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Gilmore MS, Rauch M, Ramsey MM, Himes PR, Varahan S, Manson JM, Lebreton F, Hancock LE. Pheromone killing of multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis V583 by native commensal strains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015;112(23):7273-8.Abstract

Multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis possess numerous mobile elements that encode virulence and antibiotic resistance traits as well as new metabolic pathways, often constituting over one-quarter of the genome. It was of interest to determine how this large accretion of mobile elements affects competitive growth in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract consortium. We unexpectedly observed that the prototype clinical isolate strain V583 was actively killed by GI tract flora, whereas commensal enterococci flourished. It was found that killing of V583 resulted from lethal cross-talk between accumulated mobile elements and that this cross-talk was induced by a heptapeptide pheromone produced by native E. faecalis present in the fecal consortium. These results highlight two important aspects of the evolution of multidrug-resistant enterococci: (i) the accretion of mobile elements in E. faecalis V583 renders it incompatible with commensal strains, and (ii) because of this incompatibility, multidrug-resistant strains sharing features found in V583 cannot coexist with commensal strains. The accumulation of mobile elements in hospital isolates of enterococci can include those that are inherently incompatible with native flora, highlighting the importance of maintaining commensal populations as means of preventing colonization and subsequent infection by multidrug-resistant strains.

Gupta MP, Lane AM, Deangelis MM, Mayne K, Crabtree M, Gragoudas ES, Kim IK. Clinical Characteristics of Uveal Melanoma in Patients With Germline BAP1 Mutations. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(8):881-7.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Somatic mutations in BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein 1 gene) are frequently identified in uveal melanoma. To date, the role of germline BAP1 mutations in uveal melanoma has not been characterized. OBJECTIVE: To characterize the clinical phenotype of uveal melanoma in patients with germline BAP1 mutations. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study at an academic ophthalmology referral center among 507 patients with uveal melanoma who consented for collection of blood samples. The study dates were June 22, 1992, to December 14, 2010. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Clinical characteristics of uveal melanoma and the development of metastases. BAP1 gene sequencing from blood samples of patients with uveal melanoma was correlated with clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Of 507 blood samples analyzed, 25 patients (4.9%) exhibited 18 BAP1 polymorphisms, of which 9 were novel. Computational analyses predicted that 8 BAP1 mutations in 8 patients (1.6%) were likely to result in damaged BAP1 protein. Five of these 8 mutations were novel. These 8 patients were compared with 482 patients in whom no BAP1 polymorphisms were identified. In univariate analyses, patients with germline BAP1 mutations exhibited larger tumor diameters (mean, 15.9 vs 12.3 mm; P = .004) and higher rates of ciliary body involvement (75.0% vs 21.6%, P = .002) and metastases (71.4% vs 18.0%, P = .003) compared with control subjects. Patients with germline BAP1 mutations exhibited increased frequency of family history of cancer (100% vs 65.9%, P = .06), particularly cutaneous melanoma (62.5% vs 9.9%, P < .001) and ocular melanoma (25.0% vs 1.9%, P = .01). No differences were identified in age at diagnosis, sex, history of other malignant neoplasm, presenting visual acuity, distance of the tumor from the optic nerve or fovea, iris involvement, extrascleral extension, or tumor pigmentation. Germline BAP1 mutations increased risk of metastasis independent of ciliary body involvement (P = .02). Germline BAP1 mutation approached significance as an independent risk factor for metastasis (P = .09). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These data suggest that germline BAP1 mutations occur infrequently in uveal melanoma and are associated with larger tumors and higher rates of ciliary body involvement, 2 known risk factors for metastasis.

Chauhan SK, Lee HK, Lee HS, Park EY, Jeong E, Dana R. PTK7+ Mononuclear Cells Express VEGFR2 and Contribute to Vascular Stabilization by Upregulating Angiopoietin-1. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2015;35(7):1606-15.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In angiogenesis, circulating mononuclear cells are recruited to vascular lesions; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Here, we characterize the functional role of protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7)-expressing CD11b(+) mononuclear cells in vitro and in vivo using a mouse model of angiogenesis. Although the frequencies of PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells in the bone marrow remained similar after vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced neovascularization, we observed an 11-fold increase in the cornea. Importantly, vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced chemotaxis of PTK7(+) cells was mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. In a coculture with endothelial cells, PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells stabilized the vascular network for 2 weeks by expressing high levels of angiopoietin-1. The enhanced vascular stability was abolished by knockdown of angiopoietin-1 in PTK7(+)CD11b(+) cells and could be restored by angiopoietin-1 treatment. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that PTK7 expression in perivascular mononuclear cells induces vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and angiopoietin-1 expression and thus contributes to vascular stabilization in angiogenesis.

Saboo US, Amparo F, Abud TB, Schaumberg DA, Dana R. Vision-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Ocular Graft-versus-Host Disease. Ophthalmology 2015;122(8):1669-74.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the vision-related quality of life (QOL) in a cohort of patients with ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). DESIGN: Prospective study. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-four patients diagnosed with chronic ocular GVHD. METHODS: We assessed the vision-related QOL with the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25). The symptoms of ocular GVHD were assessed using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye (SANDE) questionnaires. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We assessed vision-related QOL with the NEI-VFQ-25 and compared the scores obtained from patients with ocular GVHD with those from a healthy population. In the ocular GVHD population, we also evaluated the associations between the NEI-VFQ-25 and the dry eye symptoms measured by the OSDI and SANDE questionnaires, age, duration of disease, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), tear break-up time, and Schirmer test. RESULTS: The mean composite NEI-VFQ-25 score in patients with ocular GVHD was 76.5±17. Compared with healthy subjects, patients with ocular GVHD reported reduced scores on all NEI-VFQ-25 subscales (each P < 0.001) with the exception of color vision (P = 0.11). The NEI-VFQ-25 composite scores significantly correlated with OSDI (R = -0.81, P < 0.001), SANDE (R = -0.56, P < 0.001), CFS (R = -0.36, P = 0.001), and BCVA (R = -0.30, P = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ocular GVHD experience measurable impairment of vision-related QOL. This study highlights the impact of ocular GVHD on the vision-related QOL, and thus the importance of comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Duncker T, Tsang SH, Woods RL, Lee W, Zernant J, Allikmets R, Delori FC, Sparrow JR. Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography in PRPH2/RDS- and ABCA4-Associated Disease Exhibiting Phenotypic Overlap. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3159-70.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess whether quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF), a measure of RPE lipofuscin, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) can aid in the differentiation of patients with fundus features that could either be related to ABCA4 mutations or be part of the phenotypic spectrum of pattern dystrophies. METHODS: Autofluorescence images (30°, 488-nm excitation) from 39 patients (67 eyes) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference and were quantified as previously described. In addition, horizontal SD-OCT images through the fovea were obtained. Patients were screened for ABCA4 and PRPH2/RDS mutations. RESULTS: ABCA4 mutations were identified in 19 patients (mean age, 37 ± 12 years) and PRPH2/RDS mutations in 8 patients (mean age, 48 ± 13 years); no known ABCA4 or PRPH2/RDS mutations were found in 12 patients (mean age, 48 ± 9 years). Differentiation of the groups using phenotypic SD-OCT and AF features (e.g., peripapillary sparing, foveal sparing) was not reliable. However, patients with ABCA4 mutations could be discriminated reasonably well from other patients when qAF values were corrected for age and race. In general, ABCA4 patients had higher qAF values than PRPH2/RDS patients, while most patients without mutations in PRPH2/RDS or ABCA4 had qAF levels within the normal range. CONCLUSIONS: The high qAF levels of ABCA4-positive patients are a hallmark of ABCA4-related disease. The reason for high qAF among many PRPH2/RDS-positive patients is not known; higher RPE lipofuscin accumulation may be a primary or secondary effect of the PRPH2/RDS mutation.

SanGiovanni JP, Chen J, Gupta AS, Smith LEH, Sapieha P, Lee PH. Netrin-1 - DCC Signaling Systems and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. PLoS One 2015;10(5):e0125548.Abstract

We conducted a nested candidate gene study and pathway-based enrichment analysis on data from a multi-national 77,000-person project on the molecular genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to identify AMD-associated DNA-sequence variants in genes encoding constituents of a netrin-1 (NTN1)-based signaling pathway that converges on DNA-binding transcription complexes through a 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate-calcineurin (cAMP-CN)-dependent axis. AMD-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existed in 9 linkage disequilibrium-independent genomic regions; these included loci overlapping NTN1 (rs9899630, P ≤ 9.48 x 10-5), DCC (Deleted in Colorectal Cancer)-the gene encoding a primary NTN1 receptor (rs8097127, P ≤ 3.03 x 10-5), and 6 other netrin-related genes. Analysis of the NTN1-DCC pathway with exact methods demonstrated robust enrichment with AMD-associated SNPs (corrected P-value = 0.038), supporting the idea that processes driven by NTN1-DCC signaling systems operate in advanced AMD. The NTN1-DCC pathway contains targets of FDA-approved drugs and may offer promise for guiding applied clinical research on preventive and therapeutic interventions for AMD.

Weinberger AD, Gilmore MS. A CRISPR View of Cleavage. Cell 2015;161(5):964-6.Abstract

Seminal studies showed that CRISPR-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity in prokaryotes and promising gene-editing tools from bacteria to humans. Yet, reports diverged on whether some CRISPR systems naturally target DNA or RNA. Here, Samai and colleagues unify the studies, showing that a single type III CRISPR-Cas system cleaves both DNA and RNA targets, independently.

Munro RJ, Fulton AB, Chui TYP, Moskowitz A, Ramamirtham R, Hansen RM, Prabhu SP, Akula JD. Eye growth in term- and preterm-born eyes modeled from magnetic resonance images. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3121-31.Abstract

PURPOSE: We generated a model of eye growth and tested it against an eye known to develop abnormally, one with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). METHODS: We reviewed extant magnetic resonance images (MRIs) from term and preterm-born patients for suitable images (n = 129). We binned subjects for analysis based upon postmenstrual age at birth (in weeks) and ROP history ("Term" ≥ 37, "Premature" ≤ 32 with no ROP, "ROP" ≤ 32 with ROP). We measured the axial positions and curvatures of the cornea, anterior and posterior lens, and inner retinal surface. We fit anterior chamber depth (ACD), posterior segment depth (PSD), axial length (AL), and corneal and lenticular curvatures with logistic growth curves that we then evaluated for significant differences. We also measured the length of rays from the centroid to the surface of the eye at 5° intervals, and described the length versus age relationship of each ray, Lray(x), using the same logistic growth curve. We determined the rate of ray elongation, Eray(x), from Lraydy/dx. Then, we estimated the scleral growth that accounted for Eray(x), G(x), at every age and position. RESULTS: Relative to Term, development of ACD, PSD, AL, and corneal and lenticular curvatures was delayed in ROP eyes, but not Premature eyes. In Term infants, G(x) was fast and predominantly equatorial; in age-matched ROP eyes, maximal G(x) was offset by approximately 90°. CONCLUSIONS: We produced a model of normal eye growth in term-born subjects. Relative to normal, the ROP eye is characterized by delayed, abnormal growth.

Stein JD, Talwar N, Kang JH, Okereke OI, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR. Bupropion Use and Risk of Open-Angle Glaucoma among Enrollees in a Large U.S. Managed Care Network. PLoS One 2015;10(4):e0123682.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) mediates retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma. Anti-TNF drugs are neuroprotective in an animal model of glaucoma. It is unclear whether medications with anti-TNF properties such as bupropion have an impact on the risk of developing open-angle glaucoma (OAG) in humans. The purpose of this study is to determine whether bupropion use alters the risk of developing OAG. METHODS: Claims data for beneficiaries age ≥35 years with no pre-existing OAG enrolled in a large nationwide U.S. managed care network continuously for ≥4 years between 2001-2011 was analyzed to identify patients who had been newly-diagnosed with OAG. The amount of bupropion use as captured from outpatient pharmacy claims over a four-year period was also quantified for each beneficiary. Multivariable Cox regression modeling assessed the impact of bupropion and other antidepressant medications on the risk of developing OAG with adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics of the enrollees along with medical and ocular comorbidities. RESULTS: Of 638,481 eligible enrollees, 15,292 (2.4%) developed OAG. After adjustment for confounding factors including use of other antidepressant medication classes, each additional month of bupropion use was associated with a 0.6% reduced risk of OAG (HR = 0.994, (95% CI: 0.989-0.998), p = 0.007). Compared to nonusers, those with 24-48 months of bupropion use had a 21% reduced hazard (HR=0.79, (CI: 0.65-0.94), p = 0.0099) of OAG. This association did not differ among persons taking bupropion for depression or for other reasons (p-interaction = 0.82). There was no significant association between use of tricyclic antidepressants (HR = 1.000, (CI: 0.997-1.004), p = 0.95) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (HR = 0.999, (CI: 0.997-1.001), p = 0.39) and development of OAG. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest bupropion use may be beneficial in reducing the risk of OAG. If prospective studies confirm the findings of this analysis, this may identify a novel therapeutic target for OAG.

Fay A, Nallasamy N, Bernardini F, Wladis EJ, Durand ML, Devoto MH, Meyer D, Hartstein M, Honavar S, Osaki MH, Osaki TH, Santiago YM, Sales-Sanz M, Vadala G, Verity D. Multinational Comparison of Prophylactic Antibiotic Use for Eyelid Surgery. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(7):778-84.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Antibiotic stewardship is important in controlling resistance, adverse reactions, and cost. The literature regarding antibiotic use for eyelid surgery is lacking. OBJECTIVES: To determine standard care and assess factors influencing antibiotic prescribing practices for eyelid surgery. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A survey study was conducted from February 2, 2014, to March 24, 2014. The survey was distributed to 2397 oculoplastic surgeons in private and academic oculoplastic surgery practices in 43 countries. All surgeons were members of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery societies. Data were analyzed by geographic location. Linear regression was performed to quantify contributions to rates of prescribing postoperative antibiotics for routine eyelid surgical procedures. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Rates of prescribing prophylactic intravenous, oral, and topical antibiotics as well as factors that influence surgeons' prescribing practices. RESULTS: A total of 782 responses were received from 2397 surgeons (average response rate, 36.7%; 2.5% margin of error) from 43 countries. Topical antibiotic use was common in all regions (85.2%). Perioperative intravenous antibiotic use was uncommon in all regions (13.5%). Geographic location was the greatest predictor of antibiotic prescribing practices (range, 2.9% in the United Kingdom to 86.7% in India; mean, 24%). Within Europe, Italy had the highest rate of antibiotic prescriptions for eyelid surgery (41.7%) and the United Kingdom had the lowest rate (2.9%.) In South America, Venezuela had the highest rate of antibiotic prescriptions for eyelid surgery (83.3%) and Chile had the lowest rate (0%). The practice locations that were associated with routinely prescribing postoperative oral antibiotics were India (odds ratio [OR], 15.83; 95% CI, 4.85-51.68; P < .001), Venezuela (OR, 13.47; 95% CI, 1.43-127.19; P = .02), and Southeast Asia (OR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.15-6.84; P = .02). Conversely, practice location in the United Kingdom (OR, 0.048; 95% CI, 0.0063-0.37; P = .004), Australia and New Zealand (OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.033-0.67; P = .01), and the United States and Canada (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.23-0.72; P = .002) were associated with decreased rates of postoperative oral antibiotic use. Surgeons' concern for allergic reactions was associated with decreased rates of prescribing antibiotics (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.23-0.49; P < .001), while surgeons' concern for infection was associated with increased rates of prescribing antibiotics (OR 1.80; 95% CI, 1.45-2.23; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results from members of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery societies confirm that antibiotic prescribing practices for routine eyelid surgical procedures vary widely throughout the world. No standard of care has been established that would require the routine use of postoperative prophylactic antibiotics following eyelid surgery.

Eviston TJ, Croxson GR, Kennedy PGE, Hadlock T, Krishnan AV. Bell's palsy: aetiology, clinical features and multidisciplinary care. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2015;Abstract

Bell's palsy is a common cranial neuropathy causing acute unilateral lower motor neuron facial paralysis. Immune, infective and ischaemic mechanisms are all potential contributors to the development of Bell's palsy, but the precise cause remains unclear. Advancements in the understanding of intra-axonal signal molecules and the molecular mechanisms underpinning Wallerian degeneration may further delineate its pathogenesis along with in vitro studies of virus-axon interactions. Recently published guidelines for the acute treatment of Bell's palsy advocate for steroid monotherapy, although controversy exists over whether combined corticosteroids and antivirals may possibly have a beneficial role in select cases of severe Bell's palsy. For those with longstanding sequaelae from incomplete recovery, aesthetic, functional (nasal patency, eye closure, speech and swallowing) and psychological considerations need to be addressed by the treating team. Increasingly, multidisciplinary collaboration between interested clinicians from a wide variety of subspecialties has proven effective. A patient centred approach utilising physiotherapy, targeted botulinum toxin injection and selective surgical intervention has reduced the burden of long-term disability in facial palsy.

Duda T, Wen X-H, Isayama T, Sharma RK, Makino CL. Bicarbonate Modulates Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclase (ROS-GC) Catalytic Activity. J Biol Chem 2015;290(17):11052-60.Abstract

By generating the second messenger cGMP in retinal rods and cones, ROS-GC plays a central role in visual transduction. Guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) link cGMP synthesis to the light-induced fall in [Ca(2+)]i to help set absolute sensitivity and assure prompt recovery of the response to light. The present report discloses a surprising feature of this system: ROS-GC is a sensor of bicarbonate. Recombinant ROS-GCs synthesized cGMP from GTP at faster rates in the presence of bicarbonate with an ED50 of 27 mm for ROS-GC1 and 39 mm for ROS-GC2. The effect required neither Ca(2+) nor use of the GCAPs domains; however, stimulation of ROS-GC1 was more powerful in the presence of GCAP1 or GCAP2 at low [Ca(2+)]. When applied to retinal photoreceptors, bicarbonate enhanced the circulating current, decreased sensitivity to flashes, and accelerated flash response kinetics. Bicarbonate was effective when applied either to the outer or inner segment of red-sensitive cones. In contrast, bicarbonate exerted an effect when applied to the inner segment of rods but had little efficacy when applied to the outer segment. The findings define a new regulatory mechanism of the ROS-GC system that affects visual transduction and is likely to affect the course of retinal diseases caused by cGMP toxicity.

Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Chi A, Bradshaw SH, Mendoza SD. Conjunctival inverted squamous papilloma: A case report with immunohistochemical analysis and review of the literature. Surv Ophthalmol 2015;60(3):263-268.Abstract

A 63-year-old man presented with an asymptomatic papillary, sessile lesion of the juxtalimbal bulbar conjunctiva that was surgically excised with cryotherapy. Histopathologically, the lesion created some diagnostic confusion as it displayed an endophytic, or inverted, growth pattern-with squamous cells pushing into the substantia propria around fibrovascular cores, but without significant cytologic atypia, consistent with a conjunctival inverted papilloma (IP). Unlike previously reported cases of conjunctival IP, there were no goblet cells or cysts within the tumor. Immunostaining was diffusely positive for cytokeratin (CK) 7, and CK14 stained the basilar and suprabasilar cells, as in normal conjunctiva. CK17 weakly and non-uniformly stained the tumor, ruling out a dysplasia, which is usually strongly positive. The lesion's cytokeratin profile therefore paralleled that of normal conjunctiva. The proliferation index with Ki67 nuclear staining was extremely low (<1%), as was p53 nuclear staining (10-20%), both in contrast to squamous cell dysplasias or carcinomas that have a much higher percentage of positive cells. The lesion was negative for human papillomavirus subtypes associated with squamous neoplasias including carcinomas. We review the previous literature devoted to this comparatively rare condition and contrast its benign clinical course with that of inverted papillomas of the sinonasal, lacrimal drainage, and genitourinary systems and provide a set of criteria for establishing the diagnosis.

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