Retinal Degenerations

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Ma G, Duan Y, Huang X, Qian CX, Chee Y, Mukai S, Cui J, Samad A, Matsubara JA, Kazlauskas A, D'Amore PA, Gu S, Lei H. Prevention of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy by Suppression of Phosphatidylinositol 5-Phosphate 4-Kinases. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(8):3935-43.Abstract

PURPOSE: Previous studies have shown that vitreous stimulates degradation of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and that knockdown of phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinases (PI5P4Kα and -β) abrogates proliferation of p53-deficient cells. The purpose of this study was to determine whether vitreous stimulated expression of PI5P4Kα and -β and whether suppression of PI5P4Kα and -β would inhibit vitreous-induced cellular responses and experimental proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). METHODS: PI5P4Kα and -β encoded by PIP4K2A and 2B, respectively, in human ARPE-19 cells were knocked down by stably expressing short hairpin (sh)RNA directed at human PIP4K2A and -2B. In addition, we rescued expression of PI5P4Kα and -β by re-expressing mouse PIP4K2A and -2B in the PI5P4Kα and -β knocked-down ARPE-19 cells. Expression of PI5P4Kα and -β was determined by Western blot and immunofluorescence. The following cellular responses were monitored: cell proliferation, survival, migration, and contraction. Moreover, the cell potential of inducing PVR was examined in a rabbit model of PVR effected by intravitreal cell injection. RESULTS: We found that vitreous enhanced expression of PI5P4Kα and -β in RPE cells and that knocking down PI5P4Kα and -β abrogated vitreous-stimulated cell proliferation, survival, migration, and contraction. Re-expression of mouse PIP4Kα and -β in the human PI5P4Kα and -β knocked-down cells recovered the loss of vitreous-induced cell contraction. Importantly, suppression of PI5P4Kα and -β abrogated the pathogenesis of PVR induced by intravitreal cell injection in rabbits. Moreover, we revealed that expression of PI5P4Kα and -β was abundant in epiretinal membranes from PVR grade C patients. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study indicate that PI5P4Kα and -β could be novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of PVR.

Marsiglia M, Lee W, Mahajan VB, Zernant J, Delori FC, Tsang SH, Sparrow JR. Quantitative autofluorescence as a clinical tool for expedited differential diagnosis of retinal degeneration. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(2):219-20.
Mehta M, Rasheed RA, Duker J, Reichel E, Feinberg E, Husain D, Foster CS, Laver NV. Vitreous evaluation: a diagnostic challenge. Ophthalmology 2015;122(3):531-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To categorize vitrectomy cytologic diagnoses and ancillary tests to address appropriate processing of low-volume vitreous samples. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand seven hundred thirty-six vitreous samples. METHODS: Cytologic diagnoses of therapeutic and diagnostic vitrectomy samples and their processing protocols from 3 teaching institutions were reviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Diagnostic results were categorized as negative for malignancy, suspicious for malignancy, and positive for malignancy. All ancillary studies performed were documented, including special stains, immunohistochemistry analysis, cytokine levels, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. RESULTS: Of the 5736 vitreous samples analyzed, 4683 (81.64%) were from Tufts Medical Center (TMC), 955 (16.65%) were from Boston Medical Center (BMC), and 98 (1.70%) were from Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution (MERSI). Cases from TMC and BMC were therapeutic and diagnostic vitrectomies, and MERSI cases were diagnostic vitrectomies. Most vitrectomies showed negative results for malignancy: 99.47% of TMC cases, 99.89% of BMC cases, and 79.6% of MERSI cases. These included vitreous hemorrhage and inflammatory or infectious findings. Ancillary studies performed in this category included Periodic Acid-Schiff staining for fungi, PCR analysis for toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus I and II, and vitreous cultures for infections (coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, Candida, Fusarium, and Propionibacterium species). Interleukin (IL) 10-to-IL-6 ratios were performed on 38.7% of cases from MERSI. Fourteen cases from TMC were suspicious for malignancy based on cytologic evaluation. Eleven cases from TMC, 1 case from BMC, and 20 cases from MERSI showed positive results for malignancy and included B-cell lymphoma, retinoblastoma, melanoma, and metastatic adenocarcinoma. The ancillary testing included PCR for heavy chain immunoglobulin gene rearrangements, immunohistochemistry for EBV, in situ hybridization for κ and λ light chains, and cytogenetics. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest data pool of reported cytologic diagnoses of diagnostic and therapeutic vitrectomy samples. Cytologic evaluation of therapeutic vitrectomy samples provides a valuable baseline of nonpathologic findings that assist in differentiation between malignancy, infections, and inflammatory conditions. Allocation of small-volume vitreous samples to select ancillary testing from the plethora of available diagnostic tests requires preoperative communication between surgeons and pathologists to ensure appropriate and timely treatment methods.

Modjtahedi BS, Rong A, Bobinski M, McGahan J, Morse LS. Imaging characteristics of intraocular foreign bodies: a comparative study of plain film X-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. Retina 2015;35(1):95-104.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the imaging features of common intraocular foreign bodies (IOFBs) and the ability to differentiate types of IOFBs. METHODS: Four-mm IOFBs were inserted via through pars plana approach into cadaveric lamb eyes. Six metallic (aluminum, brass, copper, silver, steel, and lead) and seven nonmetallic (plastic [CF6 spectacle plastic and polyvinyl chloride pipe], glass [bottle glass and windshield glass], wood [dry and wet poplar], and stone [slate]) IOFBs were imaged using plain film x-ray, computed tomography scan, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (T1, T2, and gradient echo sequences). RESULTS: Plain film x-ray had limited ability to differentiate most IOFBs. Computed tomography findings can be divided into low attenuation objects (wood), moderate attenuation (CF6 spectacle plastic), high attenuation without surrounding artifact (polyvinyl chloride, slate, bottle glass, windshield glass, and aluminum), high attenuation with shadow artifact and minimal edge streak artifact (steel, brass, copper), and high attenuation with significant shadow artifact and prominent streak artifact (silver and lead). Density (in Hounsfield units) aided in differentiating the types of IOFBs. Gradient echo sequences on magnetic resonance imaging also held utility. Ultrasound images had considerable overlap in appearances. CONCLUSION: Imaging techniques can significantly aid in determining the IOFBs type, with computed tomography serving as the best initial modality. X-ray holds limited utility while ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are best reserved as adjunctive tests.

Moos WH, Faller DV, Glavas IP, Harpp DN, Kamperi N, Kanara I, Kodukula K, Mavrakis AN, Pernokas J, Pernokas M, Pinkert CA, Powers WR, Sampani K, Steliou K, Tamvakopoulos C, Vavvas DG, Zamboni RJ, Chen XH. Treatment and prevention of pathological mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal degeneration and in photoreceptor injury. Biochem Pharmacol 2022;203:115168.Abstract
Pathological deterioration of mitochondrial function is increasingly linked with multiple degenerative illnesses as a mediator of a wide range of neurologic and age-related chronic diseases, including those of genetic origin. Several of these diseases are rare, typically defined in the United States as an illness affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. population, or about one in 1600 individuals. Vision impairment due to mitochondrial dysfunction in the eye is a prominent feature evident in numerous primary mitochondrial diseases and is common to the pathophysiology of many of the familiar ophthalmic disorders, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinopathy of prematurity - a collection of syndromes, diseases and disorders with significant unmet medical needs. Focusing on metabolic mitochondrial pathway mechanisms, including the possible roles of cuproptosis and ferroptosis in retinal mitochondrial dysfunction, we shed light on the potential of α-lipoyl-L-carnitine in treating eye diseases. α-Lipoyl-L-carnitine is a bioavailable mitochondria-targeting lipoic acid prodrug that has shown potential in protecting against retinal degeneration and photoreceptor cell loss in ophthalmic indications.
Mukai R, Park DH, Okunuki Y, Hasegawa E, Klokman G, Kim CB, Krishnan A, Gregory-Ksander M, Husain D, Miller JW, Connor KM. Mouse model of ocular hypertension with retinal ganglion cell degeneration. PLoS One 2019;14(1):e0208713.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Ocular hypertension is a primary risk factor for glaucoma and results in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration. Current animal models of glaucoma lack severe RGC cell death as seen in glaucoma, making assessment of physiological mediators of cell death difficult. We developed a modified mouse model of ocular hypertension whereby long-lasting elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) is achieved, resulting in significant reproducible damage to RGCs. RESULTS: In this model, microbeads are mixed with hyaluronic acid and injected into the anterior chamber of C57BL/6J mice. The hyaluronic acid allows for a gradual release of microbeads, resulting in sustained blockage of Schlemm's canal. IOP elevation was bimodal during the course of the model's progression. The first peak occurred 1 hours after beads injection, with an IOP value of 44.69 ± 6.00 mmHg, and the second peak occurred 6-12 days post-induction, with an IOP value of 34.91 ± 5.21 mmHg. RGC damage was most severe in the peripheral retina, with a loss of 64.1% compared to that of untreated eyes, while the midperiphery exhibited a 32.4% loss, 4 weeks following disease induction. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that sustained IOP elevation causes more RGC damage in the periphery than in the midperiphery of the retina. This model yields significant and reproducible RGC degeneration.
Murakami Y, Notomi S, Hisatomi T, Nakazawa T, Ishibashi T, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Photoreceptor cell death and rescue in retinal detachment and degenerations. Prog Retin Eye Res 2013;37:114-40.Abstract
Photoreceptor cell death is the ultimate cause of vision loss in various retinal disorders, including retinal detachment (RD). Photoreceptor cell death has been thought to occur mainly through apoptosis, which is the most characterized form of programmed cell death. The caspase family of cysteine proteases plays a central role for inducing apoptosis, and in experimental models of RD, dying photoreceptor cells exhibit caspase activation; however, there is a paradox that caspase inhibition alone does not provide a sufficient protection against photoreceptor cell loss, suggesting that other mechanisms of cell death are involved. Recent accumulating evidence demonstrates that non-apoptotic forms of cell death, such as autophagy and necrosis, are also regulated by specific molecular machinery, such as those mediated by autophagy-related proteins and receptor-interacting protein kinases, respectively. Here we summarize the current knowledge of cell death signaling and its roles in photoreceptor cell death after RD and other retinal degenerative diseases. A body of studies indicate that not only apoptotic but also autophagic and necrotic signaling are involved in photoreceptor cell death, and that combined targeting of these pathways may be an effective neuroprotective strategy for retinal diseases associated with photoreceptor cell loss.
Murakami Y, Matsumoto H, Roh M, Giani A, Kataoka K, Morizane Y, Kayama M, Thanos A, Nakatake S, Notomi S, Hisatomi T, Ikeda Y, Ishibashi T, Connor KM, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Programmed necrosis, not apoptosis, is a key mediator of cell loss and DAMP-mediated inflammation in dsRNA-induced retinal degeneration. Cell Death Differ 2014;21(2):270-7.Abstract
There is no known treatment for the dry form of an age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cell death and inflammation are important biological processes thought to have central role in AMD. Here we show that receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase mediates necrosis and enhances inflammation in a mouse model of retinal degeneration induced by dsRNA, a component of drusen in AMD. In contrast to photoreceptor-induced apoptosis, subretinal injection of the dsRNA analog poly(I : C) caused necrosis of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), as well as macrophage infiltration into the outer retinas. In Rip3(-/-) mice, both necrosis and inflammation were prevented, providing substantial protection against poly(I : C)-induced retinal degeneration. Moreover, after poly(I : C) injection, Rip3(-/-) mice displayed decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as TNF-α and IL-6) in the retina, and attenuated intravitreal release of high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1), a major damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP). In vitro, poly(I : C)-induced necrosis were inhibited in Rip3-deficient RPE cells, which in turn suppressed HMGB1 release and dampened TNF-α and IL-6 induction evoked by necrotic supernatants. On the other hand, Rip3 deficiency did not modulate directly TNF-α and IL-6 production after poly(I : C) stimulation in RPE cells or macrophages. Therefore, programmed necrosis is crucial in dsRNA-induced retinal degeneration and may promote inflammation by regulating the release of intracellular DAMPs, suggesting novel therapeutic targets for diseases such as AMD.
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Ning K, Song E, Sendayen BE, Prosseda PP, Chang K-C, Ghaffarieh A, Alvarado JA, Wang B, Haider KM, Berbari NF, Hu Y, Sun Y. Defective INPP5E distribution in NPHP1-related Senior-Loken syndrome. Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020;:e1566.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Senior-Loken syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that presents with nephronophthisis and retinal degeneration, leading to end-stage renal disease and progressive blindness. The most frequent cause of juvenile nephronophthisis is a mutation in the nephronophthisis type 1 (NPHP1) gene. NPHP1 encodes the protein nephrocystin-1, which functions at the transition zone (TZ) of primary cilia. METHODS: We report a 9-year-old Senior-Loken syndrome boy with NPHP1 deletion, who presents with bilateral vision decrease and cystic renal disease. Renal function deteriorated to require bilateral nephrectomy and renal transplant. We performed immunohistochemistry, H&E staining, and electron microscopy on the renal sample to determine the subcellular distribution of ciliary proteins in the absence of NPHP1. RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy of the resected kidney showed disorganized cystic structures with loss of cilia in renal tubules. Phosphoinositides have been recently recognized as critical components of the ciliary membrane and immunostaining of kidney sections for phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase, INPP5E, showed loss of staining compared to healthy control. Ophthalmic examination showed decreased electroretinogram consistent with early retinal degeneration. CONCLUSION: The decreased expression of INPP5E specifically in the primary cilium, coupled with disorganized cilia morphology, suggests a novel role of NPHP1 that it is involved in regulating ciliary phosphoinositide composition in the ciliary membrane of renal tubular cells.
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Papavasileiou E, Miller JB, Sobrin L. SWEPT-SOURCE OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY FINDINGS IN CONVALESCENT PHASE OF TREATED SARCOID CHOROIDAL GRANULOMAS. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2016;10(1):32-6.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report swept-source optical coherence tomography findings of sarcoid choroidal granulomas in the posttreatment convalescent stage of disease. PATIENTS/METHODS: The authors retrospectively reviewed charts from patients with sarcoid-related choroidal granulomas and recorded pertinent examination and imaging findings. Swept-source optical coherence tomography was performed using the DRI 3D-OCT-1 Atlantis (Topcon) over the areas of previous choroidal granulomas after the patients had been treated. RESULTS: Three patients with sarcoid choroidal granulomas were imaged with swept-source optical coherence tomography. Findings included loss or alteration of choroidal architecture, subretinal fibrosis, and outer retinal tubulations in the areas of the sarcoid granulomas after treatment. In one case with an associated choroidal neovascular membrane, there was also disruption of Bruch membrane and loss of normal choroidal vascular network in the area of the lesion. CONCLUSION: Swept-source optical coherence tomography demonstrated significant anatomical sequelae that persisted after treatment of sarcoid granulomas. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of outer retinal tubulations over healed sarcoid granulomas.

Paschalis EI, Eliott D, Vavvas DG. Removal of Silicone Oil From Intraocular Lens Using Novel Surgical Materials. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2014;3(5):4.Abstract

PURPOSE: To design, fabricate, and evaluate novel materials to remove silicone oil (SiO) droplets from intraocular lenses (IOL) during vitreoretinal surgery. METHODS: Three different designs were fabricated using soft lithography of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), three-dimensional (3D) inverse PDMS fabrication using water dissolvable particles, and atomic layer deposition (ALD) of alumina (Al2O3) on surgical cellulose fibers. Laboratory tests included static and dynamic contact angle (CA) measurements with water and SiO, nondestructive x-ray microcomputer tomography (micro-CT), and microscopy. SiO removal was performed in vitro and ex vivo using implantable IOLs and explanted porcine eyes. RESULTS: All designs exhibited enhanced hydrophobicity and oleophilicity. Static CA measurements with water ranged from 131° to 160° and with SiO CA approximately 0° in 120 seconds following exposure. Nondestructive x-ray analysis of the 3D PDMS showed presence of interconnected polydispersed porosity of 100 to 300 μm in diameter. SiO removal from IOLs was achieved in vitro and ex vivo using standard 20-G vitrectomy instrumentation. CONCLUSION: Removal of SiO from IOLs can be achieved using materials with lower surface energy than that of the IOLs. This can be achieved using appropriate surface chemistry and surface topography. Three designs, with enhanced hydrophobic properties, were fabricated and tested in vitro and ex vivo. All materials remove SiO within an aqueous environment. Preliminary ex vivo results were very promising, opening new possibilities for SiO removal in vitreoretinal surgeries. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: This is the first report of an instrument that can lead to successful removal of SiO from the surface of IOL. In addition to the use of this instrument/material in medicine it can also be used in the industry, for example, retrieval of oil spills from bodies of water.

Patel M, Vavvas DG. Spontaneous resolution of a postvitrectomy macular hole retinal detachment. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2014;8(3):161-3.Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this report was to describe a case of spontaneous resolution of a large postvitrectomy macular hole retinal detachment. METHODS: Case report and optical coherence tomography imaging. RESULTS: A 64-year-old man with history of macula-off retinal detachment and 4 previous vitrectomies in the left eye developed a macular hole and associated retinal detachment 3 months after his last vitreoretinal surgery. Two months later, examination revealed that the macular hole had spontaneously closed, and the retinal detachment had resolved. CONCLUSION: Spontaneous resolution of macular hole-associated retinal detachment in a previously vitrectomized eye has not been reported previously. Changes in tangential traction by the associated epiretinal membrane, improvement of the cystoid changes noted at the edge of the macular hole, and/or proliferation of glial tissue to bridge the hole, along with the absorption of the subretinal fluid by the retinal pigment epithelium pump contributed to this rare event have been hyphothesized.

Pawlyk BS, Bulgakov OV, Sun X, Adamian M, Shu X, Smith AJ, Berson EL, Ali RR, Khani S, Wright AF, Sandberg MA, Li T. Photoreceptor rescue by an abbreviated human RPGR gene in a murine model of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. Gene Ther 2016;23(2):196-204.Abstract

The X-linked RP3 gene codes for the ciliary protein RPGR and accounts for over 10% of inherited retinal degenerations. The critical RPGR-ORF15 splice variant contains a highly repetitive purine-rich linker region that renders it unstable and difficult to adapt for gene therapy. To test the hypothesis that the precise length of the linker region is not critical for function, we evaluated whether adeno-associated virus-mediated replacement gene therapy with a human ORF15 variant containing in-frame shortening of the linker region could reconstitute RPGR function in vivo. We delivered human RPGR-ORF15 replacement genes with deletion of most (314 codons, 'short form') or 1/3 (126 codons, 'long form') of the linker region to Rpgr null mice. Human RPGR-ORF15 expression was detected post treatment with both forms of ORF15 transgenes. However, only the long form correctly localized to the connecting cilia and led to significant functional and morphological rescue of rods and cones. Thus the highly repetitive region of RPGR is functionally important but that moderate shortening of its length, which confers the advantage of added stability, preserves its function. These findings provide a theoretical basis for optimizing replacement gene design in clinical trials for X-linked RP3.

Pennock S, Haddock LJ, Mukai S, Kazlauskas A. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Acts Primarily via Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor α to Promote Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Am J Pathol 2014;Abstract

Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a nonneovascular blinding disease and the leading cause for failure in surgical repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. Once formed, PVR is difficult to treat. Hence, there is an acute interest in developing approaches to prevent PVR. Of the many growth factors and cytokines that accumulate in vitreous as PVR develops, neutralizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A has recently been found to prevent PVR in at least one animal model. The goal of this study was to test if Food and Drug Administration-approved agents could protect the eye from PVR in multiple animal models and to further investigate the underlying mechanisms. Neutralizing VEGF with aflibercept (VEGF Trap-Eye) safely and effectively protected rabbits from PVR in multiple models of disease. Furthermore, aflibercept reduced the bioactivity of both experimental and clinical PVR vitreous. Finally, although VEGF could promote some PVR-associated cellular responses via VEGF receptors expressed on the retinal pigment epithelial cells that drive this disease, VEGF's major contribution to vitreal bioactivity occurred via platelet-derived growth factor receptor α. Thus, VEGF promotes PVR by a noncanonical ability to engage platelet-derived growth factor receptor α. These findings indicate that VEGF contributes to nonangiogenic diseases and that anti-VEGF-based therapies may be effective on a wider spectrum of diseases than previously appreciated.

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Rosales MAB, Shu DY, Iacovelli J, Saint-Geniez M. Correction: Loss of PGC-1α in RPE induces mesenchymal transition and promotes retinal degeneration. Life Sci Alliance 2019;2(3)
Rosales MAB, Shu DY, Iacovelli J, Saint-Geniez M. Loss of PGC-1α in RPE induces mesenchymal transition and promotes retinal degeneration. Life Sci Alliance 2019;2(3)Abstract
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) supports visual processing and photoreceptor homeostasis via energetically demanding cellular functions. Here, we describe the consequences of repressing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1 α (PGC-1α), a master regulator of mitochondrial function and biogenesis, on RPE epithelial integrity. The sustained silencing of PGC-1α in differentiating human RPE cells affected mitochondria/autophagy function, redox state, and impaired energy sensor activity ultimately inducing epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Adult conditional knockout of PGC-1 coactivators in mice resulted in rapid RPE dysfunction and transdifferentiation associated with severe photoreceptor degeneration. RPE anomalies were characteristic of autophagic defect and mesenchymal transition comparable with the ones observed in age-related macular degeneration. These findings demonstrate that PGC-1α is required to maintain the functional and phenotypic status of RPE by supporting the cells' oxidative metabolism and autophagy-mediated repression of EMT.
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Sahin O, Ziaei A. 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.Abstract
PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate whether the antiinflammatory and antiproliferative activity of oral and intravitreal methotrexate (MTX) suppresses intraocular inflammation in patients with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis and presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis. METHODS: Interventional prospective study including three cases with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis treated with intravenous penicillin and oral MTX, and two cases with presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis treated with standard antituberculosis therapy and intravitreal MTX injections. Treatment efficacy of all cases was assessed by best-corrected visual acuity, fundus fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography. RESULTS: Four eyes of 3 patients with presumed latent syphilitic uveitis had improved best-corrected visual acuity, suppression of intraocular inflammation, and resolution of cystoid macular edema in 6 months with oral MTX therapy. No recurrence of intraocular inflammation was observed in 6 months to 18 months of follow-up period after cessation of MTX. Two eyes of two patients with presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis showed improved best-corrected visual acuity, suppression of intraocular inflammation, and resolution of cystoid macular edema after intravitreal injections of MTX. No recurrence of intraocular inflammation was observed in 6 months to 8 months of follow-up period after cessation of antituberculous therapy. CONCLUSION: For the first time in the treatment of presumed latent syphilitic uveitis and presumed tuberculosis-related uveitis, we believe that MTX might have an adjunctive role to suppress intraocular inflammation, reduce uveitic macular edema, and prevent the recurrences of the diseases.
Sandberg MA, Pearce EN, Harper S, Weigel-DiFranco C, Hart L, Rosner B, Berson EL. The relationship of central foveal thickness to urinary iodine concentration in retinitis pigmentosa with or without cystoid macular edema. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(10):1209-14.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Current treatments for cystoid macular edema (CME) in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are not always effective, may lead to adverse effects, and may not restore visual acuity. The present research lays the rationale for evaluating whether an iodine supplement could reduce CME in RP. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether central foveal thickness (CFT) in the presence of CME is related to dietary iodine intake inferred from urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in nonsmoking adults with RP. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a cross-sectional observational study of 212 nonsmoking patients aged 18 to 69 years referred to our institution for RP with visual acuity of no worse than 20/200 in at least 1 eye. EXPOSURE: Retinitis pigmentosa with or without CME. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: With the eye as the unit of analysis, the relationship of log CFT measured by optical coherence tomography to UIC measured from multiple spot samples and represented as a 3-level classification variable (<100, 100-199, and ≥200 µg/L), assigning greater weight to patients with more reliable UIC estimates. RESULTS: Analyses were limited to 199 patients after excluding 11 who failed to return urine samples for measuring UIC and 2 outliers for UIC. Of the 199 patients, 36.2% had CME in 1 or both eyes. Although log CFT was inversely related to UIC based on findings from all eyes (P = .02), regression of log CFT on UIC separately for eyes with and without CME showed a strong inverse significant relationship for the former group (P < .001) and no significant relationship for the latter group (P = .66) as tested. For the eyes with CME, CFT ranged from a geometric mean of 267 µm for a median UIC of less than 100 µg/L to a geometric mean of 172 µm for a median UIC of 200 µg/L or greater. In contrast, we found no significant association between CME prevalence and UIC based on the entire sample as tested (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.38-2.67]; P = .99). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: A higher UIC in nonsmoking adults with RP was significantly associated with less central foveal swelling in eyes with CME. Additional study is required to determine whether an iodine supplement can limit or reduce the extent of CME in patients with RP.

Scott HA, Larson A, Rong SS, Mehrotra S, Butcher R, Chao KR, Wiggs JL, Place EM, Pierce EA, Bujakowska KM. A hidden structural variation in a known IRD gene: a cautionary tale of two new disease candidate genes. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2022;8(2)Abstract
Rod-cone dystrophy (RCD), also known as retinitis pigmentosa, is an inherited condition leading to vision loss, affecting 1 in 3500 people. More than 270 genes are known to be implicated in the inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), yet genetic diagnosis for ∼30% of IRD of patients remains elusive despite advances in sequencing technologies. The goal of this study was to determine the genetic causality in a family with RCD. Family members were given a full ophthalmic exam at the Retinal Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and consented to genetic testing. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed and variants of interest were Sanger-validated. Functional assays were conducted in zebrafish along with splicing assays in relevant cell lines to determine the impact on retinal function. WES identified variants in two potential candidate genes that segregated with disease: GNL3 (G Protein Nucleolar 3) c.1187 + 3A > C and c.1568-8C > A; and PDE4DIP (Phosphodiester 4D Interacting Protein) c.3868G > A (p.Glu1290Lys) and c.4603G > A (p.Ala1535Thr). Both genes were promising candidates based on their retinal involvement (development and interactions with IRD-associated proteins); however, the functional assays did not validate either gene. Subsequent WES reanalysis with an updated bioinformatics pipeline and widened search parameters led to the detection of a 94-bp duplication in PRPF31 (pre-mRNA Processing Factor 31) c.73_266dup (p.Asp56GlyfsTer33) as the causal variant. Our study demonstrates the importance of thorough functional characterization of new disease candidate genes and the value of reanalyzing next-generation sequencing sequence data, which in our case led to identification of a hidden pathogenic variant in a known IRD gene.
Shi C, Yuan X, Chang K, Cho K-S, Xie XS, Chen DF, Luo G. Optimization of Optomotor Response-based Visual Function Assessment in Mice. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):9708.Abstract
Optomotor response/reflex (OMR) assays are emerging as a powerful and versatile tool for phenotypic study and new drug discovery for eye and brain disorders. Yet efficient OMR assessment for visual performance in mice remains a challenge. Existing OMR testing devices for mice require a lengthy procedure and may be subject to bias due to use of artificial criteria. We developed an optimized staircase protocol that utilizes mouse head pausing behavior as a novel indicator for the absence of OMR, to allow rapid and unambiguous vision assessment. It provided a highly sensitive and reliable method that can be easily implemented into automated or manual OMR systems to allow quick and unbiased assessment for visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in mice. The sensitivity and quantitative capacity of the protocol were validated using wild type mice and an inherited mouse model of retinal degeneration - mice carrying rhodopsin deficiency and exhibiting progressive loss of photoreceptors. Our OMR system with this protocol was capable of detecting progressive visual function decline that was closely correlated with the loss of photoreceptors in rhodopsin deficient mice. It provides significant advances over the existing methods in the currently available OMR devices in terms of sensitivity, accuracy and efficiency.

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