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Johnson CP, Kim IK, Esmaeli B, Amin-Mansour A, Treacy DJ, Carter SL, Hodis E, Wagle N, Seepo S, Yu X, Lane AM, Gragoudas ES, Vazquez F, Nickerson E, Cibulskis K, McKenna A, Gabriel SB, Getz G, Van Allen EM, 't Hoen PAC, Garraway LA, Woodman SE. Systematic genomic and translational efficiency studies of uveal melanoma. PLoS One 2017;12(6):e0178189.Abstract
To further our understanding of the somatic genetic basis of uveal melanoma, we sequenced the protein-coding regions of 52 primary tumors and 3 liver metastases together with paired normal DNA. Known recurrent mutations were identified in GNAQ, GNA11, BAP1, EIF1AX, and SF3B1. The role of mutated EIF1AX was tested using loss of function approaches including viability and translational efficiency assays. Knockdown of both wild type and mutant EIF1AX was lethal to uveal melanoma cells. We probed the function of N-terminal tail EIF1AX mutations by performing RNA sequencing of polysome-associated transcripts in cells expressing endogenous wild type or mutant EIF1AX. Ribosome occupancy of the global translational apparatus was sensitive to suppression of wild type but not mutant EIF1AX. Together, these studies suggest that cells expressing mutant EIF1AX may exhibit aberrant translational regulation, which may provide clonal selective advantage in the subset of uveal melanoma that harbors this mutation.
Inomata T, Ono K, Matsuba T, Shiang T, Di Zazzo A, Nakatani S, Yamaguchi M, Ebihara N, Murakami A. Pre-banking microbial contamination of donor conjunctiva and storage medium for penetrating keratoplasty. Jpn J Ophthalmol 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of positive donor tissue cultures before transfer to preservation medium (Optisol™-GS) for penetrating keratoplasty, to verify the efficacy of antibiotics contained in Optisol™-GS by examining the drug susceptibility and to assess the relationship between the results of our microbial assessments as well as donor factors and the incidence of contamination. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study using Juntendo Eye Bank records for all corneal transplantations. Two hundred donor conjunctiva harvestings and storage medium (EP-II(®)) cultures were performed between July 2008 and June 2011. We analyzed the associations between donor factors (age, gender, history of cataract surgery, death-to-preservation interval, cause of death) and contamination rates using multivariate analysis by the generalized estimating equation model. RESULTS: We obtained positive bacterial cultures from 154 of the 200 eyes (77.0%). The isolated bacteria were indigenous, such as coagulase-negative Staphylococci, Corynebacterium sp., and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). There was significant resistance to levofloxacin (18 eyes, 9.0%) and gentamicin (12 eyes, 6.0%), and no vancomycin-resistant bacteria were detected. The donor factors did not correlate with the prevalence of bacterial contamination in our criteria. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-banking microbial assessment allows for microbial detection, bacterial susceptibility and resistance testing. This is useful for developing preservation mediums containing effective spectrum antibiotic agents for high quality control of corneal banking.
Abdelaziz M, Dohlman CH, Sayegh RR. Measuring Forward Light Scatter by the Boston Keratoprosthesis in Various Configurations. Cornea 2017;36(6):732-735.Abstract
PURPOSE: Light scatter results in degradation of visual function. An optical bench model was used to identify the origins of scatter in the setting of a Boston keratoprosthesis (KPro). The effect of various modifications in the device design and light-blocking configurations was explored. METHODS: A KPro was mounted on a contact lens holder on a bench, and forward light scatter was recorded with a camera attached to a rotating goniometer arm. Scattered light was recorded at different angles for different KPro modifications, and the point-spread function (PSF) curves were recorded. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each PSF curve. RESULTS: The isolated KPro optical cylinder in a totally blackened holding lens had a tight PSF (AUC = 3.3). Additional blackening of the walls of the KPro stem did not further diminish forward scatter significantly. If the holding lens is made translucent by sandblasting (to simulate an in vivo carrier cornea) and the KPro is inserted without a backplate, forward scatter is substantial (AUC = 11.3). If a standard backplate (with holes) is added, light scatter is considerably reduced regardless of whether the backplate is made of polymethyl methacrylate or titanium (AUC = 5.3 and 4.4, respectively). Addition of an acrylic intraocular lens behind the KPro (the pseudophakic KPro setup) did not increase scatter. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the scattered light in eyes implanted with a KPro originates from the surrounding hazy corneal graft. The standard addition of a backplate reduces light scatter. There was no difference in forward light scatter between the aphakic and the pseudophakic KPro.
Bauer CM, Zajac LE, Koo B-B, Killiany RJ, Merabet LB. Age-related changes in structural connectivity are improved using subject-specific thresholding. J Neurosci Methods 2017;288:45-56.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Deterministic diffusion tractography obtained from high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) requires user-defined quantitative anisotropy (QA) thresholds. Most studies employ a common threshold across all subjects even though there is a strong degree of individual variation within groups. We sought to explore whether it would be beneficial to use individual thresholds in order to accommodate individual variance. To do this, we conducted two independent experiments. METHOD: First, tractography of the arcuate fasciculus and network connectivity measures were examined in a sample of 14 healthy participants. Second, we assessed the effects of QA threshold on group differences in network connectivity measures between healthy young (n=19) and old (n=14) individuals. RESULTS: The results of both experiments were significantly influenced by QA threshold. Common thresholds set too high failed to produce sufficient reconstructions in most subjects, thus decreasing the likelihood of detecting meaningful group differences. On the other hand, common thresholds set too low resulted in spurious reconstructions, providing deleterious results. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Subject specific thresholds acquired using our QA threshold selection method (QATS) appeared to provide the most meaningful networks while ensuring that data from all subjects contributed to the analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results support the use of a subject-specific threshold to ensure that data from all subjects are included in the analyses being conducted.
Bouffard MA, Cornblath WT, Rizzo JF, Lee MS, De Lott LB, Eggenberger ER, Torun N. Transient Monocular Vision Loss on Awakening: A Benign Amaurotic Phenomenon. J Neuroophthalmol 2017;37(2):122-125.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Transient monocular vision loss (TMVL) is an alarming symptom owing to potentially serious etiologies such as thromboembolism or giant cell arteritis. Our objective is to describe the phenomenon of TMVL present on awakening, which may represent a distinct and benign entity. METHODS: We performed a retrospective observational case series of 29 patients who experienced TMVL on awakening. Patients who described monocular dimming or blackout of vision were included, and those with blurred vision, concurrent eye pain, and binocular vision loss were excluded. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the study population. RESULTS: Of the 29 patients we studied, 90% (n = 26) were female and 48% had crowded discs (cup-to-disc ratio ≤0.2). The mean age was 45.4 years, although women were significantly younger than men (mean ages 43.4 and 62.7 years, respectively, P = 0.017). Brain magnetic resonance imaging and vascular imaging (magnetic resonance angiography, computed tomographic angiography, or carotid Doppler) were performed in 69% and 55% of cases, respectively, and were uniformly negative. In 14 patients for whom clear follow-up data could be obtained, no medically or visually significant sequelae of this syndrome were found, and 50% experienced resolution of symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation was uniformly negative when patients described waking with isolated vision loss in 1 eye with subsequent resolution, usually in less than 15 minutes. The natural history seems benign with symptoms frequently remitting spontaneously. This visual phenomenon may represent an autoregulatory failure resulting in a supply/demand mismatch during low-light conditions.
Chen Y, Chauhan SK, Shao C, Omoto M, Inomata T, Dana R. IFN-γ-Expressing Th17 Cells Are Required for Development of Severe Ocular Surface Autoimmunity. J Immunol 2017;199(3):1163-1169.Abstract
Th17 cells are critical effectors mediating the ocular surface autoimmunity in dry eye disease (DED). Increased IFN-γ has also been implicated in DED; however, it remains unclear to what extent Th1 cells contribute to DED pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the cellular source of IFN-γ and assessed its contribution to corneal epitheliopathy in DED mice. We discovered a significant IL-17A(+)IFN-γ(+) (Th17/1) population and determined that these cells are derived from Th17 precursors. Adoptive transfer of Th17/1, but not Th1, cells confers the disease to naive recipients as effectively as do Th17 cells alone. DED-induced IL-12 and IL-23 are required for in vivo transition of pathogenic Th17 cells to IFN-γ producers. Furthermore, using IFN-γ-deficient Th17 cells, we demonstrate the disease-amplifying role of Th17-derived IFN-γ in DED pathogenesis. These results clearly demonstrate that Th17 cells mediate ocular surface autoimmunity through both IL-17A and IFN-γ.
Agyemang AA, Sveinsdóttir K, Vallius S, Sveinsdóttir S, Bruschettini M, Romantsik O, Hellström A, Smith LEH, Ohlsson L, Holmqvist B, Gram M, Ley D. Cerebellar Exposure to Cell-Free Hemoglobin Following Preterm Intraventricular Hemorrhage: Causal in Cerebellar Damage?. Transl Stroke Res 2017;Abstract
Decreased cerebellar volume is associated with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in very preterm infants and may be a principal component in neurodevelopmental impairment. Cerebellar deposition of blood products from the subarachnoid space has been suggested as a causal mechanism in cerebellar underdevelopment following IVH. Using the preterm rabbit pup IVH model, we evaluated the effects of IVH induced at E29 (3 days prior to term) on cerebellar development at term-equivalent postnatal day 0 (P0), term-equivalent postnatal day 2 (P2), and term-equivalent postnatal day 5 (P5). Furthermore, the presence of cell-free hemoglobin (Hb) in cerebellar tissue was characterized, and cell-free Hb was evaluated as a causal factor in the development of cerebellar damage following preterm IVH. IVH was associated with a decreased proliferative (Ki67-positive) portion of the external granular layer (EGL), delayed Purkinje cell maturation, and activated microglia in the cerebellar white matter. In pups with IVH, immunolabeling of the cerebellum at P0 demonstrated a widespread presence of cell-free Hb, primarily distributed in the white matter and the molecular layer. Intraventricular injection of the Hb scavenger haptoglobin (Hp) resulted in a corresponding distribution of immunolabeled Hp in the cerebellum and a partial reversal of the damaging effects observed following IVH. The results suggest that cell-free Hb is causally involved in cerebellar damage following IVH and that blocking cell-free Hb may have protective effects.
Bennett CR, Loomis JM, Klatzky RL, Giudice NA. Spatial updating of multiple targets: Comparison of younger and older adults. Mem Cognit 2017;Abstract
When walking without vision, people mentally keep track of the directions and distances of previously viewed objects, a process called spatial updating. The current experiment indicates that while people across a large age range are able to update multiple targets in memory without perceptual support, aging negatively affects accuracy, precision, and decision time. Participants (20 to 80 years of age) viewed one, three, or six targets (colored lights) on the floor of a dimly lit room. Then, without vision, they walked to a target designated by color, either directly or indirectly (via a forward turning point). The younger adults' final stopping points were both accurate (near target) and precise (narrowly dispersed), but updating performance did degrade slightly with the number of targets. Older adults' performance was consistently worse than the younger group, but the lack of interaction between age and memory load indicates that the effect of age on performance was not further exacerbated by a greater number of targets. The number of targets also significantly increased the latency required to turn toward the designated target for both age groups. Taken together, results extend previous work showing impressive updating performance by younger adults, with novel findings showing that older adults manifest small but consistent degradation of updating performance of multitarget arrays.
Tian B, Al-Moujahed A, Bouzika P, Hu Y, Notomi S, Tsoka P, Miller JW, Lin H, Vavvas DG. Atorvastatin Promotes Phagocytosis and Attenuates Pro-Inflammatory Response in Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):2329.Abstract
Phagocytosis of daily shed photoreceptor outer segments is an important function of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and it is essential for retinal homeostasis. RPE dysfunction, especially impairment of its phagocytic ability, plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Statins, or HMG CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A) reductase inhibitors, are drugs with multiple properties that have been extensively used to treat hyperlipidemia. However, their effect on RPE cells has not been fully elucidated. Here we report that high dose atorvastatin increased the phagocytic function of ARPE-19 cells, as well as rescue the cells from the phagocytic dysfunction induced by cholesterol crystals and oxidized low-density lipoproteins (ox-LDL), potentially by increasing the cellular membrane fluidity. Similar effects were observed when evaluating two other hydrophobic statins, lovastatin and simvastatin. Furthermore, atorvastatin was able to block the induction of interleukins IL-6 and IL-8 triggered by pathologic stimuli relevant to AMD, such as cholesterol crystals and ox-LDL. Our study shows that statins, a well-tolerated class of drugs with rare serious adverse effects, help preserve the phagocytic function of the RPE while also exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties. Both characteristics make statins a potential effective medication for the prevention and treatment of AMD.
Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR. Genetics of Glaucoma. Hum Mol Genet 2017;Abstract
Genetic and genomic studies, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have accelerated the discovery of genes contributing to glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness world-wide. Glaucoma can occur at all ages, with Mendelian inheritance typical for rare early onset disease (before age 40) and complex inheritance evident in common adult-onset forms of disease. Recent studies have suggested possible therapeutic targets for some patients with early-onset glaucoma based on the molecular and cellular events caused by MYOC, OPTN and TBK1 mutations. Diagnostic genetic tests using early-onset glaucoma genes are also proving useful for pre-symptomatic disease detection and genetic counseling. Recent GWAS completed for three types of common adult-onset glaucoma have identified novel loci for POAG (primary-open-angle glaucoma) (ABCA1, AFAP1, GMDS, PMM2, TGFBR3, FNDC3B, ARHGEF12, GAS7, FOXC1, ATXN2, TXNRD2); PACG (primary angle-closure glaucoma (EPDR1, CHAT, GLIS3, FERMT2, DPM2-FAM102); and exfoliation syndrome (XFS) glaucoma (CACNA1A). In total sixteen genomic regions have been associated with POAG (including the normal tension glaucoma (NTG) subgroup), 8 with PACG and 2 with XFS. These studies are defining important biological pathways and processes that contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Wang T, Huang T, Kang JH, Zheng Y, Jensen MK, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR, Fuchs CS, Campos H, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB, Qi L. Habitual coffee consumption and genetic predisposition to obesity: gene-diet interaction analyses in three US prospective studies. BMC Med 2017;15(1):97.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Whether habitual coffee consumption interacts with the genetic predisposition to obesity in relation to body mass index (BMI) and obesity is unknown. METHODS: We analyzed the interactions between genetic predisposition and habitual coffee consumption in relation to BMI and obesity risk in 5116 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), in 9841 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), and in 5648 women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). The genetic risk score was calculated based on 77 BMI-associated loci. Coffee consumption was examined prospectively in relation to BMI. RESULTS: The genetic association with BMI was attenuated among participants with higher consumption of coffee than among those with lower consumption in the HPFS (P interaction  = 0.023) and NHS (P interaction  = 0.039); similar results were replicated in the WHI (P interaction  = 0.044). In the combined data of all cohorts, differences in BMI per increment of 10-risk allele were 1.38 (standard error (SE), 0.28), 1.02 (SE, 0.10), and 0.95 (SE, 0.12) kg/m(2) for coffee consumption of < 1, 1-3 and > 3 cup(s)/day, respectively (P interaction  < 0.001). Such interaction was partly due to slightly higher BMI with higher coffee consumption among participants at lower genetic risk and slightly lower BMI with higher coffee consumption among those at higher genetic risk. Each increment of 10-risk allele was associated with 78% (95% confidence interval (CI), 59-99%), 48% (95% CI, 36-62%), and 43% (95% CI, 28-59%) increased risk for obesity across these subgroups of coffee consumption (P interaction  = 0.008). From another perspective, differences in BMI per increment of 1 cup/day coffee consumption were 0.02 (SE, 0.09), -0.02 (SE, 0.04), and -0.14 (SE, 0.04) kg/m(2) across tertiles of the genetic risk score. CONCLUSIONS: Higher coffee consumption might attenuate the genetic associations with BMI and obesity risk, and individuals with greater genetic predisposition to obesity appeared to have lower BMI associated with higher coffee consumption.
Ying Y, Ueta T, Jiang S, Lin H, Wang Y, Vavvas D, Wen R, Chen Y-G, Luo Z. Metformin inhibits ALK1-mediated angiogenesis via activation of AMPK. Oncotarget 2017;8(20):32794-32806.Abstract
Anti-VEGF therapy has been proven to be effective in the treatment of pathological angiogenesis. However, therapy resistance often occurs, leading to development of alternative approaches. The present study examines if AMPK negatively regulates ALK1-mediated signaling events and associated angiogenesis. Thus, we treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells with metformin as well as other pharmacological AMPK activators and showed that activation of AMPK inhibited Smad1/5 phosphorylation and tube formation induced by BMP9. This event was mimicked by expression of the active mutant of AMPKα1 and prevented by the dominant negative AMPKα1. Metformin inhibition of BMP9 signaling is possibly mediated by upregulation of Smurf1, leading to degradation of ALK1. Furthermore, metformin suppressed BMP9-induced angiogenesis in mouse matrigel plug. In addition, laser photocoagulation was employed to evaluate the effect of metformin. The data revealed that metformin significantly reduced choroidal neovascularization to a level comparable to LDN212854, an ALK1 specific inhibitor. In conjunction, metformin diminished expression of ALK1 in endothelium of the lesion area. Collectively, our study for the first time demonstrates that AMPK inhibits ALK1 and associated angiogenesis/neovascularization. This may offer us a new avenue for the treatment of related diseases using clinically used pharmacological AMPK activators like metformin in combination with other strategies to enhance the treatment efficacy or in the case of anti-VEGF resistance.
Phanphruk W, Alkharashi M, Bilge A, Hunter DG. Sedated suture adjustment in children undergoing adjustable-suture strabismus surgery. J AAPOS 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: To study methods and adverse events of postoperative, sedated suture adjustment after strabismus surgery in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). METHODS: We reviewed the postoperative experience of all children ≤18 years of age undergoing adjustable suture strabismus surgery at Boston Children's Hospital over a 3-year period. Time in the hospital, adverse events, and surgical outcomes were reviewed to evaluate safety and healthcare resource utilization. RESULTS: Of 356 patients, 113 required suture adjustment in the PACU, including 24 adjusted while awake and 89 adjusted under sedation. For sedation, sequential boluses of propofol were administered until adjustment was complete. Complete data from the sedated adjustment was available in 76 patients. The median initial bolus was 30 mg; the median total propofol rate was 273 mcg/kg/min. Twelve patients (16%) required only a single bolus of propofol. Of remaining 64 patients, median time from initial to final propofol dose was 7 minutes. Median anesthesiologist time in the PACU was 13 minutes. In the sedated adjustment group, there were no clinically significant adverse events, and the pain score never exceeded 6 (of a possible 10). Median duration of PACU stay was shortest in the group not requiring adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: Sedated suture adjustment allows for fine-tuning of postoperative binocular alignment in children and uncooperative adults. No adverse events were observed in our study group, but the procedure does increase the time patients spend in the hospital. This work will inform disclosure of risks and benefits of sedated adjustment while allowing for more accurate assessment of the cost and quality of adjustable sutures in children.

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