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Hymowitz MB, Chang D, Feinberg EB, Roy S. Increased Intraocular Pressure and Hyperglycemic Level in Diabetic Patients. PLoS One 2016;11(3):e0151833.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether hyperglycemic levels as determined from high hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels influence intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed on subjects with a diagnosis of NPDR and a corresponding HbA1c level measured within 90 days before or after an IOP measurement over a two-year period. Exclusion criteria included a diagnosis of glaucoma or treatment with IOP lowering medications or oral or topical steroids. RESULTS: Using 14.5mmHg as a baseline mean value for IOP, 42 subjects had an IOP < 14.5mmHg and mean HbA1c of 8.1±1.1, while 72 subjects had an IOP ≥ 14.5mmHg and a mean HbA1c of 9.0±2.1. Although there was an overlap in the confidence intervals, a significant difference (P = 0.01) in the mean HbA1c level was observed in regression analysis between the two groups. Importantly, diabetic subjects with elevated HbA1c levels rarely (<1%) exhibited reduced IOP levels. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic subjects with elevated HbA1c levels exhibited significantly higher IOPs compared to those with lower HbA1c levels. Findings from this study indicate an association between hyperglycemia and elevated IOP and that poor glycemic control may contribute to increased IOP levels in long-term diabetic patients.

Robert M-C, Črnej A, Shen LQ, Papaliodis GN, Dana R, Foster SC, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH. Infliximab after Boston Keratoprosthesis in Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: An Update. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2016;:1-5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report our experience using intravenous infliximab for the treatment of tissue melt after Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) types I and II in patients with autoimmune disease. METHODS: Case series. RESULTS: We identified four patients who were treated with intravenous infliximab in the context of tissue melt after B-KPro. Stevens-Johnson syndrome-associated corneal blindness was the primary surgical indication for B-KPro implantation in all patients. Two patients received a B-KPro type I and two patients received a B-KPro type II. The patients received intravenous infliximab for skin retraction around B-KPro type II, melting of the carrier graft or leak. Treatment resulted in a dramatic decrease in inflammation and, in some cases, arrest of the melting process. Cost and patient adherence were limiting factors to pursuing infliximab therapy. In addition, one patient developed infusion reactions. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous infliximab may be considered as globe- and sight-saving therapy for tissue melt after B-KPro.

Davies EC, Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Rizzo JF. An Atypical Case of Lymphocytic Panhypophysitis in a Pregnant Woman. J Neuroophthalmol 2016;36(3):313-6.Abstract

We describe a case of lymphocytic panhypophysitis (LPH) in a 30-year-old woman presenting with throbbing headaches and vision changes during her third trimester. LPH is the rarest subclassification of lymphocytic hypophysitis; it is typically found in males and has not previously been associated with pregnancy. Anterior and posterior pituitary deficits together with headaches should raise a high degree of suspicion regarding the possibility of LPH. The atypical magnetic resonance imaging finding of a heterogeneous pituitary mass additionally raised concern about pituitary apoplexy. Tissue from a transsphenoidal biopsy permitted diagnosis of lymphocytic hypophysitis. There was infiltration of the pituitary gland by small B and T lymphocytes. Resolution of the visual symptoms occurred after the biopsy and treatment with intravenous steroids.

Tahvildari M, Omoto M, Chen Y, Emami-Naeini P, Inomata T, Dohlman TH, Kaye AE, Chauhan SK, Dana R. In Vivo Expansion of Regulatory T Cells by Low-Dose Interleukin-2 Treatment Increases Allograft Survival in Corneal Transplantation. Transplantation 2016;100(3):525-32.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Corneal allograft survival dramatically decreases in hosts with inflamed or vascularized recipient beds. We have previously shown that in rejected corneal allografts regulatory T cells (Treg) demonstrate diminished Foxp3 expression and immunoregulatory function. Treatment with low doses of IL-2 selectively expands Treg and has been proposed for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. In this study, we investigated the effect of low-dose IL-2 administration on Treg function and corneal allograft survival. METHODS: Allogeneic corneal transplantation was performed on inflamed host beds. Low-dose systemic IL-2 was administered starting 3 days before grafting until 6 weeks after transplantation. Frequencies of Treg and their immunosuppressive function and antigen specificity were assessed using flow cytometry, in vitro proliferation assays, and adoptive transfer experiments. Frequencies of effector T cells (Teff) and graft infiltrating immune cells were measured at 2 weeks posttransplantation. Long-term allograft survival was evaluated for up to 9 weeks using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. RESULTS: Treatment with low-dose IL-2 significantly increased frequencies of CD4CD25Foxp3 Treg and their immunosuppressive function. It also suppressed alloimmune response as shown by the decreased CD4 IFNγ T cell frequencies and graft infiltration of CD45 and CD4 cells. Clinical evaluation of the grafts showed significant improvement in long-term corneal allograft survival in the IL-2 treated group compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Our study is the first to report that treatment with low-dose IL-2 increases survival of corneal allografts. We propose that IL-2-mediated Treg expansion can be an effective tool to prevent alloimmunity and to improve long-term allograft survival in transplantation.

Patel AK, Newcomb CW, Liesegang TL, Pujari SS, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Artornsombudh P, Kothari S, Kempen JH, for Group SITEDR. Risk of Retinal Neovascularization in Cases of Uveitis. Ophthalmology 2016;123(3):646-54.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the risk of and risk factors for retinal neovascularization (NV) in cases of uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with uveitis at 4 US academic ocular inflammation subspecialty practices. METHODS: Data were ascertained by standardized chart review. Prevalence data analysis used logistic regression. Incidence data analysis used survival analysis with time-updated covariates where appropriate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and incidence of NV. RESULTS: Among uveitic eyes of 8931 patients presenting for initial evaluation, 106 of 13 810 eyes had NV (prevalence = 0.77%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-0.90). Eighty-eight more eyes developed NV over 26 465 eye-years (incidence, 0.33%/eye-year; 95% CI, 0.27-0.41). Factors associated with incident NV include age <35 years compared with >35 years (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5-3.9), current cigarette smoking (aHR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.4), and systemic lupus erythematosus (aHR, 3.5, 95% CI, 1.1-11). Recent diagnosis of uveitis was associated with an increased incidence of NV (compared with patients diagnosed >5 years ago, aHR, 2.4 [95% CI, 1.1-5.0] and aHR, 2.6 [95% CI, 1.2-6.0] for diagnosis within <1 year vs. 1-5 years, respectively). Compared with anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis (aHR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.5-6.6), posterior uveitis (aHR, 5.2; 95% CI, 2.5-11), and panuveitis (aHR, 4.3; 95% CI, 2.0-9.3) were associated with a similar degree of increased NV incidence. Active (aHR, 2.1, 95% CI, 1.2-3.7) and slightly active (aHR, 2.4, 95% CI, 1.3-4.4) inflammation were associated with an increased incidence of NV compared with inactive inflammation. Neovascularization incidence also was increased with retinal vascular occlusions (aHR, 10, 95% CI, 3.0-33), retinal vascular sheathing (aHR, 2.6, 95% CI, 1.4-4.9), and exudative retinal detachment (aHR, 4.1, 95% CI, 1.3-13). Diabetes mellitus was associated with a somewhat increased incidence of retinal NV (aHR, 2.3, 95% CI, 1.1-4.9), and systemic hypertension (aHR 1.5, 95% CI, 0.89-2.4) was associated with nonsignificantly increased NV incidence. Results were similar in sensitivity analyses excluding the small minority of patients with diabetes mellitus. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal NV is a rare complication of uveitis, which occurs more frequently in younger patients, smokers, and those with intermediate/posterior/panuveitis, systemic vasculopathy, retinal vascular disease, or active inflammation. Inflammation and retinal NV likely are linked; additional studies are needed to further elucidate this connection.

VanderVeen DK, Allred EN, Wallace DK, Leviton A, Leviton A. Strabismus at Age 2 Years in Children Born Before 28 Weeks' Gestation: Antecedents and Correlates. J Child Neurol 2016;31(4):451-60.Abstract

Children born very preterm are at greater risk of ophthalmic morbidities, including strabismus, than children born at term. We evaluated perinatal factors associated with strabismus at age 2 years in a large population of infants delivered before 28 weeks' gestation. A total of 996 infants in the multicenter ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn) study who had a retinal exam in infancy and a developmental assessment at 2 years corrected age are included. Their mothers were interviewed about the pregnancy, and both mother and newborn charts were reviewed. Certified examiners administered the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II and performed an examination of ocular alignment. Time-oriented logistic regression risk models were created to evaluate the associations of characteristics and exposures with the development of strabismus. Overall, 14% (n = 141) of the children had strabismus at 2 years, and 80% of strabismic children had esotropia. Characteristics associated with strabismus were birth before 26 weeks' gestation, severe fetal growth restriction, and maternal history of aspirin ingestion. Associated postnatal factors included a SNAP-II (Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology) illness severity value ≥30, brain ventriculomegaly, type I retinopathy of prematurity, and ventilator-dependent severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Strabismus in very preterm populations is associated with a number of antenatal and postnatal antecedents as well as clinical and imaging correlates indicative of brain damage in these children. Routine ophthalmologic assessments in the early years can allow appropriate and timely interventions.

Eidet JR, Reppe S, Pasovic L, Olstad OK, Lyberg T, Khan AZ, Fostad IG, Chen DF, Utheim TP. The Silk-protein Sericin Induces Rapid Melanization of Cultured Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells by Activating the NF-κB Pathway. Sci Rep 2016;6:22671.Abstract

Restoration of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent further loss of vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration represents a promising novel treatment modality. Development of RPE transplants, however, requires up to 3 months of cell differentiation. We explored whether the silk protein sericin can induce maturation of primary human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that sericin up-regulated RPE-associated transcripts (RPE65 and CRALBP). Upstream analysis identified the NF-κB pathway as one of the top sericin-induced regulators. ELISA confirmed that sericin stimulates the main NF-κB pathway. Increased levels of RPE-associated proteins (RPE65 and the pigment melanin) in the sericin-supplemented cultures were confirmed by western blot, spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy. Sericin also increased cell density and reduced cell death following serum starvation in culture. Inclusion of NF-κB agonists and antagonists in the culture medium showed that activation of the NF-κB pathway appears to be necessary, but not sufficient, for sericin-induced RPE pigmentation. We conclude that sericin promotes pigmentation of cultured primary hRPE cells by activating the main NF-κB pathway. Sericin's potential role in culture protocols for rapid differentiation of hRPE cells derived from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells should be investigated.

Joyal J-S, Sun Y, Gantner ML, Shao Z, Evans LP, Saba N, Fredrick T, Burnim S, Kim JS, Patel G, Juan AM, Hurst CG, Hatton CJ, Cui Z, Pierce KA, Bherer P, Aguilar E, Powner MB, Vevis K, Boisvert M, Fu Z, Levy E, Fruttiger M, Packard A, Rezende FA, Maranda B, Sapieha P, Chen J, Friedlander M, Clish CB, Smith LEH. Retinal lipid and glucose metabolism dictates angiogenesis through the lipid sensor Ffar1. Nat Med 2016;22(4):439-45.Abstract

Tissues with high metabolic rates often use lipids, as well as glucose, for energy, conferring a survival advantage during feast and famine. Current dogma suggests that high-energy-consuming photoreceptors depend on glucose. Here we show that the retina also uses fatty acid β-oxidation for energy. Moreover, we identify a lipid sensor, free fatty acid receptor 1 (Ffar1), that curbs glucose uptake when fatty acids are available. Very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (Vldlr), which is present in photoreceptors and is expressed in other tissues with a high metabolic rate, facilitates the uptake of triglyceride-derived fatty acid. In the retinas of Vldlr(-/-) mice with low fatty acid uptake but high circulating lipid levels, we found that Ffar1 suppresses expression of the glucose transporter Glut1. Impaired glucose entry into photoreceptors results in a dual (lipid and glucose) fuel shortage and a reduction in the levels of the Krebs cycle intermediate α-ketoglutarate (α-KG). Low α-KG levels promotes stabilization of hypoxia-induced factor 1a (Hif1a) and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor A (Vegfa) by starved Vldlr(-/-) photoreceptors, leading to neovascularization. The aberrant vessels in the Vldlr(-/-) retinas, which invade normally avascular photoreceptors, are reminiscent of the vascular defects in retinal angiomatous proliferation, a subset of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is associated with high vitreous VEGFA levels in humans. Dysregulated lipid and glucose photoreceptor energy metabolism may therefore be a driving force in macular telangiectasia, neovascular AMD and other retinal diseases.

García-Posadas L, Contreras-Ruiz L, Soriano-Romaní L, Dartt DA, Diebold Y. Conjunctival Goblet Cell Function: Effect of Contact Lens Wear and Cytokines. Eye Contact Lens 2016;42(2):83-90.Abstract

This review focuses on conjunctival goblet cells and their essential function in the maintenance of eye health. The main function of goblet cells is to produce and secrete mucins that lubricate the ocular surface. An excess or a defect in those mucins leads to several alterations that makes goblet cells central players in maintaining the proper mucin balance and ensuring the correct function of ocular surface tissues. A typical pathology that occurs with mucous deficiency is dry eye disease, whereas the classical example of mucous hyperproduction is allergic conjunctivitis. In this review, we analyze how goblet cell number and function can be altered in these diseases and in contact lens (CL) wearers. We found that most published studies focused exclusively on the goblet cell number. However, recent advances have demonstrated that, along with mucin secretion, goblet cells are also able to secrete cytokines and respond to them. We describe the effect of different cytokines on goblet cell proliferation and secretion. We conclude that it is important to further explore the effect of CL wear and cytokines on conjunctival goblet cell function.

Saboo US, Amparo F, Shikari H, Dana R. Prevalence of ocular hypertension and glaucoma in patients with chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2016;254(5):923-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the prevalence of ocular hypertension (OHT) and glaucoma in patients with chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of 218 patients diagnosed with chronic ocular GVHD. Ocular hypertension was defined as intraocular pressure (IOP) ≥ 24 mmHg in either eye without any glaucomatous optic disc changes. Glaucoma suspect was defined as optic disc changes with a cup-to-disc ratio ≥ 0.7 in either eye or asymmetry of ≥ 0.3 between the two eyes. Glaucoma was defined by glaucomatous optic disc changes plus glaucomatous visual field defects in two consecutive reliable visual field tests. The number of cases of ocular hypertension, glaucoma, and glaucoma suspects was evaluated. RESULTS: Thirty-three patients (15 %) were diagnosed with OHT, eight patients (3.6 %) with suspicion of glaucoma, and one patient (0.4 %) with glaucoma. OHT occurred within 6 months of developing ocular GVHD in 60 % of the cases and within the first year in 76 %. High IOP normalized in 67 % of patients when the dosage of topical or systemic corticosteroids was lowered, and 27 % of patients required anti-glaucoma therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular hypertension is a common complication in patients with ocular GVHD, with a prevalence of 15 %. The rise in intraocular pressure is often transient and resolves with management of corticosteroids in most cases. However, clinicians should be aware that nearly one-third of the patients with OHT might require anti-glaucoma treatment. The prevalences of glaucoma and suspicion of glaucoma were not higher than in the general population.

Miller JW. VEGF: From Discovery to Therapy: The Champalimaud Award Lecture. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2016;5(2):9.Abstract

PURPOSE: Intraocular vascular diseases are leading causes of adult vision loss, and in the mid-1900s, I. C. Michaelson postulated that the retina releases a soluble, diffusible factor that causes abnormal vascular growth and leakage. What became known as "Factor X" eluded investigators for decades. METHODS: The field of cancer research, where Judah Folkman pioneered the concept of angiogenesis, provided the inspiration for the work honored by the 2014 Champalimaud Vision Award. Recognizing that tumors recruit their own blood supply to achieve critical mass, Dr Folkman proposed that angiogenic factors could be therapeutic targets in cancer. Napoleone Ferrara identified vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as such an angiogenic agent: stimulated by hypoxic tumor tissue, secreted, and able to induce neovascularization. VEGF also was a candidate for Factor X, and the 2014 Champalimaud Laureates and colleagues worked individually and collaboratively to identify the role of VEGF in ocular disease. RESULTS: The Champalimaud Laureates correlated VEGF with ocular neovascularization in animal models and in patients. Moreover, they showed that VEGF not only was sufficient, but it also was required to induce neovascularization in normal animal eyes, as VEGF inhibition abolished ocular neovascularization in key animal models. CONCLUSIONS: The identification of VEGF as Factor X altered the therapeutic paradigms for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and other retinal disorders. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: The translation of VEGF from discovery to therapy resulted in the most successful applications of antiangiogenic therapy to date. Annually, over one million patients with eye disease are treated with anti-VEGF agents.

Silva PS, Horton MB, Clary D, Lewis DG, Sun JK, Cavallerano JD, Aiello LP. Identification of Diabetic Retinopathy and Ungradable Image Rate with Ultrawide Field Imaging in a National Teleophthalmology Program. Ophthalmology 2016;123(6):1360-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare diabetic retinopathy (DR) identification and ungradable image rates between nonmydriatic ultrawide field (UWF) imaging and nonmydriatic multifield fundus photography (NMFP) in a large multistate population-based DR teleophthalmology program. DESIGN: Multiple-site, nonrandomized, consecutive, cross-sectional, retrospective, uncontrolled imaging device evaluation. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-five thousand fifty-two eyes (17 526 patients) imaged using NMFP and 16 218 eyes (8109 patients) imaged using UWF imaging. METHODS: All patients undergoing Joslin Vision Network (JVN) imaging with either NMFP or UWF imaging from May 1, 2014, through August 30, 2015, within the Indian Health Service-JVN program, which serves American Indian and Alaska Native communities at 97 sites across 25 states, were evaluated. All retinal images were graded using a standardized validated protocol in a centralized reading center. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ungradable rate for DR and diabetic macular edema (DME). RESULTS: The ungradable rate per patient for DR and DME was significantly lower with UWF imaging compared with NMFP (DR, 2.8% vs. 26.9% [P < 0.0001]; DME, 3.8% vs. 26.2% [P < 0.0001]). Identification of eyes with either DR or referable DR (moderate nonproliferative DR or DME or worse) was increased using UWF imaging from 11.7% to 24.2% (P < 0.0001) and from 6.2% to 13.6% (P < 0.0001), respectively. In eyes with DR imaged with UWF imaging (n = 3926 eyes of 2402 patients), the presence of predominantly peripheral lesions suggested a more severe level of DR in 7.2% of eyes (9.6% of patients). CONCLUSIONS: In a large, widely distributed DR ocular telehealth program, as compared with NMFP, nonmydriatic UWF imaging reduced the number of ungradable eyes by 81%, increased the identification of DR nearly 2-fold, and identified peripheral lesions suggesting more severe DR in almost 10% of patients, thus demonstrating significant benefits of this imaging method for large DR teleophthalmology programs.

Iacovelli J, Rowe GC, Khadka A, Diaz-Aguilar D, Spencer C, Arany Z, Saint-Geniez M. PGC-1α Induces Human RPE Oxidative Metabolism and Antioxidant Capacity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(3):1038-51.Abstract

PURPOSE: Oxidative stress and metabolic dysregulation of the RPE have been implicated in AMD; however, the molecular regulation of RPE metabolism remains unclear. The transcriptional coactivator, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) is a powerful mediator of mitochondrial function. This study examines the ability of PGC-1α to regulate RPE metabolic program and oxidative stress response. METHODS: Primary human fetal RPE (hfRPE) and ARPE-19 were matured in vitro using standard culture conditions. Mitochondrial mass of RPE was measured using MitoTracker staining and citrate synthase activity. Expression of PGC-1 isoforms, RPE-specific genes, oxidative metabolism proteins, and antioxidant enzymes was analyzed by quantitative PCR and Western blot. Mitochondrial respiration and fatty-acid oxidation were monitored using the Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer. Expression of PGC-1α was increased using adenoviral delivery. ARPE-19 were exposed to hydrogen peroxide to induce oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species were measured by CM-H2DCFDA fluorescence. Cell death was analyzed by LDH release. RESULTS: Maturation of ARPE-19 and hfRPE was associated with significant increase in mitochondrial mass, expression of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes, and PGC-1α gene expression. Overexpression of PGC-1α increased expression of OXPHOS and fatty-acid β-oxidation genes, ultimately leading to the potent induction of mitochondrial respiration and fatty-acid oxidation. PGC-1α gain of function also strongly induced numerous antioxidant genes and, importantly, protected RPE from oxidant-mediated cell death without altering RPE functions. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides important insights into the metabolic changes associated with RPE functional maturation and identifies PGC-1α as a potent driver of RPE mitochondrial function and antioxidant capacity.

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