PURPOSE: Describe the presentation and management of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (SLK)-like inflammation and secondary limbal stem cell dysfunction in the setting of ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). METHODS: Retrospective observational case series in a multicenter clinical practice. Participants were 13 patients (26 eyes) with ocular cGVHD and SLK-like inflammation presenting to the University of Illinois at Chicago and BostonSight® between January 1, 2009 and July 1, 2013. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 1) Reversal or worsening of SLK, and 2) development of limbal stem cell dysfunction. RESULTS: All eyes showed evidence of SLK-like inflammation and superior limbal stem cell dysfunction manifested by conjunctival injection and superior conjunctival and corneal staining. In addition to aggressive lubrication, management strategies for SLK included topical steroids (20/26), punctal occlusion (18/26), topical cyclosporine (24/26), autologous serum tears (12/26), therapeutic soft contact lens (13/26 eyes) and scleral lenses (4/26 eyes). SLK and limbal stem cell dysfunction were reversed in 23/26 eyes. Three eyes of two patients with long-standing disease demonstrated frank limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) and corneal pannus, with one patient requiring multiple reconstructive surgical procedures. CONCLUSIONS: SLK-like inflammation is an under-recognized condition in patients with severe dry eyes secondary to ocular cGVHD. Untreated SLK can potentially lead to permanent LSCD over time. Early recognition and management of SLK in ocular cGVHD can improve vision, reverse signs, and may prevent these long-term consequences.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an experimental dexamethasone-eluting contact lens (DCL) for the prevention of postphotorefractive keratectomy (PRK) corneal haze in a New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit model. METHODS: Both eyes of 29 NZW rabbits underwent PRK. The rabbits were randomized to one of the 5 study arms for 4 weeks: tarsorrhaphy only, tarsorrhaphy and bandage contact lens (BCL) replaced weekly, tarsorrhaphy and BCL for 1 week plus topical 0.1% dexamethasone ophthalmic solution (drops) for 4 weeks, tarsorrhaphy and BCL replaced weekly plus topical dexamethasone for 4 weeks, and tarsorrhaphy and DCL changed weekly for 4 weeks. Each week for 4 consecutive weeks postoperatively, the tarsorrhaphies were opened, the eyes underwent evaluation and imaging, and the tarsorrhaphies were replaced. Contact lenses were cultured on removal. Central corneal haze was assessed weekly with corneal densitometry. After 4 weeks, the animals were killed, and the eyes were enucleated for histopathologic analysis. RESULTS: The tarsorrhaphy only group displayed more haze with a greater change in optical densitometry from pre-op compared with the other treatment groups. There was no difference between the DCL group and the groups receiving a BCL and dexamethasone drops in densitometry or histopathology. No NZW rabbits developed clinical signs of infection, and cultures from DCLs and BCLs grew similar organisms. CONCLUSIONS: In the post-PRK rabbit model, DCLs worn weekly for 4 weeks were safe and as effective at preventing corneal haze as 0.1% dexamethasone drops applied 4 times a day for 4 weeks.
Corneal dystrophies are broadly defined as inherited disorders that affect any layer of the cornea and are usually progressive, bilateral conditions that do not have systemic effects. The 2015 International Classification of Corneal Dystrophies classifies corneal dystrophies into four classes: epithelial and subepithelial dystrophies, epithelial-stromal TGFBI dystrophies, stromal dystrophies and endothelial dystrophies. Whereas some corneal dystrophies may result in few or mild symptoms and morbidity throughout a patient's lifetime, others may progress and eventually result in substantial visual and ocular disturbances that require medical or surgical intervention. Corneal transplantation, either with full-thickness or partial-thickness donor tissue, may be indicated for patients with advanced corneal dystrophies. Although corneal transplantation techniques have improved considerably over the past two decades, these surgeries are still associated with postoperative risks of disease recurrence, graft failure and other complications that may result in blindness. In addition, a global shortage of cadaveric corneal graft tissue critically limits accessibility to corneal transplantation in some parts of the world. Ongoing advances in gene therapy, regenerative therapy and cell augmentation therapy may eventually result in the development of alternative, novel treatments for corneal dystrophies, which may substantially improve the quality of life of patients with these disorders.
The surface of the eye is exposed to the outside world and is, thus, subject to surface abrasion, infections, and drying, cicatrizing diseases. Availability of in vitro methods for culture of the human corneal and conjunctival epithelia, which cover the ocular surface, is therefore important in understanding the biology of these epithelia and their response to disease/infections, as well as for providing human-relevant models for preclinical testing of potential therapeutic agents. The ensuing chapter describes several methods for primary culture of both corneal and conjunctival epithelia and culture of immortalized cell lines, and methods employed to induce differentiation in the cultured epithelia.
The effects of a triple combination of siRNAs targeting key scarring genes were assessed using an ex vivo organ culture model of excimer ablated rabbit corneas. The central 6 mm diameter region of fresh rabbit globes was ablated to a depth of 155 microns with an excimer laser. Corneas were excised, cultured at the air-liquid interface in defined culture medium supplemented with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1), and treated with either 1% prednisolone acetate or with 22.5 μM cationic nanoparticles complexed with a triple combination of siRNAs (NP-siRNA) targeting TGFB1, TGFB Receptor (TGFBR2) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). Scar formation was measured using image analysis of digital images and levels of smooth muscle actin (SMA) were assessed in ablated region of corneas using qRT-PCR and immunostaining. Ex vivo cultured corneas developed intense haze-like scar in the wounded areas and levels of mRNAs for pro-fibrotic genes were significantly elevated 3-8 fold in wounded tissue compared to unablated corneas. Treatment with NP-siRNA or steroid significantly reduced quantitative haze levels by 55% and 68%, respectively, and reduced SMA mRNA and immunohistostaining. This ex vivo corneal culture system reproduced key molecular patterns of corneal scarring and haze formation generated in rabbits. Treatment with NP-siRNAs targeting key scarring genes or an anti-inflammatory steroid reduced corneal haze and SMA mRNA and protein.
The goal of this study was to test the efficacy of transforming growth factor beta 3 (TGFβ3) in reducing α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) expression in two models-an ex vivo organ culture and an in vitro 3D cell construct-both of which closely mimic an in vivo environment. For the ex vivo organ culture system, a central 6.0 mm corneal keratectomy was performed on freshly excised rabbit globes The corneas were then excised, segregated into groups treated with 1.0 ng/ml TGFβ1 or β3 (T1 or T3, respectively), and cultured for 2 weeks. The corneas were assessed for levels of haze and analyzed for SMA mRNA levels. For the 3D in vitro model, rabbit corneal fibroblasts (RbCFs) were cultured for 4 weeks on poly-transwell membranes in Eagle's minimum essential media (EMEM) + 10% FBS + 0.5 mM vitamin C ± 0.1 ng/ml T1 or T3. At the end of 4 weeks, the constructs were processed for analysis by indirect-immunofluorescence (IF) and RT-qPCR. The RT-qPCR data showed that SMA mRNA expression in T3 samples for both models was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than T1 treatment (around 3-fold in ex vivo and 2-fold in constructs). T3 also reduced the amount of scarring in ex vivo corneas as compared with the T1 samples. IF data from RbCF constructs confirmed that T3-treated samples had up to 4-fold (p < 0.05) lower levels of SMA protein expression than samples treated with T1. These results show that T3 when compared to T1 decreases the expression of SMA in both ex vivo organ culture and in vitro 3D cell construct models. Understanding the mechanism of T3's action in these systems and how they differ from simple cell culture models, may potentially help in developing T3 as an anti-scarring therapy.
Stapleton F, Alves M, Bunya VY, Jalbert I, Lekhanont K, Malet F, Na K-S, Schaumberg D, Uchino M, Vehof J, Viso E, Vitale S, Jones L. TFOS DEWS II Epidemiology Report. Ocul Surf 2017;15(3):334-365.Abstract
The subcommittee reviewed the prevalence, incidence, risk factors, natural history, morbidity and questionnaires reported in epidemiological studies of dry eye disease (DED). A meta-analysis of published prevalence data estimated the impact of age and sex. Global mapping of prevalence was undertaken. The prevalence of DED ranged from 5 to 50%. The prevalence of signs was higher and more variable than symptoms. There were limited prevalence studies in youth and in populations south of the equator. The meta-analysis confirmed that prevalence increases with age, however signs showed a greater increase per decade than symptoms. Women have a higher prevalence of DED than men, although differences become significant only with age. Risk factors were categorized as modifiable/non-modifiable, and as consistent, probable or inconclusive. Asian ethnicity was a mostly consistent risk factor. The economic burden and impact of DED on vision, quality of life, work productivity, psychological and physical impact of pain, are considerable, particularly costs due to reduced work productivity. Questionnaires used to evaluate DED vary in their utility. Future research should establish the prevalence of disease of varying severity, the incidence in different populations and potential risk factors such as youth and digital device usage. Geospatial mapping might elucidate the impact of climate, environment and socioeconomic factors. Given the limited study of the natural history of treated and untreated DED, this remains an important area for future research.
PURPOSE: Characteristics of periodic flares of dry eye disease (DED) are not well understood. We conducted a rapid evidence assessment to identify evidence for and characteristics of DED flares. METHODS: Literature searches were performed in Embase® via Ovid®, MEDLINE®, and PubMed®. Clinical trials and observational studies published 2009-2019 were included if they investigated patients aged ≥18 years with clinically diagnosed DED who experienced a flare, defined as a temporary or transient episode of increased ocular discomfort, typically lasting days to a few weeks. Triggers of flares, patient-reported outcomes (symptoms), clinician-measured outcomes (signs), and changes in tear molecules were captured. RESULTS: Twenty-one publications that included 22 studies met inclusion criteria. Five observational studies described evidence of DED flares in daily life, 5 studies reported changes following cataract/refractive surgery in patients with preoperative DED, and 12 studies employed controlled environment (CE) models. Real-world triggers of DED flares included air conditioning, wind, reading, low humidity, watching television, and pollution. CE chambers (dry, moving air) and surgery also triggered DED flares. Exacerbations of symptoms and signs of DED, assessed through varied measures, were reported during flares. Across studies, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and interleukin-6 increased and epidermal growth factor decreased during DED flares. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from 22 studies identified triggers and characteristics of DED flares. Further research is needed to assist clinicians in early diagnosis and treatment of patients experiencing flares.
Corneal wound healing studies have a long history and rich literature that describes the data obtained over the past 70 years using many different species of animals and methods of injury. These studies have lead to reduced suffering and provided clues to treatments that are now helping patients live more productive lives. In spite of the progress made, further research is required since blindness and reduced quality of life due to corneal scarring still happens. The purpose of this review is to summarize what is known about different types of wound and animal models used to study corneal wound healing. The subject of corneal wound healing is broad and includes chemical and mechanical wound models. This review focuses on mechanical injury models involving debridement and keratectomy wounds to reflect the authors' expertise.
PURPOSE: To determine the effects of topical Janus kinase inhibition on ocular surface inflammation and immunity. METHODS: Ophthalmic 0.003% tofacitinib (CP-690,550) was administered topically to inhibit Janus kinase activation at the ocular surface. Male BALB/c mice 6 to 8 weeks of age were subjected to corneal thermocautery and randomized to receive tofacitinib, vehicle, or no treatment. Corneas were subsequently excised for fluorescence-activated cell sorting and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Female C57BL/6 mice 6 to 8 weeks of age were exposed to desiccating stress to induce experimental dry eye disease and randomized to receive tofacitinib, tofacitinib and vehicle, vehicle, or no treatment. Corneal fluorescein staining was performed to evaluate clinical disease severity. The corneas and conjunctivae were harvested for immunohistochemical staining and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: After corneal thermocautery, it was found that tofacitinib treatment decreased the corneal infiltration of CD45+, Gr-1+, and CD11b+ cells on days 1 and 3. Transcripts encoding interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were significantly decreased by tofacitinib treatment at post-thermocautery day 3. In experimental dry eye disease, tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly decreased corneal fluorescein staining on days 12 and 15. The corneal infiltration of CD11b+ cells was significantly decreased by tofacitinib treatment twice per day. Tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly increased the corneal expression of IL-1RA, and significantly decreased the corneal expression of tumor necrosis factor and IL-23. Further, tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly decreased the conjunctival expression of IL-17A and significantly increased the conjunctival expression of FoxP3. CONCLUSIONS: Topical ophthalmic tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor, suppressed ocular surface inflammation and immunity in experimental corneal thermocautery and dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease is a multifactorial disorder of the tears and ocular surface characterized by symptoms of dryness and irritation. Although the pathogenesis of dry eye disease is not fully understood, it is recognized that inflammation has a prominent role in the development and propagation of this debilitating condition. Factors that adversely affect tear film stability and osmolarity can induce ocular surface damage and initiate an inflammatory cascade that generates innate and adaptive immune responses. These immunoinflammatory responses lead to further ocular surface damage and the development of a self-perpetuating inflammatory cycle. Herein, we review the fundamental links between inflammation and dry eye disease and discuss the clinical implications of inflammation in disease management.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to establish and characterize extraorbital lacrimal gland excision (LGE) as a model of aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice. METHODS: Female C57BL/6 mice at 6 to 8 weeks of age were randomized to extraorbital LGE, sham surgery, or scopolamine groups. Mice that underwent extraorbital LGE or sham surgery were housed in the standard vivarium. Scopolamine-treated mice were housed in a controlled environment chamber that allowed for the continuous regulation of airflow (15 L/min), relative humidity (30%), and temperature (21-23°C). Clinical disease severity was assessed over the course of 14 days using the phenol red thread test and corneal fluorescein staining. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to assess corneal mRNA expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Flow cytometry was used to assess T helper cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. RESULTS: Extraorbital LGE markedly reduced aqueous tear secretion as compared with the sham procedure and induced a more consistent decrease in aqueous tear secretion than was observed in mice that received scopolamine while housed in the controlled environment chamber. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased corneal fluorescein staining scores as compared with those of both the sham surgery and scopolamine-treated groups. Extraorbital LGE significantly increased the corneal expression of interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Further, extraorbital LGE increased T helper 17-cell frequencies in the conjunctivae and draining lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Extraorbital LGE induces aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease in mice as evidenced by decreased aqueous tear secretion, increased corneal epitheliopathy, and induced ocular surface inflammation and immunity.
Accumulating evidence shows that IL-17 is critically involved in diverse autoimmune diseases. However, its effect on the induction and progression of the humoral immune response is not fully understood. Using a preclinical model of IL-17-mediated dry eye disease, we demonstrate that upon encountering both the BCR and a secondary T cell signal, IL-17 can enhance B cell proliferation and germinal center formation in dry eye disease mice, suggesting that a stable Ag-dependent T-B cell interaction is required. Additionally, IL-17 also promotes the differentiation of B cells into isotype-switched B cells and plasma cells. Furthermore, we show that Th17 cells are more effective than Th1 cells to provide B cell help. Reduced B cell response correlates with significant reduction in clinical disease after in vivo IL-17A neutralization. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a new role of IL-17 in promoting autoimmunity in part through directly enhancing B cell proliferation, differentiation, and plasma cell generation.
PURPOSE: We hypothesize that culturing immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells in serum-containing medium will induce their differentiation. The purpose of this investigation was to begin to test our hypothesis, and explore the impact of serum on gene expression and lipid accumulation in human meibomian gland epithelial cells. METHODS: Immortalized and primary human meibomian gland epithelial cells were cultured in the presence or absence of serum. Cells were evaluated for lysosome and lipid accumulation, polar and neutral lipid profiles, and gene expression. RESULTS: Our results support our hypothesis that serum stimulates the differentiation of human meibomian gland epithelial cells. This serum-induced effect is associated with a significant increase in the expression of genes linked to cell differentiation, epithelium development, the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, vesicles, and lysosomes, and a significant decrease in gene activity related to the cell cycle, mitochondria, ribosomes, and translation. These cellular responses are accompanied by an accumulation of lipids within lysosomes, as well as alterations in the fatty acid content of polar and nonpolar lipids. Of particular importance, our results show that the molecular and biochemical changes of immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells during differentiation are analogous to those of primary cells. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our findings indicate that immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells may serve as an ideal preclinical model to identify factors that control cellular differentiation in the meibomian gland.
One of the most compelling features of dry eye disease (DED) is that it occurs more frequently in women than men. In fact, the female sex is a significant risk factor for the development of DED. This sex-related difference in DED prevalence is attributed in large part to the effects of sex steroids (e.g. androgens, estrogens), hypothalamic-pituitary hormones, glucocorticoids, insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 and thyroid hormones, as well as to the sex chromosome complement, sex-specific autosomal factors and epigenetics (e.g. microRNAs). In addition to sex, gender also appears to be a risk factor for DED. "Gender" and "sex" are words that are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. "Gender" refers to a person's self-representation as a man or woman, whereas "sex" distinguishes males and females based on their biological characteristics. Both gender and sex affect DED risk, presentation of the disease, immune responses, pain, care-seeking behaviors, service utilization, and myriad other facets of eye health. Overall, sex, gender and hormones play a major role in the regulation of ocular surface and adnexal tissues, and in the difference in DED prevalence between women and men. The purpose of this Subcommittee report is to review and critique the nature of this role, as well as to recommend areas for future research to advance our understanding of the interrelationships between sex, gender, hormones and DED.
In September 2010, a Symposium in Florence, Italy, was held to address the unmet need for global treatments for dry eye disease (DED). It was sponsored by The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS; www.TearFilm.org) and co-sponsored by the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (www.arvo.org). The Symposium objectives were two-fold: first, to discuss accepted and emerging clinical endpoints of DED with regulatory experts from around the world; and second, to consider how to improve clinical trials of treatments for DED. The Symposium focused on the personal and collective burden of DED, as well as the developmental and regulatory challenges associated with generating new DED therapeutics. This article provides a synopsis of many of the presentations, discussions and recommendations of this Symposium.
PURPOSE: In advanced Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), central endothelial changes do not correlate with disease severity. The peripheral endothelial cell count (ECC) has not been studied as a marker of FECD severity. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between the peripheral ECC and known clinical markers of FECD in advanced cases. METHODS: Patients with FECD examined between January 1, 2013, and September 1, 2016, by 1 cornea specialist were identified. Medical records from all previous visits were reviewed to include eyes with high-quality central and peripheral in vivo confocal microscopy images performed on the same day as a clinical evaluation. Endothelial photographs were used to perform manual cell counts centrally and peripherally. Clinical grading of FECD from 1 to 4 was performed at the slit-lamp. RESULTS: We identified 154 eyes of 126 patients that met criteria for inclusion. With higher disease grades, central ECC and peripheral ECC decreased, visual acuity worsened, and central corneal thickness (CCT) increased (all P < 0.05). In patients with advanced disease (defined as either grade 3 or 4, CCT >700, or central ECC <350), the peripheral ECC was the best predictor of disease severity and had the highest number of statistically significant correlations with other clinical markers compared with competing variables. CONCLUSIONS: In advanced FECD, severity is best determined by the peripheral ECC compared with the central ECC, visual acuity, clinical disease grade, and CCT. The peripheral ECC should be added to the clinical parameters used to evaluate FECD severity.
SIGNIFICANCE: Identification of the association of specific signs of dry eye disease with specific visual function deficits may allow for more targeted approaches to treatment. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the association of dry eye signs and symptoms with visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity in the Dry Eye Assessment and Management study. METHODS: Baseline data from participants in the Dry Eye Assessment and Management study were used in this secondary cross-sectional analysis. Standardized procedures were used to obtain results on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), high-contrast logMAR VA, contrast sensitivity, tear film debris, tear breakup time (TBUT), corneal fluorescein staining, meibomian gland evaluation, conjunctival lissamine green staining, and Schirmer test scores. Generalized linear models that included age, refractive error status, and cataract status were used to assess the association between VA and contrast sensitivity with OSDI score and each dry eye sign. The Hochberg procedure was used to account for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: Among 487 participants (974 eyes), worse VA was associated with worse mean score on the OSDI vision subscale (39.4 for VA 20/32 or worse vs. 32.4 for VA 20/16 or better; adjusted linear trend, P = .02); scores were not associated with contrast sensitivity. Severe meibomian gland plugging and abnormal secretions were associated with worse mean log contrast sensitivity (1.48 for severe vs. 1.54 for not plugged [P = .04] and 1.49 for obstructed vs. 1.57 for clear [P = .002], respectively). Longer TBUT was associated with better mean log contrast sensitivity (1.57 for TBUT >5 seconds and 1.51 for TBUT ≤2 seconds, P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Worse VA rather than worse contrast sensitivity drives vision-related symptoms in dry eye. Greater tear film instability was associated with worse contrast sensitivity.
Szczotka-Flynn LB, Maguire MG, Ying G-S, Lin MC, Bunya VY, Dana R, Asbell PA, and Group DEAM (DREAM) SR. Authors' Response. Optom Vis Sci 2019;96(11):892.