Immunology and Uveitis

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O S, A Z. The role of methotrexate in resolving ocular inflammation after specific therapy for presumed latent syphilitic uveitis and presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis. Retina 2014;34(7):1451-9.
Okunuki Y, Mukai R, Nakao T, Tabor SJ, Butovsky O, Dana R, Ksander BR, Connor KM. Retinal microglia initiate neuroinflammation in ocular autoimmunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019;116(20):9989-9998.Abstract
Autoimmune uveitis is a sight-threatening ocular inflammatory condition in which the retina and uveal tissues become a target of autoreactive immune cells. While microglia have been studied extensively in autoimmune uveitis, their exact function remains uncertain. The objective of the current study was to determine whether resident microglia are necessary and sufficient to initiate and amplify retinal inflammation in autoimmune uveitis. In this study, we clearly demonstrate that microglia are essential for initiating infiltration of immune cells utilizing a murine model of experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) and the recently identified microglia-specific marker P2ry12. Initiating disease is the primary function of microglia in EAU, since eliminating microglia during the later stages of EAU had little effect, indicating that the function of circulating leukocytes is to amplify and sustain destructive inflammation once microglia have triggered disease. In the absence of microglia, uveitis does not develop, since leukocytes cannot gain entry through the blood-retinal barrier, illustrating that microglia play a critical role in regulating infiltration of inflammatory cells into the retina.
Oray M, Meese H, Foster SC. Diagnosis and management of non-infectious immune-mediated scleritis: current status and future prospects. Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2016;12(8):827-37.Abstract

Scleritis is an inflammatory process of the sclera and adjacent tissues with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations and co-morbidities. Careful clinical history taking, detailed ocular examination, and appropriate investigation for likelihood of an underlying systemic disease are essential for diagnosis. Treatment can be quite challenging in some cases. Conventional therapy with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents may not be sufficient to control ocular inflammation in refractory patients. In such cases new therapeutic agents, which have a more targeted and sustained effect on the immune response, so-called biologic response modifiers, are being used. This review focuses on both diagnosis and therapeutic options including traditional and emerging therapies of non-infectious scleritis.

Oray M, Abusamra K, Ebrahimiadib N, Meese H, Foster SC. Long-term side effects of glucocorticoids. Expert Opin Drug Saf 2016;15(4):457-65.Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Glucocorticoids represent the standard therapy for reducing inflammation and immune activation in various diseases. However, as with any potent medication, they are not without side effects. Glucocorticoid-associated side effects may involve most major organ systems. Musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, endocrine, neuropsychiatric, dermatologic, ocular, and immunologic side effects are all possible. AREAS COVERED: This article analyzes English-language literature and provides an update on the most recent literature regarding side effects of systemic glucocorticoid treatment. EXPERT OPINION: The risk/benefit ratio of glucocorticoid therapy can be improved by proper use. Careful monitoring and using appropriate preventive strategies can potentially minimize side effects.

Oray M, Khachatryan N, Ebrahimiadib N, Abusamra K, Lee S, Foster SC. Ocular morbidities of juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis in adulthood: results from a tertiary center study. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2016;254(9):1841-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the clinical and visual outcomes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis in adults and to examine risk factors for ongoing inflammation in adulthood. METHODS: Medical records were reviewed for patients with JIA-associated uveitis who were >16 years old at the final visit (the last visit prior to data collection). RESULTS: In total, 135 eyes of 77 patients (70 female, 7 male) were included. The mean age of patients at the final visit was 29.72 ± 11.27 years. The number of eyes with visual acuity of ≤20/50 and ≤20/200 at the final visit was 37 (28 %) and 20 (15 %), respectively; at least one ocular complication was present in 72 % of eyes. Band keratopathy was the most frequent complication (42 %), followed by cataract (25 %), posterior synechiae (22 %), maculopathy (22 %), ocular hypertension (13 %), and hypotony (5 %). At the final visit, patients who were >16 years of age at presentation to the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution had more ocular complications and a greater degree of vision loss than patients who were ≤16 years of age. Ongoing inflammation at the final visit was noted in 40 patients (52 %). The presence of posterior synechiae, hypotony, cataract at presentation, and a history of cataract surgery prior to presentation were predictive of ongoing inflammation in adulthood in univariate analysis. The presence of hypotony and posterior synechiae at the initial visit were predictive factors in multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS: JIA-associated uveitis may be associated with ongoing inflammation, ocular complications, and severe visual impairment in adulthood. The presence of posterior synechiae and hypotony at the initial visit is predictive of ongoing inflammation.

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Patel AK, Newcomb CW, Liesegang TL, Pujari SS, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Artornsombudh P, Kothari S, Kempen JH, for Group SITEDR. Risk of Retinal Neovascularization in Cases of Uveitis. Ophthalmology 2016;123(3):646-54.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the risk of and risk factors for retinal neovascularization (NV) in cases of uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with uveitis at 4 US academic ocular inflammation subspecialty practices. METHODS: Data were ascertained by standardized chart review. Prevalence data analysis used logistic regression. Incidence data analysis used survival analysis with time-updated covariates where appropriate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and incidence of NV. RESULTS: Among uveitic eyes of 8931 patients presenting for initial evaluation, 106 of 13 810 eyes had NV (prevalence = 0.77%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-0.90). Eighty-eight more eyes developed NV over 26 465 eye-years (incidence, 0.33%/eye-year; 95% CI, 0.27-0.41). Factors associated with incident NV include age <35 years compared with >35 years (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5-3.9), current cigarette smoking (aHR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.4), and systemic lupus erythematosus (aHR, 3.5, 95% CI, 1.1-11). Recent diagnosis of uveitis was associated with an increased incidence of NV (compared with patients diagnosed >5 years ago, aHR, 2.4 [95% CI, 1.1-5.0] and aHR, 2.6 [95% CI, 1.2-6.0] for diagnosis within <1 year vs. 1-5 years, respectively). Compared with anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis (aHR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.5-6.6), posterior uveitis (aHR, 5.2; 95% CI, 2.5-11), and panuveitis (aHR, 4.3; 95% CI, 2.0-9.3) were associated with a similar degree of increased NV incidence. Active (aHR, 2.1, 95% CI, 1.2-3.7) and slightly active (aHR, 2.4, 95% CI, 1.3-4.4) inflammation were associated with an increased incidence of NV compared with inactive inflammation. Neovascularization incidence also was increased with retinal vascular occlusions (aHR, 10, 95% CI, 3.0-33), retinal vascular sheathing (aHR, 2.6, 95% CI, 1.4-4.9), and exudative retinal detachment (aHR, 4.1, 95% CI, 1.3-13). Diabetes mellitus was associated with a somewhat increased incidence of retinal NV (aHR, 2.3, 95% CI, 1.1-4.9), and systemic hypertension (aHR 1.5, 95% CI, 0.89-2.4) was associated with nonsignificantly increased NV incidence. Results were similar in sensitivity analyses excluding the small minority of patients with diabetes mellitus. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal NV is a rare complication of uveitis, which occurs more frequently in younger patients, smokers, and those with intermediate/posterior/panuveitis, systemic vasculopathy, retinal vascular disease, or active inflammation. Inflammation and retinal NV likely are linked; additional studies are needed to further elucidate this connection.

Peters RPH, Kestelyn PG, Zierhut M, Kempen JH. The Changing Global Epidemic of HIV and Ocular Disease. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;28(7):1007-1014.Abstract
: Overview of the evolving epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related ocular disease over time. : Narrative review. : HIV enhances susceptibility to opportunistic eye infections, has direct pathogenic effects, and places patients at risk of immune recovery inflammatory syndromes in previously infected eyes after starting highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Widespread availability of HAART has resulted in a decrease of infectious ocular conditions such as cytomegalovirus retinitis, toxoplasmic retinitis, squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva, and microvascular retinopathy. However, large coexisting burdens of tuberculosis, herpesvirus infection and syphilis (among others) continue to contribute to the burden of ocular disease, especially in low-resource settings. Growing risks of cataract, retinopathy and retinal nerve fiber thinning can affect patients with chronic HIV on HAART; thought due to chronic inflammation and immune activation. : The changing epidemic of ocular disease in HIV-infected patients warrants close monitoring and identification of interventions that can help reduce the imminent burden of disease.
Pistilli M, Joffe MM, Gangaputra SS, Pujari SS, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Dreger KA, Altaweel MM, Holbrook JT, Kempen JH, for Group SITED (SITE) R. Visual Acuity Outcome over Time in Non-Infectious Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-8.Abstract
: We evaluated visual acuity (VA) over 5 years in a subspecialty noninfectious uveitis population.: Retrospective data from 5,530 noninfectious uveitis patients with anterior, intermediate, posterior or panuveitis were abstracted by expert reviewers. Mean VA was calculated using inverse probability of censoring weighting to account for losses to follow-up.: Patients were a median of 41 years old, 65% female, and 73% white. Initial mean VA was worse among panuveitis (20/84) than posterior (20/64), intermediate (20/47), and anterior (20/37) uveitides. On average, mean VA improved by 0.62, 0.51, 0.37, and 0.26 logMAR-equivalent lines over 2 years, respectively (each < .001), then remained stable, except posterior uveitis mean VA worsened to initial levels.: Mean VA of uveitic eyes improved and, typically, improvement was sustained under uveitis subspecialty care. Because VA tends to improve under tertiary care, mean VA change appears a better outcome for clinical studies than time-to-loss of VA.
Pistilli M, Gangaputra SS, Pujari SS, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Dreger KA, Kempen JH. Contemporaneous Risk Factors for Visual Acuity in Non-Infectious Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-8.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: We evaluated the associations of clinical and demographic characteristics with visual acuity (VA) with over 5 years in a subspecialty noninfectious uveitis population. METHODS: Retrospective data from 5,530 noninfectious uveitis patients were abstracted by expert reviewers, and contemporaneous associations of VA with demographic and clinical factors were modeled. RESULTS: Patients were a median of 41 years old, 65% female, and 73% white. Eyes diagnosed ≥5 years prior to cohort entry had worse VA (-1.2 lines) than those diagnosed <6 months prior, and eyes with cataract surgery performed prior to entry had worse VA (-5.9 lines) than those performed during follow-up. Vitreous haze (-4.2 lines for 3+ vs quiet), hypotony (-2.5 lines for ≤5 mm Hg vs 6-23 mm Hg), and CNV (-1.8 lines) all were strongly associated with reduced VA. CONCLUSION: Factors associated with reduced VA included well-known structural complications, and lack of subspecialty care during cataract surgery.
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Queisi MM, Zein M, Lamba N, Meese H, Foster CS. Update on ocular cicatricial pemphigoid and emerging treatments. Surv Ophthalmol 2016;61(3):314-7.Abstract

Mucous membrane pemphigoid is a systemic disorder that primarily affects mucous membranes. When localized to the conjunctiva, it is known as ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, a potentially blinding disease. Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid is an indication for systemic immunosuppressive treatment to achieve adequate remission. Immunosuppressive agents are selected with a "stepladder" approach, commencing with medications having the fewest side effects. We provide an update of the literature on immunomodulatory agents since 2011 as additional treatment modalities have been explored in the last 4 years.

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Rosenbaum JT, Bodaghi B, Couto C, Zierhut M, Acharya N, Pavesio C, Tay-Kearney M-L, Neri P, Douglas K, Pathai S, Song AP, Kron M, Foster SC. New observations and emerging ideas in diagnosis and management of non-infectious uveitis: A review. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2019;49(3):438-445.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Non-infectious uveitis (NIU) is an immune-mediated disease with clinical symptoms such as eye pain, redness, floaters, and light sensitivity. NIU is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. OBJECTIVE: This review describes current and emerging therapies for NIU. METHODS: PubMed searches were conducted using the terms uveitis, therapy, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, biologics, intravitreal injections, intraocular implants, and adverse events deemed relevant if they presented data relating to prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment of uveitis. RESULTS: Diagnosis and management of NIU may require collaboration among different healthcare providers, including ophthalmologists and rheumatologists. Although many patients with NIU respond to corticosteroid (CS) therapy, long-term CS use can be associated with potentially severe adverse events. Localized CS therapies have been developed to reduce adverse events; however, some intravitreal injections and intraocular implants were linked to elevated intraocular pressure and cataracts. CS-sparing therapies such as biologics have demonstrated efficacy and safety while reducing CS burden. Biologics targeting tumor necrosis factor provide CS-sparing options for patients with NIU. Additional studies are needed to address long-term efficacy and safety of biologics targeting IL-6 and inhibitors of JAK/STAT. CONCLUSION: Biologics, JAK/STAT inhibitors, and improved localized therapies may provide additional options for patients with NIU.
Ruiz-Lozano RE, Garza-Garza LA, Cavazos-Davila O, Foster SC, Rodriguez-Garcia A. The Clinical and Pathogenic Spectrum of Surgically-Induced Scleral Necrosis. A Review. Surv Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
The onset of scleral necrosis after ocular surgery can have catastrophic ocular and systemic consequences. The two most frequent surgeries causing surgically-induced scleral necrosis (SISN) are pterygium excision and cataract extraction. Several pathogenic mechanisms are involved in SISN. All of them are poorly understood. Ocular trauma increasing lytic action of collagenases with subsequent collagen degradation, vascular disruption leading to local ischemia, and immune complex deposition activating the complement system represents some of the events that lead to scleral necrosis. The complex cascade of events involving different pathogenic mechanisms and the patient's abnormal immune response frequently leads to delayed wound healing that predisposes the development of scleral necrosis. The management of SISN ranges from short-term systemic anti-inflammatory drugs to aggressive immunosuppressive therapy and surgical repair. Therefore, before performing any ocular surgery involving the sclera, a thorough ophthalmic and systemic evaluation must be done to identify high-risk patients that may develop SISN.
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Sainz-de-la-Maza M, Molins B, Mesquida M, Llorenç V, Zarranz-Ventura J, Sala-Puigdollers A, Matas J, Adan A, Foster SC. Interleukin-22 serum levels are elevated in active scleritis. Acta Ophthalmol 2016;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate serum cytokine profile from patients with active scleritis in a two-centre prospective case-control study. METHODS: The serum of 20 active scleritis patients not treated with any local, periocular, or systemic immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) was analysed with multiplex assay to determine the levels of 11 cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-5, TNF-α, and TNF-β, and with ELISA to determine the levels of TGF-β1, IL-22, and IL-23. Twenty-five age-matched healthy volunteers were used as controls. In a subgroup of 13 patients with active disease, a second serum sample was obtained when the disease was inactive and levels of IL-22 were determined. Serum IL-22 levels from patients with active scleritis were correlated with type of scleritis (non-necrotizing and necrotizing), degree of inflammation (0-4+ :≤2+ and >2+), and associated systemic disease. RESULTS: Serum levels of IL-22 were elevated in active scleritis patients compared to controls (6.41 ± 1.52 pg/ml versus 1.93 ± 0.39 pg/ml, p = 0.012) and significantly decreased after scleritis remission with the use of IMT (p = 0.005). There was no statistical association with scleritis type, degree of inflammation, or associated systemic disease. The serum levels of other cytokines were not significantly different from controls. CONCLUSION: In our study cohort, IL-22 serum levels were significantly elevated in active scleritis patients compared to controls and decreased significantly after remission. Our results suggest that IL-22, a T helper (Th) 17- and Th22- derived cytokine, may play a critical role in the physiopathology of scleritis.
Sainz-de-la-Maza M, Molina N, Gonzalez-Gonzalez LA, Doctor PP, Tauber J, Foster SC. Scleritis associated with relapsing polychondritis. Br J Ophthalmol 2016;100(9):1290-4.Abstract

AIMS: To evaluate ocular disease characteristics and successful therapeutic regimens in patients with scleritis associated with relapsing polychondritis (RP). To compare these features with those seen in patients with scleritis associated with other systemic immune-mediated diseases (SIMD). METHODS: Electronic health records of 13 scleritis patients associated with RP were analysed and compared with those of 113 scleritis patients associated with other SIMD seen at two tertiary referral centres. RESULTS: Scleritis in patients with RP was often bilateral (92.3%), diffuse (76.9%), recurrent (84.6%), sometimes with decreased vision (46.2%), anterior uveitis (38.5%), peripheral keratitis (15.4%) and ocular hypertension (30.8%). Patients with scleritis associated with RP more often had bilateral scleritis (p=0.001), necrotising scleritis (23.1%; p=0.02), recurrences (p=0.001) and decreased vision (three of the six with legal blindness; p=0.012), as compared with patients who had scleritis associated with other SIMD. Nine patients (69.2%) had one or more SIMD other than RP, including systemic vasculitis (4) or other autoimmune disease (8); they antedated RP by 9 years (range 2-21 years). Successful therapy included cyclophosphamide (5), methotrexate (3), azathioprine (3), mycophenolate mofetil (2), infliximab (2) and adalimumab (1). CONCLUSIONS: Scleritis may be the first manifestation whose study leads to the diagnosis of RP. Scleritis associated with RP is more often bilateral, necrotising, recurrent and associated with decrease of vision than scleritis associated with other SIMD. About 69.2% of patients will have an additional SIMD disorder. Scleritis associated with RP most often will require immunomodulatory therapy. Occasionally, scleritis with RP may appear while using antitumor necrosis factor α agents.

Satoh M, Namba K-I, Kitaichi N, Endo N, Kitamei H, Iwata D, Ohno S, Ishida S, Onoé K, Watarai H, Taniguchi M, Ishibashi T, Stein-Streilein J, Sonoda K-H, Van Kaer L, Iwabuchi K. Invariant natural killer T cells play dual roles in the development of experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis. Exp Eye Res 2016;153:79-89.Abstract

Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) represents an experimental model for human endogenous uveitis, which is caused by Th1/Th17 cell-mediated inflammation. Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize lipid antigens and produce large amounts of cytokines upon activation. To examine the role of NKT cells in the development of uveitis, EAU was elicited by immunization with a peptide from the human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (hIRBP1-20) in complete Freund's adjuvant and histopathology scores were evaluated in C57BL/6 (WT) and NKT cell-deficient mice. NKT cell-deficient mice developed more severe EAU pathology than WT mice. When WT mice were treated with ligands of the invariant subset of NKT cells (α-GalCer or RCAI-56), EAU was ameliorated in mice treated with RCAI-56 but not α-GalCer. IRBP-specific Th1/Th17 cytokines were reduced in RCAI-56-treated compared with vehicle-treated mice. Although the numbers of IRBP-specific T cells detected by hIRBP3-13/I-A(b) tetramers in the spleen and the draining lymph node were the same for vehicle and RCAI-56 treatment groups, RORγt expression by tetramer-positive cells in RCAI-56-treated mice was lower than in control mice. Moreover, the eyes of RCAI-56-treated mice contained fewer IRBP-specific T cells compared with control mice. These results suggest that invariant NKT (iNKT) cells suppress the induction of Th17 cells and infiltration of IRBP-specific T cells into the eyes, thereby reducing ocular inflammation. However, in sharp contrast to the ameliorating effects of iNKT cell activation during the initiation phase of EAU, iNKT cell activation during the effector phase exacerbated disease pathology. Thus, we conclude that iNKT cells exhibit dual roles in the development of EAU.

Sen NH, Vitale S, Gangaputra SS, Nussenblatt RB, Liesegang TL, Levy-Clarke GA, Rosenbaum JT, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Kempen JH. Periocular corticosteroid injections in uveitis: effects and complications. Ophthalmology 2014;121(11):2275-86.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the benefits and complications of periocular depot corticosteroid injections in patients with ocular inflammatory disorders. DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 914 patients (1192 eyes) who had received ≥ 1 periocular corticosteroid injection at 5 tertiary uveitis clinics in the United States. METHODS: Patients were identified from the Systemic Immunosuppressive Therapy for Eye Diseases Cohort Study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained at every visit via medical record review by trained reviewers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Control of inflammation, improvement of visual acuity (VA) to ≥ 20/40, improvement of VA loss attributed to macular edema (ME), incident cataract affecting VA, cataract surgery, ocular hypertension, and glaucoma surgery. RESULTS: Among 914 patients (1192 eyes) who received ≥ 1 periocular injection during follow-up, 286 (31.3%) were classified as having anterior uveitis, 303 (33.3%) as intermediate uveitis, and 324 (35.4%) as posterior or panuveitis. Cumulatively by ≤ 6 months, 72.7% (95% CI, 69.1-76.3) of the eyes achieved complete control of inflammation and 49.7% (95% CI, 45.5-54.1) showed an improvement in VA from <20/40 to ≥ 20/40. Among the subset with VA <20/40 attributed to ME, 33.1% (95% CI, 25.2-42.7) improved to ≥ 20/40. By 12 months, the cumulative incidence of ≥ 1 visits with an intraocular pressure of ≥ 24 mmHg and ≥ 30 mmHg was 34.0% (95% CI, 24.8-45.4) and 15.0% (95% CI, 11.8-19.1) respectively; glaucoma surgery was performed in 2.4% of eyes (95% CI, 1.4-3.9). Within 12 months, among phakic eyes initially ≥ 20/40, the incidence of a reduction in VA to <20/40 attributed to cataract was 20.2% (95% CI, 15.9-25.6); cataract surgery was performed within 12 months in 13.8% of the initially phakic eyes (95% CI, 11.1-17.2). CONCLUSIONS: Periocular injections were effective in treating active intraocular inflammation and in improving reduced VA attributed to ME in a majority of patients. The response pattern was similar across anatomic locations of uveitis. Overall, VA improved in one half of the patients at some point within 6 months. However, cataract and ocular hypertension occurred in a substantial minority.
Sharon Y, Anesi SD, Martinez CE, Huang AJW, Foster CS, Chu DS. Repository Corticotropin Injection as an Alternative Treatment for Refractory Ocular Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid. Cornea 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to report the clinical course and outcome of patients with refractory ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) treated by repository corticotropin injection (RCI). METHODS: Patients with biopsy-proven ocular MMP treated with RCI from 3 tertiary medical centers were evaluated. Medical records between January 2013 and January 2021 were reviewed and deidentified to retrieve relevant disease-related data. Primary outcome measures included conjunctival inflammatory activity, change in Foster clinical conjunctival scarring staging after RCI treatment, and the development of ocular and systemic complications. RESULTS: Included were 15 patients (10 women and 5 men; 36-95 yrs of age) with a mean follow-up of 4.5 years. Most of the patients (80%) had Foster stage 3 at presentation, and all patients had active MMP. Each patient had failed to respond to at least 1 immunomodulatory drug during the follow-up, and 9 (60%) patients had treatment failure of at least 2 other agents before the use of RCI. The mean duration of RCI treatment was 21 months (range, 3-54 mo). Foster stage did not change in any of the 15 patients at the last follow-up. Nine patients continued RCI therapy at the last follow-up, and in all of them, the disease activity of MMP was well controlled. No serious adverse events because of RCI were documented during the follow-up in any treated patient. CONCLUSIONS: RCI may serve as an alternative or an adjunctive treatment in patients with severe and refractory ocular MMP. Treatment with RCI seems to be safe and well-tolerated.
Sheppard JD, Foster SC, Toyos MM, Markwardt K, Da Vanzo R, Flynn TE, Kempen JH. Difluprednate 0.05% versus Prednisolone Acetate 1% for Endogenous Anterior Uveitis: Pooled Efficacy Analysis of Two Phase 3 Studies. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2017;:1-13.Abstract
PURPOSE: To analyse pooled data from 2 similar phase 3 noninferiority studies comparing difluprednate 0.05% versus prednisolone acetate 1% in patients with endogenous anterior uveitis. METHODS: Patients received difluprednate alternating with vehicle or prednisolone acetate for 14 days (8 drops/day in both groups), followed by tapering from day 14 to 28. All patients were observed until day 42. RESULTS: More patients on difluprednate than on prednisolone acetate were cleared of anterior chamber cells on day twenty one (71.3% vs 54.7%; p = 0.02); results were similar at the other time points. Treatment withdrawals were higher with prednisolone acetate than difluprednate (19.8% vs 7.4%; log-rank p = 0.02). Study discontinuation due to lack of efficacy was also higher with prednisolone acetate than difluprednate (14.0% vs 0%; p = 0.0002 [pre-specified exploratory analysis]). CONCLUSIONS: More difluprednate-treated eyes were quiet following 21 days of treatment, and difluprednate-treated patients were much less likely to be withdrawn from the study because of treatment failure.
Sheppard J, Garg S, Lievens C, Brandano L, Wirostko B, Korenfeld M, Raizman M, Foster SC. Iontophoretic Dexamethasone Phosphate Compared to Topical Prednisolone Acetate 1% for Noninfectious Anterior Segment Uveitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of dexamethasone phosphate ophthalmic solution (EGP-437) delivered by transscleral iontophoresis using the EyeGate® II Drug Delivery System, compared to topical prednisolone acetate 1% (PA 1%), in subjects with noninfectious anterior uveitis. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, double-masked, parallel-group, non-inferiority clinical trial METHODS: A total of 193 subjects with active noninfectious anterior uveitis (anterior chamber [AC] cell count ≥11 cells) were randomized to EGP-437 delivered via iontophoresis (Days 0 and 7) or self-administered PA 1% daily (tapered schedule, Days 0-28). Masking was maintained with placebo iontophoresis/eyedrops. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects with an AC cell count of zero on Day 14; noninferiority of EGP-437 was defined if the lower limit of the confidence interval for the difference (EGP-437 minus PA 1%) was less than -10%. RESULTS: At Day 14, 32/96 (33.3%) EGP-437 subjects and 32/97 (33.0%) PA 1% subjects had an AC cell count of zero (difference [95% confidence interval], 0.34 [-12.94, 13.63]; P=0.064). Efficacy trended better with EGP-437 among patients with more severe baseline uveitis (AC cell count >25). Safety and tolerability were good with both treatments. EGP-437 subjects experienced fewer IOP elevations ≥6 mm Hg versus PA 1% subjects (13 vs 24 incidents through Day 28). CONCLUSIONS: Despite clinically similar response rates, statistical noninferiority of EGP-437 versus a tapered regimen of PA 1% was not achieved. Numerical trends suggesting fewer IOP elevations with EGP-437, similar efficacy overall, and possibly better efficacy in more severe disease warrant further study.
Shoda H, Yanai R, Yoshimura T, Nagai T, Kimura K, Sobrin L, Connor KM, Sakoda Y, Tamada K, Ikeda T, Sonoda K-H. Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Suppress Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis in Association with Inhibition of Th1 and Th17 Cell Function. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0138241.Abstract

Omega (ω)-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators and thereby contribute to the regulation of inflammation. Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a well-established animal model of autoimmune retinal inflammation. To investigate the potential effects of dietary intake of ω-3 LCPUFAs on uveitis, we examined the anti-inflammatory properties of these molecules in comparison with ω-6 LCPUFAs in a mouse EAU model. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet containing ω-3 LCPUFAs or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks before as well as after the induction of EAU by subcutaneous injection of a fragment of human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant. Both clinical and histological scores for uveitis were smaller for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs than for those fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. The concentrations of the T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine interferon-γ and the Th17 cytokine interleukin-17 in intraocular fluid as well as the production of these cytokines by lymph node cells were reduced for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Furthermore, the amounts of mRNAs for the Th1- and Th17-related transcription factors T-bet and RORγt, respectively, were reduced both in the retina and in lymph node cells of mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Our results thus show that a diet enriched in ω-3 LCPUFAs suppressed uveitis in mice in association with inhibition of Th1 and Th17 cell function.

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