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Kim W, Zhu W, Hendricks GL, Van Tyne D, Steele AD, Keohane CE, Fricke N, Conery AL, Shen S, Pan W, Lee K, Rajamuthiah R, Fuchs BB, Vlahovska PM, Wuest WM, Gilmore MS, Gao H, Ausubel FM, Mylonakis E. A new class of synthetic retinoid antibiotics effective against bacterial persisters. Nature 2018;556(7699):103-107.Abstract
A challenge in the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections is the high prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains and the formation of non-growing, dormant 'persister' subpopulations that exhibit high levels of tolerance to antibiotics and have a role in chronic or recurrent infections. As conventional antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of infections caused by such bacteria, novel antibacterial therapeutics are urgently required. Here we used a Caenorhabditis elegans-MRSA infection screen to identify two synthetic retinoids, CD437 and CD1530, which kill both growing and persister MRSA cells by disrupting lipid bilayers. CD437 and CD1530 exhibit high killing rates, synergism with gentamicin, and a low probability of resistance selection. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations demonstrated that the ability of retinoids to penetrate and embed in lipid bilayers correlates with their bactericidal ability. An analogue of CD437 was found to retain anti-persister activity and show an improved cytotoxicity profile. Both CD437 and this analogue, alone or in combination with gentamicin, exhibit considerable efficacy in a mouse model of chronic MRSA infection. With further development and optimization, synthetic retinoids have the potential to become a new class of antimicrobials for the treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections that are currently difficult to cure.
Laíns I, Park DH, Mukai R, Silverman R, Oellers P, Mach S, Kim IK, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Miller JB, Husain D. Peripheral Changes Associated With Delayed Dark Adaptation in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;190:113-124.Abstract
PURPOSE: To study the association between peripheral changes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dark adaptation (DA). DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional study. METHODS: We recruited patients with AMD and a control group (>50 years) without any vitreoretinal disease. Ultra-widefield (UWF) pseudocolor and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) were obtained, and were assessed by 2 graders for the presence of several peripheral changes in perimacular, midperipheral, and far-peripheral zones. All participants were also imaged with 7-field color fundus photographs used for AMD staging (Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification system). Both eyes of study participants were tested with a dark adaptation (DA) extended protocol (20 minutes). Multilevel mixed-effect models (accounting for correlated outcomes between 2 eyes) were used for analyses. RESULTS: We included 128 eyes (n = 72 patients), 75% with AMD and the remainder controls. The presence of reticular pigmentary changes in the midperipheral (ß = 4.3, P = .012) and far-peripheral zones (ß = 8.4, P < .001) was associated with delayed rod-intercept times (RITs), even after adjusting for confounding factors. The presence, number, and extent of peripheral classic drusen did not show a similar association (P ≥ .148). The presence of a mottled decreased FAF pattern in the midperipheral zone was also associated with prolonged RITs (β = 4.4, P = .031). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest an association between DA and the presence of peripheral reticular pigmentary changes, as well as the presence of a peripheral mottled decreased FAF pattern. This provides new insights on the clinical significance of peripheral changes in AMD, and their contribution to impairments on DA.
Tauqeer Z, Yonekawa Y. Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila) 2018;7(3):176-182.Abstract
Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) is a heritable vitreoretinopathy characterized by anomalous retinal vascular development. The principal feature of the disease is an avascular peripheral retina. This in turn can cause further pathological changes including neovascularization, exudation, hemorrhage, and retinal detachment. The biological basis of the disease is thought to be from defects in the Wnt signaling pathway. Many gene mutations have been implicated, and these can be inherited in an autosomal dominant (most common), autosomal recessive, and X-linked recessive fashion. Examination with wide-field fluorescein angiography is essential and can identify the disease in its earlier stages, enabling timely treatment, in addition to helping identify asymptomatic family members. The current treatment paradigm involves laser photocoagulation of the avascular peripheral retina for neovascular sequelae and vitreoretinal surgery for progressive retinal detachment. Further studies are underway to better characterize this complex vitreoretinopathy.
Eghrari AO, Vasanth S, Gapsis BC, Bison H, Jurkunas U, Riazuddin AS, Gottsch JD. Identification of a Novel TCF4 Isoform in the Human Corneal Endothelium. Cornea 2018;37(7):899-903.Abstract
PURPOSE: Alternative splice isoforms of TCF4, a gene implicated in Fuchs corneal dystrophy, have been identified in multiple human tissues outside of the eye. The aim of this study was to identify the transcriptional profile of TCF4 in the corneal endothelium. METHODS: We extracted RNA from the donor corneal endothelium and performed rapid amplification of cDNA ends. We tested the expression pattern of 1 newly identified isoform (7b) in a panel of cDNA derived from multiple human tissues and included cDNA from corneal endothelial (CE) and retinal pigment epithelial cell lines. To further delineate differential expression of TCF4 splice variants that span CTG18.1, we analyzed expression of 6 alternative splice isoforms that are transcribed from either exon 2 or 3 in RNA extracted from the corneal endothelium of 3 normal donors and a CE cell line. RESULTS: We identified 11 different isoforms in control CE tissue, including 1 isoform (7b) not reported previously. This isoform is enriched specifically in the corneal endothelium and placenta compared with other tissues in a panel of human cDNA. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate the complex expression profile of TCF4 in the human corneal endothelium and reveal expression of alternative splice variants of TCF4.
Yanai R, Chen S, Uchi S-H, Nanri T, Connor KM, Kimura K. Attenuation of choroidal neovascularization by dietary intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and lutein in mice. PLoS One 2018;13(4):e0196037.Abstract
Dietary ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and lutein each protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We here examined the effects of ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein supplementation in a mouse model of AMD. Mice were assigned to four groups: (1) a control group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-free diet, (2) a lutein group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-free diet with oral administration of lutein, (3) an ω-3 group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-supplemented diet, and (4) an ω-3 + lutein group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-supplemented diet with oral administration of lutein. Mice were fed the defined diets beginning 2 weeks before, and received lutein with an oral gavage needle beginning 1 week before, induction of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) by laser photocoagulation. The area of CNV measured in choroidal flat-mount preparations was significantly reduced in mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs or lutein compared with those in the control group, and it was reduced in an additive manner in those receiving both ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein. The concentrations of various inflammatory mediators in the retina or choroid were reduced in mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs or lutein, but no additive effect was apparent. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in chorioretinal lesions revealed by dihydroethidium staining as well as the expression of NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) in the retina revealed by immunohistofluorescence and immunoblot analyses were attenuated by ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein in a synergistic manner. Our results thus show that dietary intake of ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein attenuated CNV in an additive manner and in association with suppression of inflammatory mediator production, ROS generation, and Nox4 expression. Dietary supplementation with both ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein warrants further study as a means to protect against AMD.
Foulsham W, Coco G, Amouzegar A, Chauhan SK, Dana R. When Clarity Is Crucial: Regulating Ocular Surface Immunity. Trends Immunol 2018;39(4):288-301.Abstract
The ocular surface is a unique mucosal immune compartment in which anatomical, physiological, and immunological features act in concert to foster a particularly tolerant microenvironment. These mechanisms are vital to the functional competence of the eye, a fact underscored by the devastating toll of excessive inflammation at the cornea - blindness. Recent data have elucidated the contributions of specific anatomical components, immune cells, and soluble immunoregulatory factors in promoting homeostasis at the ocular surface. We highlight research trends at this distinctive mucosal barrier and identify crucial gaps in our current knowledge.
Vavvas DG, Dryja TP, Wilson EM, Olsen TW, Shah A, Jurkunas U, Pineda R, Poulaki V, Palioura S, Veldman P, Moreno-Montañés J, Pinazo-Duran MD, Pastor JC, Tsilimbaris M, Rhee D, Colby K, Hunter DG, Thanos S, Sakamoto T, Pasquale LR, Miller JW, Vanderveen D, Lambert SR. Lens regeneration in children. Nature 2018;556(7699):E2-E3.
Paschalis EI, Lei F, Zhou C, Kapoulea V, Thanos A, Dana R, Vavvas DG, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH. The Role of Microglia and Peripheral Monocytes in Retinal Damage after Corneal Chemical Injury. Am J Pathol 2018;188(7):1580-1596.Abstract
Eyes that have experienced alkali burn to the surface are excessively susceptible to subsequent severe glaucoma and retinal ganglion cell loss, despite maximal efforts to prevent or slow down the disease. Recently, we have shown, in mice and rabbits, that such retinal damage is neither mediated by the alkali itself reaching the retina nor by intraocular pressure elevation. Rather, it is caused by the up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), which rapidly diffuses posteriorly, causing retinal ganglion cell apoptosis and CD45 cell activation. Herein, we investigated the involvement of peripheral blood monocytes and microglia in retinal damage. Using CX3CR1::CCR2 reporter mice and bone marrow chimeras, we show that peripheral CX3CR1CD45CD11bMHC-II monocytes infiltrate into the retina from the optic nerve at 24 hours after the burn and release further TNF-α. A secondary source of peripheral monocyte response originates from a rare population of patrolling myeloid CCR2 cells of the retina that differentiate into CX3CR1 macrophages within hours after the injury. As a result, CX3CR1CD45CD11b microglia become reactive at 7 days, causing further TNF-α release. Prompt TNF-α inhibition after corneal burn suppresses monocyte infiltration and microglia activation, and protects the retina. This study may prove relevant to other injuries of the central nervous system.
O'Neil EC, Huang J, Suhler EB, Dunn JP, Perez VL, Gritz DC, McWilliams K, Peskin E, Ying G-S, Bunya VY, Maguire MG, Kempen JH. Iontophoretic delivery of dexamethasone phosphate for non-infectious, non-necrotising anterior scleritis, dose-finding clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol 2018;102(8):1011-1013.Abstract
Currently available treatment options for non-infectious scleritis, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapies, have both efficacy and side effect limitations. Iontophoretic delivery of corticosteroids has been demonstrated to be effective for anterior uveitis and represents a potential new approach to scleritis therapy. We hypothesised that iontophoretic delivery would provide effective and precise medication delivery to the sclera, while limiting systemic exposure and side effects. This first-in-human randomised, double-masked, dose-escalating study of iontophoretic administration of dexamethasone phosphate for scleritis suggests the treatment to be well tolerated and safe (within the limitations of the 18 patients sample size). There was a suggestion of efficacy in the lowest (1.2 mA/min at 0.4 mA) dose group (corresponding to the superficial location of scleritis compared with anterior uveitis), with 5/7 eyes meeting the primary efficacy outcome within 28 days. Our results suggest iontophoretic delivery of corticosteroids is a promising potential treatment for scleritis, with favourable safety and preliminary efficacy results in this phase 1 trial. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01059955.
Sahu SK, Mittal SK, Foulsham W, Li M, Sangwan VS, Chauhan SK. Mast Cells Initiate the Recruitment of Neutrophils Following Ocular Surface Injury. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(5):1732-1740.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of mast cells to early neutrophil recruitment during ocular inflammation. Methods: In a murine model of corneal injury, the epithelium and anterior stroma were removed using a handheld motor brush. Cromolyn sodium (2% in PBS) eye drops were administered topically for mast cell inhibition. In vitro, bone marrow-derived mast cells were cultured alone or with corneal tissue. The frequencies of CD45+ inflammatory cells, CD11b+Ly6G+ neutrophils, and ckit+FcεR1+ mast cells in the cornea were assessed by flow cytometry. mRNA expression of CXCL2 was evaluated by real-time PCR and protein expression by ELISA. β-Hexosaminidase assays were performed to gauge mast cell activation. Results: Neutrophil infiltration of the cornea was observed within 1 hour of injury, with neutrophil frequencies increasing over subsequent hours. Concurrent expansion of mast cell frequencies at the cornea were observed, with mast cell activation (assessed by β-hexosaminidase levels) peaking at 6 hours after injury. Evaluation of CXCL2 mRNA and protein expression levels demonstrated augmented expression by injured corneal tissue relative to naïve corneal tissue. Mast cells were observed to constitutively express CXCL2, with significantly higher expression of CXCL2 protein compared with naïve corneal tissue. Culture with harvested injured corneas further amplified CXCL2 expression by mast cells. In vivo, mast cell inhibition was observed to decrease CXCL2 expression, limit early neutrophil infiltration, and reduce inflammatory cytokine expression by the cornea. Conclusions: Our data suggest that mast cell activation after corneal injury amplifies their secretion of CXCL2 and promotes the initiation of early neutrophil recruitment.
Park ESY, Rabinowits G, Hamnvik O-PR, Dagi LR. A case of Graves' ophthalmopathy associated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) therapy. J AAPOS 2018;Abstract
We present the first reported case of Graves' orbitopathy induced by pembrolizumab, a new FDA-approved drug used for the treatment of multiple refractory solid tumors and classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Pembrolizumab elicits T-lymphocyte proliferation; we suspect that thyroid eye disease may result in some cases.
Sveinsdóttir K, Ley D, Hövel H, Fellman V, Hüppi PS, Smith LEH, Hellström A, Hansen Pupp I. Relation of Retinopathy of Prematurity to Brain Volumes at Term Equivalent Age and Developmental Outcome at 2 Years of Corrected Age in Very Preterm Infants. Neonatology 2018;114(1):46-52.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a major complication of preterm birth and has been associated with later visual and nonvisual impairments. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate relationships between any stage of ROP, brain volumes, and developmental outcomes. METHODS: This study included 52 very preterm infants (gestational age [mean ± SD]: 26.4 ± 1.9 weeks). Total brain, gray matter, unmyelinated white matter (UWMV), and cerebellar volumes were estimated in 51 out of 52 infants by magnetic resonance imaging at term-equivalent age. Bayley Scales of Infant Development were used to assess developmental outcomes in 49 out of 52 infants at a mean corrected age of 24.6 months. RESULTS: Nineteen out of 52 infants developed any stage of ROP. Infants with ROP had a lower median (IQR) UWMV (173 [156-181] vs. 204 [186-216] mL, p < 0.001) and cerebellar volume (18.3 [16.5-20] vs. 22.3 [20.3-24.7] mL, p < 0.001) than infants without ROP. They also had a lower median (IQR) mental developmental index (72 [56-83] vs. 100 [88-104], p < 0.001) and a lower psychomotor developmental index (80 [60-85] vs. 92 [81-103], p = 0.002). Brain volumes and developmental outcomes did not differ among infants with different stages of ROP. CONCLUSION: Any stage of ROP in preterm infants was associated with a reduced brain volume and an impaired developmental outcome. These results suggest that common pathways may lead to impaired neural and neurovascular development in the brain and retina and that all stages of ROP may be considered in future studies on ROP and development.
Micera A, Di Zazzo A, Esposito G, Longo R, Foulsham W, Sacco R, Sgrulletta R, Bonini S. Age-Related Changes to Human Tear Composition. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(5):2024-2031.Abstract
Purpose: We characterize age-associated alterations in the expression of inflammatory mediators and tissue remodeling factors in human tears. Methods: A total of 75 consecutive volunteers (32 male/44 female; 19-93 years) underwent clinical assessment of ocular surface status, ocular surface disease index (OSDI) grading and tear sampling. The volunteers were categorized into three groups: young (18-40 years), middle-aged (41-60 years), and old (>60 years). Total protein profiles and chip-based protein array evaluations were conducted to investigate the expression of 60 potential candidates, including pro-/anti-inflammatory mediators and tissue remodeling factors. Appropriate validations were performed using conventional assays. Multiple comparisons for regression between potential candidates and age were performed, as well as statistical analyses among the three age groups. Nonpooled samples were used for quantifications. Results: Pearson analysis of chip-arrays identified 9 of 60 potential candidates. Specifically, IL-8, IL-6, and regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES; P < 0.0083) protein as well as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, IL-3, and TNF-α (P < 0.05) correlated positively with aging. MIP-3β showed an opposite tendency. Western blot and ELISA analysis corroborated the array data. OSDI grading did not correlate with aging. Conclusions: Dynamic changes to tear protein profiles occur with aging. Our study identifies the expression of IL-8, IL-6, RANTES, MMP-1, and MIP-3β as increasing with age. These select inflammatory and matrix remodeling factors may be relevant to the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutics in the context of age-related ocular surface disease.
Amparo F, Dana R. Web-based longitudinal remote assessment of dry eye symptoms. Ocul Surf 2018;16(2):249-253.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the feasibility of remote assessment and follow-up of dry eye symptoms using electronic versions of two validated questionnaires. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of consecutive patients with dry eye disease (DED). Patients were enrolled during a clinical visit and were explained how to respond electronic versions of the Ocular surface Disease Index (OSDI) and the Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye (SANDE) questionnaires using a computer in the presence of investigators. A secure link to both questionnaires was sent to each patient every 2 weeks in order to respond and submit their symptoms over a 3-month period. We analyzed the number of patients who responded to both questionnaires, the recurrence, and the symptoms scores reported. RESULTS: A total of 1121 questionnaires were collected; 103 patients (85%) reported their symptoms at least once during the 3-month study duration. The majority of participants who completed the study (71.6%) responded remotely at least once per month during the 3-month duration of the study. The mean OSDI and SANDE scores from the total of remote evaluations were 34.9 ± 21.9 (range 0-97.5) and 50.3 ± 24.9 (range 0-100), respectively. There was a statistically significant correlation between the total scores collected with the two questionnaires (R = 0.67, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients are motivated to report DED symptoms while away from the clinic. Distance-based evaluation of DED symptoms is both feasible and convenient, and can be implemented to follow symptoms in large populations with chronic dry eye.

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