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Guo C, Wu N, Niu X, Wu Y, Chen DF, Guo W. Comparison of T Helper Cell Patterns in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma and Normal-Pressure Glaucoma. Med Sci Monit 2018;24:1988-1996.Abstract
BACKGROUND HSP60-related immunological activities are found in normal-pressure glaucoma (NPG) patients, in whom an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) found in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is not observed. HSP60 was found in POAG and NPG patients, while anti-HSP60 level was mainly found to be higher in NPG patients. The purpose of this study was to compare the percentages of Th cells and levels of related cytokines, attempting to provide evidence to explain this discrepancy. MATERIAL AND METHODS Blood samples from POAG, NPG, and normal control (NC) groups were collected and peripheral blood monocytes were isolated and cultured with or without the stimulation of HSP60. Flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to assess the percentages of Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg cells, as well as HSP60 antibody levels and related cytokine levels, before and after culture. RESULTS Significantly higher titers of anti-HSP60 were observed only in NPG patients. Comparable Th1 and Th2 cell frequencies, IL-4 level, and IFN-γ level were found in POAG and NPG patients, while higher Treg cell frequency was only found in POAG patients. After culturing with HSP60, increased Th2 frequencies and decreased Th1 frequencies were observed in the POAG, NPG, and NC groups, while increased Treg frequency was only identified in the POAG and NC groups. CONCLUSIONS Different Th cell patterns were observed among POAG, NPG, and NC groups. Lack of induction of Treg cells and imbalance of the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory response patterns of Th cells exist in some NPG patients.
Gonzalez-Andrades M, Sharifi R, Islam MM, Divoux T, Haist M, Paschalis EI, Gelfand L, Mamodaly S, Di Cecilia L, Cruzat A, Ulm F-J, Chodosh J, Delori F, Dohlman CH. Improving the practicality and safety of artificial corneas: Pre-assembly and gamma-rays sterilization of the Boston Keratoprosthesis. Ocul Surf 2018;16(3):322-330.Abstract
PURPOSE: To make the Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro), together with its carrier corneal graft, more easily procured, transported and stored, as well as less expensive, easier for the surgeon to implant and safer for the patient, it is proposed that the B-KPro-graft combination be pre-assembled by an expert technician, followed by sterilization with gamma ray irradiation (GI) allowing long-term storage at room temperature. For this to be possible, it must be shown that the B-KPro itself (not only the graft) remains unharmed by the irradiation. METHODS: Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) discs and B-KPros were submitted to either ethylene oxide sterilization or different doses of GI. Cell biocompatibility, mechanical strength and optical quality were evaluated. The feasibility of assembling the B-KPro to a corneal graft, and gamma-radiate afterwards, was also assessed. RESULTS: There were no differences in cell biocompatibility between the samples. The optical evaluation showed high levels of transparency for all the groups. The absorbance of ultraviolet was higher for the groups treated with GI. The mechanical evaluation by nanoindentation showed no alterations of the PMMA discs after GI. The flexure test revealed a similar mechanical behavior. Technically, pre-assembly and GI of the B-KPro revealed no problems. CONCLUSIONS: Sterilization of B-KPro using GI has no detrimental influence on the device. The pre-assembly of B-KPro to a donor cornea, followed by gamma sterilization, emerges as an efficient and safe procedure.
Shah P, Yauney G, Gupta O, Patalano Ii V, Mohit M, Merchant R, Subramanian SV. Technology-enabled examinations of cardiac rhythm, optic nerve, oral health, tympanic membrane, gait and coordination evaluated jointly with routine health screenings: an observational study at the 2015 Kumbh Mela in India. BMJ Open 2018;8(4):e018774.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Technology-enabled non-invasive diagnostic screening (TES) using smartphones and other point-of-care medical devices was evaluated in conjunction with conventional routine health screenings for the primary care screening of patients. DESIGN: Dental conditions, cardiac ECG arrhythmias, tympanic membrane disorders, blood oxygenation levels, optic nerve disorders and neurological fitness were evaluated using FDA-approved advanced smartphone powered technologies. Routine health screenings were also conducted. A novel remote web platform was developed to allow expert physicians to examine TES data and compare efficacy with routine health screenings. SETTING: The study was conducted at a primary care centre during the 2015 Kumbh Mela in Maharashtra, India. PARTICIPANTS: 494 consenting 18-90 years old adults attending the 2015 Kumbh Mela were tested. RESULTS: TES and routine health screenings identified unique clinical conditions in distinct patients. Intraoral fluorescent imaging classified 63.3% of the population with dental caries and periodontal diseases. An association between poor oral health and cardiovascular illnesses was also identified. Tympanic membrane imaging detected eardrum abnormalities in 13.0% of the population, several with a medical history of hearing difficulties. Gait and coordination issues were discovered in eight subjects and one subject had arrhythmia. Cross-correlations were observed between low oxygen saturation and low body mass index (BMI) with smokers (p=0.0087 and p=0.0122, respectively), and high BMI was associated with elevated blood pressure in middle-aged subjects. CONCLUSIONS: TES synergistically identified clinically significant abnormalities in several subjects who otherwise presented as normal in routine health screenings. Physicians validated TES findings and used routine health screening data and medical history responses for comprehensive diagnoses for at-risk patients. TES identified high prevalence of oral diseases, hypertension, obesity and ophthalmic conditions among the middle-aged and elderly Indian population, calling for public health interventions.
Lippestad M, Hodges RR, Utheim TP, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. Signaling pathways activated by resolvin E1 to stimulate mucin secretion and increase intracellular Ca in cultured rat conjunctival goblet cells. Exp Eye Res 2018;173:64-72.Abstract
Glycoconjugate mucin secretion from conjunctival goblet cells is tightly regulated by nerves and specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) to maintain ocular surface health. Here we investigated the actions of the SPM resolvin E1 (RvE1) on cultured rat conjunctival goblet cell glycoconjugate secretion and intracellular [Ca] ([Ca]) and the signaling pathways used by RvE1. Goblet cells were cultured from rat conjunctiva in RPMI medium. The amount of RvE1-stimulated glycoconjugate mucin secretion was determined using an enzyme-linked lectin assay with Ulex Europaeus Agglutinin 1 lectin. Cultured goblet cells were also incubated with the Ca indicator dye fura 2/AM and [Ca] was measured. Cultured goblet cells were incubated with inhibitors to phospholipase (PL-) C, D, and A2 signaling pathways. RvE1 stimulated glycoconjugate secretion in a concentration dependent manner and was inhibited with the Ca chelator BAPTA. The Ca response was also increased in a concentration manner when stimulated by RvE1. Inhibition of PLC, PLD, and PLA2, but not Ca/calmodulin-dependent kinase blocked RvE1-stimulated increase in [Ca] and glycoconjugate secretion. We conclude that under normal, physiological conditions RvE1 stimulates multiple pathways to increase glycoconjugate secretion and [Ca]. RvE1 could be an important regulator of goblet cell glycoconjugate mucin secretion to maintain ocular surface health.
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.

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