Amphornphruet A, Silpa-Archa S, Preble JM, Foster SC. Endogenous Cryptococcal Endophthalmitis in Immunocompetent Host: Case Report and Review of Multimodal Imaging Findings and Treatment. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2017;:1-5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe a case of bilateral endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in an immunocompetent host and to review adjunctive ophthalmic imaging patterns and treatment. METHODS: A retrospective case report. RESULTS: A 45-year-old female patient with two distinct presentations of endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in each eye presented initially with progressive blurred vision in the left eye, beginning more than 10 years after a craniotomy with ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Complete ophthalmic imaging was conducted and compared with data from previous literature. Administration of amphotericin-B had poorly responded; however, consolidation of fluconazole resulted in disease stabilization. CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral intraocular cryptococcal infection can present with two distinct patterns of posterior segment findings. A review of ophthalmic imaging patterns found consistency in some characteristics of A-scan ultrasonogram and fundus fluorescein angiogram. Besides conventional treatment, voriconazole is likely to play an important role in the management of cryptococcal endophthalmitis.

Zhao J, Chen W, Huang X, Peng S, Zhu T, Deng Z, Liang P, Chang H, Fan BJ. Serum Th1 and Th17 related cytokines and autoantibodies in patients with Posner-Schlossman syndrome. PLoS One 2017;12(4):e0175519.Abstract

Posner-Schlossman syndrome (PSS) shares some clinical features with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. Cytokines and autoantibodies have been associated with uveitis and open angle glaucoma. However, the role of serum cytokines and autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of PSS remains unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the associations of type 1 T helper (Th1) and Th17 related cytokines and autoantibodies with PSS. Peripheral blood serum samples were collected from 81 patients with PSS and 97 gender- and age-matched healthy blood donors. Th1 and Th17 related cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon- γ (IFN-γ), IL-6 and IL-17, and glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) were determined by double antibody sandwich ELISA. Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-keratin antibody (AKA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) were detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Anti-cardiolipin antibody (ACA)-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) were detected by indirect ELISA. Serum levels of IL-1β, IL-12 and IL-6 in PSS patients were significantly lower than those in controls (P < 0.003), and these associations survived the Bonferroni correction (Pc < 0.018). There was no significant difference in serum levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17 between the PSS and control groups (Pc > 0.12). Positive rate of serum anti-dsDNA in PSS patients was significantly higher than that in the control group (P = 0.002, Pc = 0.018), while positive rates of serum ANA, AKA, ANCA, ACA-IgG, ACA-IgM, ACA-IgA, GPI and anti-CCP in the PSS group were not significantly different from those in the control group (Pc > 0.09). These results suggest that anti-dsDNA may contribute to the pathogenesis of PSS, while Th1 and Th17 related cytokines and other autoantibodies may not be major contributors to PSS.

Wilsey L, Gowrisankaran S, Cull G, Hardin C, Burgoyne CF, Fortune B. Comparing three different modes of electroretinography in experimental glaucoma: diagnostic performance and correlation to structure. Doc Ophthalmol 2017;134(2):111-128.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare diagnostic performance and structure-function correlations of multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG), full-field flash ERG (ff-ERG) photopic negative response (PhNR) and transient pattern-reversal ERG (PERG) in a non-human primate (NHP) model of experimental glaucoma (EG). METHODS: At baseline and after induction of chronic unilateral IOP elevation, 43 NHP had alternating weekly recordings of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) by spectral domain OCT (Spectralis) and retinal function by mfERG (7F slow-sequence stimulus, VERIS), ff-ERG (red 0.42 log cd-s/m(2) flashes on blue 30 scotopic cd/m(2) background, LKC UTAS-E3000), and PERG (0.8° checks, 99% contrast, 100 cd/m(2) mean, 5 reversals/s, VERIS). All NHP were followed at least until HRT-confirmed optic nerve head posterior deformation, most to later stages. mfERG responses were filtered into low- and high-frequency components (LFC, HFC, >75 Hz). Peak-to-trough amplitudes of LFC features (N1, P1, N2) and HFC RMS amplitudes were measured and ratios calculated for HFC:P1 and N2:P1. ff-ERG parameters included A-wave (at 10 ms), B-wave (trough-to-peak) and PhNR (baseline-to-trough) amplitudes as well as PhNR:B-wave ratio. PERG parameters included P50 and N95 amplitudes as well as N95:P50 ratio and N95 slope. Diagnostic performance of retinal function parameters was compared using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (A-ROC) to discriminate between EG and control eyes. Correlations to RNFLT were compared using Steiger's test. RESULTS: Study duration was 15 ± 8 months. At final follow-up, structural damage in EG eyes measured by RNFLT ranged from 9% above baseline (BL) to 58% below BL; 29/43 EG eyes (67%) and 0/43 of the fellow control eyes exhibited significant (>7%) loss of RNFLT from BL. Using raw parameter values, the largest A-ROC findings for mfERG were: HFC (0.82) and HFC:P1 (0.90); for ff-ERG: PhNR (0.90) and PhNR:B-wave (0.88) and for PERG: P50 (0.64) and N95 (0.61). A-ROC increased when data were expressed as % change from BL, but the pattern of results persisted. At 95% specificity, the diagnostic sensitivity of mfERG HFC:P1 ratio was best, followed by PhNR and PERG. The correlation to RNFLT was stronger for mfERG HFC (R = 0.65) than for PhNR (R = 0.59) or PERG N95 (R = 0.36), (p = 0.20, p = 0.0006, respectively). The PhNR flagged a few EG eyes at the final time point that had not been flagged by mfERG HFC or PERG. CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic performance and structure-function correlation were strongest for mfERG HFC as compared with ff-ERG PhNR or PERG in NHP EG.

Zajac L, Koo B-B, Bauer CM, Killiany R, Killiany R. Seed Location Impacts Whole-Brain Structural Network Comparisons between Healthy Elderly and Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease. Brain Sci 2017;7(4)Abstract

Whole-brain networks derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data require the identification of seed and target regions of interest (ROIs) to assess connectivity patterns. This study investigated how initiating tracts from gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) seed ROIs impacts (1) structural networks constructed from DTI data from healthy elderly (control) and individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and (2) between-group comparisons using these networks. DTI datasets were obtained from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. Deterministic tractography was used to build two whole-brain networks for each subject; one in which tracts were initiated from WM ROIs and another in which they were initiated from GM ROIs. With respect to the first goal, in both groups, WM-seeded networks had approximately 400 more connections and stronger connections (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) than GM-seeded networks, but shared 94% of the connections found in the GM-seed networks. With respect to the second goal, between-group comparisons revealed a stronger subnetwork (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) in controls compared to AD using both WM-seeded and GM-seeded networks. The comparison using WM-seeded networks produced a larger (i.e., a greater number of connections) and more significant subnetwork in controls versus AD. Global, local, and nodal efficiency were greater in controls compared to AD, and between-group comparisons of these measures using WM-seeded networks had larger effect sizes than those using GM-seeded networks. These findings affirm that seed location significantly affects the ability to detect between-group differences in structural networks.

Sun D, Moore S, Jakobs TC. Optic nerve astrocyte reactivity protects function in experimental glaucoma and other nerve injuries. J Exp Med 2017;214(5):1411-1430.Abstract
Reactive remodeling of optic nerve head astrocytes is consistently observed in glaucoma and other optic nerve injuries. However, it is unknown whether this reactivity is beneficial or harmful for visual function. In this study, we used the Cre recombinase (Cre)-loxP system under regulation of the mouse glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter to knock out the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) from astrocytes and test the effect this has on reactive remodeling, ganglion cell survival, and visual function after experimental glaucoma and nerve crush. After injury, STAT3 knockout mice displayed attenuated astrocyte hypertrophy and reactive remodeling; astrocytes largely maintained their honeycomb organization and glial tubes. These changes were associated with increased loss of ganglion cells and visual function over a 30-day period. Thus, reactive astrocytes play a protective role, preserving visual function. STAT3 signaling is an important mediator of various aspects of the reactive phenotype within optic nerve astrocytes.
Ramke M, Lee JY, Dyer DW, Seto D, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J. The 5'UTR in human adenoviruses: leader diversity in late gene expression. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):618.Abstract

Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) shut down host cellular cap-dependent mRNA translation while initiating the translation of viral late mRNAs in a cap-independent manner. HAdV 5' untranslated regions (5'UTRs) are crucial for cap-independent initiation, and influence mRNA localization and stability. However, HAdV translational regulation remains relatively uncharacterized. The HAdV tripartite leader (TPL), composed of three introns (TPL 1-3), is critical to the translation of HAdV late mRNA. Herein, we annotated and analyzed 72 HAdV genotypes for the HAdV TPL and another previously described leader, the i-leader. Using HAdV species D, type 37 (HAdV-D37), we show by reverse transcription PCR and Sanger sequencing that mRNAs of the HAdV-D37 E3 transcription unit are spliced to the TPL. We also identified a polycistronic mRNA for RID-α and RID-β. Analysis of the i-leader revealed a potential open reading frame within the leader sequence and the termination of this potential protein in TPL3. A potential new leader embedded within the E3 region was also detected and tentatively named the j-leader. These results suggest an underappreciated complexity of post-transcriptional regulation, and the importance of HAdV 5'UTRs for precisely coordinated viral protein expression along the path from genotype to phenotype.

Tahvildari M, Emami-Naeini P, Omoto M, Mashaghi A, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Treatment of donor corneal tissue with immunomodulatory cytokines: a novel strategy to promote graft survival in high-risk corneal transplantation. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):971.Abstract

Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) play an important role in transplant rejection and tolerance. In high-risk corneal transplantation, where the graft bed is inflamed and vascularized, immature APCs in the donor corneal stroma quickly mature and migrate to lymphoid tissues to sensitize host T cells. In this study, using a mouse model of corneal transplantation, we investigated whether enrichment of tolerogenic APCs (tolAPCs) in donor corneas can enhance graft survival in corneal allograft recipients with inflamed graft beds. Treatment of donor corneas with interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1) altered the phenotype and function of tissue-residing APCs. Transplantation of these tolAPC-enriched corneas decreased frequencies of interferon gamma (IFNγ)(+) effector T cells (Teffs), as well as allosensitization in the hosts, diminished graft infiltration of CD45(+) and CD4(+) cells, and significantly improved corneal allograft survival compared to saline-injected controls. These data provide a novel approach for tolAPC-based immunotherapy in transplantation by direct cytokine conditioning of the donor tissue.

Roohipoor R, Yaseri M, Teymourpour A, Kloek C, Miller JB, Loewenstein JI. Early Performance on an Eye Surgery Simulator Predicts Subsequent Resident Surgical Performance. J Surg Educ 2017;Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine early performance on an eye surgery simulator and its relationship to subsequent live surgical performance in a single large residency program. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology. METHODS: In a retrospective study, we compared performance of 30 first-year ophthalmology residents on an eye surgery simulator to their surgical skills as third-year residents. Variables collected from the eye surgery simulator included scores on the following modules of the simulator (Eyesi, VRmagic, Mannheim, Germany): antitremor training level 1, bimanual training level 1, capsulorhexis level 1 (configured), forceps training level 1, and navigation training level 1. Subsequent surgical performance was assessed using the total number of phacoemulsification cataract surgery cases for each resident, as well as the number performed as surgeon during residency and scores on global rating assessment of skills in intraocular surgery (GRASIS) scales during the third year of residency. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated between each of the simulator performance and subsequent surgical performance variables. We also compared variables in a small group of residents who needed extra help in learning cataract surgery to the other residents in the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Relationships between Eyesi scores early in residency and surgical performance measures in the final year of residency. RESULTS: A total of 30 residents had Eyesi data from their first year of residency and had already graduated so that all subsequent surgical performance data were available. There was a significant correlation between capsulorhexis task score on the simulator and total surgeries (r = 0.745, p = 0.008). There was a significant correlation between antitremor training level 1 (r = 0.554, p = 0.040), and forceps training level 1 (r = 0.622, p = 0.023) with primary surgery numbers. There was a significant correlation between forceps training level 1 (r = 0.811, p = 0.002), and navigation training level 1 (r = 0.692, p =0.013) with total GRASIS score. There was a significant inverse correlation between total GRASIS score and residents in need of extra help (r = -0.358, p =0.003). CONCLUSION: Module scores on an eye surgery simulator early in residency may predict a resident׳s future performance in the operating room. These scores may allow early identification of residents in need of supplemental training in cataract surgery.

Spencer C, Abend S, McHugh KJ, Saint-Geniez M. Identification of a synergistic interaction between endothelial cells and retinal pigment epithelium. J Cell Mol Med 2017;21(10):2542-2552.Abstract
The retinal pigment epithelium located between the neurosensory retina and the choroidal vasculature is critical for the function and maintenance of both the photoreceptors and underlying capillary endothelium. While the trophic role of retinal pigment epithelium on choroidal endothelial cells is well recognized, the existence of a reciprocal regulatory function of endothelial cells on retinal pigment epithelium cells remained to be fully characterized. Using a physiological long-term co-culture system, we determined the effect of retinal pigment epithelium-endothelial cell heterotypic interactions on cell survival, behaviour and matrix deposition. Human retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells were cultured on opposite sides of polyester transwells for up to 4 weeks in low serum conditions. Cell viability was quantified using a trypan blue assay. Cellular morphology was evaluated by H&E staining, S.E.M. and immunohistochemistry. Retinal pigment epithelium phagocytic function was examined using a fluorescent bead assay. Gene expression analysis was performed on both retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells by quantitative PCR. Quantification of extracellular matrix deposition was performed on decellularized transwells stained for collagen IV, fibronectin and fibrillin. Our results showed that presence of endothelial cells significantly improves retinal pigment epithelium maturation and function as indicated by the induction of visual cycle-associated genes, accumulation of a Bruch's membrane-like matrix and increase in retinal pigment epithelium phagocytic activity. Co-culture conditions led to increased expression of anti-angiogenic growth factors and receptors in both retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells compared to monoculture. Tube-formation assays confirmed that co-culture with retinal pigment epithelium significantly decreased the angiogenic phenotype of endothelial cells. These findings provide evidence of critical interdependent interactions between retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cell involved in the maintenance of retinal homeostasis.
Suzuki J, Hashimoto K, Xiao R, Vandenberghe LH, Liberman CM. Cochlear gene therapy with ancestral AAV in adult mice: complete transduction of inner hair cells without cochlear dysfunction. Sci Rep 2017;7:45524.Abstract

The use of viral vectors for inner ear gene therapy is receiving increased attention for treatment of genetic hearing disorders. Most animal studies to date have injected viral suspensions into neonatal ears, via the round window membrane. Achieving transduction of hair cells, or sensory neurons, throughout the cochlea has proven difficult, and no studies have been able to efficiently transduce sensory cells in adult ears while maintaining normal cochlear function. Here, we show, for the first time, successful transduction of all inner hair cells and the majority of outer hair cells in an adult cochlea via virus injection into the posterior semicircular canal. We used a "designer" AAV, AAV2/Anc80L65, in which the main capsid proteins approximate the ancestral sequence state of AAV1, 2, 8, and 9. Our injections also transduced ~10% of spiral ganglion cells and a much larger fraction of their satellite cells. In the vestibular sensory epithelia, the virus transduced large numbers of hair cells and virtually all the supporting cells, along with close to half of the vestibular ganglion cells. We conclude that this viral vector and this delivery route hold great promise for gene therapy applications in both cochlear and vestibular sense organs.

Rao R, Borkar DS, Colby KA, Veldman PB. Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty After Failed Descemet Stripping Without Endothelial Keratoplasty. Cornea 2017;36(7):763-766.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical course, surgical experience, and postoperative outcomes of 3 patients with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy who underwent Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) after failed Descemet stripping without endothelial keratoplasty. METHODS: Three patients who underwent DMEK for management of persistent corneal edema after deliberate Descemet stripping in the setting of Fuchs endothelial dystrophy were identified. Patients were examined at day 1, week 1, and months 1, 3, and 6 after DMEK. Visual acuity, central corneal thickness (CCT), and evaluation of central corneal endothelial cell counts were recorded. RESULTS: Two women and one man, aged 56, 72, and 68 years, were included. The time interval between primary Descemet stripping and DMEK ranged from 3.5 to 8 months. Preoperative visual acuities were 20/200, 20/300, and 20/80. Immediately before DMEK, no patients had countable central endothelial cells, and CCTs were 825, 1034, and 878 μm. After DMEK, all patients had improvement in visual acuity to 20/70, 20/20, and 20/20 with CCTs of 529, 504, and 528. The postoperative period in the first case was notable for the immediate development of a pigmented pupillary membrane with posterior synechiae, as well as cystoid macular edema, of uncertain chronicity, noted 1 month postoperatively. The second case also developed posterior synechiae. Two cases completed 6-month endothelial cell counts totaling 2200 and 3114 cells per square millimeter (endothelial cell loss of 13% and 5.3%). CONCLUSIONS: DMEK is a reliable procedure to facilitate corneal rehabilitation and visual recovery in the event of poor corneal clearance after Descemet stripping without endothelial keratoplasty.
Ung C, Sanchez AV, Shen L, Davoudi S, Ahmadi T, Navarro-Gomez D, Chen CJ, Hancock H, Penman A, Hoadley S, Consugar M, Restrepo C, Shah VA, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Sobrin L, Gai X, Kim LA. Whole exome sequencing identification of novel candidate genes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Vision Res 2017;Abstract
Rare or novel gene variants in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy may contribute to disease development. We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) on patients at the phenotypic extremes of diabetic retinal complications: 57 patients diagnosed with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) as cases and 13 patients with no diabetic retinopathy despite at least 10years of type 2 diabetes as controls. Thirty-one out of the 57 cases and all 13 controls were from the African American Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Study (AA). The rest of the cases were of mixed ethnicities (ME). WES identified 721 candidate genes with rare or novel non-synonymous variants found in at least one case with PDR and not present in any controls. After filtering for genes with null alleles in greater than two cases, 28 candidate genes were identified in our ME cases and 16 genes were identified in our AA cases. Our analysis showed rare and novel variants within these genes that could contribute to the development of PDR, including rare non-synonymous variants in FAM132A, SLC5A9, ZNF600, and TMEM217. We also found previously unidentified variants in VEGFB and APOB. We found that VEGFB, VPS13B, PHF21A, NAT1, ZNF600, PKHD1L1 expression was reduced in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) cultured under high glucose conditions. In an exome sequence analysis of patients with PDR, we identified variants in genes that could contribute to pathogenesis. Six of these genes were further validated and found to have reduced expression in HRECs under high glucose conditions, suggestive of an important role in the development of PDR.
Saavedra JT, Schwartzman JA, Gilmore MS. Mapping Transposon Insertions in Bacterial Genomes by Arbitrarily Primed PCR. Curr Protoc Mol Biol 2017;118:15.15.1-15.15.15.Abstract

Transposons can be used to easily generate and label the location of mutations throughout bacterial and other genomes. Transposon insertion mutants may be screened for a phenotype as individual isolates, or by selection applied to a pool of thousands of mutants. Identifying the location of a transposon insertion is critical for connecting phenotype to the genetic lesion. In this unit, we present an easy and detailed approach for mapping transposon insertion sites using arbitrarily-primed PCR (AP-PCR). Two rounds of PCR are used to (1) amplify DNA spanning the transposon insertion junction, and (2) increase the specific yield of transposon insertion junction fragments for sequence analysis. The resulting sequence is mapped to a bacterial genome to identify the site of transposon insertion. In this protocol, AP-PCR as it is routinely used to map sites of transposon insertion within Staphylococcus aureus, is used to illustrate the principle. Guidelines are provided for adapting this protocol for mapping insertions in other bacterial genomes. Mapping transposon insertions using this method is typically achieved in 2 to 3 days if starting from a culture of the transposon insertion mutant. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Lam JD, Oh DJ, Wong LL, Amarnani D, Park-Windhol C, Sanchez AV, Cardona-Velez J, McGuone D, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Eliott D, Bielenberg DR, van Zyl T, Shen L, Gai X, D'Amore PA, Kim LA, Arboleda-Velasquez JF. Identification of RUNX1 as a Mediator of Aberrant Retinal Angiogenesis. Diabetes 2017;66(7):1950-1956.Abstract
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a common cause of blindness in the developed world's working adult population and affects those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We identified Runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) as a gene upregulated in CD31(+) vascular endothelial cells obtained from human PDR fibrovascular membranes (FVMs) via transcriptomic analysis. In vitro studies using human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) showed increased RUNX1 RNA and protein expression in response to high glucose, whereas RUNX1 inhibition reduced HRMEC migration, proliferation, and tube formation. Immunohistochemical staining for RUNX1 showed reactivity in vessels of patient-derived FVMs and angiogenic tufts in the retina of mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy, suggesting that RUNX1 upregulation is a hallmark of aberrant retinal angiogenesis. Inhibition of RUNX1 activity with the Ro5-3335 small molecule resulted in a significant reduction of neovascular tufts in oxygen-induced retinopathy, supporting the feasibility of targeting RUNX1 in aberrant retinal angiogenesis.