Background: Visualization during scleral buckling is traditionally achieved via indirect ophthalmoscopy. Recent advances have utilized the surgical microscope and a 25 gauge cannula-based endoillumination system, also known as a Chandelier lighting system. This report details an improved approach using a guarded 25 or 27 gauge light pipe and the Ngenuity digital three dimensional platform. Methods: A standard Alcon light pipe is modified with a silicone guard to expose only 5 mm of the tip of the light pipe. The guard is created from the silicone that is already opened to secure the ends of the encircling band most often employed sleeve (e.g. 70, 270). This guarded light pipe is then inserted into the cannula as an alternative to a Chandelier lighting system. Results: This is a technical report of a surgical visualization technique using a three dimensional digital visualization platform with a modified handheld vitrectomy light pipe. Conclusion: The utilization of a guarded light pipe for visualization during primary scleral buckling is a promising, effective, and efficient technique. The three dimensional digital display allows for better educational impact and surgical communication with trainees and ancillary members of the surgical team.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Anterior visual pathway compression is a common feature of sellar region masses. We review the visual pathway neuroanatomy pertaining to sellar and parasellar lesions and describe recent advances in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging that have provided a novel quantitative perspective in the evaluation and management of such patients. RECENT FINDINGS: Ultrastructural measurements of optic nerve integrity using OCT, namely peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) and the ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thicknesses, have been shown to correlate with visual acuity and visual field deficits on perimetry in patients with compressive sellar region masses. In some cases, OCT can visualize early signs of anterior visual pathway involvement in the absence of clinically evident visual field loss or optic disc pallor. OCT is particularly useful when assessing patients who demonstrate less reliable visual field testing. Furthermore, there is growing awareness that pRNFL and GCIPL thinning preoperatively correlate with worse visual recovery following chiasmal decompression, highlighting the prognostic utility of OCT in this patient population. SUMMARY: OCT provides a complimentary, yet critical, role in quantitatively assessing ultrastructural retinal injury in patients with sellar and parasellar lesions compressing the anterior visual pathway and should be incorporated into routine evaluation.
The molecular mechanisms involved in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generation are poorly understood. The cell death machinery of apoptosis-inducing caspases have been shown to facilitate the process of iPSCs reprogramming. However, the effect of other cell death processes, such as programmed necrosis (necroptosis), on iPSCs induction has not been studied. In this study, we investigated the role of receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3), an essential regulator of necroptosis, in reprogramming mouse embryonic fibroblast cells (MEFs) into iPSCs. RIP3 was found to be upregulated in iPSCs compared to MEFs. Deletion of RIP3 dramatically suppressed the reprogramming of iPSCs (~82%). RNA-seq analysis and qRT-PCR showed that RIP3 KO MEFs expressed lower levels of genes that control cell cycle progression and cell division and higher levels of extracellular matrix-regulating genes. The growth rate of RIP3 KO MEFs was significantly slower than WT MEFs. These findings can partially explain the inhibitory effects of RIP3 deletion on iPSCs generation and show for the first time that the necroptosis kinase RIP3 plays an important role in iPSC reprogramming. In contrast to RIP3, the kinase and scaffolding functions of RIPK1 appeared to have distinct effects on reprogramming.
PURPOSE: To determine the effects of age, sex, and race on the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in the normal human eye as measured by the spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) Spectralis machine (Heidelberg Engineering). METHODS: Peripapillary SD-OCT RNFL thickness measurements were determined in normal subjects seen at a university-based clinic. One randomly selected eye per subject was used for analysis in this cross-sectional study. Multiple regression analysis was applied to assess the effects of age, sex, ethnicity, and mean refractive error on peripapillary RNFL thickness. Results are expressed as means±SD wherever applicable. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 190 healthy participants from 9 to 86 years of age. Of the 190 participants, 62 (33%) were men, 125 (66%) Caucasians, 26 (14%) African Americans, 14 (7%) Hispanics, 16 (8%) Asians, and 9 (5%) other races. The mean RNFL thickness for the normal population studied was 97.3 ± 9.6 µm. Normal RNFL thickness values follow the ISNT rule with decreasing RNFL thickness values starting from the thickest quadrant inferiorly to the thinnest quadrant temporally: inferior quadrant (126 ± 15.8), superior quadrant (117.2±16.13), nasal quadrant (75 ± 13.9), and temporal quadrant (70.6 ± 10.8 µm). Thinner RNFL measurements were associated with older age (P<0.001); being Caucasian, versus being either Hispanic or Asian (P=0.02 and 0.009, respectively); or being more myopic (P<0.001). For every decade of increased age, mean RNFL thickness measured thinner by approximately 1.5 µm (95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.07). Comparisons between ethnic groups revealed that Caucasians had mean RNFL values (96 ± 9.2 µm) slightly thinner than those of Hispanics (102.9 ± 11 µm; P=0.02) or Asians (100.7 ± 8.5 µm; P=0.009). African Americans RNFL values (99.2 ± 10.2 µm) were not significantly different when compared with Caucasians. There was no relationship between RNFL thickness and sex. CONCLUSIONS: The thickest RNFL measurements were found in the inferior quadrant, followed by the superior, nasal, and temporal quadrants (ISNT rule applied to the RNFL). Thinner RNFL measurements were associated with older age and increasing myopia. Caucasians tend to have thinner RNFL values when compared with Hispanics and Asians. SD-OCT analysis of the normal RNFL showed results similar to time domain OCT studies.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a method for isolating, culturing, and characterizing cells from patient-derived membranes in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) to be used for drug testing. Methods: PVR membranes were obtained from six patients with grade C PVR. Membrane fragments were analyzed by gross evaluation, fixed for immunohistologic studies to establish cell identity, or digested with collagenase II to obtain single cell suspensions for culture. PVR-derived primary cultures were used to examine the effects of methotrexate (MTX) on proliferation, migration, and cell death. Results: Gross analysis of PVR membranes showed presence of pigmented cells, indicative of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Immunohistochemistry identified cells expressing α-smooth muscle actin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, Bestrophin-1, and F4/80, suggesting the presence of multiple cell types in PVR. Robust PVR primary cultures (C-PVR) were successfully obtained from human membranes, and these cells retained the expression of cell identity markers in culture. C-PVR cultures formed membranes and band-like structures in culture reminiscent of the human condition. MTX significantly reduced the proliferation and band formation of C-PVR, whereas it had no significant effect on cell migration. MTX also induced regulated cell death within C-PVR as assessed by increased expression of caspase-3/7. Conclusions: PVR cells obtained from human membranes can be successfully isolated, cultured, and profiled in vitro. Using these primary cultures, we identified MTX as capable of significantly reducing growth and inducing cell death of PVR cells in vitro.
The retinoschisin protein is encoded on the short arm of the X-chromosome by RS1, is expressed abundantly in photoreceptor inner segments and in bipolar cells, and is secreted as an octamer that maintains the structural integrity of the retina. Mutations in RS1 lead to X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS), a disease characterized by the formation of cystic spaces between boys' retinal layers that frequently present in ophthalmoscopy as a "spoke-wheel" pattern on their maculae and by progressively worsening visual acuity (VA). There is no proven therapy for XLRS, but there is mixed evidence that carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) produce multiple beneficial effects, including improved VA and decreased volume of cystic spaces. Consequently, linear mixed-effects (LME) models were used to evaluate the effects of CAI therapy on VA and central retinal thickness (CRT, a proxy for cystic cavity volume) in a review of 19 patients' records. The mechanism of action of action of CAIs is unclear but, given that misplaced retinoschisin might accumulate in the photoreceptors, it is possible-perhaps even likely-that CAIs act to benefit the function of photoreceptors and the neighboring retinal pigment epithelium by acidification of the extracellular milieu; patients on CAIs have among the most robust photoreceptor responses. Therefore, a small subset of five subjects were recruited for imaging on a custom multimodal adaptive optics retinal imager for inspection of their parafoveal cone photoreceptors. Those cones that were visible, which numbered far fewer than in controls, were enlarged, consistent with the retinoschisin accumulation hypothesis. Results of the LME modeling found that there is an initial benefit to both VA and CRT in CAI therapy, but these wane, in both cases, after roughly two years. That said, even a short beneficial effect of CAIs on the volume of the cystic spaces may give CAI therapy an important role as pretreatment before (or immediately following) administration of gene therapy.
Purpose: To assess retinal function in young patients with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS), a disorder that is known to alter ERG postreceptor retinal components and also possibly photoreceptor components. Methods: ERG responses to full-field stimuli were recorded under scotopic and photopic conditions in 12 XLRS patients aged 1 to 15 (median 8) years. A- and b-wave amplitudes and implicit times were examined over a range of stimulus intensities. Rod and cone photoreceptor (SROD, RROD, SCONE, RCONE) and rod-driven postreceptor (log σ, VMAX) response parameters were calculated from the a- and b-waves. Data from XLRS patients were evaluated for significant change with age. Results: A- and b-wave amplitudes were smaller in XLRS patients compared with controls under both scotopic and photopic conditions. Saturated photoresponse amplitude (RROD), postreceptor b-wave (log σ), and saturated b-wave amplitude (VMAX) were significantly lower in XLRS patients than in controls; SROD did not differ between the two groups. SCONE and RCONE values were normal. In XLRS patients, neither a- and b-wave amplitudes nor calculated parameters (SROD, RROD, log σ, VMAX,SCONE, and RCONE) changed with age. Conclusions: In these young XLRS patients, RROD and a-wave amplitudes were significantly smaller than in controls. Thus, in addition to XLRS causing postreceptor dysfunction, an effect of XLRS on rod photoreceptors cannot be ignored.
Importance: Individuals with autosomal dominant mutations for Alzheimer disease are valuable in determining biomarkers present prior to the onset of cognitive decline, improving the ability to diagnose Alzheimer disease as early as possible. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has surfaced as a potential noninvasive technique capable of analyzing central nervous system tissues for biomarkers of Alzheimer disease. Objective: To evaluate whether OCT can detect early retinal alterations in carriers of the presenilin 1 (PSEN1 [OMIM 104311]) E280A mutation who are cognitively unimpaired. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional imaging study conducted from July 13, 2015, to September 16, 2020, included 10 carriers of the PSEN1 E280A mutation who were cognitively unimpaired and 10 healthy noncarrier family members, all leveraged from a homogenous Colombian kindred. Statistical analysis was conducted from September 9, 2017, to September 16, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Mixed-effects multiple linear regression was performed to compare the thickness values of the whole retina and individual retinal layers on OCT scans between mutation carriers and noncarriers. Simple linear-effects and mixed-effects multiple linear regression models were used to assess whether age was an effect modifier for PSEN1 mutation of amyloid β levels and retinal thickness, respectively. Fundus photographs were used to compare the number of arterial and venous branch points, arterial and venous tortuosity, and fractal dimension. Results: This study included 10 carriers of the PSEN1 E280A mutation who were cognitively unimpaired (7 women [70%]; mean [SD] age, 36.3 [8.1] years) and 10 healthy noncarrier family members (7 women [70%]; mean [SD] age, 36.4 [8.2] years). Compared with noncarrier controls, PSEN1 mutation carriers who were cognitively unimpaired had a generalized decrease in thickness of the whole retina as well as individual layers detected on OCT scans, with the inner nuclear layer (outer superior quadrant, β = -3.06; P = .007; outer inferior quadrant, β = -2.60; P = .02), outer plexiform layer (outer superior quadrant, β = -3.44; P = .03), and outer nuclear layer (central quadrant, β = -8.61; P = .03; inner nasal quadrant, β = -8.39; P = .04; inner temporal quadrant, β = -9.39; P = .02) showing the greatest amount of statistically significant thinning. Age was a significant effect modifier for the association between PSEN1 mutation and amyloid β levels in cortical regions (β = 0.03; P = .001) but not for the association between PSEN1 mutation and retinal thickness. No statistical difference was detected in any of the vascular parameters studied. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that OCT can detect functional and morphologic changes in the retina of carriers of familial Alzheimer disease who are cognitively unimpaired several years before clinical onset, suggesting that OCT findings and retinal vascular parameters may be biomarkers prior to the onset of cognitive decline.
PURPOSE: Mutation of RGR, encoding retinal G-protein coupled receptor was originally reported in association with retinal dystrophy in 1999. A single convincing recessive variant segregated perfectly in one family of five affected and two unaffected siblings. At least one further individual, homozygous for the same variant has since been reported. The aim of this report was to reevaluate the findings in consideration of data from a whole genome sequencing (WGS) study of a large cohort of retinal dystrophy families. METHODS: Whole genome sequencing was performed on 599 unrelated probands with inherited retinal disease. Detailed phenotyping was performed, including clinical evaluation, electroretinography, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence imaging (FAF) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). RESULTS: Overall we confirmed that affected individuals from six unrelated families were homozygous for both the reported RGR p.Ser66Arg variant and a nearby frameshifting deletion in CDHR1 (p.Ile841Serfs119*). All had generalized rod and cone dysfunction with severe macular involvement. An additional proband was heterozygous for the same CDHR1/RGR haplotype but also carried a second null CDHR1 mutation on a different haplotype. A comparison of the clinical presentation of the probands reported here with other CDHR1-related retinopathy patients shows the phenotypes to be similar in presentation, severity, and rod/cone involvement. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the recessive retinal disorder previously reported to be due to homozygous mutation in RGR is, at least in part, due to variants in CDHR1 and that the true consequences of RGR knock-out on human retinal structure and function are yet to be determined.
We assessed the sustained delivery effect of poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA)/vitamin E (VitE) microspheres (MSs) loaded with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) alone (GDNF-MSs) or combined with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; GDNF/BDNF-MSs) on migration of the human adult retinal pigment epithelial cell-line-19 (ARPE-19) cells, primate choroidal endothelial (RF/6A) cells, and the survival of isolated mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The morphology of the MSs, particle size, and encapsulation efficiencies of the active substances were evaluated. In vitro release, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) cell viability, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) deoxyuridine dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) apoptosis, functional wound healing migration (ARPE-19; migration), and (RF/6A; angiogenesis) assays were conducted. The safety of MS intravitreal injection was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin, neuronal nuclei (NeuN) immunolabeling, and TUNEL assays, and RGC in vitro survival was analyzed. MSs delivered GDNF and co-delivered GDNF/BDNF in a sustained manner over 77 days. The BDNF/GDNF combination increased RPE cell migration, whereas no effect was observed on RF/6A. MSs did not alter cell viability, apoptosis was absent in vitro, and RGCs survived in vitro for seven weeks. In mice, retinal toxicity and apoptosis was absent in histologic sections. This delivery strategy could be useful as a potential co-therapy in retinal degenerations and glaucoma, in line with future personalized long-term intravitreal treatment as different amounts (doses) of microparticles can be administered according to patients' needs.
PURPOSE: We investigated the effects of a relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, short-term treatment with low-dose normobaric hyperoxia (NBH) on macular edema in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). METHODS: Participants with macular edema associated with RVO were treated with 5 LPM of NBH via facemask (40% fraction of inspired oxygen, FIO2) for 3 h. Patients with non-fovea involving edema who elected to be observed returned for a second treatment 1 month later to test reproducibility. RESULTS: A 3-h session of NBH (n = 45) resulted in decreased maximum macular thickness (MMT) (mean 7.10%, t=9.63 P<.001) and central macular thickness (CMT) (mean 4.64%, t=6.90, P<.001) when compared to untreated eyes with RVO measured over the same period of time (n = 12) or their healthy fellow eye (n = 34; MMT:t=-9.60, P<.001;CMT: t=-6.72, P<.001). Patients who had a second NBH treatment 1 month later experienced a recurrence of their edema, but demonstrated a similar significant reduction in MMT and CMT after the second NBH treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Three-hour treatment with 40% FIO2 NBH results in a significant reduction in MMT and CMT. This study supports an ischemic mechanism for macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Short-term low-dose normobaric hyperoxia is a simple, inexpensive, and ubiquitous treatment that may provide an alternate or adjunctive approach to treating macular edema in patients who are resistant to or cannot afford anti-VEGF medications.
Long intervening non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are increasingly being implicated as important factors in many aspects of cellular development, function, and disease, but remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine the human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) lincRNA transcriptome using RNA-Seq data generated from human fetal RPE (fRPE), RPE derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS-RPE), and undifferentiated iPS (iPS). In addition, we determine the suitability of iPS-RPE, from a transcriptome standpoint, as a model for use in future studies of lincRNA structure and function. A comparison of gene and isoform expression across the whole transcriptome shows only minimal differences between all sample types, though fRPE and iPS-RPE show higher concordance than either shows with iPS. Notably, RPE signature genes show the highest degree of fRPE to iPS-RPE concordance, indicating that iPS-RPE cells provide a suitable model for use in future studies. An analysis of lincRNAs demonstrates high concordance between fRPE and iPS-RPE, but low concordance between either RPE and iPS. While most lincRNAs are expressed at low levels (RPKM < 10), there is a high degree of concordance among replicates within each sample type, suggesting the expression is consistent, even at levels subject to high variability. Finally, we identified and annotated 180 putative novel genes in the fRPE samples, a majority of which are also expressed in the iPS-RPE. Overall, this study represents the first characterization of lincRNA expression in the human RPE, and provides a model for studying the role lincRNAs play in RPE development, function, and disease.
Microperimetry (MP) is used to assess visual sensitivity mediated by the central retina. As such, MP performance is a candidate outcome measure for gene therapy trials. Herein, we review MP results in three inherited retinal disorders for which gene therapy trials have been initiated-choroideremia, Stargardt disease, and X-linked juvenile retinoschisis. Each of these disorders typically presents in childhood and each has distinct effects on the central retina. Our review indicates that microperimetry is feasible in each of these conditions. The MP sensitivity maps vary among conditions consistent with known effects of each of the three conditions. There is, however, within each of the three disorders considerable variability in fixation stability and in the pattern of sensitivity loss. Microperimetry is a valuable tool for monitoring functional aspects of central retina in an individual patient, especially in combination with other modalities such as OCT, autofluorescence, and acuity and thus may contribute to evaluating the efficacy of gene treatments. Variability of the MP parameters raises some cautions in application of MP as an outcome measure in treatment trials that may have small sample sizes. Nonetheless, we suspect that MP will continue to have a rightful place in future gene therapy trials.
PURPOSE: To report the phenotypic and genotypic data of a patient with retinitis punctata albescens carrying a novel deletion in the RLBP1 gene. RESULTS: A woman of Iranian descent in her forties with a history of progressive visual deterioration since early childhood exhibited phenotypic features of retinitis punctata albescens with multiple white dots in the posterior pole and macular atrophy in both eyes. The microarray analysis identified a ∼2.160 kb homozygous deletion corresponding to a minimum deletion boundary of chr15q26.1:89,756,882-89,759,041/GRCh37 (hg19), which encompasses exon 6 of the RLBP1 gene. CONCLUSION: We describe a novel large homozygous deletion in the RLBP1 gene encoding the cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein in a patient of Iranian descent with retinitis punctata albescens. Genotype-phenotype studies may provide more information about the functions of the RLBP1 encoding proteins and the disease course, because RLBP1 mutations are associated with high phenotypic variability and are therefore a necessity for future tailored individual therapies.
There are various treatments for cystoid macular edema (CME) secondary to retinitis pigmentosa (RP); however, the evidence for these treatments has not been previously systematically reviewed. Our review that includes 23 studies shows that oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI) (including acetazolamide, methazolamide) and topical CAI (dorzolamide and brinzolamide) are effective first line treatments. In patients unresponsive to CAI treatment, intravitreal steroids (triamcinolone acetonide and sustained-release dexamethasone implant), oral corticosteroid (Deflazacort), intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents (ranibizumab and bevacizumab), grid laser photocoagulation, pars plana vitrectomy, or ketorolac were also effective in improving CME secondary to RP. Oral acetazolamide has the strongest clinical basis for treatment and was superior to topical dorzolamide. Rebound of CME was commonly seen in the long term, regardless of the choice of treatment. Oral acetazolamide should be the first line treatment in CME secondary to RP. Topical dorzolamide is an appropriate alternative in patients intolerant to adverse effects of oral acetazolamide. More studies are required to investigate the management of rebound CME.
BACKGROUND: To describe the clinical presentation and characteristic imaging features of deep retinal haemorrhages primarily located in the Henle fibre layer (HFL) of the macula. The spectrum of aetiologies and a comprehensive theory of pathogenesis are presented. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multicentre case series evaluating eyes with retinal haemorrhage in HFL. Clinical features, underlying aetiology, systemic and ocular risk factors, visual acuity, and multimodal imaging including fundus photography and cross-sectional and en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) are presented. RESULTS: Retinal haemorrhages localised to HFL in 33 eyes from 23 patients were secondary to acute blunt trauma to the head (n=2), eye (n=1) and trunk (n=1), ruptured intracranial aneurysm (Terson's syndrome, n=3), general anaesthesia (n=1), epidural anaesthesia (n=1), hypertension with anaemia (n=1), decompression retinopathy (n=1), postvitrectomy with intraocular gas (n=1), retinal vein occlusion (n=7), myopic degeneration (n=2), macular telangiectasia type 2 (n=1), and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (n=1). Defining clinical features included deep retinal haemorrhage with feathery margin and petaloid pattern radiating from the fovea. OCT demonstrated characteristic hyper-reflectivity from the haemorrhage delineated by obliquely oriented fibres in the Henle layer. Spontaneous resolution of HFL haemorrhage occurred after 3 months in 15 patients with follow-up. CONCLUSION: The characteristic petaloid-shaped, deep intraretinal haemorrhage with a feathery margin localised to HFL is associated with various disorders. The terminology 'Henle fiber layer hemorrhage (HH)' is proposed to describe the clinical and OCT findings, which may result from abnormal retinal venous pressure from systemic or local retinovascular disorders affecting the deep capillary plexus or from choroidal vascular abnormalities.
There are multiple surgical approaches to the repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). Here, we evaluated the outcomes of small-gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), alone or in combination with scleral buckle (SB-PPV), for RRD repair using a standardized technique by 3 vitreoretinal surgeons: "extensive" removal of the vitreous with scleral depression and dynamic examination of the peripheral retina. One hundred eighty seven eyes of 180 consecutive patients treated for primary RRD by three vitreoretinal surgeons at a tertiary academic medical center from September 2015 to March 2018 were analyzed. Most RRDs occurred in males (134 [71.3%] eyes), affected the left eye (102 [54.3%]), and were phakic (119 [63.3%]). PPV alone was performed in 159 eyes (84.6%), with a combined SB-PPV used in the remaining 29 eyes (15.4%); focal endolaser was used in all (100%) cases. The single surgery anatomic success rate was 186 eyes (99.5%) at 3 months, and 187 (100%) at last follow up. Overall best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) had significantly improved at 3 months ([Snellen 20/47] P<0.00005) and last follow up ([Snellen 20/31] P<0.00005), as compared to day of presentation ([Snellen 20/234]). Our findings suggest that "extensive" removal of the vitreous and dynamic peripheral examination with scleral depression may lead to high single surgery success in primary uncomplicated RRD repair.
LOXL1 (lysyl oxidase-like 1) has been identified as the major effect locus in pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome, a fibrotic disorder of the extracellular matrix and frequent cause of chronic open-angle glaucoma. However, all known PEX-associated common variants show allele effect reversal in populations of different ancestry, casting doubt on their biological significance. Based on extensive LOXL1 deep sequencing, we report here the identification of a common noncoding sequence variant, rs7173049A>G, located downstream of LOXL1, consistently associated with a decrease in PEX risk (OR=0.63, p=6.33x10-31) in nine different ethnic populations. We provide experimental evidence for a functional enhancer-like regulatory activity of the genomic region surrounding rs7173049 influencing expression levels of ISLR2 (immunoglobulin superfamily containing leucine-rich repeat protein 2) and STRA6 (stimulated by retinoic acid receptor 6), apparently mediated by allele-specific binding of the transcription factor THRβ (thyroid hormone receptor beta). We further show that the protective rs7173049-G allele correlates with increased tissue expression levels of ISLR2 and STRA6 and that both genes are significantly downregulated in tissues of PEX patients together with other key components of the STRA6 receptor-driven retinoic acid signaling pathway. siRNA-mediated downregulation of retinoic acid signaling induces upregulation of LOXL1 and PEX-associated matrix genes in PEX-relevant cell types. These data indicate that dysregulation of STRA6 and impaired retinoid metabolismare involved in the pathophysiology of PEX syndrome and that the variant rs7173049-G, which represents the first common variant at the broad LOXL1 locus without allele effect reversal, mediates a protective effect through upregulation of STRA6 in ocular tissues.