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Zhao J, Zhu T, Chen W, Fan BJ, He L, Yang B, Deng Z. Human Leukocyte Antigens-B and -C Loci Associated with Posner-Schlossman Syndrome in a Southern Chinese Population. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0132179.Abstract

The etiology of Posner-Schlossman syndrome (PSS) remains unknown. The association of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) allelic diversity with PSS has been poorly investigated. To evaluate the association of allelic polymorphisms of class I HLA-A, -B and -C and class II HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1 with PSS, 100 unrelated patients with PSS and 128 age- and ethnically matched control subjects were recruited from a southern Chinese Han population. Polymorphisms in exons 2-4 for HLA-A, -B, -C loci, exon 2 for HLA-DRB1 and exons 2,3 for HLA-DQB1 were analyzed for association with PSS at allele and haplotype levels. The allele frequency of HLA-C*1402 in PSS patients was significantly higher than that in controls (P = 0.002, OR = 4.12). This association survived the Bonferroni correction (Pc = 0.04). The allele frequency of HLA-B*1301 in PSS patients was lower than that in the control group (P = 0.003, OR = 0.21), although this association did not survive the Bonferroni correction (Pc = 0.16). In PSS patients, the haplotype frequencies of HLA-A*1101~C*1402 and B*5101~C*1402 were higher than that in controls (P = 0.03, OR = 4.44; P = 0.02, OR = 3.20; respectively), while the HLA-B*1301~C*0304 was lower than that in controls (P = 0.007, OR = 0.23), although these associations did not survive the Bonferroni correction (Pc > 0.16). This study for the first time demonstrated that polymorphisms at the HLA-B and HLA-C loci were nominally associated with PSS in the southern Chinese Han population. Our results suggest that HLA-C*1402, A*1101~C*1402 and B*5101~C*1402 might be risk factors for PSS, whereas HLA-B*1301 plus B*1301~C*0304 might be protective factors against PSS, but even larger datasets are required to confirm these findings. Findings from this study provide valuable new clues for investigating the mechanisms and development of new diagnosis and treatment for PSS.

Cordero-Coma M, Sobrin L. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy in uveitis. Surv Ophthalmol 2015;60(6):575-89.Abstract

Since the first reported use in 2001 of an anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) agent, infliximab, for the treatment of uveitis, several new anti-TNF-α agents have emerged for the treatment of refractory noninfectious uveitides, although their use remains off-label in the US. These agents have demonstrated remarkable clinical antiinflammatory efficacy and a potential immunoregulatory role in selected uveitis patients, but it is currently unclear whether they can modify the natural history of disease. We review the rationale and clinical indications for this therapy, the differences between agents, how to manage dosing and intervals, and how to screen for and identify potential side effects. We also present a summary of the science behind the use of anti-TNF-α agents in ocular inflammation and the evidence for their efficacy.

Hoshi S, Okamoto F, Arai M, Hirose T, Sugiura Y, Kaji Y, Oshika T. In Vivo and In Vitro Feasibility Studies of Intraocular Use of Polyethylene Glycol-Based Synthetic Sealant to Close Retinal Breaks in Porcine and Rabbit Eyes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(8):4705-11.Abstract

PURPOSE: Absorbable polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant (PEG sealant) polymerizes under xenon illumination and forms a clear, flexible, and firmly adherent hydrogel. The intraocular biocompatibility of PEG sealant and efficacy for closing retinal breaks were evaluated. METHODS: In an in vitro study, retinal detachment with a tear was created in porcine eyecups after vitreous gel removal. Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant was applied to cover the tear and polymerized with a 40-second application of xenon light. Retinal adhesion strength was tested by forcefully squirting balanced salt solution (BSS) onto the retinal tear. Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant was soaked in the BSS, incubated at 37°C, and the pH measured periodically over 72 hours. In an in vivo study, PEG sealant was injected into the vitreous cavity of the left eyes of rabbits. Ophthalmologic examinations were performed and bilateral ERGs were recorded simultaneously before and 28 days after injection. The eyes were enucleated for histological evaluation. RESULTS: Adhesion of PEG sealant to the retina was good in BSS. A forceful squirt of BSS onto the retinal tear covered with PEG sealant did not detach the retina; the retinal tear without PEG sealant detached immediately. The pH of the BSS containing PEG sealant was between 7.2 and 8.2. No inflammatory reaction was observed in the eyes throughout 28 days of follow-up. The ERGs recorded before and after injection showed typical patterns. Histological examinations did not reveal any abnormality or inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant appeared to effectively seal retinal breaks and was not toxic to the eye.

Sharma PK, Markov GT, Bajwa A, Foster SC. LONG-TERM EFFICACY OF SYSTEMIC INFLIXIMAB IN RECALCITRANT RETINAL VASCULITIS. Retina 2015;35(12):2641-6.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of systemic infliximab for the induction of remission in patients with retinal vasculitis, inadequately responsive to other immunomodulatory therapy, based on fluorescein angiography grading for retinal vasculitis evaluation. METHODS: We analyzed 60 patients with retinal vasculitis, from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution in Cambridge, MA. Response to therapy was based on analysis of serial fluorescein angiography and fundus photography, including a baseline angiogram before initiation of infliximab. RESULTS: Sixty patients received infliximab therapy between July 2007 and July 2012 at Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution for a diagnosis of retinal vasculitis. All had previously showed a poor clinical response to other immunomodulatory regimens, or ceased therapy due to intolerable side effects. The initial dose of infliximab was 5 mg/kg in all patients and remained at this dose for the extent of treatment in 57 (95%) patients. At 6 months, 45 of 51 (88.23%) patients were maintaining remission with therapy, 5 (9.8%) were in partial remission, and 1 patient had failed. At 12 months, 39 of 39 (100%) patients were maintaining remission with therapy. CONCLUSION: Infliximab is effective for the treatment of recalcitrant noninfectious retinal vasculitis, refractory to conventional immunomodulatory therapy.

Rai R, Jakobiec FA, Fay A. Ocular Metastatic Renal Carcinoma Presenting With Proptosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(4):e100-8.Abstract

Metastatic renal carcinoma is the third most common source of ocular and second most common source of orbital metastases. This is the first published case of von Hippel-Lindau (vHL) disease that developed renal cell carcinoma metastatic to an eye with a retinal hemangioblastoma. A 73-year-old woman had a history of vHL disease that included prior retinal hemangioblastomas, 2 cerebellar hemangioblastomas, and bilateral renal cell carcinomas with sacral metastasis. After presenting with progressive, painful proptosis secondary to a large mass observable by ocular CT, an enucleation-orbitotomy was performed, and the surgical specimen was sent for histopathological analysis. The ophthalmic renal metastatic tumor, like the primary tumor, was a clear cell variant that involved both the eyeball and orbit in continuity. The intraocular component was larger than the extraocular portion, which was interpreted as an outward extension of an initial retinal metastasis that probably first settled within a hemangioblastoma. Clusters of ectatic ghost vessels with thickened walls produced by periodic acid Schiff-positive, redundant basement membrane material were partially infiltrated by tumor cells at their periphery, thereby lending some support for this hypothesis. Immunohistochemical positivity for the biomarkers cytokeratin 18, vimentin, carbonic anhydrase IX, PAX2, and PAX 8 confirmed the diagnosis. The patient has refused further treatment. Her anophthalmic socket has comfortably retained a porous polyethylene implant without clinical evidence of local recurrence during 5 months of follow up.

Silva PS, Aiello LP. Reply. Retina 2015;35(7):e37-8.
Choi HJ, Sun D, Jakobs TC. Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express putative mechanosensitive channels. Mol Vis 2015;21:749-66.Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish whether optic nerve head astrocytes express candidate molecules to sense tissue stretch. METHODS: We used conventional PCR, quantitative PCR, and single-cell reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) to assess the expression of various members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family and of the recently characterized mechanosensitive channels Piezo1 and 2 in optic nerve head tissue and in single, isolated astrocytes. RESULTS: Most TRP subfamilies (TRPC, TRPM, TRPV, TRPA, and TRPP) and Piezo1 and 2 were expressed in the optic nerve head of the mouse. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that TRPC1, TRPM7, TRPV2, TRPP2, and Piezo1 are the dominant isoforms in each subfamily. Single-cell RT-PCR revealed that many TRP isoforms, TRPC1-2, TRPC6, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPM2, TRPM4, TRPM6-7, TRPP1-2, and Piezo1-2, are expressed in astrocytes of the optic nerve head, and that most astrocytes express TRPC1 and TRPP1-2. Comparisons of the TRPP and Piezo expression levels between different tissue regions showed that Piezo2 expression was higher in the optic nerve head and the optic nerve proper than in the brain and the corpus callosum. TRPP2 also showed higher expression in the optic nerve head. CONCLUSIONS: Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express multiple putative mechanosensitive channels, in particular the recently identified channels Piezo1 and 2. The expression of putative mechanosensitive channels in these cells may contribute to their responsiveness to traumatic or glaucomatous injury.

Vodopivec I, Venna N, Rizzo JF, Prasad S. Clinical features, diagnostic findings, and treatment of Susac syndrome: A case series. J Neurol Sci 2015;357(1-2):50-7.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Susac syndrome (SS) is a rare, presumed autoimmune condition characterized by the clinical triad of branch retinal artery occlusions (BRAOs), encephalopathy, and sensorineural hearing loss. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical features, diagnostic results, treatment, and outcomes in SS. METHODS: Five patients with SS were referred to three tertiary care centers in Boston. The observation period across these patients was 7-57months. RESULTS: At initial presentation, none of the patients demonstrated the complete triad of BRAO, sensorineural hearing loss, and encephalopathy. The interval between symptom onset and diagnosis of SS was 4-30weeks. Brain MRI findings thought to be characteristic of SS (including callosal fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintense and T1 hypointense lesions) were frequently absent. Microinfarcts noted on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), BRAOs and vessel wall hyperfluorescence on fluorescein angiography (FA) were present in all cases in the acute encephalopathic phase. All patients treated with glucocorticoids and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) alone experienced further clinical progression until additional immunosuppressive therapy was instituted. CONCLUSIONS: The rarity of SS, its incomplete and variable presentation, and the nonspecific imaging findings invariably led to delayed diagnosis. DWI and FA should be used to identify the acute microvascular injury and monitor treatment response. Immunomodulatory agents more potent than glucocorticoids and IVIg might be required to control the disease.

Ho AC, Humayun MS, Dorn JD, da Cruz L, Dagnelie G, Handa J, Barale P-O, Sahel J-A, Stanga PE, Hafezi F, Safran AB, Salzmann J, Santos A, Birch D, Spencer R, Cideciyan AV, de Juan E, Duncan JL, Eliott D, Fawzi A, Olmos de Koo LC, Brown GC, Haller JA, Regillo CD, Del Priore LV, Arditi A, Geruschat DR, Greenberg RJ, Greenberg RJ. Long-Term Results from an Epiretinal Prosthesis to Restore Sight to the Blind. Ophthalmology 2015;122(8):1547-54.Abstract

PURPOSE: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal degenerations leading to blindness due to photoreceptor loss. Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare disease, affecting only approximately 100 000 people in the United States. There is no cure and no approved medical therapy to slow or reverse RP. The purpose of this clinical trial was to evaluate the safety, reliability, and benefit of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, CA) in restoring some visual function to subjects completely blind from RP. We report clinical trial results at 1 and 3 years after implantation. DESIGN: The study is a multicenter, single-arm, prospective clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: There were 30 subjects in 10 centers in the United States and Europe. Subjects served as their own controls, that is, implanted eye versus fellow eye, and system on versus system off (native residual vision). METHODS: The Argus II System was implanted on and in a single eye (typically the worse-seeing eye) of blind subjects. Subjects wore glasses mounted with a small camera and a video processor that converted images into stimulation patterns sent to the electrode array on the retina. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measures were safety (the number, seriousness, and relatedness of adverse events) and visual function, as measured by 3 computer-based, objective tests. RESULTS: A total of 29 of 30 subjects had functioning Argus II Systems implants 3 years after implantation. Eleven subjects experienced a total of 23 serious device- or surgery-related adverse events. All were treated with standard ophthalmic care. As a group, subjects performed significantly better with the system on than off on all visual function tests and functional vision assessments. CONCLUSIONS: The 3-year results of the Argus II trial support the long-term safety profile and benefit of the Argus II System for patients blind from RP. Earlier results from this trial were used to gain approval of the Argus II by the Food and Drug Administration and a CE mark in Europe. The Argus II System is the first and only retinal implant to have both approvals.

Nassi JJ, Cepko CL, Born RT, Beier KT. Neuroanatomy goes viral!. Front Neuroanat 2015;9:80.Abstract

The nervous system is complex not simply because of the enormous number of neurons it contains but by virtue of the specificity with which they are connected. Unraveling this specificity is the task of neuroanatomy. In this endeavor, neuroanatomists have traditionally exploited an impressive array of tools ranging from the Golgi method to electron microscopy. An ideal method for studying anatomy would label neurons that are interconnected, and, in addition, allow expression of foreign genes in these neurons. Fortuitously, nature has already partially developed such a method in the form of neurotropic viruses, which have evolved to deliver their genetic material between synaptically connected neurons while largely eluding glia and the immune system. While these characteristics make some of these viruses a threat to human health, simple modifications allow them to be used in controlled experimental settings, thus enabling neuroanatomists to trace multi-synaptic connections within and across brain regions. Wild-type neurotropic viruses, such as rabies and alpha-herpes virus, have already contributed greatly to our understanding of brain connectivity, and modern molecular techniques have enabled the construction of recombinant forms of these and other viruses. These newly engineered reagents are particularly useful, as they can target genetically defined populations of neurons, spread only one synapse to either inputs or outputs, and carry instructions by which the targeted neurons can be made to express exogenous proteins, such as calcium sensors or light-sensitive ion channels, that can be used to study neuronal function. In this review, we address these uniquely powerful features of the viruses already in the neuroanatomist's toolbox, as well as the aspects of their biology that currently limit their utility. Based on the latter, we consider strategies for improving viral tracing methods by reducing toxicity, improving control of transsynaptic spread, and extending the range of species that can be studied.

Morrison MA, Magalhaes TR, Ramke J, Smith SE, Ennis S, Simpson CL, Portas L, Murgia F, Ahn J, Dardenne C, Mayne K, Robinson R, Morgan DJ, Brian G, Lee L, Woo SJ, Zacharaki F, Tsironi EE, Miller JW, Kim IK, Park KH, Bailey-Wilson JE, Farrer LA, Stambolian D, Deangelis MM. Ancestry of the Timorese: age-related macular degeneration associated genotype and allele sharing among human populations from throughout the world. Front Genet 2015;6:238.Abstract

We observed that the third leading cause of blindness in the world, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), occurs at a very low documented frequency in a population-based cohort from Timor-Leste. Thus, we determined a complete catalog of the ancestry of the Timorese by analysis of whole exome chip data and haplogroup analysis of SNP genotypes determined by sequencing the Hypervariable I and II regions of the mitochondrial genome and 17 genotyped YSTR markers obtained from 535 individuals. We genotyped 20 previously reported AMD-associated SNPs in the Timorese to examine their allele frequencies compared to and between previously documented AMD cohorts of varying ethnicities. For those without AMD (average age > 55 years), genotype and allele frequencies were similar for most SNPs with a few exceptions. The major risk allele of HTRA1 rs11200638 (10q26) was at a significantly higher frequency in the Timorese, as well as 3 of the 5 protective CFH (1q32) SNPs (rs800292, rs2284664, and rs12066959). Additionally, the most commonly associated AMD-risk SNP, CFH rs1061170 (Y402H), was also seen at a much lower frequency in the Korean and Timorese populations than in the assessed Caucasian populations (C ~7 vs. ~40%, respectively). The difference in allele frequencies between the Timorese population and the other genotyped populations, along with the haplogroup analysis, also highlight the genetic diversity of the Timorese. Specifically, the most common ancestry groupings were Oceanic (Melanesian and Papuan) and Eastern Asian (specifically Han Chinese). The low prevalence of AMD in the Timorese population (2 of 535 randomly selected participants) may be due to the enrichment of protective alleles in this population at the 1q32 locus.

Fuentealba LC, Rompani SB, Parraguez JI, Obernier K, Romero R, Cepko CL, Alvarez-Buylla A. Embryonic Origin of Postnatal Neural Stem Cells. Cell 2015;161(7):1644-55.Abstract

Adult neural stem/progenitor (B1) cells within the walls of the lateral ventricles generate different types of neurons for the olfactory bulb (OB). The location of B1 cells determines the types of OB neurons they generate. Here we show that the majority of mouse B1 cell precursors are produced between embryonic days (E) 13.5 and 15.5 and remain largely quiescent until they become reactivated postnatally. Using a retroviral library carrying over 100,000 genetic tags, we found that B1 cells share a common progenitor with embryonic cells of the cortex, striatum, and septum, but this lineage relationship is lost before E15.5. The regional specification of B1 cells is evident as early as E11.5 and is spatially linked to the production of neurons that populate different areas of the forebrain. This study reveals an early embryonic regional specification of postnatal neural stem cells and the lineage relationship between them and embryonic progenitor cells.

Barhoumi A, Salvador-Culla B, Kohane DS. NIR-Triggered Drug Delivery by Collagen-Mediated Second Harmonic Generation. Adv Healthc Mater 2015;4(8):1159-63.Abstract

Second harmonic generation is a process through which nonlinear materials such as collagen can absorb two photons and scatter one with twice the energy. Collagen upconverts 730 nm (near-IR) to 365 nm (UV) through second harmonic generation, which cleaves a molecule bound to collagen via a UV-sensitive linker.

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