Sweigard HJ, Matsumoto H, Smith KE, Kim LA, Paschalis EI, Okonuki Y, Castillejos A, Kataoka K, Hasegawa E, Yanai R, Husain D, Lambris JD, Vavvas D, Miller JW, Connor KM. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury. Sci Transl Med 2015;7(297):297ra116.Abstract

Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina.

Reddy AK, Gonzalez MA, Henry CR, Yeh S, Sobrin L, Albini TA. Diagnostic Sensitivity of Indocyanine Green Angiography for Birdshot Chorioretinopathy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(7):840-3.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: To describe a cohort of patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy who did not manifest birdshot lesions on clinical examination but had retinal vasculitis, low-grade to moderate vitritis, and hypocyanescent lesions on indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). OBSERVATIONS: Case series of 3 patients with mild to moderate vitritis and retinal vasculitis without definite birdshot lesions on clinical examination evaluated from January 2007 to December 2014 at 4 academic ophthalmology centers. All patients' results were positive for human leukocyte antigen-A29. All cases had hypocyanescent lesions visible on ICGA but not detectable on fluorescein angiography. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Patients with retinal vasculitis and low-grade vitritis with or without macular edema may have birdshot chorioretinopathy evident on ICGA before lesions are visible on clinical examination or fluorescein angiography. Expanding birdshot chorioretinopathy diagnostic criteria to include the presence of hypocyanescent lesions on ICGA could improve the sensitivity of diagnosis.

Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Raizman MB, Hatton MP. Histopathologic Clues in Diagnosing Oral Mucosal Grafts to the Conjunctiva. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

Excised redundant, forniceal "conjunctival" tissue from a 67-year-old man who experienced a chemical injury to his OS 25 years earlier was evaluated histopathologically with the hematoxylin-eosin, periodic acid Schiff (PAS) with and without diastase, mucicarmine, and Alcian blue methods. Additional immunoperoxidase testing for gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15) was undertaken. Non-keratinizing squamous epithelium composed of 8 to 10 layers of swollen keratinocytes without goblet cells surmounted a variably dense and well-vascularized collagenized lamina propria deep to which, in submucosal fibroadipose tissue, was embedded an accessory gland. The acini of the gland were composed of both GCDFP-15-positive serous cells and mucicarmine-positive goblet cells, indicating they were seromucinous rather than entirely serous, as is characteristic of normal lacrimal glandular tissue. Different features of the surface epithelium, the lamina propria, and the submucosa can separate the conjunctival and oral mucous membranes. A close analysis of the cytologic composition of associated accessory glands can reinforce the correct diagnosis of an oral mucous membrane graft when the past surgical history is unclear, because only serous cells but not mucocytes comprise the lacrimal glandular units.

Theophanous C, Jacobs DS, Hamrah P. Corneal Neuralgia after LASIK. Optom Vis Sci 2015;92(9):e233-40.Abstract

PURPOSE: To illustrate that corneal neuralgia may be the basis for refractory dry eye syndrome after laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). METHODS: The methodology used is that of a retrospective medical record review of a small case series. RESULTS: Three male patients, aged 30 to 48 years, referred in 2012 for dry eye syndrome refractory to treatment within 1 year of LASIK or LASIK enhancement are reported. Each patient gave history of eye pain, light sensitivity, and difficulty with visual activities beginning within 2 months of LASIK or LASIK enhancement. Best-corrected visual acuity was 20/15 or 20/20 in each of the six eyes. Tear-centered models and metrics did not explain persistent symptoms, which was consistent with inadequate response to standard dry eye treatments used before referral and reported here. In vivo confocal microscopy was abnormal at presentation in each case and was followed over time. Treatments undertaken subsequent to referral included autologous serum tears (three cases), PROSE (Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem) treatment (two cases), and systemic agents for pain, anxiety, or depression (three cases). By the end of 2013, at a mean of 23 months after LASIK or LASIK enhancement, symptoms improved in all three patients. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with persistent dry eye symptoms out of proportion to clinical signs after LASIK have a syndrome that may best be classified as corneal neuralgia. In vivo confocal microscopy can be informative as to the neuropathic basis of this condition. In keeping with current understanding of complex regional pain syndrome, early multimodal treatment directed toward reducing peripheral nociceptive signaling is warranted to avoid subsequent centralization and persistence of pain. Distinguishing this syndrome from typical post-LASIK dry eye remains a challenge.

Choi CJ, Bauza A, Yoon MK, Sobel RK, Freitag SK. Full-Thickness Skin Graft as an Independent or Adjunctive Technique for Repair of Cicatricial Lower Eyelid Ectropion Secondary to Actinic Skin Changes. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(6):474-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To retrospectively review and describe full-thickness skin graft repair of lower eyelid cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin. METHODS: A retrospective, noncomparative chart review of all patients who underwent lower eyelid ectropion repair with placement of a full-thickness skin graft between June 2004 and March 2014 was conducted with IRB approval. The etiology of lower eyelid ectropion, demographics including age, gender, ethnicity, laterality, graft donor site, additional surgical procedures, graft viability, surgical success rate, complications, and clinical exam findings were summarized. RESULTS: Twenty-nine eyelids in 24 patients underwent skin grafting for repair of cicatricial ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes. Ninety six percent of patients were male and 96% were Caucasian. Donor sites for skin grafts included upper eyelid (9, 31%), supraclavicular skin (9, 31%), postauricular skin (7, 24%), inner brachial skin (2, 7%), axilla (1, 3.5%), and preauricular skin (1, 3.5%). Twenty-four of 29 eyelids in the series underwent 1 or more additional procedures at the time of full-thickness skin grafting, including lateral tarsal strip (9 eyelids, 37.5%), punctoplasty (8, 33%), canthoplasty (7, 29%), excision of keratinized conjunctiva (2, 8%), transverse tarsotomy (1, 4%), ipsilateral external dacryocystorhinostomy (3, 12.5%), and lesion removal (1, 4%). There was 100% viability of the skin grafts. Overall surgical success rate was 76%, with asymptomatic recurrence rate of 17% and symptomatic recurrence rate of 7%. CONCLUSION: Repair of cicatricial lower eyelid ectropion secondary to actinic skin changes may be accomplished with full-thickness skin grafting, and is often performed in conjunction with additional procedures to fully address anatomic abnormalities.

Zhang C, Zhang Q, Wang F, Liu Q. Knockdown of poc1b causes abnormal photoreceptor sensory cilium and vision impairment in zebrafish. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2015;465(4):651-7.Abstract

Proteomic analysis of the mouse photoreceptor sensory cilium identified a set of cilia proteins, including Poc1 centriolar protein b (Poc1b). Previous functional studies in human cells and zebrafish embryos implicated that Poc1b plays important roles in centriole duplication and length control, as well as ciliogenesis. To study the function of Poc1b in photoreceptor sensory cilia and other primary cilia, we expressed a tagged recombinant Poc1b protein in cultured renal epithelial cells and rat retina. Poc1b was localized to the centrioles and spindle bundles during cell cycle progression, and to the basal body of photoreceptor sensory cilia. A morpholino knockdown and complementation assay of poc1b in zebrafish showed that loss of poc1b led to a range of morphological anomalies of cilia commonly associated with human ciliopathies. In the retina, the development of retinal laminae was significantly delayed and the length of photoreceptor outer segments was shortened. Visual behavior studies revealed impaired visual function in the poc1b morphants. In addition, ciliopathy-associated developmental defects, such as small eyes, curved body axis, heart defects, and shortened cilia in Kupffer's vesicle, were observed as well. These data suggest that poc1b is required for normal development and ciliogenesis of retinal photoreceptor sensory cilia and other cilia. Furthermore, this conclusion is supported by recent findings that mutations in POC1B gene have been identified in patients with inherited retinal dystrophy and syndromic retinal ciliopathy.

Fernandez-Godino R, Garland DL, Pierce EA. A local complement response by RPE causes early-stage macular degeneration. Hum Mol Genet 2015;24(19):5555-69.Abstract

Inherited and age-related macular degenerations (AMDs) are important causes of vision loss. An early hallmark of these disorders is the formation of sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) basal deposits. A role for the complement system in MDs was suggested by genetic association studies, but direct functional connections between alterations in the complement system and the pathogenesis of MD remain to be defined. We used primary RPE cells from a mouse model of inherited MD due to a p.R345W mutation in EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) to investigate the role of the RPE in early MD pathogenesis. Efemp1(R345W) RPE cells recapitulate the basal deposit formation observed in vivo by producing sub-RPE deposits in vitro. The deposits share features with basal deposits, and their formation was mediated by EFEMP1(R345W) or complement component 3a (C3a), but not by complement component 5a (C5a). Increased activation of complement appears to occur in response to an abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM), generated by the mutant EFEMP1(R345W) protein and reduced ECM turnover due to inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase 2 by EFEMP1(R345W) and C3a. Increased production of C3a also stimulated the release of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1B, which appear to have a role in deposit formation, albeit downstream of C3a. These studies provide the first direct indication that complement components produced locally by the RPE are involved in the formation of basal deposits. Furthermore, these results suggest that C3a generated by RPE is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of EFEMP1-associated MD as well as AMD.

Müller RT, Pourmirzaie R, Pavan-Langston D, Cavalcanti BM, Aggarwal S, Colón C, Jamali A, Cruzat A, Hamrah P. In Vivo Confocal Microscopy Demonstrates Bilateral Loss of Endothelial Cells in Unilateral Herpes Simplex Keratitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(8):4899-906.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report bilateral corneal endothelial cell density (ECD), as well as its correlation with subbasal nerve changes, in patients with unilateral herpes simplex keratitis (HSK). METHODS: Thirty-six eyes of 36 patients with corneal scarring caused by HSK, as well as their respective contralateral clinically unaffected eyes, were prospectively studied and compared with 26 eyes of 26 healthy volunteers. In vivo confocal microscopy and corneal sensation of the central cornea were performed bilaterally in all patients and in one random eye of controls. The ECD and subbasal corneal nerve density, including the lengths of total nerves, main trunks, and branches were evaluated and correlated to central corneal sensation. RESULTS: The ECD was significantly lower in eyes affected with HSK than in controls (2304 ± 578 vs. 2940 ± 370 cells/mm2, P < 0.0001). Surprisingly, lower ECD was also detected in contralateral clinically unaffected eyes (2548 ± 423), compared to controls (P = 0.02). Both affected and contralateral eyes showed decrease in total nerve length, compared to controls (10.0 ± 6.3 vs. 17.6 ± 6.3 vs. 21.9 ± 4.3 mm/mm2, respectively; P < 0.05 for all). The ECD correlated positively with total nerve length (r = 0.39, P = 0.0009) and with corneal sensation (r = 0.31, P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: In vivo confocal microscopy findings demonstrated alterations in corneal ECD in both affected and clinically unaffected contralateral eyes of patients with unilateral HSK. Moreover, the positive significant correlation between the ECD and the subbasal nerve density may suggest a potential link between corneal innervation and corneal endothelial cell homeostasis.

Choi VW, Bigelow CE, McGee TL, Gujar AN, Li H, Hanks SM, Vrouvlianis J, Maker M, Leehy B, Zhang Y, Aranda J, Bounoutas G, Demirs JT, Yang J, Ornberg R, Wang Y, Martin W, Stout KR, Argentieri G, Grosenstein P, Diaz D, Turner O, Jaffee BD, Police SR, Dryja TP. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2015;2:15022.Abstract

Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year.

Chang Y-H, Melvin P, Dagi LR. Goal-determined metrics to assess outcomes ofexotropia surgery. J AAPOS 2015;Abstract

PURPOSE: To present a goal-determined methodology for monitoring outcomes after surgery for exotropia. METHODS: The goal-determined metric required surgeons to rank four possible goals preoperatively: (1) binocular potential, (2) restoration of eye contact, (3) diplopia control; and (4) torticollis management. Potential preoperative risk factors were noted. Goal-specific outcomes criteria were applied to the latest sensory-motor examination, 2-6 months after surgery. The medical records of patients who underwent surgery from 2007 to 2012 were retrospectively reviewed with respect to the goal-directed metric. RESULTS: A total of 852 patients were evaluated in the study period: 411 for restoration of eye contact; 347 for binocular potential; 78 for diplopia resolution; and16 for torticollis management. Excellent (62%) or good (16%) outcomes were achieved in 78%. Procedures to resolve diplopia (OR, 6.56; 95% CI, 3.39-12.68) and to restore eye contact (OR, 3.74; 95% CI, 2.65-5.29) were more likely to result in excellent outcomes than procedures to improve binocular potential. Simultaneous surgery for dissociated vertical deviation (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.92) and preoperative near deviation ≥50(Δ) (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.17-0.42) limited likelihood of an excellent outcome. Outcomes monitored by simultaneous rather than alternate prism and cover test were more likely graded excellent (OR, 5.16; 95% CI, 3.50-7.62). Applying motor criteria from the binocular potential goal to the entire cohort diminished putative outcomes (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Goal-determined metric monitoring outcomes of exotropia surgery provides outcomes germane to the reason for intervention, enables analysis of risk factors affecting outcomes, and facilitates reporting on heterogeneous populations.

Wirostko B, Rafii MJ, Sullivan DA, Morelli J, Ding J. Novel Therapy to Treat Corneal Epithelial Defects: A Hypothesis with Growth Hormone. Ocul Surf 2015;13(3):204-212.e1.Abstract

Impaired corneal wound healing that occurs with ocular surface disease, trauma, systemic disease, or surgical intervention can lead to persistent corneal epithelial defects (PCED), which result in corneal scarring, ulceration, opacification, corneal neovascularization, and, ultimately, visual compromise and vision loss. The current standard of care can include lubricants, ointments, bandage lenses, amniotic membranes, autologous serum eye drops, and corneal transplants. Various inherent problems exist with application and administration of these treatments, which often may not result in a completely healed surface. A topically applicable compound capable of promoting corneal epithelial cell proliferation and/or migration would be ideal to accelerate healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) is such a compound. In a recent study, HGH was shown to activate signal transducer and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial migration in a co-culture system of corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts. These effects require an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts. Further, HGH promotes corneal wound healing in a rabbit debridement model, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of HGH in vivo as well. In conclusion, HGH may represent an exciting and effective topical therapeutic to promote corneal wound healing.

Grob SR, Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Colby KA. Diffuse Epibulbar Complex Lacrimal-Cartilaginous Choristoma: Diagnostic Clues and Management. Cornea 2015;34(10):1321-3.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the clinical and histopathologic features distinguishing an extensive complex choristoma of the epibulbar surface and to address the management of such lesions. METHODS: Clinical history, diagnostic imaging studies, and histopathologic sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin were reviewed from a 2-year-old girl with a congenital conjunctival lesion of the right eye that was surgically excised. RESULTS: The patient clinically displayed an extensive, vascularized amelanotic conjunctival lesion located superotemporally with extension onto the cornea. Her visual acuity was reduced to 20/670. The clinical diagnosis was a large lacrimal gland choristoma with corneal involvement and resulting deprivation amblyopia. The patient underwent an excision of the lesion including the corneal portion, and the ocular surface was reconstructed with amniotic membrane. Histopathologic evaluation disclosed lobules of lacrimal tissue and cartilage plaques, smooth muscle, and nerves consistent with a complex choristoma. Six weeks postoperatively, the visual acuity had improved to 20/180. The patient returned to her local ophthalmologist for amblyopia management. CONCLUSIONS: We emphasize the importance of recognizing lesion-induced amblyopia and the timely performance of appropriate surgery for complex epibulbar choristomas. A differential diagnosis of other congenital epibulbar lesions is provided.

Gong Y, Li J, Sun Y, Fu Z, Liu C-H, Evans L, Tian K, Saba N, Fredrick T, Morss P, Chen J, Smith LEH. Optimization of an Image-Guided Laser-Induced Choroidal Neovascularization Model in Mice. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0132643.Abstract

The mouse model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) has been used in studies of the exudative form of age-related macular degeneration using both the conventional slit lamp and a new image-guided laser system. A standardized protocol is needed for consistent results using this model, which has been lacking. We optimized details of laser-induced CNV using the image-guided laser photocoagulation system. Four lesions with similar size were consistently applied per eye at approximately double the disc diameter away from the optic nerve, using different laser power levels, and mice of various ages and genders. After 7 days, the mice were sacrificed and retinal pigment epithelium/choroid/sclera was flat-mounted, stained with Isolectin B4, and imaged. Quantification of the area of the laser-induced lesions was performed using an established and constant threshold. Exclusion criteria are described that were necessary for reliable data analysis of the laser-induced CNV lesions. The CNV lesion area was proportional to the laser power levels. Mice at 12-16 weeks of age developed more severe CNV than those at 6-8 weeks of age, and the gender difference was only significant in mice at 12-16 weeks of age, but not in those at 6-8 weeks of age. Dietary intake of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid reduced laser-induced CNV in mice. Taken together, laser-induced CNV lesions can be easily and consistently applied using the image-guided laser platform. Mice at 6-8 weeks of age are ideal for the laser-induced CNV model.

Haun AM, Peli E. Similar Sensitivity to Ladder Contours in Macular Degeneration Patients and Controls. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0128119.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether people with central field loss (CFL) from macular degeneration have improved ability to recognize a particularly difficult spatial configuration embedded in noise, the peripherally-viewed 'ladder contour'. The visibility of these configuration has been linked to general contour integration ability and crowding limitations in peripheral vision. METHODS: We used a trial-based yes-no task. CFL patients and normally-sighted controls performed the task, looking for ladder contours embedded in a field of randomly oriented Gabor patches, at a range of stimulus presentation times (varying stimulus difficulty). Viewing eccentricity in CFL patients was set by their preferred retinal loci (PRLs) and matched artificially in the control group. The contours were presented so as to be tangent to the CFL region, given a patient's PRL location. RESULTS: CFL and normally-sighted groups performed similarly on the task. The only significant determinant of performance was the viewing eccentricity. CONCLUSIONS: CFL patients do not seem to develop any improved ability to recognize ladder contours with their parafoveal retina, which suggests that there is no underlying improvement in contour integration or reduction in crowding limitations in the region of the PRL despite extended daily use.