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Tan X, Chen Y, Foulsham W, Amouzegar A, Inomata T, Liu Y, Chauhan SK, Dana R. The immunoregulatory role of corneal epithelium-derived thrombospondin-1 in dry eye disease. Ocul Surf 2018;16(4):470-477.Abstract
PURPOSE: In this study, we examine the expression of corneal epithelium-derived thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and its immunomodulatory functions in a validated murine model of dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: DED was induced in female C57BL/6 using a controlled environment chamber (CEC) for 14 days. mRNA and protein expression of TSP-1 by corneal epithelial cells was quantified using real-time PCR and flow cytometry. Corneal epithelial cells from either naïve or DED mice were cultured with bone marrow derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) in the presence of IFNγ for 48 h, and BMDC expression of MHC-II and CD86 was determined using flow cytometry. Next, either recombinant TSP-1 or anti-TSP-1 antibody was added to the co-culture, and BMDC expression of above activation markers was evaluated. Finally, either DED mice were topically treated with either recombinant TSP-1 or human serum albumin (HSA), and maturation of corneal DCs, expression of inflammatory cytokines, and DED severity were investigated. RESULTS: mRNA expression of TSP-1 by the corneal epithelium was upregulated in DED. Corneal epithelial cells derived from mice with DED demonstrated an enhanced capacity in suppressing BMDC expression of MHC-II and CD86 relative to wild type mice, and this effect was abrogated by TSP-1 blockade and potentiated by recombinant TSP-1. Finally, topical application of recombinant TSP-1 significantly suppressed corneal DC maturation and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and ameliorated disease severity in mice with DED. CONCLUSIONS: Our study elucidates the function of epithelium-derived TSP-1 in inhibiting DC maturation and shows its translational potential to limit corneal epitheliopathy in DED.
Nanji KC, Fain B, Morley MG, Bayes J. In Response. Anesth Analg 2018;127(4):e69-e70.
Laíns I, Kelly RS, Miller JB, Vavvas DG, Kim IK, Lasky-Su J, Miller JW, Husain D. Reply. Ophthalmology 2018;125(7):e46-e47.
Huang C-C, Yang W, Guo C, Jiang H, Li F, Xiao M, Davidson S, Yu G, Duan B, Huang T, Huang AJW, Liu Q. Anatomical and functional dichotomy of ocular itch and pain. Nat Med 2018;Abstract
Itch and pain are refractory symptoms of many ocular conditions. Ocular itch is generated mainly in the conjunctiva and is absent from the cornea. In contrast, most ocular pain arises from the cornea. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Using genetic axonal tracing approaches, we discover distinct sensory innervation patterns between the conjunctiva and cornea. Further genetic and functional analyses in rodent models show that a subset of conjunctival-selective sensory fibers marked by MrgprA3 expression, rather than corneal sensory fibers, mediates ocular itch. Importantly, the actions of both histamine and nonhistamine pruritogens converge onto this unique subset of conjunctiva sensory fibers and enable them to play a key role in mediating itch associated with allergic conjunctivitis. This is distinct from skin itch, in which discrete populations of sensory neurons cooperate to carry itch. Finally, we provide proof of concept that selective silencing of conjunctiva itch-sensing fibers by pruritogen-mediated entry of sodium channel blocker QX-314 is a feasible therapeutic strategy to treat ocular itch in mice. Itch-sensing fibers also innervate the human conjunctiva and allow pharmacological silencing using QX-314. Our results cast new light on the neural mechanisms of ocular itch and open a new avenue for developing therapeutic strategies.
Tsoka P, Matsumoto H, Maidana DE, Kataoka K, Naoumidi I, Gravanis A, Vavvas DG, Tsilimbaris MK. Effects of BNN27, a novel C17-spiroepoxy steroid derivative, on experimental retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor cell death. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):10661.Abstract
Retinal detachment (RD) leads to photoreceptor cell death secondary to the physical separation of the retina from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium. Intensifying photoreceptor survival in the detached retina could be remarkably favorable for many retinopathies in which RD can be seen. BNN27, a blood-brain barrier (BBB)-permeable, C17-spiroepoxy derivative of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has shown promising neuroprotective activity through interaction with nerve growth factor receptors, TrkA and p75. Here, we administered BNN27 systemically in a murine model of RD. TUNEL photoreceptors were significantly decreased 24 hours post injury after a single administration of 200 mg/kg BNN27. Furthermore, BNN27 increased inflammatory cell infiltration, as well as, two markers of gliosis 24 hours post RD. However, single or multiple doses of BNN27 were not able to protect the overall survival of photoreceptors 7 days post injury. Additionally, BNN27 did not induce the activation/phosphorylation of TrkA in the detached retina although the mRNA levels of the receptor were increased in the photoreceptors post injury. Together, these findings, do not demonstrate neuroprotective activity of BNN27 in experimentally-induced RD. Further studies are needed in order to elucidate the paradox/contradiction of these results and the mechanism of action of BNN27 in this model of photoreceptor cell damage.
Guo X, Sriram S, Tran JA, Hutcheon AEK, Zieske JD. Inhibition of Human Corneal Myofibroblast Formation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(8):3511-3520.Abstract
Purpose: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) isoform 1 (T1) is involved in corneal fibrotic wound healing by stimulating myofibroblast transformation and altering fibrotic gene expression. In this study, two specific inhibitors were used to dissect the relationship between myofibroblast generation and the TGF-β/Smad- or TGF-β/p38-signaling pathway in human corneal fibroblasts (HCF). Methods: In HCF, Trx-SARA (Smad-pathway inhibitor) was used to block the TGF-β/Smad-signaling pathway, and the p38 inhibitor (p38inh, SB202190) was used to inhibit p38MAPK, thus blocking the TGF-β/p38-signaling pathway. HCF ± Trx-SARA or Trx-GA (SARA control) were serum starved overnight in Eagle's minimum essential medium (EMEM) ± p38inh, grown in EMEM ± T1 ± p38inh for 24 hours, and then processed for indirect-immunofluorescence, Western blot, or quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to examine α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) and other fibrotic genes, such as fibronectin, thrombospondin1, and type III collagen. In addition, the morphology and the effect of p38inh on myofibroblast phenotype after myofibroblast formation were examined. Results: We observed that Trx-SARA had little effect on αSMA expression, indicating that blocking the Smad pathway did not significantly inhibit myofibroblast formation. However, p38inh did significantly inhibit αSMA and other fibrotic genes, thus efficiently preventing the transition of HCFs to myofibroblasts. In addition, morphology changed and αSMA decreased in myofibroblasts exposed to p38inh medium, as compared with controls. Conclusions: HCF transition to myofibroblasts was mainly through the p38 pathway. Therefore, blocking the p38 pathway may be a potential therapeutic tool for human corneal fibrosis prevention/treatment, because it controls myofibroblast formation in human corneal cells, while leaving other functions of T1 unaffected.
Wiggs JL, Kang JH, Fan BJ, Levkovitch-Verbin H, Pasquale LR. A Role for Clusterin in Exfoliation Syndrome and Exfoliation Glaucoma?. J Glaucoma 2018;27 Suppl 1:S61-S66.Abstract
The multifunctional protein clusterin (CLU) is a secreted glycoprotein ubiquitously expressed throughout the body, including in the eye. Its primary function is to act as an extracellular molecular chaperone, preventing the precipitation and aggregation of misfolded extracellular proteins. Clusterin is commonly identified at fluid-tissue interfaces, and has been identified in most body fluids. It is a component of exfoliation material, and CLU mRNA is reduced in eyes with exfoliation syndrome compared with controls. SNPs located in the CLU genomic region have been associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) at the genome-wide level and several CLU SNPs located in an apparent regulatory region have been nominally associated with XFS/XFG in Caucasians with European ancestry and in south Indians. Interestingly, clusterin associates with altered elastic fibers in human photoaged skin and prevents UV-induced elastin aggregation in vitro. In light of the known geographic risk factors for XFS/XFG, which could include UV light, investigations of CLU-geographic interactions could be of interest. Future studies investigating rare CLU variation and other complex interactions including gene-gene interactions in XFS/XFG cases and controls may also be fruitful. Although CLU has been considered as a therapeutic target in AD, cancer and dry eye, a role for clusterin in XFS/XFG needs to be better defined before therapeutic approaches involving CLU can be entertained.
Sii S, Barton K, Pasquale LR, Yamamoto T, King AJ, Azuara-Blanco A. Reporting Harm in Glaucoma Surgical Trials: Systematic Review and a Consensus-Derived New Classification System. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;194:153-162.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the standards of harm reporting for glaucoma surgical trials and to develop a classification system for reporting surgical complication severity. DESIGN: Systematic review and Delphi consensus method. METHODS: Systematic review of glaucoma surgical trials published from January 2010 until July 2017 with a quality assessment against the CONSORT checklist for harm. A Delphi method was employed to generate consensus grading (interquartile range ≤ 2) among international glaucoma experts (n = 43) on severity of glaucoma surgical complications, and specifically for trabeculectomy and aqueous shunt complications, from 1 (no clinical significance) to 10 (most severe complication). RESULTS: Forty-seven studies were eligible. The items of the CONSORT checklist for harm that were most frequently missing were use of a validated instrument to report severity (0%), withdrawals due to harm, and subgroup analyses, both reported in 3 publications (6.4%). Most glaucoma experts participating in the Delphi process (80%) completed the second round, and consensus was achieved for all but 1 complication. The least severe complications (graded 2) were "transient loss of vision," "early low intraocular pressure," "choroidal detachment anterior to equator," "small layered hyphema < 1 mm," and "increased lens opacity not clinically significant." The most severe complications (graded 10) were "endophthalmitis" and "permanent severe loss of vision (hand movements or worse)." CONCLUSIONS: Glaucoma surgical randomized controlled trials report frequency of complications, but their severity is rarely reported. The quality of harm reporting is poor. We propose the use of a newly developed system of classification for assessing the severity of surgical complications based on consensus.
Nanji KC, Fain B, Morley MG, Bayes J. In Response. Anesth Analg 2018;127(4):e67-e68.
Jorge AM, Melles RB, Zhang Y, Lu N, Rai SK, Young LH, Costenbader KH, Ramsey-Goldman R, Lim SS, Esdaile JM, Clarke AE, Urowitz MB, Askanase A, Aranow C, Petri M, Choi H. Hydroxychloroquine prescription trends and predictors for excess dosing per recent ophthalmology guidelines. Arthritis Res Ther 2018;20(1):133.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) retinopathy may be more common than previously recognized; recent ophthalmology guidelines have revised recommendations from ideal body weight (IBW)-based dosing to actual body weight (ABW)-based dosing. However, contemporary HCQ prescribing trends in the UK remain unknown. METHODS: We examined a UK general population database to investigate HCQ dosing between 2007 and 2016. We studied trends of excess HCQ dosing per ophthalmology guidelines (defined by exceeding 6.5 mg/kg of IBW and 5.0 mg/kg of ABW) and determined their independent predictors using multivariable logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Among 20,933 new HCQ users (78% female), the proportions of initial HCQ excess dosing declined from 40% to 36% using IBW and 38% to 30% using ABW, between 2007 and 2016. Among these, 47% of women were excess-dosed (multivariable OR 12.52; 95% CI 10.99-14.26) using IBW and 38% (multivariable OR 1.98; 95% CI,1.81-2.15) using ABW. Applying IBW, 37% of normal and 44% of obese patients were excess-dosed; however, applying ABW, 53% of normal and 10% of obese patients were excess-dosed (multivariable ORs = 1.61 and 0.1 (reference = normal); both p < 0.01). Long-term HCQ users showed similar excess dosing. CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of HCQ users in the UK, particularly women, may have excess HCQ dosing per the previous or recent weight-based guidelines despite a modest decline in recent years. Over half of normal-BMI individuals were excess-dosed per the latest guidelines. This implies the potential need to reduce dosing for many patients but also calls for further research to establish unifying evidence-based safe and effective dosing strategies.
He M, Lippestad M, Li D, Hodges RR, Utheim TP, Dartt DA. Activation of the EGF Receptor by Histamine Receptor Subtypes Stimulates Mucin Secretion in Conjunctival Goblet Cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(8):3543-3553.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if histamine receptors interact with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in cultured rat conjunctival goblet cells. Methods: Goblet cells from rat conjunctiva were grown in organ culture. First-passage goblet cells were used in all experiments. Phosphorylated (active) and total EGFR, AKT, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 were measured by Western blot analysis. Cells were preincubated with the EGFR antagonist AG1478 for 30 minutes or small interfering RNA specific to the EGFR for 3 days prior to stimulation with histamine or agonists specific for histamine receptor subtypes for 2 hours. Goblet cell secretion was measured using an enzyme-linked lectin assay. Goblet cells were incubated for 1 hour with the calcium indicator molecule fura-2/AM, and intracellular [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) was determined. Data were collected in real time and presented as the actual [Ca2+]i with time and as the change in peak [Ca2+]i. Results: Histamine increased the phosphorylation of the EGFR. Mucin secretion and increase in [Ca2+]i stimulated by histamine, and agonists specific for each histamine receptor subtype were blocked by inhibition of the EGFR. Increase in [Ca2+]i stimulated by histamine and specific agonists for each histamine receptor was also inhibited by TAPI-1, a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor. The histamine-stimulated increase in activation of AKT, but not ERK1/2, was blocked by AG1478. Conclusions: In conjunctival goblet cells, histamine, using all four receptor subtypes, transactivates the EGFR via an MMP. This in turn phosphorylates AKT to increase [Ca2+]i and stimulate mucin secretion.
Chen X, Yao X, Chi Y, Guo C, Zhang J, Li J, Zhang S, Rong X, Pasquale LR, Yang L. A Cross-Sectional Observational Study of Nailfold Capillary Morphology in Uveitis. Curr Eye Res 2018;43(11):1342-1350.Abstract
PURPOSE: We performed nailfold capillary microscopy to explore microvasculature abnormalities in uveitis overall and uveitis stratified in various ways. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, case-control, observational study. One hundred and seven uveitis patients and 130 control subjects were included. We used a JH-1004 capillaroscope to perform nailfold capillary video microscopy on the fourth and fifth digits of each subject's nondominant hand. Videos were evaluated for hemorrhages, dilated capillary loops > 25 µm, and avascular zones > 200 µm. Univariate analyses were used for the assessment of case-control morphological differences and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the relation between nailfold capillaroscopic findings and uveitis subgroups. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, uveitis patients were more likely to have higher tortuosity ratings and reduced capillary density compared to controls (p < 0.001 for both); furthermore, dilated capillary loops, avascular zone and hemorrhages were more frequent in uveitis versus control subjects (p < 0.001 for all). Among cases, every unit increase in capillary density (vessels/mm) was associated with active uveitis (n = 72 cases) versus inactive disease (n = 35 cases; odds ratio (OR) = 1.7; (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-2.5) in multivariate analysis. Furthermore, the presence of any nailfold hemorrhage versus the absence of hemorrhage was more likely to be associated with posterior and panuveitis (n = 41 cases combined) compared to anterior and intermediate uveitis (n = 66 cases combined; OR = 5.8; 95% CI, 2.3-14.2). Moreover, we found a positive correlation between peripheral retinal leakage and nailfold capillaries dilation (r = 0.33; p = 0.015) that was not strictly significant based on the number of comparisons made. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides support for non-ocular capillary bed abnormalities in uveitis, with interesting correlations based on disease stage and anatomical classification.
Pasquale LR, Kang JH, Fan BJ, Levkovitch-Verbin H, Wiggs JL. LOXL1 Polymorphisms: Genetic Biomarkers that Presage Environmental Determinants of Exfoliation Syndrome. J Glaucoma 2018;27 Suppl 1:S20-S23.Abstract
An agnostic high throughput search of the genome revealed a robust association between LOXL1 genetic polymorphisms and exfoliation syndrome (XFS), a discovery that likely would not have been possible with candidate or family-based gene search strategies. While questions remain regarding how LOXL1 gene variants contribute to XFS pathogenesis, it is clear that the frequencies of disease-related alleles do not track with the varying disease burden throughout the world, prompting a search for environmental risk factors. A geo-medicine approach revealed that disease load seemed to increase as a function of the distance from the equator. The exact reason for this extraequatorial disease distribution pattern remains unclear, but a greater amount of time spent outdoors is a robust risk factor for XFS, suggesting climatic factors such as ocular solar exposure and colder ambient temperature may be involved in disease pathogenesis. Prospective studies have also implicated higher coffee consumption and lower dietary folate intake in association with incident XFS. The discovery of environmental risk factors for XFS suggests that preventive measures may help to reduce ocular morbidity from XFS.
Lieberman MT, Van Tyne D, Dzink-Fox JA, Ma EJ, Gilmore MS, Fox JG. Long-Term Colonization Dynamics of Enterococcus faecalis in Implanted Devices in Research Macaques. Appl Environ Microbiol 2018;84(18)Abstract
is a common opportunistic pathogen that colonizes cephalic recording chambers (CRCs) of macaques used in cognitive neuroscience research. We previously characterized 15 strains isolated from macaques at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2011. The goal of this study was to examine how a 2014 protocol change prohibiting the use of antimicrobials within CRCs affected colonizing strains. We collected 20 isolates from 10 macaques between 2013 and 2017 for comparison to 4 isolates previously characterized in 2011 with respect to the sequence type (ST) distribution, antimicrobial resistance, biofilm formation, and changes in genes that might confer a survival advantage. ST4 and ST55 were predominant among the isolates characterized in 2011, whereas the less antimicrobial-resistant lineage ST48 emerged to dominance after 2013. Two macaques remained colonized by ST4 and ST55 strains for 5 and 4 years, respectively. While the antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors identified in these ST4 and ST55 strains remained relatively stable, we detected an increase in biofilm formation ability over time in both isolates. We also found that ST48 strains were typically robust biofilm formers, which could explain why this ST increased in prevalence. Finally, we identified mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes and in separate ST55 and ST4 strains and confirmed that strains bearing these mutations displayed a hypermutator phenotype. The presence of a hypermutator phenotype may complicate future antimicrobial treatment for clinically relevant infections in macaques. is a common cause of health care-associated infections in humans, largely due to its ability to persist in the hospital environment, colonize patients, acquire antimicrobial resistance, and form biofilms. Understanding how enterococci evolve in health care settings provides insight into factors affecting enterococcal survival and persistence. Macaques used in neuroscience research have long-term cranial implants that, despite best practices, often become colonized by This provides a unique opportunity to noninvasively examine the evolution of enterococci on a long-term indwelling device. We collected strains from cephalic implants over a 7-year period and characterized the sequence type, antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, biofilm production, and hypermutator phenotypes. Improved antimicrobial stewardship allowed a less-antimicrobial-resistant strain to predominate at the implant interface, potentially improving antimicrobial treatment outcomes if future clinical infections occur. Biofilm formation appears to play an important role in the persistence of the strains associated with these implants.

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