Rinaldi L, Vecchi T, Fantino M, Merabet LB, Cattaneo Z. The effect of hand movements on numerical bisection judgments in early blind and sighted individuals. Cortex 2015;71:76-84.Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that in representing numbers blind individuals might be affected differently by proprioceptive cues (e.g., hand positions, head turns) than are sighted individuals. In this study, we asked a group of early blind and sighted individuals to perform a numerical bisection task while executing hand movements in left or right peripersonal space and with either hand. We found that in bisecting ascending numerical intervals, the hemi-space in which the hand was moved (but not the moved hand itself) influenced the bisection bias similarly in both early blind and sighted participants. However, when numerical intervals were presented in descending order, the moved hand (and not the hemi-space in which it was moved) affected the bisection bias in all participants. Overall, our data show that the operation to be performed on the mental number line affects the activated spatial reference frame, regardless of participants' previous visual experience. In particular, both sighted and early blind individuals' representation of numerical magnitude is mainly rooted in world-centered coordinates when numerical information is given in canonical orientation (i.e., from small to large), whereas hand-centered coordinates become more relevant when the scanning of the mental number line proceeds in non-canonical direction.

Thanos S, Böhm MRR, Meyer Zu Hörste M, Schmidt P-F. Retinal damage induced by mirror-reflected light from a laser pointer. BMJ Case Rep 2015;2015Abstract

The safety of laser pointers is a major public health issue since class I and II laser pointers are available worldwide and used as toys by children despite several reports cautioning such use. Here we present the first case of retinal injury caused by the laser beam of a toy laser pointer operated by a school boy and directed via the rear-view mirror of a bus into the eye of the driver. This case emphasises the great importance of cautious and appropriate use of low-energy laser pointers. Laser pointers of any class should not be made available to children because they are unlikely to understand the risks of such lasers when using them in play.

Ferry JA, Klepeis V, Sohani AR, Harris NL, Preffer FI, Stone JH, Grove A, Deshpande V. IgG4-related Orbital Disease and Its Mimics in a Western Population. Am J Surg Pathol 2015;Abstract

Although chronic inflammatory disorders of the ocular adnexa are relatively common, their pathogenesis is in many cases poorly understood. Recent investigation suggests that many cases of sclerosing orbital inflammation are a manifestation of IgG4-related disease; however, most patients reported have been Asian, and it is not clear whether the results of studies from the Far East can be reliably extrapolated to draw conclusions about Western patients. We evaluated 38 cases previously diagnosed as orbital inflammatory pseudotumor or chronic dacryoadenitis to determine whether our cases fulfill the criteria for IgG4-RD (IgG4-related dacryoadenitis when involving the lacrimal gland, and IgG4-related sclerosing orbital inflammation when involving orbital soft tissue). Fifteen patients had IgG4-related dacryoadenitis or orbital inflammation. These patients included 9 men and 6 women, aged 24 to 77 years (median, 64 y). Lesions involved orbital soft tissue (8 cases), lacrimal gland (6 cases), and canthus (1 case). In 1 case, focal in situ follicular neoplasia was seen in a background of IgG4-RD. In another case, a clonal IGH gene rearrangement was detected. Four patients with IgG4-RD had evidence of IgG4-RD in other anatomic sites. Five patients, 1 man and 4 women, aged 26 to 74 years (median 50 y) had orbital lesions (2 involving lacrimal gland, 3 involving soft tissue) suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, IgG4-RD. Of 16 patients with IgG4-RD or probable IgG4-RD with information available regarding the course of their disease, 11 patients experienced recurrent or persistent orbital disease. However, no patient developed lymphoma, and no patient died of complications of IgG4-RD. Eighteen patients had lesions not representing IgG4-RD. They included 6 male and 12 female individuals aged 6 to 77 years (median, 47 y). These patients had a variety of diseases, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (3 cases), Rosai-Dorfman disease (1 case), nonspecific chronic inflammation and fibrosis involving lacrimal gland or soft tissue (12 cases), and others. Clinical and pathologic findings among our patients with IgG4-RD involving the orbit are similar to those previously described in Asian patients. Careful evaluation of histologic and immunophenotypic features and clinical correlation are required to distinguish orbital IgG4-RD from other sclerosing inflammatory lesions in the orbit.

Sun Y, Ju M, Lin Z, Fredrick TW, Evans LP, Tian KT, Saba NJ, Morss PC, Pu WT, Chen J, Stahl A, Joyal J-S, Smith LEH. SOCS3 in retinal neurons and glial cells suppresses VEGF signaling to prevent pathological neovascular growth. Sci Signal 2015;8(395):ra94.Abstract

Neurons and glial cells in the retina contribute to neovascularization, or the formation of abnormal new blood vessels, in proliferative retinopathy, a condition that can lead to vision loss or blindness. We identified a mechanism by which suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) in neurons and glial cells prevents neovascularization. We found that Socs3 expression was increased in the retinal ganglion cell and inner nuclear layers after oxygen-induced retinopathy. Mice with Socs3 deficiency in neuronal and glial cells had substantially reduced vaso-obliterated retinal areas and increased pathological retinal neovascularization in response to oxygen-induced retinopathy, suggesting that loss of neuronal/glial SOCS3 increased both retinal vascular regrowth and pathological neovascularization. Furthermore, retinal expression of Vegfa (which encodes vascular endothelial growth factor A) was higher in these mice than in Socs3 flox/flox controls, indicating that neuronal and glial SOCS3 suppressed Vegfa expression during pathological conditions. Lack of neuronal and glial SOCS3 resulted in greater phosphorylation and activation of STAT3, which led to increased expression of its gene target Vegfa, and increased endothelial cell proliferation. In summary, SOCS3 in neurons and glial cells inhibited the STAT3-mediated secretion of VEGF from these cells, which suppresses endothelial cell activation, resulting in decreased endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis. These results suggest that neuronal and glial cell SOCS3 limits pathological retinal angiogenesis by suppressing VEGF signaling.

Shoda H, Yanai R, Yoshimura T, Nagai T, Kimura K, Sobrin L, Connor KM, Sakoda Y, Tamada K, Ikeda T, Sonoda K-H. Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Suppress Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis in Association with Inhibition of Th1 and Th17 Cell Function. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0138241.Abstract

Omega (ω)-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators and thereby contribute to the regulation of inflammation. Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a well-established animal model of autoimmune retinal inflammation. To investigate the potential effects of dietary intake of ω-3 LCPUFAs on uveitis, we examined the anti-inflammatory properties of these molecules in comparison with ω-6 LCPUFAs in a mouse EAU model. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet containing ω-3 LCPUFAs or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks before as well as after the induction of EAU by subcutaneous injection of a fragment of human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant. Both clinical and histological scores for uveitis were smaller for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs than for those fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. The concentrations of the T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine interferon-γ and the Th17 cytokine interleukin-17 in intraocular fluid as well as the production of these cytokines by lymph node cells were reduced for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Furthermore, the amounts of mRNAs for the Th1- and Th17-related transcription factors T-bet and RORγt, respectively, were reduced both in the retina and in lymph node cells of mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Our results thus show that a diet enriched in ω-3 LCPUFAs suppressed uveitis in mice in association with inhibition of Th1 and Th17 cell function.

Hecht H, Hörichs J, Sheldon S, Quint J, Bowers A. The effects of simulated vision impairments on the cone of gaze. Atten Percept Psychophys 2015;77(7):2399-408.Abstract

Detecting the gaze direction of others is critical for many social interactions. We explored factors that may make the perception of mutual gaze more difficult, including the degradation of the stimulus and simulated vision impairment. To what extent do these factors affect the complex assessment of mutual gaze? Using an interactive virtual head whose eye direction could be manipulated by the subject, we conducted two experiments to assess the effects of simulated vision impairments on mutual gaze. Healthy subjects had to demarcate the center and the edges of the cone of gaze-that is, the range of gaze directions that are accepted for mutual gaze. When vision was impaired by adding a semitransparent white contrast reduction mask to the display (Exp. 1), judgments became more variable and more influenced by the head direction (indicative of a compensation strategy). When refractive blur was added (Exp. 1), the gaze cone shrank from 12.9° (no blur) to 11.3° (3-diopter lens), which cannot be explained by a low-level process but might reflect a tightening of the criterion for mutual gaze as a response to the increased uncertainty. However, the overall effects of the impairments were relatively modest. Elderly subjects (Exp. 2) produced more variability but did not differ qualitatively from the younger subjects. In the face of artificial vision impairments, compensation mechanisms and criterion changes allow us to perform better in mutual gaze perception than would be predicted by a simple extrapolation from the losses in basic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.

Karki P, Kim C, Smith K, Son D-S, Aschner M, Lee E. Transcriptional Regulation of the Astrocytic Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 1 (EAAT1) via NF-κB and Yin Yang 1 (YY1). J Biol Chem 2015;290(39):23725-37.Abstract

Astrocytic glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) 1, also known as glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) in rodents, is one of two glial glutamate transporters that are responsible for removing excess glutamate from synaptic clefts to prevent excitotoxic neuronal death. Despite its important role in neurophysiological functions, the molecular mechanisms of EAAT1 regulation at the transcriptional level remain to be established. Here, we report that NF-κB is a main positive transcription factor for EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) EAAT1 contains two consensus sites for NF-κB, 2) mutation of NF-κB binding sites decreased EAAT1 promoter activity, and 3) activation of NF-κB increased, whereas inhibition of NF-κB decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. EGF increased EAAT1 mRNA/protein levels and glutamate uptake via NF-κB. The transcription factor yin yang 1 (YY1) plays a role as a critical negative regulator of EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) the EAAT1 promoter contains multiple consensus sites for YY1, 2) overexpression of YY1 decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels, and 3) knockdown of YY1 increased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. Manganese decreased EAAT1 expression via YY1. Epigenetic modifiers histone deacetylases (HDACs) served as co-repressors of YY1 to further decrease EAAT1 promoter activity, whereas inhibition of HDACs reversed manganese-induced decrease of EAAT1 expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that NF-κB is a critical positive regulator of EAAT1, mediating the stimulatory effects of EGF, whereas YY1 is a negative regulator of EAAT1 with HDACs as co-repressors, mediating the inhibitory effects of manganese on EAAT1 regulation.

Cruzat A, Schrems WA, Schrems-Hoesl LM, Cavalcanti BM, Baniasadi N, Witkin D, Pavan-Langston D, Dana R, Hamrah P. Contralateral Clinically Unaffected Eyes of Patients With Unilateral Infectious Keratitis Demonstrate a Sympathetic Immune Response. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(11):6612-20.Abstract

PURPOSE: To analyze the contralateral unaffected eyes of patients with microbial keratitis (MK) for any immune cell or nerve changes by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: A prospective study was performed on 28 patients with MK, including acute bacterial, fungal, and Acanthamoeba keratitis, as well as on their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and on control groups, which consisted of 28 age-matched normal controls and 15 control contact lens (CL) wearers. Laser IVCM with the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module and Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometry of the central cornea were performed. Two masked observers assessed central corneal dendritiform cell density and subbasal corneal nerve parameters. RESULTS: The contralateral clinically unaffected eyes of patients with MK demonstrated significant diminishment in nerve density (15,603.8 ± 1265.2 vs. 24,102.1 ± 735.6 μm/mm2), total number of nerves (11.9 ± 1.0 vs. 24.9 ± 1.2/frame), number of branches (1.7 ± 0.2 vs. 19.9 ± 1.3/frame), and branch nerve length (5775.2 ± 757.1 vs. 12,715.4 ± 648.4 μm/mm2) (P < 0.001 for all parameters) compared to normal controls and CL wearers. Further, dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes was significantly increased as compared to that in controls (117.5 ± 19.9 vs. 24.2 ± 3.5 cells/mm2, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a subclinical involvement in the contralateral clinically unaffected eyes in patients with unilateral acute MK. In vivo confocal microscopy reveals not only a diminishment of the subbasal corneal nerves and sensation, but also an increase in dendritiform cell density in the contralateral unaffected eyes of MK patients. These findings show bilateral immune alterations in a clinically unilateral disease.

Bauskar A, Mack WJ, Mauris J, Argüeso P, Heur M, Nagel BA, Kolar GR, Gleave ME, Nakamura T, Kinoshita S, Moradian-Oldak J, Panjwani N, Pflugfelder SC, Wilson MR, Fini EM, Jeong S. Clusterin Seals the Ocular Surface Barrier in Mouse Dry Eye. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0138958.Abstract

Dry eye is a common disorder caused by inadequate hydration of the ocular surface that results in disruption of barrier function. The homeostatic protein clusterin (CLU) is prominent at fluid-tissue interfaces throughout the body. CLU levels are reduced at the ocular surface in human inflammatory disorders that manifest as severe dry eye, as well as in a preclinical mouse model for desiccating stress that mimics dry eye. Using this mouse model, we show here that CLU prevents and ameliorates ocular surface barrier disruption by a remarkable sealing mechanism dependent on attainment of a critical all-or-none concentration. When the CLU level drops below the critical all-or-none threshold, the barrier becomes vulnerable to desiccating stress. CLU binds selectively to the ocular surface subjected to desiccating stress in vivo, and in vitro to the galectin LGALS3, a key barrier component. Positioned in this way, CLU not only physically seals the ocular surface barrier, but it also protects the barrier cells and prevents further damage to barrier structure. These findings define a fundamentally new mechanism for ocular surface protection and suggest CLU as a biotherapeutic for dry eye.

Miller JB, Yonekawa Y, Eliott D, Kim IK, Kim LA, Loewenstein JI, Sobrin L, Young LH, Mukai S, Vavvas DG. Long-term Follow-up and Outcomes in Traumatic Macular Holes. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;160(6):1255-1258.e1.Abstract

PURPOSE: To review presenting characteristics, clinical course, and long-term visual and anatomic outcomes of patients with traumatic macular holes at a tertiary referral center. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Twenty-eight consecutive patients with traumatic macular holes at a single tertiary referral center were reviewed. In addition to visual acuities and treatments throughout the clinical course, specific dimensions of the macular hole, including diameters, height, configuration, shape, and the presence of a cuff of fluid, were examined using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients were identified with a mean initial visual acuity (VA) of logMAR 1.3 (20/400) and a mean follow-up of 2.2 years. Eleven holes (39.3%) closed spontaneously in median 5.7 weeks. Eleven underwent vitrectomy with a median time to intervention of 35.1 weeks. Median time to surgery for the 5 eyes with successful hole closure was 11.0 weeks vs 56.3 weeks for the 6 eyes that failed to close (P = .02). VA improved in closed holes (P < .01), whether spontaneously (P < .01) or via vitrectomy (P = .04), but VA did not improve in holes that did not close (P = .22). There was no relation between initial OCT dimensions and final hole closure status, although there was a trend, which did not reach statistical significance, toward small dimensions for those that closed spontaneously. CONCLUSIONS: A fairly high spontaneous closure rate was observed, with a trend toward smaller OCT dimensions. We found no relationship between hole closure and the OCT characteristics of the hole. Surgical intervention was less successful at hole closure when elected after 3 months.