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Contreras-Ruiz L, Ghosh-Mitra A, Shatos MA, Dartt DA, Masli S. Modulation of conjunctival goblet cell function by inflammatory cytokines. Mediators Inflamm 2013;2013:636812.Abstract
Ocular surface inflammation associated with Sjögren's syndrome is characterized by a loss of secretory function and alteration in numbers of mucin secreting goblet cells. Such changes are a prominent feature of ocular surface inflammatory diseases and are attributed to inflammation; however, the exact effect of the inflammatory cytokines on conjunctival goblet cell function remains largely unknown. In this study, we developed a primary culture of mouse goblet cells from conjunctival tissue and evaluated the effects on their function by inflammatory cytokines detected in the conjunctiva of mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome (Thrombospondin-1 deficient mice). We found that apoptosis of goblet cells was primarily induced by TNF-α and IFN-γ. These two cytokines also inhibited mucin secretion by goblet cells in response to cholinergic stimulation, whereas IL-6 enhanced such secretion. No changes in secretory response were detected in the presence of IL-13 or IL-17. Goblet cells proliferated to varying degrees in response to all the tested cytokines with the greatest response to IL-13 followed by IL-6. Our results therefore reveal that inflammatory cytokines expressed in the conjunctiva during an ocular surface disease directly disrupt conjunctival goblet cell functions, compromising the protective function of tears, thereby contributing to ocular surface damage.
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.
Contreras-Ruiz L, Regenfuss B, Mir FA, Kearns J, Masli S. Conjunctival inflammation in thrombospondin-1 deficient mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome. PLoS One 2013;8(9):e75937.Abstract
Lacrimal gland inflammation during autoimmune Sjögren's syndrome (SS) leads to ocular surface inflammation - Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This condition afflicts both the cornea and conjunctiva that form the ocular surface. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) deficiency in mice results in lacrimal gland and corneal inflammation that resembles the human disease. In this study we report conjunctival pathology in this mouse model of SS. We found that TSP-1 null mice develop inflammation in the conjunctiva and associated loss of goblet cell function similar to that seen in patients with SS. Increased expression of Th1 (IFN-γ, TNF-α) and Th17 (IL-6, IL-17A) inflammatory cytokines and related transcription factors (Tbet and RORγt) were detected in TSP-1 null conjunctiva as well as their draining lymph nodes (LNs). The conjunctival inflammation was also accompanied by an increase in local lymphatic vessels. Interestingly, migration of antigen-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) from the ocular surface to the LNs was dependent on the TSP-1 available in the tissue. These results not only reveal potential immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying KCS in SS but also highlight the therapeutic potential of TSP-1.
Corcoran P, Hollander DA, Ousler GW, Angjeli E, Rimmer D, Lane K, Abelson MB. Dynamic Sensitivity of Corneal TRPM8 Receptors to Menthol Instillation in Dry Eye Versus Normal Subjects. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2017;33(9):686-692.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess the sensitivity of corneal cold receptors to a known transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) agonist, menthol, in dry eye and normals, and to determine whether factors such as disease duration or age affect responses. METHODS: Dry eye disease (DED) (N = 33) and normal (N = 15) subjects were randomly assigned to receive Rohto® Hydra (0.01% menthol) or Systane® Ultra treatments (OU) in a prospective, double-blind, crossover study. DED subjects had documented disease and symptom response scores >2 on a 0- to 5-point scale. Normals had no history of DED and scores <2 on the same scale. Endpoints included mean cooling score (0 = not cool and 10 = very cool) evaluated at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 min post-instillation, sum cooling scores (5 time points, range 0-60), and ocular signs and symptoms. RESULTS: Mean (±SD) ages were similar, 62.2 ± 8.6-year (DED) versus 53.5 ± 7.6-year (normal). Corneal sensitivity scores were not different between groups. Mean cooling scores at 0.5-4 min post-menthol instillation were significantly higher in DED subjects (P ≤ 0.03). Sum cooling scores were significantly higher (P = 0.04) in DED subjects with a disease duration <10 years (N = 18, 28.3 ± 2.58) versus ≥10 years (N = 15, 20.2 ± 2.76). Age did not affect cooling response in either group. CONCLUSION: DED subjects had greater sensitivity to cold than normal subjects. DED duration, and not age, was critical to cooling sensitivity. The finding that cooling scores were higher in subjects with DED for less than 10 years compared to more than 10 years suggests that corneal cold receptor sensitivity decreases as the duration of DED increases.
Cox SM, Kheirkhah A, Aggarwal S, Abedi F, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Hamrah P. Alterations in corneal nerves in different subtypes of dry eye disease: An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ocul Surf 2021;22:135-142.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal subbasal nerve alterations in evaporative and aqueous-deficient dry eye disease (DED) as compared to controls. METHODS: In this retrospective, cross-sectional, controlled study, eyes with a tear break-up time of less than 10 s were classified as DED. Those with an anesthetized Schirmer's strip of less than 5 mm were classified as aqueous-deficient DED. Three representative in vivo confocal microscopy images were graded for each subject for total, main, and branch nerve density and numbers. RESULTS: Compared to 42 healthy subjects (42 eyes), the 70 patients with DED (139 eyes) showed lower total (18,579.0 ± 687.7 μm/mm2 vs. 21,014.7 ± 706.5, p = 0.026) and main (7,718.9 ± 273.9 vs. 9,561.4 ± 369.8, p < 0.001) nerve density, as well as lower total (15.5 ± 0.7/frame vs. 20.5 ± 1.3, p = 0.001), main (3.0 ± 0.1 vs. 3.8 ± 0.2, p = 0.001) and branch (12.5 ± 0.7 vs. 16.5 ± 1.2, p = 0.004) nerve numbers. Compared to the evaporative DED group, the aqueous-deficient DED group showed reduced total nerve density (19,969.9 ± 830.7 vs. 15,942.2 ± 1,135.7, p = 0.006), branch nerve density (11,964.9 ± 749.8 vs. 8,765.9 ± 798.5, p = 0.006), total nerves number (16.9 ± 0.8/frame vs. 13.0 ± 1.2, p = 0.002), and branch nerve number (13.8 ± 0.8 vs. 10.2 ± 1.1, p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with DED demonstrate compromised corneal subbasal nerves, which is more pronounced in aqueous-deficient DED. This suggests a role for neurosensory abnormalities in the pathophysiology of DED.
Craig JP, Nelson DJ, Azar DT, Belmonte C, Bron AJ, Chauhan SK, de Paiva CS, Gomes JAP, Hammitt KM, Jones L, Nichols JJ, Nichols KK, Novack GD, Stapleton FJ, Willcox MDP, Wolffsohn JS, Sullivan DA. TFOS DEWS II Report Executive Summary. Ocul Surf 2017;15(4):802-812.Abstract
This article presents an Executive Summary of the conclusions and recommendations of the 10-chapter TFOS DEWS II report. The entire TFOS DEWS II report was published in the July 2017 issue of The Ocular Surface. A downloadable version of the document and additional material, including videos of diagnostic and management techniques, are available on the TFOS website: www.TearFilm.org.
Crespo-Treviño RR, Salinas-Sánchez AK, Amparo F, Garza-Leon M. Comparative of meibomian gland morphology in patients with evaporative dry eye disease versus non-dry eye disease. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):20729.Abstract
Many recent studies have showed that morphological changes are one of the key signs of meibomian gland disease (MGD). These changes can be seen even before symptom onset, potentially underestimating the prevalence of MGD; however, until now, there is no conclusive information about the impact of meibomian gland (MG) morphology in tear film physiology and disease. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of anatomical and morphological MG alterations between patients with evaporative dry eye disease (DED) and healthy controls. Retrospective chart review of seventy-five patients with evaporative DED and healthy individuals who had dry eye assessments included Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire, meibum quality, meibum expressibility, lid margin abnormality, ocular staining, non-invasive tear film break-up time, and meibography. We did not find significant differences in MG alterations in the upper lid between healthy and DED subjects. Patients with evaporative DED presented MG alterations in the lower lid more frequently than healthy subjects (54.8 vs. 30.3%; p = 0.03). The presence of shortened glands was the only MG alteration that was more prevalent in the lower lid in dry-eye patients than in healthy subjects (p < 0.05). Subjects with evaporative DED presented more alterations in the lower lid than healthy subjects.
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.

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, 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.

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.

Cruzat A, Shukla A, Dohlman CH, Colby K. Wound anatomy after type 1 Boston KPro using oversized back plates. Cornea 2013;32(12):1531-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the anatomy of the graft-host junction and anterior chamber angle after Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro) placement using oversized (9.5-mm) and standard (8.5-mm) back plates. METHODS: Six patients with 9.5-mm titanium back plates and 10 patients with 8.5-mm titanium back plates were imaged by anterior segment optical coherence tomography 6 to 12 months after KPro placement. The location of the graft-host junction in relation to the back plate, the corneal thickness at the graft-host junction, and the anterior chamber angle were assessed. The clinical outcomes and incidence of retroprosthetic membrane (RPM) formation in this cohort were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: The oversized back plates completely covered the graft-host junction in all quadrants, allowing the complete apposition of the posterior surface of the carrier graft with the host cornea, with decreased graft-host junction wound thickness. The standard back plates covered the posterior aspect of the carrier graft but not the graft-host junction or the host cornea, resulting in a significantly thicker graft-host junction. None of the patients with larger back plates developed a significant RPM during a 12-month follow-up period. One patient with a larger back plate developed a corneal melt at the KPro stem as a result of chronic exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Oversized KPro back plates effectively cover the graft-host junction without any adverse effects on angle anatomy or wound healing. This may be a strategy to provide better wound apposition, reduce RPM formation, and reduce angle closure from iris synechiae to the wound.
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, Gonzalez-Andrades M, Mauris J, AbuSamra DB, Chidambaram P, Kenyon KR, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH, Argüeso P. Colocalization of Galectin-3 With CD147 Is Associated With Increased Gelatinolytic Activity in Ulcerating Human Corneas. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(1):223-230.Abstract
Purpose: Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein known to promote expression of matrix metalloproteinases, a hallmark of ulceration, through interaction with the extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer CD147. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of galectin-3 in corneas of patients with ulcerative keratitis and to determine its relationship to CD147 and the presence of gelatinolytic activity. Methods: This was an observational case series involving donor tissue from 13 patients with active corneal ulceration and 6 control corneas. Fixed-frozen sections of the corneas were processed to localize galectin-3 and CD147 by immunofluorescence microscopy. Gelatinolytic activity was detected by in situ zymography. Results: Tissue from patients with active corneal ulceration showed a greater galectin-3 immunoreactivity in basal epithelia and stroma compared with controls. Immunofluorescence grading scores revealed increased colocalization of galectin-3 and CD147 in corneal ulcers at the epithelial-stromal junction and within fibroblasts. Quantitative analysis using the Manders' colocalization coefficient demonstrated significant overlap in corneas from patients with ulcerative keratitis (M1 = 0.29; M2 = 0.22) as opposed to control corneas (M1 = 0.01, P < 0.01; M2 = 0.02, P < 0.05). In these experiments, there was a significant positive correlation between the degree of galectin-3 and CD147 colocalization and the presence of gelatinolytic activity. Conclusions: Our results indicate that concomitant stimulation and colocalization of galectin-3 with CD147 are associated with increased gelatinolytic activity in the actively ulcerating human cornea and suggest a mechanism by which galectin-3 may contribute to the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins during ulceration.
Cruzat A, Tauber A, Shukla A, Paschalis EI, Pineda R, Dohlman CH. Low-cost and readily available tissue carriers for the Boston keratoprosthesis: a review of possibilities. J Ophthalmol 2013;2013:686587.Abstract
The Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro), currently the most commonly used artificial cornea worldwide, can provide rapid visual rehabilitation for eyes with severe corneal opacities not suitable for standard corneal transplantation. However, the B-KPro presently needs a corneal graft as a tissue carrier. Although corneal allograft tissue is readily available in the United States and other developed countries with established eye banks, the worldwide need vastly exceeds supply. Therefore, a simple, safe, and inexpensive alternative to corneal allografts is desirable for the developing world. We are currently exploring reasonable alternative options such as corneal autografts, xenografts, noncorneal autologous tissues, and laboratory-made tissue constructs, as well as modifications to corneal allografts, such as deep-freezing, glycerol-dehydration, gamma irradiation, and cross-linking. These alternative tissue carriers for the B-KPro are discussed with special regard to safety, practicality, and cost for the developing world.
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.

Cubuk MO, Ucgul AY, Ozgur A, Ozulken K, Yuksel E. Topical cyclosporine a (0.05%) treatment in dry eye patients: a comparison study of Sjogren's syndrome versus non-Sjogren's syndrome. Int Ophthalmol 2021;41(4):1479-1485.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical effect of topical cyclosporine A (CsA) (0.05%) on dry eye patients with Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and non-Sjogren's syndrome (NSS). METHOD: This retrospective comparative study includes the dry eye (DE) patients who were treated with topical CsA. DE patients were divided into two groups as follows: DE with Sjogren's syndrome (DE-SS) and DE with Non-Sjogren's syndrome (DE-NSS). Dry eye parameters were recorded at baseline and each visit. RESULTS: Schirmer's test 1 scores were 2.7 ± 0.5 mm at baseline and 3.5 ± 0.7 mm at 12th month in DE-SS, 2.9 ± 0.7 mm at baseline and 9.5 ± 0.7 mm in DE-NSS groups at 12th month. Mean ST score was higher in DE-NSS group than DE-SS group at sixth and 12th months of the treatment (both p = 0.001). Tear break-up time score showed a significant improvement in DE-NSS group, and it was lower in DE-NSS group than DE-SS group group at sixth and 12th months of the treatment (p = 0.044 and 0.027, respectively). Mean OSDI score was lower in DE-NSS group than DE-SS group at sixth and 12th months of the treatment (p = 0.030 and 0.032, respectively). CONCLUSION: Topical CsA seems to be more effective in the treatment of the DE-NSS.
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D K, R Z, X G, AE H, JW R, JD Z. Novel in Vitro Model for Keratoconus Disease. J Funct Biomater 2012;3(4):760-775.
Dana R, Bradley JL, Guerin A, Pivneva I, Stillman IÖ, Evans AM, Schaumberg DA. Estimated Prevalence and Incidence of Dry Eye Disease Based on Coding Analysis of a Large, All-age United States Health Care System. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;202:47-54.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess overall prevalence, annual prevalence, and incidence of dry eye disease (DED) in a large, representative population in the United States. DESIGN: Prevalence and incidence study. METHODS: Retrospective analysis using the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Health System (MHS) data on beneficiary medical claims from United States DOD military and civilian facilities, January 1, 2003 through March 31, 2015. PATIENT POPULATION: Using an algorithm, medical diagnostic codes indicative of DED and prescriptions for cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion identified a DED population from 9.7 million MHS beneficiaries (DOD service members, retirees, and dependents, aged 2-80+ years). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: DED overall prevalence (2003-2015), annual prevalence (2005-2012), and annual incidence (2008-2012) stratified by sex, age group, and International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Ninth Revision diagnosis code grouping. RESULTS: DED prevalence was 5.28% overall, 7.78% among female beneficiaries, 2.96% among male beneficiaries and increased with age from 0.20% for ages 2-17 years, to 11.66% for individuals aged 50+ years. Annual prevalence increased from 0.8% to 3.0% overall, from 1.4% to 4.5% in female beneficiaries, and from 0.3% to 1.6% in male beneficiaries. Annual prevalence increased across age groups starting at age 18-39, 0.1%-0.6%, to age 50+, 1.8%-6.0%. Annual incidence increased from 0.6% to 0.9% overall, from 0.8% to 1.2% in female beneficiaries, and from 0.3% to 0.6% in male beneficiaries. Across age groups, annual incidence increased starting at age 18-39 (0.2%-0.3%), to age 50+ (1.0%-1.6%). CONCLUSIONS: DED overall prevalence, annual prevalence, and incidence were found to increase over time for all demographics. These findings highlight the continued importance of research and therapeutic development for this common condition.

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