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Hasegawa E, Inafuku S, Mulki L, Okunuki Y, Yanai R, Smith KE, Kim CB, Klokman G, Bielenberg DR, Puli N, Falck JR, Husain D, Miller JW, Edin ML, Zeldin DC, Stephen Lee KS, Hammock BD, Schunck W-H, Connor KM. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase lipid metabolites are significant second messengers in the resolution of choroidal neovascularization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017;114(36):E7545-E7553.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness for individuals age 50 and above in the developed world. Abnormal growth of choroidal blood vessels, or choroidal neovascularization (CNV), is a hallmark of the neovascular (wet) form of advanced AMD and leads to significant vision loss. A growing body of evidence supports a strong link between neovascular disease and inflammation. Metabolites of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from the cytochrome P450 (CYP) monooxygenase pathway serve as vital second messengers that regulate a number of hormones and growth factors involved in inflammation and vascular function. Using transgenic mice with altered CYP lipid biosynthetic pathways in a mouse model of laser-induced CNV, we characterized the role of these lipid metabolites in regulating neovascular disease. We discovered that the CYP-derived lipid metabolites epoxydocosapentaenoic acids (EDPs) and epoxyeicosatetraenoic acids (EEQs) are vital in dampening CNV severity. Specifically, overexpression of the monooxygenase CYP2C8 or genetic ablation or inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzyme led to increased levels of EDP and EEQ with attenuated CNV development. In contrast, when we promoted the degradation of these CYP-derived metabolites by transgenic overexpression of sEH, the protective effect against CNV was lost. We found that these molecules work in part through their ability to regulate the expression of key leukocyte adhesion molecules, on both leukocytes and endothelial cells, thereby mediating leukocyte recruitment. These results suggest that CYP lipid signaling molecules and their regulators are potential therapeutic targets in neovascular diseases.
Jackson CJ, Reppe S, Eidet JR, Eide L, Tønseth KA, Bergersen LH, Dartt DA, Griffith M, Utheim TP. Optimization of Storage Temperature for Retention of Undifferentiated Cell Character of Cultured Human Epidermal Cell Sheets. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):8206.Abstract
Cultured epidermal cell sheets (CES) containing undifferentiated cells are useful for treating skin burns and have potential for regenerative treatment of other types of epithelial injuries. The undifferentiated phenotype is therefore important for success in both applications. This study aimed to optimize a method for one-week storage of CES for their widespread distribution and use in regenerative medicine. The effect of storage temperatures 4 °C, 8 °C, 12 °C, 16 °C, and 24 °C on CES was evaluated. Analyses included assessment of viability, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), membrane damage, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity, morphology, phenotype and cytokine secretion into storage buffer. Lowest cell viability was seen at 4 °C. Compared to non-stored cells, ABCG2 expression increased between temperatures 8-16 °C. At 24 °C, reduced ABCG2 expression coincided with increased mitochondrial ROS, as well as increased differentiation, cell death and mtDNA damage. P63, C/EBPδ, CK10 and involucrin fluorescence combined with morphology observations supported retention of undifferentiated cell phenotype at 12 °C, transition to differentiation at 16 °C, and increased differentiation at 24 °C. Several cytokines relevant to healing were upregulated during storage. Importantly, cells stored at 12 °C showed similar viability and undifferentiated phenotype as the non-stored control suggesting that this temperature may be ideal for storage of CES.
Norsworthy MW, Bei F, Kawaguchi R, Wang Q, Tran NM, Li Y, Brommer B, Zhang Y, Wang C, Sanes JR, Coppola G, He Z. Sox11 Expression Promotes Regeneration of Some Retinal Ganglion Cell Types but Kills Others. Neuron 2017;94(6):1112-1120.e4.Abstract
At least 30 types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) send distinct messages through the optic nerve to the brain. Available strategies of promoting axon regeneration act on only some of these types. Here we tested the hypothesis that overexpressing developmentally important transcription factors in adult RGCs could reprogram them to a "youthful" growth-competent state and promote regeneration of other types. From a screen of transcription factors, we identified Sox11 as one that could induce substantial axon regeneration. Transcriptome profiling indicated that Sox11 activates genes involved in cytoskeletal remodeling and axon growth. Remarkably, α-RGCs, which preferentially regenerate following treatments such as Pten deletion, were killed by Sox11 overexpression. Thus, Sox11 promotes regeneration of non-α-RGCs, which are refractory to Pten deletion-induced regeneration. We conclude that Sox11 can reprogram adult RGCs to a growth-competent state, suggesting that different growth-promoting interventions promote regeneration in distinct neuronal types.
Wang L, Xiao R, Andres-Mateos E, Vandenberghe LH. Single stranded adeno-associated virus achieves efficient gene transfer to anterior segment in the mouse eye. PLoS One 2017;12(8):e0182473.Abstract
Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are used extensively as a gene delivery vehicle for retinal gene therapy, yet its ability to target the anterior segment of the eye, critical to unlocking therapeutic opportunities, is less characterized. Previously, self-complimentary (sc) AAV was shown to be necessary for transduction of the cornea and trabecular meshwork (TM), limiting the size of the gene transfer cassette, likely due to a block in second strand synthesis thought to be required for functional transduction. Here, we evaluated several AAV capsids in a single stranded (ss) genome conformation for their ability to overcome the need for scAAV for targeting corneal endothelium and TM. AAV2, 8, and a recently synthetically developed AAV called Anc80L65 were evaluated in vitro and in vivo by intracameral injection in mice. Results show that although scAAV2 demonstrated superior infectivity in vitro including Human Trabecular meshwork (HTM) immortalized cell lines; Anc80L65 transduced following a single intracameral injection efficiently all components of the mouse anterior segment, including the TM, corneal stroma, and endothelial cells. These results suggest that Anc80L65 is able to overcome the requirement for scAAV genomes to enable TM and corneal targeting, expanding the potential experimental and therapeutic use of AAV gene transfer in the anterior segment of the eye.
Srivastava S, Gubbels CS, Dies K, Fulton A, Yu T, Sahin M. Increased Survival and Partly Preserved Cognition in a Patient With ACO2-Related Disease Secondary to a Novel Variant. J Child Neurol 2017;32(9):840-845.Abstract
ACO2 encodes aconitase 2, catalyzing the second step of the tricarboxylic acid. To date, there are only 6 reported families with 5 unique ACO2 mutations. Affected individuals can develop intellectual disability, epilepsy, brain atrophy, hypotonia, ataxia, optic atrophy, and retinal degeneration. Here, we report an 18-year-old boy with a novel ACO2 variant discovered on whole-exome sequencing. He presented with childhood-onset ataxia, impaired self-help skills comparable to severe-profound intellectual disability, intractable epilepsy, cerebellar atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, optic atrophy, and pigmentary retinopathy. His variant is the sixth unique ACO2 mutation. In addition, compared to mild cases (isolated optic atrophy) and severe cases (infantile death), our patient may be moderately affected, evident by increased survival and some preserved cognition (ability to speak full sentences and follow commands), which is a novel presentation. This case expands the disease spectrum to include increased survival with partly spared cognition.
Silva PS, Gupta A, Ajlan RS, Schlossman DK, Tolson AM, Cavallerano JD, Aiello LP. Ultrawide field scanning laser ophthalmoscopy imaging of lipemia retinalis. Acta Ophthalmol 2017;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristic retinal features of lipemia retinalis when using ultrawide field scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. MAIN POINTS: We report a case series of three subjects with ultrawide field retinal images showing cream discoloration of the fundus, light salmon-coloured posterior retinal vessels and greyish pink peripheral vasculature. On green-only imaging, many of the vessels appear light rather than typically dark. CONCLUSION: Lipemia retinalis is readily apparent on ultrawide field imaging and illustrates the alterations that systemic diseases may induce in the posterior and peripheral retinal vasculature. Ultrawide field imaging highlights the disparate vascular appearance of the posterior pole and retinal periphery in this condition.
Telegrafi A, Webb BD, Robbins SM, Speck-Martins CE, FitzPatrick D, Fleming L, Redett R, Dufke A, Houge G, van Harssel JJT, Verloes A, Robles A, Manoli I, Engle EC, Engle EC, Jabs EW, Valle D, Carey J, Hoover-Fong JE, Sobreira NLM. Identification of STAC3 variants in non-Native American families with overlapping features of Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome and Moebius syndrome. Am J Med Genet A 2017;173(10):2763-2771.Abstract
Horstick et al. (2013) previously reported a homozygous p.Trp284Ser variant in STAC3 as the cause of Native American myopathy (NAM) in 5 Lumbee Native American families with congenital hypotonia and weakness, cleft palate, short stature, ptosis, kyphoscoliosis, talipes deformities, and susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia (MH). Here we present two non-Native American families, who were found to have STAC3 pathogenic variants. The first proband and her affected older sister are from a consanguineous Qatari family with a suspected clinical diagnosis of Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome (CFZS) based on features of hypotonia, myopathic facies with generalized weakness, ptosis, normal extraocular movements, cleft palate, growth delay, and kyphoscoliosis. We identified the homozygous c.851G>C;p.Trp284Ser variant in STAC3 in both sisters. The second proband and his affected sister are from a non-consanguineous, Puerto Rican family who was evaluated for a possible diagnosis of Moebius syndrome (MBS). His features included facial and generalized weakness, minimal limitation of horizontal gaze, cleft palate, and hypotonia, and he has a history of MH. The siblings were identified to be compound heterozygous for STAC3 variants c.851G>C;p.Trp284Ser and c.763_766delCTCT;p.Leu255IlefsX58. Given the phenotypic overlap of individuals with CFZS, MBS, and NAM, we screened STAC3 in 12 individuals diagnosed with CFZS and in 50 individuals diagnosed with MBS or a congenital facial weakness disorder. We did not identify any rare coding variants in STAC3. NAM should be considered in patients presenting with facial and generalized weakness, normal or mildly abnormal extraocular movement, hypotonia, cleft palate, and scoliosis, particularly if there is a history of MH.
Fu Z, Liegl R, Wang Z, Gong Y, Liu C-H, Sun Y, Cakir B, Burnim SB, Meng SS, Löfqvist C, SanGiovanni JP, Hellström A, Smith LEH. Adiponectin Mediates Dietary Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Protection Against Choroidal Neovascularization in Mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(10):3862-3870.Abstract
Purpose: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of legal blindness in the elderly. Diets with omega3-long-chain-polyunsaturated-fatty-acid (ω3-LCPUFA) correlate with a decreased risk of AMD. Dietary ω3-LCPUFA versus ω6-LCPUFA inhibits mouse ocular neovascularization, but the underlying mechanism needs further exploration. The aim of this study was to investigate if adiponectin (APN) mediated ω3-LCPUFA suppression of neovessels in AMD. Methods: The mouse laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) model was used to mimic some of the inflammatory aspect of AMD. CNV was compared between wild-type (WT) and Apn-/- mice fed either otherwise matched diets with 2% ω3 or 2% ω6-LCPUFAs. Vldlr-/- mice were used to mimic some of the metabolic aspects of AMD. Choroid assay ex vivo and human retinal microvascular endothelial cell (HRMEC) proliferation assay in vitro was used to investigate the APN pathway in angiogenesis. Western blot for p-AMPKα/AMPKα and qPCR for Apn, Mmps, and IL-10 were used to define mechanism. Results: ω3-LCPUFA intake suppressed laser-induced CNV in WT mice; suppression was abolished with APN deficiency. ω3-LCPUFA, mediated by APN, decreased mouse Mmps expression. APN deficiency decreased AMPKα phosphorylation in vivo and exacerbated choroid-sprouting ex vivo. APN pathway activation inhibited HRMEC proliferation and decreased Mmps. In Vldlr-/- mice, ω3-LCPUFA increased retinal AdipoR1 and inhibited NV. ω3-LCPUFA decreased IL-10 but did not affect Mmps in Vldlr-/- retinas. Conclusions: APN in part mediated ω3-LCPUFA inhibition of neovascularization in two mouse models of AMD. Modulating the APN pathway in conjunction with a ω3-LCPUFA-enriched-diet may augment the beneficial effects of ω3-LCPUFA in AMD patients.
Maleki A, Swan RT, Lasave AF, Ma L, Foster SC. Reply. Ophthalmology 2017;124(8):e64-e65.
Al-Moujahed A, Brodowska K, Stryjewski TP, Efstathiou NE, Vasilikos I, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Verteporfin inhibits growth of human glioma in vitro without light activation. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):7602.Abstract
Verteporfin (VP), a light-activated drug used in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of choroidal neovascular membranes, has also been shown to be an effective inhibitor of malignant cells. Recently, studies have demonstrated that, even without photo-activation, VP may still inhibit certain tumor cell lines, including ovarian cancer, hepatocarcinoma and retinoblastoma, through the inhibition of the YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human glioma cell lines (LN229 and SNB19). Through western blot analysis, we identified that human glioma cells that were exposed to VP without light activation demonstrated a downregulation of YAP-TEAD-associated downstream signaling molecules, including c-myc, axl, CTGF, cyr61 and survivin and upregulation of the tumor growth inhibitor molecule p38 MAPK. In addition, we observed that expression of VEGFA and the pluripotent marker Oct-4 were also decreased. Verteporfin did not alter the Akt survival pathway or the mTor pathway but there was a modest increase in LC3-IIB, a marker of autophagosome biogenesis. This study suggests that verteporfin should be further explored as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Chun BY, Cestari DM. Advances in experimental optic nerve regeneration. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2017;28(6):558-563.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent advances in experimental studies of optic nerve regeneration to better understand the pathophysiology of axon regrowth and provide insights into the future treatment of numerous optic neuropathies. RECENT FINDINGS: The optic nerve is part of the central nervous system and cannot regenerate if injured. There are several steps that regenerating axons of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) must take following optic nerve injury that include: maximizing the intrinsic growth capacity of RGCs, overcoming the extrinsic growth-inhibitory environment of the optic nerve, and optimizing the reinnervation of regenerated axons to their targets in the brain. Recently, some degree of experimental optic nerve regeneration has been achieved by factors associated with inducing intraocular inflammation, providing exogenous neurotrophic factors, reactivating intrinsic growth capacity of mature RGCs, or by modifying the extrinsic growth-inhibitory environment of the optic nerve. In some experiments, regenerating axons have been shown to reinnervate their central targets in the brain. SUMMARY: Further approaches to the combination of aforementioned treatments will be necessary to develop future therapeutic strategy to promote ultimate regeneration of the optic nerve and functional vision recovery after optic nerve injury.
Amarnani D, Machuca-Parra AI, Wong LL, Marko CK, Stefater JA, Stryjewski TP, Eliott D, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kim LA. Effect of Methotrexate on an In Vitro Patient-Derived Model of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(10):3940-3949.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a method for isolating, culturing, and characterizing cells from patient-derived membranes in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) to be used for drug testing. Methods: PVR membranes were obtained from six patients with grade C PVR. Membrane fragments were analyzed by gross evaluation, fixed for immunohistologic studies to establish cell identity, or digested with collagenase II to obtain single cell suspensions for culture. PVR-derived primary cultures were used to examine the effects of methotrexate (MTX) on proliferation, migration, and cell death. Results: Gross analysis of PVR membranes showed presence of pigmented cells, indicative of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Immunohistochemistry identified cells expressing α-smooth muscle actin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, Bestrophin-1, and F4/80, suggesting the presence of multiple cell types in PVR. Robust PVR primary cultures (C-PVR) were successfully obtained from human membranes, and these cells retained the expression of cell identity markers in culture. C-PVR cultures formed membranes and band-like structures in culture reminiscent of the human condition. MTX significantly reduced the proliferation and band formation of C-PVR, whereas it had no significant effect on cell migration. MTX also induced regulated cell death within C-PVR as assessed by increased expression of caspase-3/7. Conclusions: PVR cells obtained from human membranes can be successfully isolated, cultured, and profiled in vitro. Using these primary cultures, we identified MTX as capable of significantly reducing growth and inducing cell death of PVR cells in vitro.
Craig JP, Nelson DJ, Azar DT, Belmonte C, Bron AJ, Chauhan SK, de Paiva CS, Gomes JAP, Hammitt KM, Jones L, Nichols JJ, Nichols KK, Novack GD, Stapleton FJ, Willcox MDP, Wolffsohn JS, Sullivan DA. TFOS DEWS II Report Executive Summary. Ocul Surf 2017;15(4):802-812.Abstract
This article presents an Executive Summary of the conclusions and recommendations of the 10-chapter TFOS DEWS II report. The entire TFOS DEWS II report was published in the July 2017 issue of The Ocular Surface. A downloadable version of the document and additional material, including videos of diagnostic and management techniques, are available on the TFOS website: www.TearFilm.org.

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