77%) demonstrated either peripapillary RNFL elevation and papilledema or depression with optic atrophy. Sensitivity for detecting optic atrophy was 88%; for papilledema, 60%; and for either form of optic neuropathy, 77%. Specificity was 94%, 90%, and 83%, respectively. Kappa agreement was substantial for optic atrophy (κ = 0.73) and moderate for papilledema (κ = 0.39) and for either form of optic neuropathy (κ = 0.54). Logistic regression indicated that peripapillary RNFL thickness was predictive of optic neuropathy (P < 0.001). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that RNFL thickness measurements were more sensitive at detecting optic neuropathy than visual field testing (likelihood ratio = 10.02; P = 0.002). Sensitivity and specificity of logMAR visual acuity in detecting optic neuropathy were 15% and 95%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Peripapillary RNFL thickness measured by SD-OCT provides adjunctive evidence for identifying optic neuropathy in patients with craniosynostosis and appears more sensitive at detecting optic atrophy than papilledema.

Dagi LR, MacKinnon S, Zurakowski D, Prabhu SP. Rectus muscle excyclorotation and V-pattern strabismus: a quantitative appraisal of clinical relevance in syndromic craniosynostosis. Br J Ophthalmol 2017;Abstract

PURPOSE: V-pattern strabismus observed with syndromic craniosynostosis has been attributed to disparate causes. We compared severity of V pattern with degree of excyclorotation of rectus muscles to appraise significance of this proposed aetiology. METHODS: 43 patients with Apert, Crouzon or Pfeiffer syndrome referred to Boston Children's Hospital Department of Ophthalmology were identified. 28 met inclusion criteria for retrospective cohort study, specifically: (1) sensorimotor measurements in minimum of seven cardinal gazes, (2) quantified fundus torsion and (3) orbital CT imaging sufficient to measure rectus muscle cyclorotation in coronal and quasicoronal planes, posteriorly (near orbital apex) and anteriorly (near pulleys). Patients were placed in one of four V-pattern severity groups. The most severe group demonstrated inability to elevate abducted eye above midline with characteristic 'seesaw' misalignment during horizontal saccades. Rectus muscle cyclorotation was measured by paediatric neuroradiologist blinded to group placement. Primary outcome was correlation of severity of V pattern with degree of excyclorotation. Secondary outcome was correlation of severity with craniosynostosis syndrome. RESULTS: Increasing severity of V pattern correlated with greater excyclorotation in anterior coronal (p=0.009), anterior quasicoronal (p=0.021), posterior coronal (p=0.014) and posterior quasicoronal (p=0.040) planes for moderate-to-severe V pattern. Even greater excyclorotation was associated with seesaw V pattern in anterior quasicoronal (p=0.004) and posterior quasicoronal (p=0.001) views. Highly significant association was found between Apert syndrome and severity of V pattern (p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Severity of V pattern is associated with magnitude of excyclorotation. More severe V pattern and seesaw strabismus noted with Apert syndrome may relate to distinctive orbital morphology.

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