Inomata T, Hua J, Di Zazzo A, Dana R. Impaired Function of Peripherally Induced Regulatory T Cells in Hosts at High Risk of Graft Rejection. Sci Rep 2016;6:39924.Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for allograft survival. Tregs can be divided into thymus-derived natural Tregs (tTregs) and peripherally-derived induced Tregs (pTregs). Here, we determine whether the suppressive function of Treg subsets is hampered in hosts who are at high risk for rejecting their graft. To induce graft beds that promote high risk of transplant rejection, intrastromal corneal sutures were placed two weeks prior to the transplant procedure in mice. We demonstrate that in high-risk recipients the frequencies and function of pTregs (but not tTregs) are suppressed. Reduced function of pTregs correlated with decreased expression of CTLA-4, interleukin-10, and transforming growth factor-β. Adoptive transfer of pTregs from mice at low risk of subsequent graft rejection is able to rescue graft survival in recipients that are at high risk of rejecting their grafts. Our data suggest that impaired function of pTregs, but not tTregs, mediates the loss of immune tolerance and promotes allograft rejection.

Gomes PJ, Lane KJ, Angjeli E, Stein L, Abelson MB. Technical and clinical validation of an environmental exposure unit for ragweed. J Asthma Allergy 2016;9:215-221.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis is a common condition, with ragweed pollen one of the more prevalent aeroallergens. Environmental exposure units such as the Allergen BioCube(®) are valuable models for clinical allergy studies. A study was conducted to validate the Allergen BioCube for uniform ragweed pollen concentrations and clinically relevant sign and symptom responses to ragweed exposure. METHODS: Ragweed pollen concentrations were measured on 3 consecutive days in the Allergen BioCube and verified by Rotorod collection and continuous laser particle count measurements. Subjects (N=10) were exposed to ragweed pollen in the BioCube for 3 hours per day for 3 consecutive days. Subjects assessed their nasal itching, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion during each BioCube exposure; total nasal symptom score was computed. Peak nasal inspiratory flow was also assessed during BioCube exposure. RESULTS: Uniform ragweed pollen concentrations were obtained throughout each of the 3-hour testing periods in the Allergen BioCube, both spatially and temporally, at all subject positions, with a low mean standard deviation of 10%. Pronounced increases in mean total nasal symptom scores (6.7±0.94 to 7.6±0.86, last 90 minutes of exposure) occurred for all three BioCube ragweed pollen exposure visits. Mean peak nasal inspiratory flow decreased 24% at 3 hours of BioCube exposure on Day 3. No safety issues of concern occurred in this study. CONCLUSION: The Allergen BioCube achieved technical and clinical validation for ragweed allergen. Ragweed pollen concentration was uniform both temporally and spatially. Allergic rhinitis signs and symptoms were induced in subjects during exposure to ragweed in the BioCube at clinically meaningful levels for allergy studies.

Di Zazzo A, Kheirkhah A, Abud TB, Goyal S, Dana R. Management of High-risk Corneal Transplantation. Surv Ophthalmol 2016;Abstract

The cornea is the most commonly transplanted tissue in medicine. The main cause of corneal graft failure is allograft rejection. The incidence of graft rejection depends on the presence of high-risk characteristics, most notably corneal neovascularization. Although corneal grafting has a high success rates in the absence of these risk factors, high-risk keratoplasty is associated with low success rates because of a high incidence of immune-mediated graft rejection. To improve the survival of high-risk corneal transplantation, various preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative measures can be considered.; however, the key step in the management of these grafts is the long-term use of local and/or systemic immunosuppressive agents. Although a number of immunosuppressive agents have been employed for this purpose, the results vary significantly across different studies. This is partly due to the lack of an optimized method for their use, as well as the lack of a precise stratification of the degree of risk in each individual patient. New targeted biologic treatments, as well as tolerance-inducing methods, show promising horizons in the management of high-risk corneal transplantation in near future.

Fadlallah A, Zhu H, Arafat S, Kochevar I, Melki S, Ciolino JB. Corneal Resistance to Keratolysis After Collagen Crosslinking With Rose Bengal and Green Light. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(15):6610-6614.Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the resistance to degradation by collagenase A of corneas that have been crosslinked with Rose Bengal and green light (RGX). Methods: The ex vivo crosslinking procedure was performed on enucleated rabbit corneas. Corneas were deepithelialized after applying 30% alcohol. Corneas were stained with Rose Bengal (RB, 0.1%) for 2 minutes and then exposed to green light (532 nm) at 0.25 W/cm2 for times to deliver doses of 50, 100, 150, or 200 J/cm2 (n = 5 per group). Five corneas were pretreated with riboflavin solution (0.1% riboflavin) for 15 minutes and irradiated with ultraviolet A (UVA) light (370 nm, 3 mW/cm2) for 30 minutes. Five corneas underwent only de-epithelialization and were otherwise untreated. Five corneas were stained with RB without light exposure. The central corneas of each group was removed with a 8.5-mm trephine and incubated at 37°C in 0.3% collagenase A solution. Time to dissolution of each cornea was compared across treatments. Results: Corneas treated with RGX were treated with light fluences of 50, 100, 150, and 200 J/cm2; these corneas dissolved completely at 8.3 ± 1.2, 11.1 ± 1.4, 12.4 ± 1.7, and 15.7 ± 1.8 hours, respectively. Corneas treated by riboflavin and UVA light dissolved at 15.7 ± 1.7 hours, and nontreated corneas dissolved at 6.1 ± 1.3 hours. Corneas treated with only RB (no green light) dissolved at 9.3 ± 1.7 hours. Compared with the untreated corneas, all of the RB groups and the riboflavin-UVA-treated group of corneas degraded statistically significantly slower than untreated corneas (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Crosslinking with RGX increased corneal resistance to digestion by collagenase comparable to that produced by riboflavin and UVA treatment.

Yu Z, Zeng Z, Zhang J, Pan Y, Chen M, Guo Y, Yu N, Chodosh J, Fu N, Che X, Zhang Q. Fatal Community-acquired Pneumonia in Children Caused by Re-emergent Human Adenovirus 7d Associated with Higher Severity of Illness and Fatality Rate. Sci Rep 2016;6:37216.Abstract

Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are highly contagious pathogens causing acute respiratory disease (ARD), such as community-acquired pneumonia. HAdV-7d, a re-emergent genomic variant, has been recently reported in Asia and the United States after a several-decade absence. However, whether HAdV-7d is associated with higher severity than other types is currently unclear. In this study, the clinical and epidemiological investigation showed that fever, cough, and sore throat were the three most common respiratory symptoms of HAdV infections. HAdV-7 caused longer duration of fever, higher morbidity of tachypnea/dyspnea, pleural effusion, diarrhea, hepatosplenomegaly, consciousness alteration, as well as higher rates of pneumonia, mechanical ventilation and higher fatality rate (28.6%) than other types, particularly HAdV-3 and HAdV-2. The genomes of seven HAdV-7d isolates from mild, severe, and fatal cases were sequenced and highly similar with each other. Surprisingly, two isolates (2011, 2012) had 100% identical genomes with an earlier strain from a fatal ARD outbreak in China (2009), which elucidates the virus origin and confirms the unexpected HAdV genomic conservation and stability. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that L1 52/55-kDa DNA packaging protein may be associated with the higher severity of illness and fatality rate of HAdV-7. Clinicians need to be aware of HAdVs in children with ARD.

Rameh LE, Mackey AM. IQGAP1 makes PI(3)K signalling as easy as PIP, PIP2, PIP3. Nat Cell Biol 2016;18(12):1263-1265.Abstract

Despite being one of the most studied signalling pathways, precisely how phospholipid synthesis is regulated in the phosphoinositide signalling cascade remains unclear. The scaffold protein IQGAP1 is now shown to orchestrate the assembly of a multi-enzyme complex that streamlines PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 synthesis to facilitate Akt activation in response to extracellular stimuli.

Lee DJ, Preble J, Lee S, Foster SC, Taylor AW. MC5r and A2Ar Deficiencies During Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis Identifies Distinct T cell Polarization Programs and a Biphasic Regulatory Response. Sci Rep 2016;6:37790.Abstract

Autoantigen-specific regulatory immunity emerges in the spleen of mice recovering from experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU), a murine model for human autoimmune uveoretinitis. This regulatory immunity provides induced tolerance to ocular autoantigen, and requires melanocortin 5 receptor (MC5r) expression on antigen presenting cells with adenosine 2 A receptor (A2Ar) expression on T cells. During EAU it is not well understood what roles MC5r and A2Ar have on promoting regulatory immunity. Cytokine profile analysis during EAU revealed MC5r and A2Ar each mediate distinct T cell responses, and are responsible for a functional regulatory immune response in the spleen. A2Ar stimulation at EAU onset did not augment this regulatory response, nor bypass the MC5r requirement to induce regulatory immunity. The importance of this pathway in human autoimmune uveitis was assayed. PBMC from uveitis patients were assayed for MC5r expression on monocytes and A2Ar on T cells, and comparison between uveitis patients and healthy controls had no significant difference. The importance for MC5r and A2Ar expression in EAU to promote the induction of protective regulatory immunity, and the expression of MC5r and A2Ar on human immune cells, suggests that it may be possible to utilize the melanocortin-adenosinergic pathways to induce protective immunity in uveitic patients.

Horton MB, Silva PS, Cavallerano JD, Aiello LP. Clinical Components of Telemedicine Programs for Diabetic Retinopathy. Curr Diab Rep 2016;16(12):129.Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of new-onset vision loss worldwide. Treatments supported by large clinical trials are effective in preserving vision, but many persons do not receive timely diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, which is typically asymptomatic when most treatable. Telemedicine evaluation to identify diabetic retinopathy has the potential to improve access to care, but there are no universal standards regarding camera choice or protocol for ocular telemedicine. We review the literature regarding the impact of imaging device, number and size of retinal images, pupil dilation, type of image grader, and diagnostic accuracy on telemedicine assessment for diabetic retinopathy. Telemedicine assessment of diabetic retinopathy has the potential to preserve vision, but further development of telemedicine specific technology and standardization of operations are needed to better realize its potential.

Sheldon CA, Paley GL, Xiao R, Kesler A, Eyal O, Ko MW, Boisvert CJ, Avery RA, Salpietro V, Phillips PH, Heidary G, McCormack SE, Liu GT. Pediatric Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: Age, Gender, and Anthropometric Features at Diagnosis in a Large, Retrospective, Multisite Cohort. Ophthalmology 2016;123(11):2424-2431.Abstract

PURPOSE: To examine anthropometric and maturational characteristics at diagnosis in pediatric idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). DESIGN: Retrospective, international, multisite study. PARTICIPANTS: Pediatric patients (2-18 years of age at diagnosis) with IIH. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Body mass index (BMI), height, and weight Z-scores; sexual maturation. METHODS: Cases of IIH were identified retrospectively based on diagnostic code, pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist databases, or both and updated diagnostic criteria (2013) were applied to confirm definite IIH. Anthropometric measurements were converted into age- and gender-specific height, weight, and BMI Z-scores CDC 2000 growth charts. When available, sexual maturation was noted. RESULTS: Two hundred thirty-three cases of definite IIH were identified across 8 sites. In boys, a moderate association between age and BMI Z-scores was noted (Pearson's correlation coefficient, 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30-0.66; P < 0.001; n = 72), and in girls, a weak association was noted (Pearson's correlation coefficient, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.20-0.47; P < 0.001; n = 161). The average patient was more likely to be overweight at diagnosis at age 6.7 years in girls and 8.7 years in boys, and obese at diagnosis at age 12.5 years in girls and 12.4 years in boys. Compared with age- and gender-matched reference values, early adolescent patients were taller for age (P = 0.002 in girls and P = 0.02 in boys). Data on Tanner staging, menarchal status, or both were available in 25% of cases (n = 57/233). Prepubertal participants (n = 12) had lower average BMI Z-scores (0.95±1.98) compared with pubertal participants (n = 45; 1.92±0.60), but this result did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.09). CONCLUSIONS: With updated diagnostic criteria and pediatric-specific assessments, the present study identifies 3 subgroups of pediatric IIH: a young group that is not overweight, an early adolescent group that is either overweight or obese, and a late adolescent group that is mostly obese. Data also suggest that the early adolescent group with IIH may be taller than age- and gender-matched reference values. Understanding these features of pediatric IIH may help to illuminate the complex pathogenesis of this condition.

Mihlstin M, Juzych MS, Kromrei HT, Hwang FS, Yin J. Resident Compliance With the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Patterns for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect. J Glaucoma 2016;25(12):963-967.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study resident compliance with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Preferred Practice Patterns (PPPs) for primary open-angle glaucoma suspect (POAGS) in a resident ophthalmology clinic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred charts were selected for analysis of adult patients with the International Classification of Diseases diagnosis code for POAGS during their initial visit between November 2, 2010 and May 6, 2014 at the Kresge Eye Institute resident clinic. Electronic medical records of clinic visits for POAGS patients were evaluated for documentation and compliance with 17 elements of AAO PPPs. RESULTS: The overall mean compliance was 73.8% for all charts (n=200), 74.4% for first-year residents (n=53), 74.5% for second-year residents (n=38), and 73.3% for third-year residents (n=109). Documentation rates were high (>90%) for 9 elements, which included most elements of physical examination and history. Documentation of ocular history, central corneal thickness, gonioscopy, optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer analysis, and visual field ranged from 40% to 80%. Documentation was lowest for patient education elements which ranged from 0% to 10%. Compliance was not significantly different (P>0.05) between residents or between different resident years for any element. CONCLUSIONS: Residents' compliance was high for most elements of the PPPs for POAGS. We identified elements with poor compliance especially regarding patient education. Adherence to AAO PPPs can be a helpful method of assessing resident performance.

Kheirkhah A, Satitpitakul V, Hamrah P, Dana R. Patients With Dry Eye Disease and Low Subbasal Nerve Density Are at High Risk for Accelerated Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss. Cornea 2016;Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate changes in corneal endothelial cell density over time in patients with dry eye disease (DED) and to correlate endothelial cell loss with corneal subbasal nerve density. METHODS: This retrospective study included 40 eyes of 20 patients with DED. Laser in vivo confocal microscopy had been performed in the central cornea of both eyes at an initial visit and repeated after a mean follow-up of 33.2 ± 10.2 months. The densities of corneal endothelial cells and subbasal nerves were measured in both visits and compared with 13 eyes of 13 normal age-matched controls. RESULTS: At the initial visit, the DED group had lower densities of corneal endothelial cells (2620 ± 386 cells/mm) and subbasal nerves (17.8 ± 7.5 mm/mm) compared with the control group (2861 ± 292 cells/mm and 22.8 ± 3.0 mm/mm, with P = 0.08 and P = 0.01, respectively). At the end of follow-up, although there was no significant change in subbasal nerve density (16.7 ± 7.2 mm/mm, P = 0.43), the mean corneal endothelial cell density significantly decreased to 2465 ± 391 cells/mm (P = 0.01), with a mean corneal endothelial cell loss of 2.1 ± 3.6% per year. The endothelial cell loss showed a statistically significant negative correlation with the initial subbasal nerve density (Rs = -0.55, P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with DED have an accelerated corneal endothelial cell loss compared with that reported in the literature for normal aging. Those with lower subbasal nerve density, in particular, are at a higher risk for endothelial cell loss over time.

Avedschmidt SE, Stagner AM, Eagle RC, Harocopos GJ, Dou Y, Rao RC. The Targetable Epigenetic Tumor Protein EZH2 is Enriched in Intraocular Medulloepithelioma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(14):6242-6246.Abstract

Purpose: Intraocular medulloepithelioma (IM), the second most common primary neuroepithelial tumor of the eye, can lead to blindness in the affected eye and in rare cases, is deadly. Intraocular medulloepithelioma lacks targetable biomarkers for potential pharmacologic therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify actionable, tumor-specific proteins for potential diagnostic or therapeutic strategies. We hypothesize that the tumor-specific epigenetic enzyme EZH2 is selectively expressed in IM. Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study of five IM from five eyes of four children and one adult. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains of sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks of IM tumors were used to localize IM tumor cells in each case. Using an EZH2-specific antibody for immunohistochemistry, we semiquantitatively calculated the proportion of IM tumor cells positive for EZH2, and also assayed for EZH2 staining intensity. Results: We found that EZH2 was expressed in all IM cases but this protein was absent in nontumor ciliary body or retinal tissues. However, not all IM tumor cells expressed EZH2. Similar to retinoblastoma, moderately to poorly differentiated (primitive appearing) IM tumor cells strongly expressed EZH2; expression was weaker or absent in areas of well-formed neuroepithelial units. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify an actionable tumor-specific maker, EZH2, in IM. Our findings point to the possibility of exploring the potential of EZH2 inhibitors, already in clinical trials for other cancers, for IM.


PURPOSE: To present the case of a patient who developed spontaneous closure of an idiopathic macular hole after four failed attempts at surgical closure. METHODS: This is a retrospective case review of the medical record of a single patient. No statistical analysis was performed. The patient is a 71-year-old white woman with neurofibromatosis Type 1 who presented to the retina clinic of one of the authors. RESULTS: The patient underwent four vitrectomies with long acting gas by two surgeons over the course of 2 years. After each surgery, the hole either did not close or it closed and then reopened within 1 year. Five months after the last surgery (1 year after the hole last reopened), the patient presented with improved vision and spontaneous closure of the macular hole. The hole has remained closed since then. CONCLUSION: This case demonstrates that spontaneous closure of a macular hole, associated with excellent visual recovery, can occur after multiple surgical failures. We propose that enhanced scar formation due to neurofibromatosis Type 1 was responsible for both the numerous failures following initially successful surgery (centrifugal traction) and for the spontaneous closure (centripetal traction).

Krishnan A, Fei F, Jones A, Busto P, Marshak-Rothstein A, Ksander BR, Gregory-Ksander M. Overexpression of Soluble Fas Ligand following Adeno-Associated Virus Gene Therapy Prevents Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Chronic and Acute Murine Models of Glaucoma. J Immunol 2016;197(12):4626-4638.Abstract

Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease resulting in the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and irreversible blindness. Glaucoma-associated RGC death depends on the proapoptotic and proinflammatory activity of membrane-bound Fas ligand (mFasL). In contrast to mFasL, the natural cleavage product, soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) inhibits mFasL-mediated apoptosis and inflammation and, therefore, is an mFasL antagonist. DBA/2J mice spontaneously develop glaucoma and, predictably, RGC destruction is exacerbated by expression of a mutated membrane-only FasL gene that lacks the extracellular cleavage site. Remarkably, one-time intraocular adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery of sFasL provides complete and sustained neuroprotection in the chronic DBA/2J and acute microbead-induced models of glaucoma, even in the presence of elevated intraocular pressure. This protection correlated with inhibition of glial activation, reduced production of TNF-α, and decreased apoptosis of RGCs and loss of axons. These data indicate that cleavage of FasL under homeostatic conditions, and the ensuing release of sFasL, normally limits the neurodestructive activity of FasL. The data further support the notion that sFasL, and not mFasL, contributes to the immune-privileged status of the eye.

Hodges RR, Li D, Shatos MA, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. Lipoxin A4 Counter-regulates Histamine-stimulated Glycoconjugate Secretion in Conjunctival Goblet Cells. Sci Rep 2016;6:36124.Abstract

Conjunctival goblet cells synthesize and secrete mucins which play an important role in protecting the ocular surface. Pro-resolution mediators, such as lipoxin A4 (LXA4), are produced during inflammation returning the tissue to homeostasis and are also produced in non-inflamed tissues. The purpose of this study was to determine the actions of LXA4 on cultured human conjunctival goblet cell mucin secretion and increase in intracellular [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)]i) and on histamine-stimulated responses. LXA4 increased mucin secretion and [Ca(2+)]i, and activated ERK1/2 in human goblet cells. Addition of LXA4 before resolvin D1 (RvD1) decreased RvD1 responses though RvD1 did not block LXA4 responses. LXA4 inhibited histamine-stimulated increases in mucin secretion, [Ca(2+)]i, and ERK1/2 activation through activation of β-adrenergic receptor kinase 1. We conclude that conjunctival goblet cells respond to LXA4 through the ALX/FPR2 receptor to maintain homeostasis of the ocular surface and regulate histamine responses and could provide a new therapeutic approach for allergic conjunctivitis and dry eye diseases.