PURPOSE: To assess the safety of the subretinal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) vector carrying a human CHM-encoding cDNA in choroideremia (CHM). DESIGN: Prospective, open-label, non-randomized, dose-escalation, phase 1/2 clinical trial. SUBJECTS, PARTICIPANTS, AND/OR CONTROLS: Fifteen CHM patients (ages 20-57 years at dosing). METHODS, INTERVENTION, OR TESTING: Patients received uniocular subfoveal injections of low dose (up to 5x1010 vector genome (vg) per eye, n=5) or high dose (up to 1x1011 vg per eye, n=10) AAV2-hCHM. Patients were evaluated pre- and post-operatively for two years with ophthalmic examinations, multimodal retinal imaging and psychophysical testing. MAIN OUTCOME: Measures: visual acuity (VA), perimetry (10-2 protocol), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-FAF). RESULTS: We detected no vector-related or systemic toxicities. VA returned to within 15 letters of baseline in all but two patients (one developed acute foveal thinning, another patient, a macular hole); the rest showed no gross changes in foveal structure at two years. There were no significant differences between intervention and control eyes in mean light-adapted sensitivity by perimetry, or in the lateral extent of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) relative preservation by SD-OCT and SW-FAF. Microperimetry showed non-significant (<3SD of the intervisit variability) gains in sensitivity in some locations and participants in the intervention eye. There were no obvious dose-dependent relationships. CONCLUSIONS: VA was within 15 letters of baseline after the subfoveal AAV2-hCHM injections in 13/15 (87%) of the patients. Acute foveal thinning with unchanged perifoveal function in one patient and macular hole in a second suggests foveal vulnerability to the subretinal injections. Longer observation intervals will help establish the significance of the minor differences in sensitivities and rate of disease progression observed between intervention and control eyes.
A new era of ocular imaging has recently begun with the advent of in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM), shedding more light on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and potential treatment strategies for dry eye disease. IVCM is a noninvasive and powerful tool that allows detection of changes in ocular surface epithelium, immune and inflammatory cells, corneal nerves, keratocytes, and meibomian gland structures on a cellular level. Ocular surface structures in dry eye-related conditions have been assessed and alterations have been quantified using IVCM. IVCM may aid in the assessment of dry eye disease prognosis and treatment, as well as lead to improved understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms in this complex disease. Further, due to visualization of subclinical findings, IVCM may allow detection of disease at much earlier stages and allow stratification of patients for clinical trials. Finally, by providing an objective methodology to monitor treatment efficacy, image-guided therapy may allow the possibility of tailoring treatment based on cellular changes, rather than on clinical changes alone.
This article presents a surgical technique using a pericardial patch for the permanent repair of severe scleral thinning encountered during strabismus surgery. In the present case scleral thinning resulted from buckle removal. Familiarity with this technique may prove important for the strabismus surgeon treating patients with a history of surface ocular hardware or disease-induced scleral thinning. This video article may be viewed atjaapos.org.
Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of severe inherited retinal dystrophies that lead to early childhood blindness. In the last decade, interest in LCA has increased as advances in genetics have been applied to better identify, classify, and treat LCA. To date, 23 LCA genes have been identified. Gene replacement in the RPE65 form of LCA represents a major advance in treatment, although limitations have been recognized. In this article, we review the clinical and genetic features of LCA and evaluate the evidence available for gene therapy in RPE65 disease.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the surgical success of rectus muscle plication compared to resection and to compare the short- and long-term changes in ocular alignment after both procedures. METHODS: The medical records of all patients who underwent a rectus muscle tightening procedure (resection or plication) at a single institution over a 5-year period by a single surgeon were reviewed retrospectively. Binocular alignment was recorded before and immediately after surgery and again at 6-12 weeks and final follow-up visit. Primary outcome was surgical success rate, defined as distance alignment of ≤10(Δ) for horizontal and ≤6(Δ) for vertical strabismus. Secondary outcomes were reoperation rate and postoperative alignment drift. RESULTS: A total of 72 surgeries were identified for inclusion: 48 resections and 24 plications. Surgical success was significantly higher in the resection group than in the plication group (89% vs 58%; P = 0.005) at both 6-12 weeks' follow-up (P = 0.005) and at mean final follow-up of 19 ± 13 months (range, 3-56 months [n = 48]; P = 0.03). Reoperations were performed in 3 patients in the plication group (12.5%), all for undercorrection; there were no reoperations in the resection group (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Rectus muscle plication has many potential advantages over resection, including sparing of the ciliary circulation. In our experience, however, patients treated with plication had lower surgical success rates and a higher reoperation rate. Surgeons should monitor their long-term results before considering plication as their procedure of choice over resection.
Susac's syndrome is a rare autoimmune microangiopathy characterized by the clinical triad of encephalopathy, branch retinal artery occlusions, and sensorineural hearing loss. In many cases, the clinical triad is not fully present at the onset of symptoms. MRI studies often show characteristic punched out lesions of the central fibers of the corpus callosum, and leptomeningeal enhancement and deep gray matter lesions may also be seen. Here we present a case of Susac's syndrome in a middle aged man with the unique clinical finding of cauda equina syndrome and spinal MRI showing diffuse lumbosacral nerve root enhancement. Biopsy specimens of the brain, leptomeninges, and skin showed evidence of a pauci-immune endotheliopathy, consistent with pathology described in previous cases of Susac's syndrome. This case is important not only because it expands the clinical features of Susac's syndrome but also because it clarifies the mechanism of a disorder of the endothelium, an important target for many disorders of the nervous system.
OptrA is an ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-F protein that confers resistance to oxazolidinones and phenicols and can be either plasmid-encoded or chromosomally encoded. Here, we isolated 13 strains possessing a linezolid MIC of ≥4 mg/liter from nursery pigs in swine herds located across Brazil. Genome sequence comparison showed that these strains possess in different genetic contexts occurring in 5 different sequence type backgrounds. The gene invariably occurred in association with an regulator and a gene encoding a hypothetical protein. In some contexts, this genetic island was able to excise and form a covalently closed circle within the cell; this circle appeared to occur in high abundance and to be transmissible by coresident plasmids.
We report the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of an in vitro susceptible derivative revertant mutant from a bloodstream isolate involved in a nosocomial outbreak in Brazil. The WGS comprises 2.5 Mb with 2,500 protein-coding sequences, 16rRNA genes, and 60 tRNA genes.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now known to be associated with several ocular manifestations. The literature thoroughly discussed those that affect adults, with a lesser focus in the pediatric age group. We aim to outline the various pediatric ocular manifestations described in the literature. The manifestations may be divided into isolated events attributed to COVID-19 or occurring in the new multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a novel entity associated by COVID-19 infection. Ocular manifestations have virtually affected all ages. They manifested in neonates, infants, children, and adolescents. Episcleritis, conjunctivitis, optic neuritis, cranial nerve palsies, retinal vein occlusion, retinal vasculitis, retinal changes, orbital myositis, orbital cellulitis were reported in the literature with this emerging viral illness. Conjunctivitis was the most common ocular manifestation in MIS-C in nearly half of the patients. Other ocular manifestations in MIS-C were anterior uveitis, corneal epitheliopathy, optic neuritis, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and retinitis. The clinical outcome was favorable, and children regain their visual ability with minimal or no deficits in most of the cases. Further follow-up may be warranted to better understand the long-term effects and visual prognosis.
NR2E3 encodes the photoreceptor-specific nuclear hormone receptor that acts as a repressor of cone-specific gene expression in rod photoreceptors, and as an activator of several rod-specific genes. Recessive variants located in the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of NR2E3 cause enhanced short wavelength sensitive- (S-) cone syndrome (ESCS), a retinal degeneration characterized by an excess of S-cones and non-functional rods. We analyzed the dimerization properties of NR2E3 and the effect of disease-causing LBD missense variants by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET(2) ) protein interaction assays. Homodimerization was not affected in presence of p.A256V, p.R039G, p.R311Q, and p.R334G variants, but abolished in presence of p.L263P, p.L336P, p.L353V, p.R385P, and p.M407K variants. Homology modeling predicted structural changes induced by NR2E3 LBD variants. NR2E3 LBD variants did not affect interaction with CRX, but with NRL and rev-erbα/NR1D1. CRX and NRL heterodimerized more efficiently together, than did either with NR2E3. NR2E3 did not heterodimerize with TLX/NR2E1 and RXRα/NR2C1. The identification of a new compound heterozygous patient with detectable rod function, who expressed solely the p.A256V variant protein, suggests a correlation between LBD variants able to form functional NR2E3 dimers and atypical mild forms of ESCS with residual rod function.
Emotional face recognition is impaired in bipolar disorder, but it is not clear whether this is specific for the illness. Here, we investigated how aging and bipolar disorder influence dynamic emotional face recognition. Twenty older adults, 16 bipolar patients, and 20 control subjects performed a dynamic affective facial recognition task and a subsequent rating task. Participants pressed a key as soon as they were able to discriminate whether the neutral face was assuming a happy or angry facial expression and then rated the intensity of each facial expression. Results showed that older adults recognized happy expressions faster, whereas bipolar patients recognized angry expressions faster. Furthermore, both groups rated emotional faces more intensely than did the control subjects. This study is one of the first to compare how aging and clinical conditions influence emotional facial recognition and underlines the need to consider the role of specific and common factors in emotional face recognition.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess cone-mediated central retinal function in children with a history of preterm birth, including subjects with and without retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) records activity of the postreceptor retinal circuitry. Methods: mfERG responses were recorded to an array of 103 hexagonal elements that subtended 43° around a central fixation target. The amplitude and latency of the first negative (N1) and first positive (P1) response were evaluated in six concentric rings centered on the fovea. Responses were recorded from 40 subjects with a history of preterm birth (severe ROP, mild ROP, no ROP) and 19 term-born control subjects. Results: The amplitude of N1 and P1 varied significantly with eccentricity and ROP severity. For all four groups, these amplitudes were largest in the center and decreased with eccentricity. At all eccentricities, N1 amplitude was significantly smaller in severe ROP and did not differ significantly among the other three groups (mild ROP, no ROP, term-born controls). P1 amplitude in all preterm groups was significantly smaller than in controls; P1 amplitude was similar in no ROP and mild ROP and significantly smaller in severe ROP. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that premature birth alone affects cone-mediated central retinal function and that the magnitude of the effect varies with severity of the antecedent ROP. The lack of difference in mfERG amplitude between the mild and no ROP groups is evidence that the effect of ROP on the neurosensory retina may not depend solely on appearance of abnormal retinal vasculature.
Thousands of frozen, archived tissue samples from the human central nervous system (CNS) are currently available in brain banks. As recent developments in RNA sequencing technologies are beginning to elucidate the cellular diversity present within the human CNS, it is becoming clear that an understanding of this diversity would greatly benefit from deeper transcriptional analyses. Single cell and single nucleus RNA profiling provide one avenue to decipher this heterogeneity. An alternative, complementary approach is to profile isolated, pre-defined cell types and use methods that can be applied to many archived human tissue samples that have been stored long-term. Here, we developed FIN-Seq (Frozen Immunolabeled Nuclei Sequencing), a method that accomplishes these goals. FIN-Seq uses immunohistochemical isolation of nuclei of specific cell types from frozen human tissue, followed by bulk RNA-Sequencing. We applied this method to frozen postmortem samples of human cerebral cortex and retina and were able to identify transcripts, including low abundance transcripts, in specific cell types.
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive, debilitating visual disorder caused by mutations in a diverse set of genes. In both humans with RP and mouse models of RP, rod photoreceptor dysfunction leads to loss of night vision, and is followed by secondary cone photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to loss of daylight color vision. A strategy to prevent secondary cone death could provide a general RP therapy to preserve daylight color vision regardless of the underlying mutation. In mouse models of RP, cones in the peripheral retina survive long-term, despite complete rod loss. The mechanism for such peripheral cone survival had not been explored. Here, we found that active retinoic acid (RA) signaling in peripheral Muller glia is necessary for the abnormally long survival of these peripheral cones. RA depletion by conditional knockout of RA synthesis enzymes, or overexpression of an RA degradation enzyme, abrogated the extended survival of peripheral cones. Conversely, constitutive activation of RA signaling in the central retina promoted long-term cone survival. These results indicate that RA signaling mediates the prolonged peripheral cone survival in the rd1 mouse model of retinal degeneration, and provide a basis for a generic strategy for cone survival in the many diseases that lead to loss of cone-mediated vision.
Recent transcriptional profiling technologies are uncovering previously-undefined cell populations and molecular markers at an unprecedented pace. While single cell RNA (scRNA) sequencing is an attractive approach for unbiased transcriptional profiling of all cell types, a complementary method to isolate and sequence specific cell populations from heterogeneous tissue remains challenging. Here, we developed Probe-Seq, which allows deep transcriptional profiling of specific cell types isolated using RNA as the defining feature. Dissociated cells are labeled using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for RNA, and then isolated by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). We used Probe-Seq to purify and profile specific cell types from mouse, human, and chick retinas, as well as from midguts. Probe-Seq is compatible with frozen nuclei, making cell types within archival tissue immediately accessible. As it can be multiplexed, combinations of markers can be used to create specificity. Multiplexing also allows for the isolation of multiple cell types from one cell preparation. Probe-Seq should enable RNA profiling of specific cell types from any organism.
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 determine the utility of ophthalmology evaluation, dark-adapted threshold, and full-field electroretinogram for early detection of Usher syndrome in young patients with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. METHODS: We identified 39 patients with secure genetic diagnoses of Usher Syndrome. Visual acuity, spherical equivalent, fundus appearance, dark-adapted threshold, and full-field electroretinogram results were summarized and compared to those in a group of healthy controls with normal hearing. In those Usher patients with repeated measures, regression analysis was done to evaluate for change in visual acuity and dark-adapted threshold with age. Spherical equivalent and full-field electroretinogram responses from dark- and light-adapted eyes were evaluated as a function of age. RESULTS: The majority of initial visual acuity and spherical equivalent results were within normal limits for age. Visual acuity and dark-adapted threshold worsened significantly with age in Usher type 1 but not in Usher type 2. At initial test, full-field electroretinogram responses from dark- and light-adapted eyes were abnormal in 53% of patients. Remarkably, nearly half of our patients (17% of Usher type 1 and 30% of Usher type 2) would have been missed by tests of retinal function alone if evaluated before age 10. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is an association of abnormal dark-adapted threshold and full-field electroretinogram at young ages in Usher patients, it appears that a small but important proportion of patients would not be detected by tests of retinal function alone. Thus, genetic testing is needed to secure a diagnosis of Usher syndrome.
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.
Achillea species and in particular Achillea tenuifolia Lam. is generally used as a food flavor and traditional remedies, especially in the initial developmental stage for medical conditions in the Mediterranean part of Iran. In this report, we extracted the essential oil from the aerial parts of A. tenuifolia (collected from Khoy), at various developmental stages (i. e., vegetative, flowering and fruiting), characterized them and studied their antibacterial activities. Of 46, 51 and 38 components found in the vegetative, flowering, and fruiting stages, respectively, 35 were present in all three stages, including oxygenated terpenes such as carvacrol (30.85-34.11), germacrene C (16.21-17.87), spathulenol (7.26-8.96), β-sesquiphellandrene (4.11-4.25), τ-muurolol (2.27-3.25) and α-cadinol (2.01-3.29). We witnessed that the composition of the essential oils varies with phenological stages and geographic regions. The essential oil demonstrated substantial antibacterial properties against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, indicated by disk method, Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) assays. Except Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the essential oils of various phenological stages showed higher antibacterial activity against tested bacteria, with Bacillus anthracis as the most sensitive strain. Moreover, although antibacterial characteristics of the essential oil from the vegetative and flowering stages were similar (p=0.91), they were significantly different from those of fruiting stage (p<0.005 in both MIC and MBC tests). This emphasizes the importance of the developmental stage of the plant in the biological properties of its essential oil and justifies the widespread application of this plant in the vegetative stage.