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Lee H-S, Hos D, Blanco T, Bock F, Reyes NJ, Mathew R, Cursiefen C, Dana R, Saban DR. Involvement of corneal lymphangiogenesis in a mouse model of allergic eye disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):3140-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: The contribution of lymphangiogenesis (LA) to allergy has received considerable attention and therapeutic inhibition of this process via targeting VEGF has been considered. Likewise, certain inflammatory settings affecting the ocular mucosa can trigger pathogenic LA in the naturally avascular cornea. Chronic inflammation in allergic eye disease (AED) impacts the conjunctiva and cornea, leading to sight threatening conditions. However, whether corneal LA is involved is completely unknown. We addressed this using a validated mouse model of AED. METHODS: Allergic eye disease was induced by ovalbumin (OVA) immunization and chronic OVA exposure. Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea allowed evaluation of corneal LA, and qRT-PCR was used to evaluate expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3 in these mice. Administration of VEGF receptor (R) inhibitor was incorporated to inhibit corneal LA in AED. Immune responses were evaluated by in vitro OVA recall responses of T cells, and IgE levels in the serum. RESULTS: Confocal microscopy of LYVE-1-stained cornea revealed the distinct presence of corneal LA in AED, and corroborated by increased corneal expression of VEGF-C, -D, and -R3. Importantly, prevention of corneal LA in AED via VEGFR inhibition was associated with decreased T helper two responses and IgE production. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition led a significant reduction in clinical signs of AED. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data reveal that there is a distinct involvement of corneal LA in AED. Furthermore, VEGFR inhibition prevents corneal LA and consequent immune responses in AED.

Robert M-C, Khreim N, Todani A, Melki SA. Anterior chamber gas bubble emergence pattern during femtosecond LASIK-flap creation. Br J Ophthalmol 2015;99(9):1201-5.Abstract

AIM: To characterise the emergence pattern of cavitation bubbles into the anterior chamber (AC) following femtosecond laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK)-flap creation METHODS: Retrospective review of patients undergoing femtosecond LASIK surgery at Boston Laser, a private refractive surgery practice in Boston, Massachusetts, between December 2008 and February 2014. Patient charts were reviewed to identify all cases with gas bubble migration into the AC. Surgical videos were examined and the location of bubble entry was recorded separately for right and left eyes. RESULTS: Five thousand one hundred and fifty-eight patients underwent femtosecond LASIK surgery. Air bubble migration into the AC, presumably via the Schlemm's canal and trabecular meshwork, occurred in 1% of cases. Patients with AC bubbles had an average age of 33±8 years with a measured LASIK flap thickness of 96±21 μm. The occurrence of gas bubbles impaired iris registration in 64% of cases. Gas bubbles appeared preferentially in the nasal or inferior quadrants for right (92% of cases) and left (100% of cases) eyes. This bubble emergence pattern is significantly different from that expected with a random distribution (p<0.0001) and did not seem associated with decentration of the femtosecond laser docking system. CONCLUSIONS: The migration of gas bubbles into the AC is a rare occurrence during femtosecond laser flap creation. The preferential emergence of gas bubbles into the nasal and inferior quadrants of the AC may indicate a distinctive anatomy of the nasal Schlemm's canal.

Kita T, Clermont AC, Murugesan N, Zhou Q, Fujisawa K, Ishibashi T, Aiello LP, Feener EP. Plasma Kallikrein-Kinin System as a VEGF-Independent Mediator of Diabetic Macular Edema. Diabetes 2015;64(10):3588-99.Abstract

This study characterizes the kallikrein-kinin system in vitreous from individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME) and examines mechanisms contributing to retinal thickening and retinal vascular permeability (RVP). Plasma prekallikrein (PPK) and plasma kallikrein (PKal) were increased twofold and 11.0-fold (both P < 0.0001), respectively, in vitreous from subjects with DME compared with those with a macular hole (MH). While the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level was also increased in DME vitreous, PKal and VEGF concentrations do not correlate (r = 0.266, P = 0.112). Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we identified 167 vitreous proteins, including 30 that were increased in DME (fourfold or more, P < 0.001 vs. MH). The majority of proteins associated with DME displayed a higher correlation with PPK than with VEGF concentrations. DME vitreous containing relatively high levels of PKal and low VEGF induced RVP when injected into the vitreous of diabetic rats, a response blocked by bradykinin receptor antagonism but not by bevacizumab. Bradykinin-induced retinal thickening in mice was not affected by blockade of VEGF receptor 2. Diabetes-induced RVP was decreased by up to 78% (P < 0.001) in Klkb1 (PPK)-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. B2- and B1 receptor-induced RVP in diabetic mice was blocked by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and inducible NOS deficiency, respectively. These findings implicate the PKal pathway as a VEGF-independent mediator of DME.

Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA. Demonstration of a Borst-Jadassohn-Like Phenomenon in Sebaceous Carcinoma of the Eyelid. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

A 77-year-old male presented with a diffuse, papular erythematous conjunctival mass that demonstrated on pathologic examination lobules of tumor in the conjunctival substantia propria and tarsus. The cells displayed numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles with extreme nuclear pleomorphism, consistent with sebaceous carcinoma. The overlying palpebral conjunctival epithelium exhibited regions of carcinoma in situ containing some vacuolated cells, alternating with a more classical appearance of pagetoid spread among normal surviving keratinocytes. Further analysis disclosed vesicular positivity for adipophilin and positive nuclear staining for androgen receptor. One tumor focus harbored exaggerated collections of intraepithelial tumor cells. These simulated the Borst-Jadassohn phenomenon of large nests of alien appearing cells normally encountered within the epidermis of the skin. This is the first description of this pattern created by an eyelid sebaceous carcinoma growing within the conjunctival epithelium.

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.

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