Publications

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Ahangari N, Munoz DG, Coulombe J, Gray DA, Engle EC, Cheng L, Woulfe J. Nuclear IMPDH Filaments in Human Gliomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021;Abstract
The analysis of nuclear morphology plays an important role in glioma diagnosis and grading. We previously described intranuclear rods (rods) labeled with the SDL.3D10 monoclonal antibody against class III beta-tubulin (TUBB3) in human ependymomas. In a cohort of adult diffuse gliomas, we identified nuclear rods in 71.1% of IDH mutant lower-grade gliomas and 13.7% of IDH wild-type glioblastomas (GBMs). The presence of nuclear rods was associated with significantly longer postoperative survival in younger (≤65) GBM patients. Consistent with this, nuclear rods were mutually exclusive with Ki67 staining and their prevalence in cell nuclei inversely correlated with the Ki67 proliferation index. In addition, rod-containing nuclei showed a relative depletion of lamin B1, suggesting a possible association with senescence. To gain insight into their functional significance, we addressed their antigenic properties. Using a TUBB3-null mouse model, we demonstrate that the SDL.3D10 antibody does not bind TUBB3 in rods but recognizes an unknown antigen. In the present study, we show that rods show immunoreactivity for the nucleotide synthesizing enzymes inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) and cytidine triphosphate synthetase. By analogy with the IMPDH filaments that have been described previously, we postulate that rods regulate the activity of nucleotide-synthesizing enzymes in the nucleus by sequestration, with important implications for glioma behavior.
Ahmed AH, Foster SC, Shields CL. Association of Disease Location and Treatment With Survival in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma of the Eye and Ocular Adnexal Region. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(10):1062-1068.Abstract
Importance: Primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the ocular region is rare, and the utility of surgery and radiation therapy remains unresolved. Objective: To explore the clinical characteristics and determine factors associated with overall survival in primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL) and ocular adnexal (OA)-uveal DLBCL. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective analysis included 396 patients with ophthalmic DLBCL from January 1, 1973, through December 31, 2014, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. The median follow-up was 39.0 months (interquartile range, 5.1-72.9 months). All patients diagnosed with primary DLBCL of the eye or retina (PVRL) or the eyelid, conjunctiva, choroid, ciliary body, lacrimal gland, or orbit (OA-uveal lymphoma) were included. Patients diagnosed at autopsy or with additional neoplastic disease were excluded. Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient demographic characteristics, disease location, treatment modalities, and overall survival. Results: Forty-seven patients with PVRL (24 women [51.1%] and 23 men [48.9%]) and 349 with OA-uveal DLBCL (192 women [55.0%] and 157 men [45.0%]) had a similar mean (SD) age at diagnosis (69.6 [12.3] vs 66.1 [17.7] years). No difference in the use of surgery or radiation therapy by location was found. For all PVRL and OA-uveal DLBCL, a Cox proportional hazards regression model affirmed that age older than 60 years was associated with increased risk for death (hazard ratio [HR], 2.7; 95% CI, 1.9-4.0; P < .001). Gross total resection was associated with a decreased risk for death (HR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9; P = .04), whereas radiation therapy was not. The 5-year overall survival among patients with PVRL was 41.4% (SE, 8.6%); among those with OA-uveal DLBCL, 59.1% (SE, 2.8%; Mantel-Cox test, P = .007). Median overall survival was lower in PVRL (38.0 months; 95% CI, 14.2-61.8 months) than in OA-uveal DLBCL (96.0 months; 95% CI, 67.3-124.7 months; Mantel-Cox test, P = .007). In addition, median overall survival in ophthalmic-only disease was higher (84.0 months; 95% CI, 63.2-104.8 months) than that in primary DLBCL that occurred outside the central nervous system and ophthalmic regions (46.0 months; 95% CI, 44.4-47.6 months; Mantel-Cox test, P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: The 5-year survival in PVRL vs OA-uveal DLBCL differed by 17.7%, and overall survival was greater in ophthalmic DLBCL than in DLBCL located outside the central nervous system and ophthalmic regions. Younger age (≤60 years) and gross total resection were associated with increased survival.
Aiello LP, Ayala AR, Antoszyk AN, Arnold-Bush B, Baker C, Bressler NM, Elman MJ, Glassman AR, Jampol LM, Melia M, Nielsen J, Wolpert HA, Wolpert HA. Assessing the Effect of Personalized Diabetes Risk Assessments During Ophthalmologic Visits on Glycemic Control: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(8):888-96.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Optimization of glycemic control is critical to reduce the number of diabetes mellitus-related complications, but long-term success is challenging. Although vision loss is among the greatest fears of individuals with diabetes, comprehensive personalized diabetes education and risk assessments are not consistently used in ophthalmologic settings. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the point-of-care measurement of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and personalized diabetes risk assessments performed during retinal ophthalmologic visits improve glycemic control as assessed by HbA1c level. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Ophthalmologist office-based randomized, multicenter clinical trial in which investigators from 42 sites were randomly assigned to provide either a study-prescribed augmented diabetes assessment and education or the usual care. Adults with type 1 or 2 diabetes enrolled into 2 cohorts: those with a more-frequent-than-annual follow-up (502 control participants and 488 intervention participants) and those with an annual follow-up (368 control participants and 388 intervention participants). Enrollment was from April 2011 through January 2013. INTERVENTIONS: Point-of-care measurements of HbA1c, blood pressure, and retinopathy severity; an individualized estimate of the risk of retinopathy progression derived from the findings from ophthalmologic visits; structured comparison and review of past and current clinical findings; and structured education with immediate assessment and feedback regarding participant's understanding. These interventions were performed at enrollment and at routine ophthalmic follow-up visits scheduled at least 12 weeks apart. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mean change in HbA1c level from baseline to 1-year follow-up. Secondary outcomes included body mass index, blood pressure, and responses to diabetes self-management practices and attitudes surveys. RESULTS: In the cohort with more-frequent-than-annual follow-ups, the mean (SD) change in HbA1c level at 1 year was -0.1% (1.5%) in the control group and -0.3% (1.4%) in the intervention group (adjusted mean difference, -0.09% [95% CI, -0.29% to 0.12%]; P = .35). In the cohort with annual follow-ups, the mean (SD) change in HbA1c level was 0.0% (1.1%) in the control group and -0.1% (1.6%) in the intervention group (mean difference, -0.05% [95% CI, -0.27% to 0.18%]; P = .63). Results were similar for all secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Long-term optimization of glycemic control is not achieved by a majority of individuals with diabetes. The addition of personalized education and risk assessment during retinal ophthalmologic visits did not result in a reduction in HbA1c level compared with usual care over 1 year. These data suggest that optimizing glycemic control remains a substantive challenge requiring interventional paradigms other than those examined in our study. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier:NCT01323348.

Aiello LP, Odia I, Glassman AR, Melia M, Jampol LM, Bressler NM, Kiss S, Silva PS, Wykoff CC, Sun JK, Sun JK. Comparison of Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Standard 7-Field Imaging With Ultrawide-Field Imaging for Determining Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;Abstract
Importance: Moderate to substantial agreement between Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) 7-field imaging and ultrawide-field (UWF) imaging has been suggested in single-center studies. Comparing images obtained by multiple centers could increase confidence that UWF images can be used reliably in place of ETDRS imaging in future clinical trials. Objective: To compare diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity from modified ETDRS 7-field imaging and UWF imaging. Design, Setting, and Participants: This preplanned, cross-sectional analysis included modified ETDRS 7-field images obtained using the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network acquisition protocol and UWF images obtained captured with the Optos 200Tx system (Optos, PLC) from adult participants (≥18 years old) with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both image types were evaluated by trained graders masked to clinical data. Data collection occurred from February 2015 to December 2015, and data analysis from June 2016 to December 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures: Agreement between UWF images, UWF imagesmasked to include only the ETDRS 7-field area, and ETDRS 7-field images were calculated using κ statistics. Results: A total of 764 eyes from 385 participants were included; participants had a median (IQR) age of 62.2 (53.6-69.2) years, 194 (50.4%) were women, and 256 (66.5%) were white. Of 742 eyes with both ETDRS 7-field images and UWF masked images graded, 359 (48.4% [95% CI, 44.4%-52.4%]) eyes had exact agreement, and 653 eyes (88.0% [95% CI, 85.2%-90.3%]) agreed within 1 step (weighted κ, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.44-0.58]). After open adjudication by an independent senior grader of all images with more than a 2-step discrepancy, perfect agreement was found in 435 eyes (59.0% [95% CI, 55.1%-62.8%]) and agreement within 1 step in 714 eyes (96.9% [95% CI, 95.1%-98.0%]; κ, 0.77 [95% CI, 0.73-0.82]). Ability of the imaging modalities to detect retinopathy severity in an individual eye was considered similar in 59 eyes (50.9% [95% CI, 41.3%-60.4%]), better for ETDRS 7-field imaging in 22 eyes (19.0% [95% CI, 12.5%-27.7%]), and better for UWF-masked images in 31 eyes (26.7% [95% CI 18.8%-36.5%]). Comparing UWF masked and unmasked images, 94 of 751 eyes (12.5%) had DR graded as at least 1 step more severe on UWF unmasked images vs UWF masked images. Predominantly peripheral DR lesions were present in 308 of 751 eyes (41.0%); this suggested increased DR severity by 2 or more steps in 34 eyes (11.0%). Conclusions and Relevance: Imaging by the ETDRS 7-field and UWF imaging systems have moderate to substantial agreement when determining the severity of DR within the 7 standard fields. Disparities in an individual eye are equivalently distributed between imaging modalities and can be better or worse on 1 or the other. Longitudinal follow-up will evaluate the primary outcome of this study to determine if peripheral retinal findings are associated with future retinopathy outcomes.
Aiello LP, Cavallerano J, Sun J, Salti N, Nasrallah M, Mehanna CJ, El Salloukh NA, Salti HI. Long-Term Effect on HbA1c in Poorly Controlled Diabetic Patients Following Nonmydriatic Retinal Image Review at the Time of Endocrinology Visit. Telemed J E Health 2020;26(10):1265-1270.Abstract
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Akbari A, Jabbari N, Sharifi R, Ahmadi M, Vahhabi A, Seyedzadeh SJ, Nawaz M, Szafert S, Mahmoodi M, Jabbari E, Asghari R, Rezaie J. Free and hydrogel encapsulated exosome-based therapies in regenerative medicine. Life Sci 2020;249:117447.Abstract
Over the last few decades, mesenchymal stem cells-derived exosomes (MSCs-Ex) have attracted a lot of attention as a therapeutic tool in regenerative medicine. Exosomes are extracellular vehicles (EVs) that play important roles in cell-cell communication through various processes such as stress response, senescence, angiogenesis, and cell differentiation. Success in the field of regenerative medicine sparked exploration of the potential use of exosomes as key therapeutic effectors of MSCs to promote tissue regeneration. Various approaches including direct injection, intravenous injection, intraperitoneal injection, oral administration, and hydrogel-based encapsulation have been exploited to deliver exosomes to target tissues in different disease models. Despite significant advances in exosome therapy, it is unclear which approach is more effective for administering exosomes. Herein, we critically review the emerging progress in the applications of exosomes in the form of free or association with hydrogels as therapeutic agents for applications in regenerative medicine.
Akhlaq A, Colón C, Cavalcanti BM, Aggarwal S, Qazi Y, Cruzat A, Jersey C, Critser DB, Watts A, Beyer J, Sindt CW, Hamrah P. Density and distribution of dendritiform cells in the peripheral cornea of healthy subjects using in vivo confocal microscopy. Ocul Surf 2022;
Akula JD, Arellano IA, Swanson EA, Favazza TL, Bowe TS, Munro RJ, Ferguson DR, Hansen RM, Moskowitz A, Fulton AB. The Fovea in Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020;61(11):28.Abstract
Purpose: Because preterm birth and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are associated with poor visual acuity (VA) and altered foveal development, we evaluated relationships among the central retinal photoreceptors, postreceptor retinal neurons, overlying fovea, and VA in ROP. Methods: We obtained optical coherence tomograms (OCTs) in preterm born subjects with no history of ROP (none; n = 61), ROP that resolved spontaneously without treatment (mild; n = 51), and ROP that required treatment by laser ablation of the avascular peripheral retina (severe; n = 22), as well as in term born control subjects (term; n = 111). We obtained foveal shape descriptors, measured central retinal layer thicknesses, and demarcated the anatomic parafovea using automated routines. In subsets of these subjects, we obtained OCTs eccentrically through the pupil (n = 46) to reveal the fiber layer of Henle (FLH) and obtained adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmograms (AO-SLOs) of the parafoveal cones (n = 34) and measured their spacing and distribution. Results: Both VA and foveal depth decreased with increasing ROP severity (term, none, mild, severe). In severe subjects, foveae were broader than normal and the parafovea was significantly enlarged compared to every other group. The FLH was thinner than normal in mild (but not severe) subjects. VA was associated with foveal depth more than group. Density of parafoveal cones did not differ significantly among groups. Conclusions: Foveal structure is associated with loss of VA in ROP. The preserved FLH in severe (relative to mild) eyes suggests treatment may help cone axon development. The significantly larger parafovea and increased outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness in ROP hint that some developmental process affecting the photoreceptors is not arrested in ROP but rather is supranormal.
Akula JD, Ambrosio L, Howard FI, Hansen RM, Fulton AB. Extracting the ON and OFF contributions to the full-field photopic flash electroretinogram using summed growth curves. Exp Eye Res 2019;189:107827.Abstract
Under cone-mediated (photopic) conditions, an "instantaneous" flash of light, including both stimulus onset and offset, will simultaneously activate both "ON" and "OFF" bipolar cells, which either depolarize (ON) or hyperpolarize (OFF) in response and, respectively, produce positive-going and negative-going deflections in the electroretinogram (ERG). The stimulus-response (SR) relationship of the photopic ON response demonstrates logistic growth, like that manifested in the rod-mediated (scotopic) b-wave, which is driven by a single class of depolarizing bipolar cell. However, the photopic b-wave SR function is importantly shaped by OFF responses, leading to a "photopic hill." Furthermore, both on and off stimuli elicit activity in both ON and OFF bipolar cells. This has made it difficult to produce meaningful parameters for ready interpretation of the photopic b-wave SR relationship. Therefore, we evaluated whether the sum of sigmoidal SR functions, as descriptors of the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing components of the photopic flash ERG, could be used to elucidate and quantitate the mechanisms that produce the photopic hill. We used a novel fitting routine to optimize a sum of simple sigmoidal curves to SR data in five groups of subjects: Healthy adult, 10-week-old infant, congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB), X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XJR), and preterm-born, both without and with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Differences in ON and OFF amplitude, sensitivity, and implicit time among the groups were then compared using parameters extracted from these fits. We found that our modeling procedure enabled plausible derivations of ON and OFF pathway contributions to the ERG, and that the parameters produced appeared to have physiological relevance. In adult subjects, the ON and OFF amplitudes were similar in magnitude with respectively longer and shorter implicit times. Infant, CSNB, and XJR subjects showed significant ON pathway deficits. History of preterm-birth, without or with a diagnosis of ROP, did not much affect cone responses.
AL P, IS F, JM P, S M, JM S, M V, SP P, T L, SV K. Localization of sleep spindles, k-complexes, and vertex waves with subdural electrodes in children. J Clin Neurophysiol 2014;31(4):367-74.
Al-Haddad CE, Abdulaal M, Al-Moujahed A, Ervin A-M, Ismail K. Fornix-Based Versus Limbal-Based Conjunctival Trabeculectomy Flaps for Glaucoma: Findings From a Cochrane Systematic Review. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;174:33-41.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare effectiveness of fornix- and limbal-based conjunctival flaps in trabeculectomy surgery. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: Setting: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, LILACS, ISRCTN registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO, and ICTRP were searched to identify eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). STUDY POPULATION: RCTs in which benefits and complications of fornix- vs limbal-based trabeculectomy for glaucoma were compared in adult glaucoma patients. OBSERVATION PROCEDURE: We followed Cochrane methodology for data extraction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of failed trabeculectomies at 24 months, defined as the need for repeat surgery or uncontrolled intraocular pressure (IOP) >22 mm Hg, despite topical/systemic medications. RESULTS: The review included 6 trials with a total of 361 participants, showing no difference in effectiveness between fornix-based vs limbal-based trabeculectomy surgery, although with a high level of uncertainty owing to low event rates. In the fornix-based and limbal-based surgery, mean IOP at 12 months was similar, with ranges of 12.5-15.5 mm Hg and 11.7-15.1 mm Hg, respectively. Mean difference was 0.44 mm Hg (95% CI -0.45 to 1.33) and 0.86 mm Hg (95% CI -0.52 to 2.24) at 12 and 24 months of follow-up, respectively. Mean number of postoperative glaucoma medications was similar between the 2 groups. Mean difference was 0.02 (95% CI -0.15 to 0.19) at 12 months. As far as postoperative complications, an increased risk of shallow anterior chamber was observed in the limbal-based group. CONCLUSION: Similar efficacy of trabeculectomy surgery with respect to bleb failure or IOP control was observed in both types of conjunctival flap incisions. A significant difference was detected in the risk of postoperative shallow anterior chamber, which was increased in the limbal-based group.

Al-Latayfeh M, Silva PS, Sun JK, Aiello LP. Antiangiogenic therapy for ischemic retinopathies. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2012;2(6):a006411.Abstract
Neovascularization is a common pathological process in various retinal vascular disorders including diabetic retinopathy (DR), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). The development of neovascular vessels may lead to complications such as vitreous hemorrhage, fibrovascular tissue formation, and traction retinal detachments. Ultimately, irreversible vision loss may result. Various proangiogenic factors are involved in these complex processes. Different antiangiogenic drugs have been formulated in an attempt treat these vascular disorders. One factor that plays a major role in the development of retinal neovascularization is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Anti-VEGF agents are currently FDA approved for the treatment of AMD and RVO. They are also extensively used as an off-label treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME), proliferative DR, and neovascular glaucoma. However, at this time, the long-term safety of chronic VEGF inhibition has not been extensively evaluated. A large and rapidly expanding body of research on angiogenesis is being conducted at multiple centers across the globe to determine the exact contributions and interactions among a variety of angiogenic factors in an effort to determine the therapeutic potential of antiangiogenic agent in the treatment of a variety of retinal diseases.
Al-Louzi O, Prasad S, M Mallery R. Utility of optical coherence tomography in the evaluation of sellar and parasellar mass lesions. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2018;25(4):274-284.Abstract
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.
Al-Lozi A, Cai S, Chen X, Perez VL, Venkateswaran N. Granulicatella Adiacens as an Unusual Cause of Microbial Keratitis and Endophthalmitis: A Case Series and Literature Review. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-5.Abstract
: To report two cases of microbial keratitis and/or endophthalmitis involving : Case series. : 24-year-old female with a history of Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and keratitis presented with a geographic epithelial defect and infiltrate in the left eye. Cultures were positive for HSV-1 and . Keratitis resolved with topical vancomycin and oral valacyclovir. A 65-year-old female with a history of type II diabetes and failed therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty presented with inferior corneal graft haze and vitreous inflammation of the right eye. Therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty and pars plana vitrectomy were performed, and the corneal button returned positive for . The patient was treated with topical and intravitreal vancomycin as well as topical and systemic steroids. : These cases expand the literature on keratitis and endophthalmitis and corroborate the role of steroid use and prior surgery as paramount risk factors.
Al-Moujahed A, Chodosh J. Outcomes of an Algorithmic Approach to Treating Mild Ocular Alkali Burns. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(10):1214-6.
Al-Moujahed A, Tian B, Efstathiou NE, Konstantinou EK, Hoang M, Lin H, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Receptor interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3) regulates iPSCs generation through modulating cell cycle progression genes. Stem Cell Res 2019;35:101387.Abstract
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.
Al-Moujahed A, Brodowska K, Stryjewski TP, Efstathiou NE, Vasilikos I, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Verteporfin inhibits growth of human glioma in vitro without light activation. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):7602.Abstract
Verteporfin (VP), a light-activated drug used in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of choroidal neovascular membranes, has also been shown to be an effective inhibitor of malignant cells. Recently, studies have demonstrated that, even without photo-activation, VP may still inhibit certain tumor cell lines, including ovarian cancer, hepatocarcinoma and retinoblastoma, through the inhibition of the YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human glioma cell lines (LN229 and SNB19). Through western blot analysis, we identified that human glioma cells that were exposed to VP without light activation demonstrated a downregulation of YAP-TEAD-associated downstream signaling molecules, including c-myc, axl, CTGF, cyr61 and survivin and upregulation of the tumor growth inhibitor molecule p38 MAPK. In addition, we observed that expression of VEGFA and the pluripotent marker Oct-4 were also decreased. Verteporfin did not alter the Akt survival pathway or the mTor pathway but there was a modest increase in LC3-IIB, a marker of autophagosome biogenesis. This study suggests that verteporfin should be further explored as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Al-Moujahed A, Nicolaou F, Brodowska K, Papakostas TD, Marmalidou A, Ksander BR, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Uveal melanoma cell growth is inhibited by aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) partially through activation of AMP-dependent kinase. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(7):4175-85.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects and mechanism of aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), an AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) activator, on the growth of uveal melanoma cell lines. METHODS: Four different cell lines were treated with AICAR (1-4 mM). Cell growth was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell cycle analysis was conducted by flow cytometry; additionally, expression of cell-cycle control proteins, cell growth transcription factors, and downstream effectors of AMPK were determined by RT-PCR and Western blot. RESULTS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited cell growth, induced S-phase arrest, and led to AMPK activation. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was associated with inhibition of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-BP1 phosphorylation, a marker of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway activity. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was also associated with downregulation of cyclins A and D, but had minimal effects on the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 or levels of the macroautophagy marker LC3B. The effects of AICAR were abolished by treatment with dipyridamole, an adenosine transporter inhibitor that blocks the entry of AICAR into cells. Treatment with adenosine kinase inhibitor 5-iodotubericidin, which inhibits the conversion of AICAR to its 5'-phosphorylated ribotide 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-D-ribofuranosyl-5'-monophosphate (ZMP; the direct activator of AMPK), reversed most of the growth-inhibitory effects, indicating that some of AICAR's antiproliferative effects are mediated at least partially through AMPK activation. CONCLUSIONS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited uveal melanoma cell proliferation partially through activation of the AMPK pathway and downregulation of cyclins A1 and D1.
Alageel SA, Arafat SN, Salvador-Culla B, Kolovou PE, Jahanseir K, Kozak A, Braithwaite GJC, Ciolino JB. Corneal Cross-Linking With Verteporfin and Nonthermal Laser Therapy. Cornea 2018;37(3):362-368.Abstract
PURPOSE: To test whether verteporfin with a nonthermal laser increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic degradation ex vivo. METHODS: Thirty human corneas (n = 5 per group) were treated with verteporfin alone (V), irradiated with nonthermal laser therapy (689 nm) alone (NTL), or received combined treatment of verteporfin with nonthermal laser therapy for 1 sequence (V+NTL1) or 6 sequences (V+NTL6) of 1 minute of NTL exposure. Positive controls were pretreated with 0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran every 3 to 5 minutes for 30 minutes and irradiated with ultraviolet light type A (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for 30 minutes using the Dresden protocol (R+UVA). Untreated corneas were used as negative controls. The corneal biomechanical properties were measured with enzymatic digestion, compression, creep, and tensile strength testing. RESULTS: V+NTL6- and R+UVA-treated corneas acquired higher rigidity and more pronounced curvature than untreated corneas. The stress-strain tests showed that V+NTL6 and R+UVA corneas became significantly stiffer than controls (P < 0.005). The V+NTL6 group seemed to be slightly stiffer than the R+UVA group, although the differences were not statistically significant. V+NTL6 corneas were found to have a significantly lower absolute creep rate (-1.87 vs. -3.46, P < 0.05) and significantly higher maximum stress values (7.67 vs. 3.02 P < 0.05) compared with untreated corneas. CONCLUSIONS: Verteporfin-NTL (V+NTL6) increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic collagenase degradation. Although a clinical study is needed, our results suggest that V+NTL6 induces corneal cross-linking and corneal biomechanical changes that are similar to those induced by standard corneal collagen cross-linking.
Alasil T, Wang K, Yu F, Field MG, Lee H, Baniasadi N, de Boer JF, Coleman AL, Chen TC. Correlation of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and visual fields in glaucoma: a broken stick model. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;157(5):953-59.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness at which visual field (VF) damage becomes detectable and associated with structural loss. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. METHODS: Eighty-seven healthy and 108 glaucoma subjects (1 eye per subject) were recruited from an academic institution. All patients had VF examinations (Swedish Interactive Threshold Algorithm 24-2 test of the Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer 750i) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography RNFL scans. Comparison of RNFL thickness values with VF threshold values showed a plateau of VF threshold values at high RNFL thickness values and then a sharp decrease at lower RNFL thickness values. A broken stick statistical analysis was used to estimate the tipping point at which RNFL thickness values are associated with VF defects. The slope for the association between structure and function was computed for data above and below the tipping point. RESULTS: The mean RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial VF loss was 89 μm. The superior RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial corresponding inferior VF loss was 100 μm. The inferior RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial corresponding superior VF loss was 73 μm. The differences between all the slopes above and below the aforementioned tipping points were statistically significant (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: In open-angle glaucoma, substantial RNFL thinning or structural loss appears to be necessary before functional visual field defects become detectable.

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