To address the shortcomings associated with corneal transplants, substantial efforts have been focused on developing new modalities such as xenotransplantion. Xenogeneic corneas are anatomically and biomechanically similar to the human cornea, yet their applications require prior decellularization to remove the antigenic components to avoid rejection. In the context of bringing decellularized corneas into clinical use, sterilization is a crucial step that determines the success of the transplantation. Well-standardized sterilization methods, such as gamma irradiation (GI), have been applied to decellularized porcine corneas (DPC) to avoid graft-associated infections in human recipients. However, little is known about the effect of GI on decellularized corneal xenografts. Here, we evaluated the radiation effect on the ultrastructure, optical, mechanical and biological properties of DPC. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that gamma irradiated decellularized porcine cornea (G-DPC) preserved its structural integrity. Moreover, the radiation did not reduce the optical properties of the tissue. Neither DPC nor G-DPC led to further activation of complement system compared to native porcine cornea when exposed to plasma. Although, DPC were mechanically comparable to the native tissue, GI increased the mechanical strength, tissue hydrophobicity and resistance to enzymatic degradation. Despite these changes, human corneal epithelial, stromal, endothelial and hybrid neuroblastoma cells grew and differentiated on DPC and G-DPC. Thus, GI may achieve effective tissue sterilization without affecting critical properties that are essential for corneal transplant survival.
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) contain seven species (HAdV-A to -G), each associated with specific disease conditions. Among these, HAdV-D includes those viruses associated with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), a severe ocular surface infection. The reasons for corneal tropism for some but not all HAdV-Ds are not known. The fiber protein is a major capsid protein; its C-terminal "knob" mediates binding with host cell receptors to facilitate subsequent viral entry. In a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of HAdV-D capsid genes, fiber knob gene sequences of HAdV-D types associated with EKC formed a unique clade. By proteotyping analysis, EKC virus-associated fiber knobs were uniquely shared. Comparative structural modeling showed no distinct variations in fiber knobs of EKC types but did show variation among HAdV-Ds in a region overlapping with the known CD46 binding site in HAdV-B. We also found signature amino acid positions that distinguish EKC from non-EKC types, and by in vitro studies we showed that corneal epithelial cell tropism can be predicted by the presence of a lysine or alanine at residue 240. This same amino acid residue in EKC viruses shows evidence for positive selection, suggesting that evolutionary pressure enhances fitness in corneal infection, and may be a molecular determinant in EKC pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE: Viruses adapt various survival strategies to gain entry into target host cells. Human adenovirus (HAdV) types are associated with distinct disease conditions, yet evidence for connections between genotype and cellular tropism is generally lacking. Here, we provide a structural and evolutionary basis for the association between specific genotypes within HAdV species D and epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, a severe ocular surface infection. We find that HAdV-D fiber genes of major EKC pathogens, specifically the fiber knob gene region, share a distinct phylogenetic clade. Deeper analysis of the fiber gene revealed that evolutionary pressure at crucial amino acid sites has a significant impact on its structural conformation, which is likely important in host cell binding and entry. Specific amino acids in hot spot residues provide a link to ocular cell tropism and possibly to corneal pathogenesis.
Cultured epidermal cell sheets (CES) containing undifferentiated cells are useful for treating skin burns and have potential for regenerative treatment of other types of epithelial injuries. The undifferentiated phenotype is therefore important for success in both applications. This study aimed to optimize a method for one-week storage of CES for their widespread distribution and use in regenerative medicine. The effect of storage temperatures 4 °C, 8 °C, 12 °C, 16 °C, and 24 °C on CES was evaluated. Analyses included assessment of viability, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), membrane damage, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity, morphology, phenotype and cytokine secretion into storage buffer. Lowest cell viability was seen at 4 °C. Compared to non-stored cells, ABCG2 expression increased between temperatures 8-16 °C. At 24 °C, reduced ABCG2 expression coincided with increased mitochondrial ROS, as well as increased differentiation, cell death and mtDNA damage. P63, C/EBPδ, CK10 and involucrin fluorescence combined with morphology observations supported retention of undifferentiated cell phenotype at 12 °C, transition to differentiation at 16 °C, and increased differentiation at 24 °C. Several cytokines relevant to healing were upregulated during storage. Importantly, cells stored at 12 °C showed similar viability and undifferentiated phenotype as the non-stored control suggesting that this temperature may be ideal for storage of CES.
Damage to limbal stem cells as a result of injury or disease can lead to limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). This disease is characterized by decreased vision that is often painful and may progress to blindness. Clinical features include inflammation, neovascularization, and persistent cornea epithelial defects. Successful strategies for treatment involve transplantation of grafts harvested from the limbus of the alternate healthy eye, called conjunctival-limbal autograft (CLAU) and transplantation of limbal cell sheets cultured from limbal biopsies, termed cultured limbal epithelial transplantation (CLET). In 2012, Sangwan and colleagues presented simple limbal epithelial transplantation (SLET), a novel transplantation technique that combines the benefits of CLAU and CLET and avoids the challenges associated with both. In SLET a small biopsy from the limbus of the healthy eye is divided and distributed over human amniotic membrane, which is placed on the affected cornea. Outgrowth occurs from each small explant and a complete corneal epithelium is typically formed within 2 weeks. Advantages of SLET include reduced risk of iatrogenic LSCD occurring in the healthy cornea at harvest; direct transfer circumventing the need for cell culture; and the opportunity to perform biopsy harvest and transplantation in one operation. Success so far using SLET is comparable with CLAU and CLET. Of note, 336 of 404 (83%) operations using SLET resulted in restoration of the corneal epithelium, whereas visual acuity improved in 258 of the 373 (69%) reported cases. This review summarizes the results of 31 studies published on SLET since 2012. Progress, advantages, challenges, and suggestions for future studies are presented.
PURPOSE: To report a case of caruncular dacryops in a 58-year-old man that was excised in its entirety and to offer an immunohistopathologic analysis. METHODS: Sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, and Grocott methenamine silver (the latter 2 for identification of mucus) were evaluated, and immunohistochemical investigations were performed using cytokeratin (CK) 7, CK14, CK17, and smooth muscle actin. RESULTS: Histopathologic examination revealed a cystic dilation of the lacrimal gland ducts containing secretory globules. The ducts were composed of double-layered cuboidal epithelium with rare scattered goblet cells and interspersed prominent lobules of lacrimal gland tissue, diagnostic of dacryops. Immunohistochemistry of cystic ducts demonstrated a CK profile identical to that of the conjunctiva including the absence of a myoepithelium. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first case of an intact caruncular lacrimal ductal cyst (dacryops). A previous report documented a spontaneously collapsed cyst with extrusion of secretory globoid bodies into extracellular space that elicited a foreign body giant cell response.
The presence and potential functions of resident plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in peripheral tissues is unclear. We report that pDCs constitutively populate naïve corneas and are increased during sterile injuries or acute herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) keratitis. Their local depletion leads to severe clinical disease, nerve loss, viral dissemination to the trigeminal ganglion and draining lymph nodes, and mortality, while their local adoptive transfer limits disease. pDCs are the main source of HSV-1-induced IFN-α in the corneal stroma through TLR9, and they prevent re-programming of regulatory T cells (Tregs) to effector ex-Tregs. Clinical signs of infection are observed in pDC-depleted corneas, but not in pDC-sufficient corneas, following low-dose HSV-1 inoculation, suggesting their critical role in corneal antiviral immunity. Our findings demonstrate a vital role for corneal pDCs in the control of local viral infections.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a unique population of bone marrow-derived cells that play a pivotal role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. While peripheral tissues are typically devoid of pDCs during steady state, few tissues do host resident pDCs. In the current study, we aim to assess presence and distribution of pDCs in naïve murine limbus and bulbar conjunctiva. Immunofluorescence staining followed by confocal microscopy revealed that the naïve bulbar conjunctiva of wild-type mice hosts CD45 CD11c PDCA-1 pDCs. Flow cytometry confirmed the presence of resident pDCs in the bulbar conjunctiva through multiple additional markers, and showed that they express maturation markers, the T cell co-inhibitory molecules PD-L1 and B7-H3, and minor to negligible levels of T cell co-stimulatory molecules CD40, CD86, and ICAM-1. Epi-fluorescent microscopy of DPE-GFP×RAG1 transgenic mice with GFP-tagged pDCs indicated lower density of pDCs in the bulbar conjunctiva compared to the limbus. Further, intravital multiphoton microscopy revealed that resident pDCs accompany the limbal vessels and patrol the intravascular space. In vitro multiphoton microscopy showed that pDCs are attracted to human umbilical vein endothelial cells and interact with them during tube formation. In conclusion, our study shows that the limbus and bulbar conjunctiva are endowed with resident pDCs during steady state, which express maturation and classic T cell co-inhibitory molecules, engulf limbal vessels, and patrol intravascular spaces.
PURPOSE: To investigate associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and dry eye syndrome (DES), and to evaluate the differential effect of vitamin D on ocular diseases including age-related macular disease (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), cataract, and DES. METHODS: A total of 16,396 participants aged >19 years were randomly selected from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All participants participated in standardized interviews, blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D level evaluations, and comprehensive ophthalmic examinations. DES was defined by a history of clinical diagnosis of dry eyes by a physician. The association between vitamin D and DES was compared to the associations between vitamin D and AMD, DR, cataract, and DES from our previous studies. RESULTS: The odds of DES non-significantly decreased as the quintiles of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels increased (quintile 5 versus 1, OR = 0.85, 95%CI: 0.55-1.30, P for trend = 0.076) after adjusting for potential confounders including age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, smoking status, and sunlight exposure times. The relative odds of DES (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.30-1.64) and cataract (OR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.59-0.99) were relatively high, while those of DR (OR = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.18-0.76) and late AMD (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.12-0.81) were lower in men. CONCLUSIONS: The present study does not support an association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and DES. The preventive effect of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D may be more effective for DR and late AMD than it is for cataract and DES.
Inflammatory damage of mucosal surface of the eye is a hallmark of dry eye disease (DED) and, in severe cases, can lead to significant discomfort, visual impairment, and blindness. DED is a multifactorial autoimmune disorder with a largely unknown pathogenesis. Using a cross-sectional patient study and a well-characterized murine model of DED, herein we investigated the immunoregulatory function of interleukin-22 (IL-22) in the pathogenesis of DED. We found that IL-22 levels were elevated in lacrimal fluids of DED patients and inversely correlated with severity of disease. Acinar cells of the lacrimal glands (LGs), not inflammatory immune cells, are the primary source of IL-22, which suppresses inflammation in ocular surface epithelial cells upon desiccating stress. Moreover, loss of function analyses using IL-22 knockout mice demonstrated that IL-22 is essential for suppression of ocular surface infiltration of Th17 cells and inhibition of DED induction. Our novel findings elucidate immunoregulatory function of LG-derived IL-22 in inhibiting IL-17-mediated ocular surface epitheliopathy in DED thus making IL-22 a new relevant therapeutic target.
Jones L, Downie LE, Korb D, Benitez-Del-Castillo JM, Dana R, Deng SX, Dong PN, Geerling G, Hida RY, Liu Y, Seo KY, Tauber J, Wakamatsu TH, Xu J, Wolffsohn JS, Craig JP. TFOS DEWS II Management and Therapy Report. Ocul Surf 2017;15(3):575-628.Abstract
The members of the Management and Therapy Subcommittee undertook an evidence-based review of current dry eye therapies and management options. Management options reviewed in detail included treatments for tear insufficiency and lid abnormalities, as well as anti-inflammatory medications, surgical approaches, dietary modifications, environmental considerations and complementary therapies. Following this extensive review it became clear that many of the treatments available for the management of dry eye disease lack the necessary Level 1 evidence to support their recommendation, often due to a lack of appropriate masking, randomization or controls and in some cases due to issues with selection bias or inadequate sample size. Reflecting on all available evidence, a staged management algorithm was derived that presents a step-wise approach to implementing the various management and therapeutic options according to disease severity. While this exercise indicated that differentiating between aqueous-deficient and evaporative dry eye disease was critical in selecting the most appropriate management strategy, it also highlighted challenges, based on the limited evidence currently available, in predicting relative benefits of specific management options, in managing the two dry eye disease subtypes. Further evidence is required to support the introduction, and continued use, of many of the treatment options currently available to manage dry eye disease, as well as to inform appropriate treatment starting points and understand treatment specificity in relation to dry eye disease subtype.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Trigeminal anesthesia causes neurotrophic keratopathy, which may yield facial disfigurement and corneal blindness. RECENT FINDINGS: We summarize approaches and evidence for corneal neurotization. SUMMARY: Regional sensory nerve transfer appears safe and effective for therapeutic management of neurotrophic keratopathy. Prospective randomized clinical trials are necessary to confirm the utility of corneal neurotization.
Trigeminal anesthesia may yield blindness and facial disfigurement, secondary to neurotrophic keratopathy and trigeminal trophic syndrome. This article summarizes contemporary medical and emerging surgical approaches for the therapeutic management of this rare and devastating disease state.
The corneal endothelial monolayer helps maintain corneal transparency through its barrier and ionic "pump" functions. This transparency function can become compromised, resulting in a critical loss in endothelial cell density (ECD), corneal edema, bullous keratopathy, and loss of visual acuity. Although penetrating keratoplasty and various forms of endothelial keratoplasty are capable of restoring corneal clarity, they can also have complications requiring re-grafting or other treatments. With the increasing worldwide shortage of donor corneas to be used for keratoplasty, there is a greater need to find new therapies to restore corneal clarity that is lost due to endothelial dysfunction. As a result, researchers have been exploring alternative approaches that could result in the in vivo induction of transient corneal endothelial cell division or the in vitro expansion of healthy endothelial cells for corneal bioengineering as treatments to increase ECD and restore visual acuity. This review presents current information regarding the ability of human corneal endothelial cells (HCEC) to divide as a basis for the development of new therapies. Information will be presented on the positive and negative regulation of the cell cycle as background for the studies to be discussed. Results of studies exploring the proliferative capacity of HCEC will be presented and specific conditions that affect the ability of HCEC to divide will be discussed. Methods that have been tested to induce transient proliferation of HCEC will also be presented. This review will discuss the effect of donor age and endothelial topography on relative proliferative capacity of HCEC, as well as explore the role of nuclear oxidative DNA damage in decreasing the relative proliferative capacity of HCEC. Finally, potential new research directions will be discussed that could take advantage of and/or improve the proliferative capacity of these physiologically important cells in order to develop new treatments to restore corneal clarity.
Full-thickness wounds to the eye can lead to serious vision impairment. Current standards of care (from suturing to tissue transplantation) usually require highly skilled surgeons and use of an operating theater. In this study, we report the synthesis, optimization, and in vitro and ex vivo testing of photocrosslinkable hydrogel-based adhesive patches that can easily be applied to globe injuries or corneal incisions. According to the type and concentration of polymers used in the adhesive formulations, we were able to finely tune the physical properties of the bioadhesive including viscosity, elastic modulus, extensibility, ultimate tensile strength, adhesion, transparency, water content, degradation time, and swellability. Our in vitro studies showed no sign of cytotoxicity of the hydrogels. Moreover, the hydrogel patches showed higher adhesion on freshly explanted pig eyeballs compared to a marketed ocular sealant. Finally, ex vivo feasibility studies showed that the hydrogel patches could seal complex open-globe injuries such as large incision, cruciform injury, and injury associated with tissue loss. These results suggest that our photocrosslinkable hydrogel patch could represent a promising solution for the sealing of open-globe injuries or surgical incisions. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Current management of severe ocular injuries require advanced surgical skills and access to an operating theater. To address the need for emergent management of wounds that cannot be handled in the operating room, surgical adhesives have gained popularity, but none of the currently available adhesives have optimal bioavailability, adhesive or mechanical properties. This study describes the development, optimization and testing of a light-sensitive adhesive patch that can easily be applied to the eye. After solidification using visible light, the patch shows no toxicity and is more adherent to the tissue than a marketed sealant. Thus this technology could represent a promising solution to stabilize ocular injuries in emergency settings before definitive surgical repair.
The corneal endothelium (CE) is vital for maintaining the water balance and clarity of the cornea. The CE is a cell layer that is particularly susceptible to aging because of its postmitotic arrest, high metabolic activity involving pumping of ions, and lifelong exposure to ultraviolet light. Despite gradual age-related cell loss, a sufficient number of CE cells are preserved during the lifespan of an individual. However, in conditions such as Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), permanent loss of CE cells leads to corneal edema and loss of vision requiring corneal transplantation. FECD is a genetic and oxidative stress disorder manifested by abnormal cell-matrix interactions and expedited cellular aging culminating in cellular death. Because the endothelium has minimal replicative capacity in vivo and an inability to replace its genome, it is particularly prone to cumulative DNA damage acquired throughout life. In FECD, the underlying genetic defects make the CE genome even more vulnerable to this damage, to the point of causing mitochondrial dysfunction, mitochondrial membrane potential loss, and excessive mitophagy activation. Endogenous and exogenous intracellular stressors alter the synthetic footprint of CE cells, leading to endothelial-mesenchymal transition and secretion of aberrant extracellular matrix (in the form of guttae), resembling scar formation in other organs. In turn, the guttae or endothelial scars contribute to a vicious cycle of FECD pathogenesis and, by further inducing endothelial-mesenchymal transition and oxidant-antioxidant imbalance, perpetuate the molecular changes of the degenerating endothelium.
PURPOSE: To evaluate associations between preoperative diagnosis, soft contact lens (SCL) retention and complications. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted of 92 adult patients (103 eyes) who received a Boston keratoprosthesis type I at the Massachusetts's Eye and Ear Infirmary or the Flaum Eye Institute. Records were reviewed for preoperative diagnosis, SCL retention and subsequent complications. Preoperative categories included 16 autoimmune (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, rheumatoid arthritis and uveitis), 9 chemical injury and 67 'other' (aniridia, postoperative infection, dystrophies, keratopathies) patients. RESULTS: 50% of the lenses had been lost the first time after about a year. A subset (n=17) experienced more than 2 SCL losses per year; this group is comprised of 1 patient with autoimmune diseases, 2 patients with chemical injuries and 14 patients with 'other' diseases. The preoperative diagnosis was not predictive of contact lens retention. However, multivariate analysis demonstrated that the absence of a contact lens was an independent risk factor for postoperative complications, such as corneal melts with or without aqueous humour leak/extrusion and infections. CONCLUSIONS: Presence of a contact lens after Boston keratoprosthesis implantation decreases the risk of postoperative complications; this has been clinically experienced by ophthalmologists, but never before has the benefit of contact lens use in this patient population been statistically documented.