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Shiga Y, Akiyama M, Nishiguchi KM, Sato K, Shimozawa N, Takahashi A, Momozawa Y, Hirata M, Matsuda K, Yamaji T, Iwasaki M, Tsugane S, Oze I, Mikami H, Naito M, Wakai K, Yoshikawa M, Miyake M, Yamashiro K, Kashiwagi K, Iwata T, Mabuchi F, Takamoto M, Ozaki M, Kawase K, Aihara M, Araie M, Yamamoto T, Kiuchi Y, Nakamura M, Ikeda Y, Sonoda K-H, Ishibashi T, Nitta K, Iwase A, Shirato S, Oka Y, Satoh M, Sasaki M, Fuse N, Suzuki Y, Cheng C-Y, Khor CC, Baskaran M, Perera S, Aung T, Vithana EN, Cooke Bailey JN, Kang JH, Pasquale LR, Haines JL, Wiggs JL, Burdon KP, Gharahkhani P, Hewitt AW, Mackey DA, Macgregor S, Craig JE, Allingham RR, Hauser M, Ashaye A, Budenz DL, Akafo S, Williams SEI, Kamatani Y, Nakazawa T, Kubo M. Genome-wide association study identifies seven novel susceptibility loci for primary open-angle glaucoma. Hum Mol Genet 2018;27(8):1486-1496.Abstract
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide for which 15 disease-associated loci had been discovered. Among them, only 5 loci have been associated with POAG in Asians. We carried out a genome-wide association study and a replication study that included a total of 7378 POAG cases and 36 385 controls from a Japanese population. After combining the genome-wide association study and the two replication sets, we identified 11 POAG-associated loci, including 4 known (CDKN2B-AS1, ABCA1, SIX6 and AFAP1) and 7 novel loci (FNDC3B, ANKRD55-MAP3K1, LMX1B, LHPP, HMGA2, MEIS2 and LOXL1) at a genome-wide significance level (P < 5.0×10-8), bringing the total number of POAG-susceptibility loci to 22. The 7 novel variants were subsequently evaluated in a multiethnic population comprising non-Japanese East Asians (1008 cases, 591 controls), Europeans (5008 cases, 35 472 controls) and Africans (2341 cases, 2037 controls). The candidate genes located within the new loci were related to ocular development (LMX1B, HMGA2 and MAP3K1) and glaucoma-related phenotypes (FNDC3B, LMX1B and LOXL1). Pathway analysis suggested epidermal growth factor receptor signaling might be involved in POAG pathogenesis. Genetic correlation analysis revealed the relationships between POAG and systemic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. These results improve our understanding of the genetic factors that affect the risk of developing POAG and provide new insight into the genetic architecture of POAG in Asians.
Fu Z, Wang Z, Liu C-H, Gong Y, Cakir B, Liegl R, Sun Y, Meng SS, Burnim SB, Arellano I, Moran E, Duran R, Poblete A, Cho SS, Talukdar S, Akula JD, Hellström A, Smith LEH. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Protects Photoreceptor Function in Type 1 Diabetic Mice. Diabetes 2018;67(5):974-985.Abstract
Retinal neuronal abnormalities occur before vascular changes in diabetic retinopathy. Accumulating experimental evidence suggests that neurons control vascular pathology in diabetic and other neovascular retinal diseases. Therefore, normalizing neuronal activity in diabetes may prevent vascular pathology. We investigated whether fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) prevented retinal neuronal dysfunction in insulin-deficient diabetic mice. We found that in diabetic neural retina, photoreceptor rather than inner retinal function was most affected and administration of the long-acting FGF21 analog PF-05231023 restored the retinal neuronal functional deficits detected by electroretinography. PF-05231023 administration protected against diabetes-induced disorganization of photoreceptor segments seen in retinal cross section with immunohistochemistry and attenuated the reduction in the thickness of photoreceptor segments measured by optical coherence tomography. PF-05231023, independent of its downstream metabolic modulator adiponectin, reduced inflammatory marker interleukin-1β (IL-1β) mRNA levels. PF-05231023 activated the AKT-nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathway and reduced IL-1β expression in stressed photoreceptors. PF-05231023 administration did not change retinal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A, suggesting a novel therapeutic approach for the prevention of early diabetic retinopathy by protecting photoreceptor function in diabetes.
Kloek CE, Jeng-Miller KW, Jacobs DS, Dunn IF. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Treatment of Ocular Surface Disease After Skull Base Tumor Resection. World Neurosurg 2018;110:e124-e128.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment is an effective, nonsurgical therapeutic option for patients with ocular surface disease related to cranial nerve deficits secondary to skull base tumor resection. METHODS: This case series describes the impact of PROSE treatment in patients with symptomatic exposure keratopathy or neurotrophic keratitis after skull base tumor surgery. RESULTS: All patients improved symptomatically and functionally with PROSE treatment, and have had sustained improvement for as long as 3 years. CONCLUSIONS: In postneurosurgical cases in which neurologic function may recover, PROSE treatment offers a safe, nonsurgical treatment option to support the ocular surface during the period of observation awaiting neurologic recovery.
Zhang S, Lebreton F, Mansfield MJ, Miyashita S-I, Zhang J, Schwartzman JA, Tao L, Masuyer G, Martínez-Carranza M, Stenmark Pål, Gilmore MS, Doxey AC, Dong M. Identification of a Botulinum Neurotoxin-like Toxin in a Commensal Strain of Enterococcus faecium. Cell Host Microbe 2018;23(2):169-176.e6.Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by various Clostridium strains, are a family of potent bacterial toxins and potential bioterrorism agents. Here we report that an Enterococcus faecium strain isolated from cow feces carries a BoNT-like toxin, designated BoNT/En. It cleaves both VAMP2 and SNAP-25, proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle exocytosis in neurons, at sites distinct from known BoNT cleavage sites on these two proteins. Comparative genomic analysis determines that the E. faecium strain carrying BoNT/En is a commensal type and that the BoNT/En gene is located within a typical BoNT gene cluster on a 206 kb putatively conjugative plasmid. Although the host species targeted by BoNT/En remains to be determined, these findings establish an extended member of BoNTs and demonstrate the capability of E. faecium, a commensal organism ubiquitous in humans and animals and a leading cause of hospital-acquired multi-drug-resistant (MDR) infections, to horizontally acquire, and possibly disseminate, a unique BoNT gene cluster.
Löfqvist CA, Najm S, Hellgren G, Engström E, Sävman K, Nilsson AK, Andersson MX, Hård A-L, Smith LEH, Hellström A. Association of Retinopathy of Prematurity With Low Levels of Arachidonic Acid: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;136(3):271-277.Abstract
Importance: Mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy fed matched diets except for ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) vs ω-6 LC-PUFAs demonstrate relative antiangiogenic and neuroprotective associations of ω-3 LC-PUFAs. However, supplementing preterm infants with LC-PUFAs has been inconsistent in reducing major preterm morbidities. However, few studies measured serum lipid levels after supplementation. Objective: To examine the associated risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) from the levels of circulating ω-3 and ω-6 LC-PUFAs. Design, Setting, and Participants: This longitudinal clinical study was a further analysis of serum lipid levels from a randomized controlled trial cohort of 90 infants born at gestational age (GA) less than 28 weeks. From April 4, 2013, to September 22, 2015, cord blood samples, followed by venous blood samples, were obtained at birth and at 1, 7, 14, and 28 days after birth and then at postmenstrual age (PMA) 32, 36, and 40 weeks at the neonatal intensive care unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden. Main Outcomes and Measures: Serum phospholipid fatty acids were transmethylated and measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Mann-Whitney test, logistic regression Spearman rank correlation, and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were used to compare differences between infants with no ROP and infants who developed ROP. Results: Serum levels from 78 infants (43 male [55%]; mean [SD] GA, 25.5 [1.4] weeks) with a known ROP outcome were evaluated. Lower area under the curve (AUC) of arachidonic acid (AA) (20:4 ω-6) was seen in infants with a later diagnosis of ROP compared with infants with no ROP in the first month of life (mean, 34.05 [95% CI, 32.10-36.00] vs 37.15 [95% CI, 34.85-39.46]; P < .05). In addition, lower levels of AA at 32 weeks' PMA were seen in infants with later severe ROP compared with in those without ROP (mean, 7.06 [95% CI, 6.60-7.52] vs 8.74 [95% CI, 7.80-9.67]; P < .001). In logistic modeling, low postnatal serum levels of AA and GA at birth identified with a sensitivity greater than 90% of infants who developed ROP. Conclusions and Relevance: Low postnatal levels of the ω-6 LC-PUFAs (AA) are strongly associated with ROP development. Evaluating postnatal AA fraction after birth in addition to GA may be useful for ROP prediction. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02760472.
Cao J, Brouwer NJ, Jordanova ES, Marinkovic M, van Duinen SG, de Waard NE, Ksander BR, Mulder A, Claas FHJ, Heemskerk MHM, Jager MJ. HLA Class I Antigen Expression in Conjunctival Melanoma Is Not Associated With PD-L1/PD-1 Status. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(2):1005-1015.Abstract
Purpose: Antitumor T cells need expression of HLA class I molecules but can be inhibited by ligands such as programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). We determined expression and regulation of these molecules in human conjunctival melanoma (CM) samples, cell lines, and murine xenografts. Methods: Immunofluorescence staining was performed to examine the expression of HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) in 23 primary CM samples. HLA class I expression was compared with clinicopathologic characteristics, the presence of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, and PD-L1/PD-1 status. The effect of interferon γ (IFN-γ) on HLA class I expression was tested on three CM cell lines using quantitative PCR and flow cytometry. Furthermore, HLA class I expression was determined in CM cell line-derived murine xenografts. Results: One third of tumors had positive HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and B2M expression. A positive expression was especially seen in thin and epibulbar tumors but was not associated with recurrences. HLA class I expression was correlated with M2 macrophage density and tended to associate with CD8+ T-cell density but was independent of PD-L1 or PD-1 expression. IFN-γ upregulated HLA class I expression and genes involved in HLA transcription and transportation on CM cell lines. Murine xenografts showed a comparable HLA class I expression as their respective cell lines. Conclusions: Our data indicate that subsets of CM have positive HLA class I expression, and HLA class I and PD-L1/PD-1 are expressed independently. When one considers immunotherapy, one should also analyze HLA class I expression, whose downregulation can limit the efficacy of T cell-mediated therapies.
Wan MJ, Chiu H, Shah AS, Hunter DG. Long-term Surgical Outcomes for Large-angle Infantile Esotropia. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;189:155-159.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the long-term surgical outcomes for a cohort of children with large-angle infantile esotropia. DESIGN: Multicenter, nonrandomized clinical study. METHODS: Setting: Two tertiary-care pediatric hospitals. STUDY POPULATION: Children with large-angle (≥55 prism diopters) infantile esotropia. INTERVENTION: Surgical treatment of infantile esotropia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Success rate at final follow-up (postoperative deviation ≤ 10 prism diopters and no need for retreatment). RESULTS: A total of 88 patients with large-angle infantile esotropia were treated during the 13-year study period. Treatment was bilateral medial rectus muscle recessions in 70 patients, botulinum toxin-augmented surgery in 15 patients, and 3-muscle surgery in 3 patients. After a mean follow-up of 40 months, 20 patients (23%) had a successful outcome compared to 68 treatment failures (77%). Of the 68 treatment failures, 59 had residual or recurrent esotropia and 9 had sequential exotropia. On multivariate logistic regression, treatment modality was the only factor significantly associated with a successful outcome. Specifically, patients treated with botulinum toxin-augmented surgery were more likely to have a successful outcome compared to patients treated with bilateral medial rectus muscle recessions. For the 26 patients (30%) who underwent retreatment, the mean number of procedures was 2.1, and 7 (27%) had a deviation of ≤10 prism diopters at final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: The overall success rate for treatment of large-angle infantile esotropia was poor in this cohort, with most failures owing to recurrent or residual esotropia. Botulinum toxin-augmented surgery was associated with a higher success rate at final follow-up.
Cattaneo Z, Lega C, Rinaldi L, Fantino M, Ferrari C, Merabet LB, Vecchi T. The Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes does not depend on a normal visual experience: A study with early blind individuals. Atten Percept Psychophys 2018;80(4):813-821.Abstract
Converging evidence suggests that the perception of auditory pitch exhibits a characteristic spatial organization. This pitch-space association can be demonstrated experimentally by the Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes (SMARC) effect. This is characterized by faster response times when a low-positioned key is pressed in response to a low-pitched tone, and a high-positioned key is pressed in response to a high-pitched tone. To investigate whether the development of this pitch-space association is mediated by normal visual experience, we tested a group of early blind individuals on a task that required them to discriminate the timbre of different instrument sounds with varying pitch. Results revealed a comparable pattern in the SMARC effect in both blind participants and sighted controls, suggesting that the lack of prior visual experience does not prevent the development of an association between pitch height and vertical space.
Laíns I, Kelly RS, Miller JB, Silva R, Vavvas DG, Kim IK, Murta JN, Lasky-Su J, Miller JW, Husain D. Human Plasma Metabolomics Study across All Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Identifies Potential Lipid Biomarkers. Ophthalmology 2018;125(2):245-254.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the plasma metabolomic profile of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using mass spectrometry (MS). DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. PARTICIPANTS: We prospectively recruited participants with a diagnosis of AMD and a control group (>50 years of age) without any vitreoretinal disease. METHODS: All participants underwent color fundus photography, used for AMD diagnosis and staging, according to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification scheme. Fasting blood samples were collected and plasma was analyzed by Metabolon, Inc. (Durham, NC), using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution MS. Metabolon's hardware and software were used to identify peaks and control quality. Principal component analysis and multivariate regression were performed to assess differences in the metabolomic profiles of AMD patients versus controls, while controlling for potential confounders. For biological interpretation, pathway enrichment analysis of significant metabolites was performed using MetaboAnalyst. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measures were levels of plasma metabolites in participants with AMD compared with controls and among different AMD severity stages. RESULTS: We included 90 participants with AMD (30 with early AMD, 30 with intermediate AMD, and 30 with late AMD) and 30 controls. Using UPLC and MS, 878 biochemicals were identified. Multivariate logistic regression identified 87 metabolites with levels that differed significantly between AMD patients and controls. Most of these metabolites (82.8%; n = 72), including the most significant metabolites, belonged to the lipid pathways. Analysis of variance revealed that of the 87 metabolites, 48 (55.2%) also were significantly different across the different stages of AMD. A significant enrichment of the glycerophospholipids pathway was identified (P = 4.7 × 10) among these metabolites. CONCLUSIONS: Participants with AMD have altered plasma metabolomic profiles compared with controls. Our data suggest that the most significant metabolites map to the glycerophospholipid pathway. These findings have the potential to improve our understanding of AMD pathogenesis, to support the development of plasma-based metabolomics biomarkers of AMD, and to identify novel targets for treatment of this blinding disease.
Guo C, Cho K-S, Li Y, Tchedre K, Antolik C, Ma J, Chew J, Utheim TP, Huang XA, Yu H, Malik MTA, Anzak N, Chen DF. IGFBPL1 Regulates Axon Growth through IGF-1-mediated Signaling Cascades. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):2054.Abstract
Activation of axonal growth program is a critical step in successful optic nerve regeneration following injury. Yet the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate this developmental transition are not fully understood. Here we identified a novel regulator, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-like 1 (IGFBPL1), for the growth of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons. Expression of IGFBPL1 correlates with RGC axon growth in development, and acute knockdown of IGFBPL1 with shRNA or IGFBPL1 knockout in vivo impaired RGC axon growth. In contrast, administration of IGFBPL1 promoted axon growth. Moreover, IGFBPL1 bound to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and subsequently induced calcium signaling and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) phosphorylation to stimulate axon elongation. Blockage of IGF-1 signaling abolished IGFBPL1-mediated axon growth, and vice versa, IGF-1 required the presence of IGFBPL1 to promote RGC axon growth. These data reveal a novel element in the control of RGC axon growth and suggest an unknown signaling loop in the regulation of the pleiotropic functions of IGF-1. They suggest new therapeutic target for promoting optic nerve and axon regeneration and repair of the central nervous system.
Bauer CM, Cabral HJ, Killiany RJ. Multimodal Discrimination between Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease and Prediction of Cognitive Decline. Diagnostics (Basel) 2018;8(1)Abstract
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are associated with widespread changes in brain structure and function, as indicated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) morphometry and 18-fluorodeoxyglucose position emission tomography (FDG PET) metabolism. Nevertheless, the ability to differentiate between AD, MCI and normal aging groups can be difficult. Thus, the goal of this study was to identify the combination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism and neuropsychological test scores to that best differentiate between a sample of normal aging subjects and those with MCI and AD from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The secondary goal was to determine the neuroimaging variables from MRI, FDG PET and CSF biomarkers that can predict future cognitive decline within each group. To achieve these aims, a series of multivariate stepwise logistic and linear regression models were generated. Combining all neuroimaging modalities and cognitive test scores significantly improved the index of discrimination, especially at the earliest stages of the disease, whereas MRI gray matter morphometry variables best predicted future cognitive decline compared to other neuroimaging variables. Overall these findings demonstrate that a multimodal approach using MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism, neuropsychological test scores and CSF biomarkers may provide significantly better discrimination than any modality alone.
Bhattacharya S, García-Posadas L, Hodges RR, Makarenkova HP, Masli S, Dartt DA. Alteration in nerves and neurotransmitter stimulation of lacrimal gland secretion in the TSP-1 mouse model of aqueous deficiency dry eye. Mucosal Immunol 2018;11(4):1138-1148.Abstract
The purpose of this study is to determine neural, vascular, protein secretion, and cellular signaling changes with disease progression in lacrimal glands of the thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) mouse model of dry eye compared to C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice. Neural innervation was reduced in TSP-1 lacrimal glands compared to WT controls, whereas the number of blood vessels was increased. Intracellular Ca stores and the amount of lysosomes, mitochondria, and secretory granules, but not the endoplasmic reticulum, were reduced in TSP-1 compared to WT acini at 12 weeks of age. Ex vivo high KCl-evoked secretion was decreased in TSP-1 compared to WT lacrimal gland tissue pieces. The α-adrenergic agonist-stimulated response was increased in TSP-1 at 4 and 24 weeks but decreased at 12 weeks, and the ATP and MeSATP-stimulated peak [Ca] responses were decreased at 24 weeks. These changes were observed prior to the appearance of mononuclear infiltrates. We conclude that in the lacrimal gland the absence of TSP-1: injures peripheral nerves; blocks efferent nerve activation; decreases protein secretion; and alters intracellular Ca stores. Through these effects the absence of TSP-1 leads to disruption of ocular surface homeostasis and development of dry eye.
Strainiene E, Binkis M, Urnikyte S, Stankevicius V, Sasnauskiene A, Kundrotas G, Kazlauskas A, Suziedelis K. Microenvironment dependent gene expression signatures in reprogrammed human colon normal and cancer cell lines. BMC Cancer 2018;18(1):222.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Since the first evidence suggesting existence of stem-like cancer cells, the process of cells reprogramming to the stem cell state remains as an attractive tool for cancer stemness research. Current knowledge in the field of cancer stemness, indicates that the microenvironment is a fundamental regulator of cell behavior. With regard to this, we investigated the changes of genome wide gene expression in reprogrammed human colon normal epithelial CRL-1831 and colon carcinoma DLD1 cell lines grown under more physiologically relevant three-dimensional (3D) cell culture microenvironment compared to 2D monolayer. METHODS: Whole genome gene expression changes were evaluated in both cell lines cultured under 3D conditions over a 2D monolayer by gene expression microarray analysis. To evaluate the biological significance of gene expression changes, we performed pathway enrichment analysis using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Gene network analysis was used to study relationships between differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in functional categories by the GeneMANIA Cytoscape toolkit. RESULTS: In total, we identified 3228 and 2654 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for colon normal and cancer reprogrammed cell lines, respectively. Furthermore, the expression of 1097 genes was commonly regulated in both cell lines. KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that in total 129 and 101 pathways for iPSC-CRL-1831 and for CSC-DLD1, respectively, were enriched. Next, we grouped these pathways into three functional categories: cancer transformation/metastasis, cell interaction, and stemness. β-catenin (CTNNB1) was confirmed as a hub gene of all three functional categories. CONCLUSIONS: Our present findings suggest common pathways between reprogrammed human colon normal epithelium (iPSC-CRL-1831) and adenocarcinoma (CSC-DLD1) cells grown under 3D microenvironment. In addition, we demonstrated that pathways important for cancer transformation and tumor metastatic activity are altered both in normal and cancer stem-like cells during the transfer from 2D to 3D culture conditions. Thus, we indicate the potential of cell culture models enriched in normal and cancer stem-like cells for the identification of new therapeutic targets in cancer treatment.

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