Fu Z, Lofqvist CA, Shao Z, Sun Y, Joyal J-S, Hurst CG, Cui RZ, Evans LP, Tian K, SanGiovanni JP, Chen J, Ley D, Hansen Pupp I, Hellstrom A, Smith LEH. Dietary ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease retinal neovascularization by adipose-endoplasmic reticulum stress reduction to increase adiponectin. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101(4):879-88.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vision-threatening disease in premature infants. Serum adiponectin (APN) concentrations positively correlate with postnatal growth and gestational age, important risk factors for ROP development. Dietary ω-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFAs) suppress ROP and oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) in a mouse model of human ROP, but the mechanism is not fully understood. OBJECTIVE: We examined the role of APN in ROP development and whether circulating APN concentrations are increased by dietary ω-3 LCPUFAs to mediate the protective effect in ROP. DESIGN: Serum APN concentrations were correlated with ROP development and serum ω-3 LCPUFA concentrations in preterm infants. Mouse OIR was then used to determine whether ω-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases serum APN concentrations, which then suppress retinopathy. RESULTS: We found that in preterm infants, low serum APN concentrations positively correlate with ROP, and serum APN concentrations positively correlate with serum ω-3 LCPUFA concentrations. In mouse OIR, serum total APN and bioactive high-molecular-weight APN concentrations are increased by ω-3 LCPUFA feed. White adipose tissue, where APN is produced and assembled in the endoplasmic reticulum, is the major source of serum APN. In mouse OIR, adipose endoplasmic reticulum stress is increased, and APN production is suppressed. ω-3 LCPUFA feed in mice increases APN production by reducing adipose endoplasmic reticulum stress markers. Dietary ω-3 LCPUFA suppression of neovascularization is reduced from 70% to 10% with APN deficiency. APN receptors localize in the retina, particularly to pathologic neovessels. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that increasing APN by ω-3 LCPUFA supplementation in total parental nutrition for preterm infants may suppress ROP.

Bispo PJM, Haas W, Gilmore MS. Biofilms in infections of the eye. Pathogens 2015;4(1):111-36.Abstract

The ability to form biofilms in a variety of environments is a common trait of bacteria, and may represent one of the earliest defenses against predation. Biofilms are multicellular communities usually held together by a polymeric matrix, ranging from capsular material to cell lysate. In a structure that imposes diffusion limits, environmental microgradients arise to which individual bacteria adapt their physiologies, resulting in the gamut of physiological diversity. Additionally, the proximity of cells within the biofilm creates the opportunity for coordinated behaviors through cell-cell communication using diffusible signals, the most well documented being quorum sensing. Biofilms form on abiotic or biotic surfaces, and because of that are associated with a large proportion of human infections. Biofilm formation imposes a limitation on the uses and design of ocular devices, such as intraocular lenses, posterior contact lenses, scleral buckles, conjunctival plugs, lacrimal intubation devices and orbital implants. In the absence of abiotic materials, biofilms have been observed on the capsule, and in the corneal stroma. As the evidence for the involvement of microbial biofilms in many ocular infections has become compelling, developing new strategies to prevent their formation or to eradicate them at the site of infection, has become a priority.

Uchiyama E, Faez S, Nasir H, Unizony SH, Plenge R, Papaliodis GN, Sobrin L. Accuracy of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) as a research tool for identification of patients with uveitis and scleritis. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2015;22(2):139-41.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report on the accuracy of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes for identifying patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and concurrent noninfectious inflammatory ocular conditions in a large healthcare organization database. METHODS: Queries for patients with PMR and uveitis or scleritis were executed in two general teaching hospitals' databases. Patients with ocular infections or other rheumatologic conditions were excluded. Patients with PMR and ocular inflammation were identified, and medical records were reviewed to confirm accuracy. RESULTS: The query identified 10,697 patients with the ICD-9-CM code for PMR and 4154 patients with the codes for noninfectious inflammatory ocular conditions. The number of patients with both PMR and noninfectious uveitis or scleritis by ICD-9-CM codes was 66. On detailed review of the charts of these 66 patients, 31 (47%) had a clinical diagnosis of PMR, 43 (65%) had noninfectious uveitis or scleritis, and only 20 (30%) had PMR with concurrent noninfectious uveitis or scleritis confirmed based on clinical notes. CONCLUSIONS: While the use of ICD-9-CM codes has been validated for medical research of common diseases, our results suggest that ICD-9-CM codes may be of limited value for epidemiological investigations of diseases which can be more difficult to diagnose. The ICD-9-CM codes for rarer diseases (PMR, uveitis and scleritis) did not reflect the true clinical problem in a large proportion of our patients. This is particularly true when coding is performed by physicians outside the area of specialty of the diagnosis.

La Rosa SL, Snipen L-G, Murray BE, Willems RJL, Gilmore MS, Diep DB, Nes IF, Brede DA. A Genomic Virulence Reference Map of Enterococcus faecalis Reveals an Important Contribution of Phage03-Like Elements in Nosocomial Genetic Lineages to Pathogenicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model. Infect Immun 2015;83(5):2156-67.Abstract
In the present study, the commensal and pathogenic host-microbe interaction of Enterococcus faecalis was explored using a Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The virulence of 28 E. faecalis isolates representing 24 multilocus sequence types (MLSTs), including human commensal and clinical isolates as well as isolates from animals and of insect origin, was investigated using C. elegans strain glp-4 (bn2ts); sek-1 (km4). This revealed that 6 E. faecalis isolates behaved in a commensal manner with no nematocidal effect, while the remaining strains showed a time to 50% lethality ranging from 47 to 120 h. Principal component analysis showed that the difference in nematocidal activity explained 94% of the variance in the data. Assessment of known virulence traits revealed that gelatinase and cytolysin production accounted for 40.8% and 36.5% of the observed pathogenicity, respectively. However, coproduction of gelatinase and cytolysin did not increase virulence additively, accounting for 50.6% of the pathogenicity and therefore indicating a significant (26.7%) saturation effect. We employed a comparative genomic analysis approach using the 28 isolates comprising a collection of 82,356 annotated coding sequences (CDS) to identify 2,325 patterns of presence or absence among the investigated strains. Univariate statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) established that individual patterns positively correlated (n = 61) with virulence. The patterns were investigated to identify potential new virulence traits, among which we found five patterns consisting of the phage03-like gene clusters. Strains harboring phage03 showed, on average, 17% higher killing of C. elegans (P = 4.4e(-6)). The phage03 gene cluster was also present in gelatinase-and-cytolysin-negative strain E. faecalis JH2-2. Deletion of this phage element from the JH2-2 clinical strain rendered the mutant apathogenic in C. elegans, and a similar mutant of the nosocomial V583 isolate showed significantly attenuated virulence. Bioinformatics investigation indicated that, unlike other E. faecalis virulence traits, phage03-like elements were found at a higher frequency among nosocomial isolates. In conclusion, our report provides a valuable virulence map that explains enhancement in E. faecalis virulence and contributes to a deeper comprehension of the genetic mechanism leading to the transition from commensalism to a pathogenic lifestyle.
Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Colby KA. Pigmented Caruncular Apocrine Hidrocystoma With Oncocytic Features. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

An unprecedented pigmented caruncular apocrine hidrocystoma with the additional feature of an oncocytic transformation of the cyst's lining cells is reported. Over a year, a 79-year-old woman developed a centrally pigmented lesion of her right caruncle with translucent borders. Because of concern about a melanoma, a carunculectomy with adjunctive cryotherapy and placement of an amniotic membrane graft were performed, and the excised specimen was evaluated microscopically. A large cyst dominated the caruncle and was lined by an inner layer of columnar eosinophilic and granular cells with an outer, interrupted layer of flattened myoepithelial cells. Phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin staining disclosed myriad cytoplasmic, dot-like mitochondria signifying an oncocytic change. Immunohistochemistry revealed gross cystic fluid disease protein-15 and cytokeratin 7-positivity indicative of apocrine differentiation. Oncocytic change is characteristically encountered in lacrimal ductal cysts and tumors.

Shainheit MG, Valentino MD, Gilmore MS, Camilli A. Mutations in Pneumococcal cpsE Generated via In Vitro Serial Passaging Reveal a Potential Mechanism of Reduced Encapsulation Utilized by a Conjunctival Isolate. J Bacteriol 2015;197(10):1781-91.Abstract
UNLABELLED: The polysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for nasopharyngeal colonization and for invasive disease in the lungs, blood, and meninges. In contrast, the vast majority of conjunctival isolates are acapsular. The first serotype-specific gene in the capsule operon, cpsE, encodes the initiating glycosyltransferase and is one of the few serotype-specific genes that can tolerate null mutations. This report characterizes a spontaneously arising TIGR4 mutant exhibiting a reduced capsule, caused by a 6-nucleotide duplication in cpsE which results in duplication of Ala and Ile at positions 45 and 46. This strain (AI45dup) possessed more exposed phosphorylcholine and was hypersusceptible to C3 complement deposition compared to the wild type. Accordingly, the mutant was significantly better at forming abiotic biofilms and binding epithelial cells in vitro but was avirulent in a sepsis model. In vitro serial passaging of the wild-type strain failed to reproduce the AI45dup mutation but instead led to a variety of mutants with reduced capsule harboring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cpsE. A single passage in the sepsis model after high-dose inoculation readily yielded revertants of AI45dup with restored wild-type capsule level, but the majority of SNP alleles of cpsE could not revert, suppress, or bypass. Analysis of cpsE in conjunctival isolates revealed a strain with a single missense mutation at amino acid position 377, which was responsible for reduced encapsulation. This study supports the hypothesis that spontaneous, nonreverting mutations in cpsE serve as a form of adaptive mutation by providing a selective advantage to S. pneumoniae in niches where expression of capsule is detrimental. IMPORTANCE: While the capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required for colonization and invasive disease, most conjunctival isolates are acapsular by virtue of deletion of the entire capsular operon. We show that spontaneous acapsular mutants isolated in vitro harbor mostly nonrevertible single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) null mutations in cpsE, encoding the initiating glycosyltransferase. From a small collection of acapsular conjunctival isolates, we identified one strain with a complete capsular operon but containing a SNP in cpsE that we show is responsible for the acapsular phenotype. We propose that acapsular conjunctival isolates may arise initially from such nonreverting SNP null mutations in cpsE, which can be followed later by deletion of portions or all of the cps operon.
Kang JH, Loomis SJ, Rosner BA, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR. Comparison of risk factor profiles for primary open angle glaucoma subtypes defined by pattern of visual field loss: a prospective study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;Abstract

PURPOSE: We explored whether risk factor associations differed by primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) subtypes defined by visual field (VF) loss pattern (i.e., paracentral or peripheral). METHODS: We included 77,157 women in the Nurses Health Study and 42,773 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2010) and incident medical-record confirmed cases of paracentral (n=440) and peripheral (n=865) POAG subtypes. We evaluated African-heritage, glaucoma family history, body mass index (BMI), mean arterial blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, physical activity, smoking, caffeine and alcohol intakes. We used competing risk Cox regression analyses modeling age as the metameter and stratified by age, cohort and event type. We sequentially identified factors with the least significant differences in associations with POAG subtypes ("stepwise down" approach with P for heterogeneity [P-het]<0.10 as threshold). RESULTS: BMI was more inversely associated with the POAG paracentral VF loss subtype than the peripheral VF loss subtype (per 10 kg/m2; hazard ratio [HR]=0.67 [95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.52, 0.86] vs. HR=0.93 [95% CI: 0.78, 1.10]; P-het=0.03) as was smoking (per 10 pack-years; HR=0.92 [95% CI: 0.87, 0.98] vs. HR=0.98 [95% CI: 0.94, 1.01]; P-het=0.09). These findings were robust in sensitivity analyses using a "stepwise up" approach (identify factors that showed the most significant differences). Non-heterogeneous (p-het>0.10) adverse associations with both POAG subtypes were observed with glaucoma family history, diabetes, African-heritage, greater caffeine intake and higher mean arterial pressure. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that POAG with early paracentral VF loss has distinct as well as common determinants compared to POAG with peripheral VF loss.

Ding J, Wirostko B, Sullivan DA. Human growth hormone promotes corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. Cornea 2015;34(6):686-92.Abstract

PURPOSE: Corneal wound healing is a highly regulated process that requires the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells and interactions between epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts. Compounds that can be applied topically to the ocular surface and that have the capability of activating corneal epithelial cells to proliferate and/or migrate would be useful to promote corneal wound healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) will activate signal transducers and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial cell and fibroblast proliferation and/or migration in vitro. The purpose of this study was to test these hypotheses. METHODS: We studied cell signaling, proliferation, and migration using an immortalized human corneal epithelial cell line and primary human corneal fibroblasts in vitro. We also examined whether insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone known to mediate many of HGH's growth promoting actions, may play a role in this effect. RESULTS: We show that HGH activates STAT5 signaling and promotes corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. The migratory effect requires an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts and is not mediated by IGF-1. CONCLUSIONS: HGH may represent a topical therapeutic to promote corneal epithelial wound healing. This warrants further investigation.

Andzelm MM, Cherry TJ, Harmin DA, Boeke AC, Lee C, Hemberg M, Pawlyk B, Malik AN, Flavell SW, Sandberg MA, Raviola E, Greenberg ME. MEF2D Drives Photoreceptor Development through a Genome-wide Competition for Tissue-Specific Enhancers. Neuron 2015;86(1):247-63.Abstract

Organismal development requires the precise coordination of genetic programs to regulate cell fate and function. MEF2 transcription factors (TFs) play essential roles in this process but how these broadly expressed factors contribute to the generation of specific cell types during development is poorly understood. Here we show that despite being expressed in virtually all mammalian tissues, in the retina MEF2D binds to retina-specific enhancers and controls photoreceptor cell development. MEF2D achieves specificity by cooperating with a retina-specific factor CRX, which recruits MEF2D away from canonical MEF2 binding sites and redirects it to retina-specific enhancers that lack the consensus MEF2-binding sequence. Once bound to retina-specific enhancers, MEF2D and CRX co-activate the expression of photoreceptor-specific genes that are critical for retinal function. These findings demonstrate that broadly expressed TFs acquire specific functions through competitive recruitment to enhancers by tissue-specific TFs and through selective activation of these enhancers to regulate tissue-specific genes.

Pundlik SJ, Tomasi M, Luo G. Evaluation of a portable collision warning device for patients with peripheral vision loss in an obstacle course. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;Abstract

PURPOSE: A pocket-sized collision warning device equipped with a video camera was developed to predict impending collisions based on time to collision rather than proximity. A study was conducted in a high density obstacle course to evaluate the effect of the device on collision avoidance in people with peripheral field loss (PFL). METHODS: The 41 meter long loop-shaped obstacle course consisted of 46 stationary obstacles from floor to head level, and oncoming pedestrians. Twenty five patients with tunnel vision (n = 13) or hemianopia (n = 12) completed 4 consecutive loops with and without the device, while not using any other habitual mobility aid. Walking direction and device usage order were counterbalanced. Number of collisions and preferred percentage of walking speed (PPWS) were compared within subjects. RESULTS: Collisions were reduced significantly by about 37% (p < 0.001) with the device (Floor-level obstacles were excluded because the device was not designed for them). No patient had more collisions when using the device. While the PPWS also reduced with the device from 52% to 49% (p = 0.053), this did not account for the lower number of collisions, as the changes in collisions and PPWS were not correlated (p = 0.516). CONCLUSIONS: The device may help patients with a wide range of PFL avoid collisions with high-level obstacles and barely affect their walking speed.

Kheirkhah A, Saboo US, Abud TB, Dohlman TH, Arnoldner MA, Hamrah P, Dana R. Reduced Corneal Endothelial Cell Density inPatients With Dry Eye Disease. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(6):1022-1026.e2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal endothelial cell density (ECD) in patients with dry eye disease (DED) compared to an age-matched control group. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, controlled study. METHODS: This study included 90 eyes of 45 patients with moderate to severe DED (aged 53.7 ± 9.8 years) and 30 eyes of 15 normal controls (aged 50.7 ± 9.8 years). All subjects had a complete ophthalmic evaluation including symptom assessment using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and corneal fluorescein staining. In addition, laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy was performed to measure the density of the following parameters in the central cornea: endothelial cells, subbasal nerves, and subbasal immune dendritic cells. RESULTS: Corneal ECD was significantly lower in the DED group (2595.8 ± 356.1 cells/mm(2)) than in the control group (2812.7 ± 395.2 cells/mm(2), P = .046). The DED group showed significantly lower corneal subbasal nerve density (17.1 ± 6.9 mm/mm(2)) compared to the control group (24.7 ± 4.4 mm/mm(2), P < .001). Dendritic cell density was significantly higher in the DED group than in the controls (111.7 ± 137.3 vs 32.0 ± 24.4 cells/mm(2), respectively, P = .002). There were statistically significant correlations between corneal ECD and dry eye severity parameters including the OSDI score (rs = -0.26, P = .03), and corneal fluorescein staining (rs = -0.28, P = .008). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant reduction in corneal ECD in DED that correlates with clinical severity of the disease.

Gabel HW, Kinde B, Stroud H, Gilbert CS, Harmin DA, Kastan NR, Hemberg M, Ebert DH, Greenberg ME. Disruption of DNA-methylation-dependent long gene repression in Rett syndrome. Nature 2015;Abstract

Disruption of the MECP2 gene leads to Rett syndrome (RTT), a severe neurological disorder with features of autism. MECP2 encodes a methyl-DNA-binding protein that has been proposed to function as a transcriptional repressor, but despite numerous mouse studies examining neuronal gene expression in Mecp2 mutants, no clear model has emerged for how MeCP2 protein regulates transcription. Here we identify a genome-wide length-dependent increase in gene expression in MeCP2 mutant mouse models and human RTT brains. We present evidence that MeCP2 represses gene expression by binding to methylated CA sites within long genes, and that in neurons lacking MeCP2, decreasing the expression of long genes attenuates RTT-associated cellular deficits. In addition, we find that long genes as a population are enriched for neuronal functions and selectively expressed in the brain. These findings suggest that mutations in MeCP2 may cause neurological dysfunction by specifically disrupting long gene expression in the brain.

Cestari DM, Lessell S, Mantopoulos D. Early Diagnosis of Subclinical Interferon Alpha-Associated Optic Neuropathy Using Fluorescein Angiography. J Neuroophthalmol 2015;35(3):280-3.Abstract

We report a case of a 57-year-old man who presented with decreased visual acuity in the left eye secondary to nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) while on therapy with interferon-α for hepatitis C. Fundus fluorescein angiography revealed late leakage of both optic discs, consistent with bilateral disease. One week later, the patient developed clinical signs and symptoms consistent with NAION in the fellow eye. Fluorescein angiography may play an important role in identifying subclinical NAION in patients taking interferon-α.

Weis B, Schmidt J, Maamar H, Raj A, Lin H, Tóth C, Riedmann K, Raddatz G, Seitz H-K, Ho AD, Lyko F, Linhart HG. Inhibition of intestinal tumor formation by deletion of the DNA methyltransferase 3a. Oncogene 2015;34(14):1822-30.Abstract
Aberrant de novo methylation of DNA is considered an important mediator of tumorigenesis. To investigate the role of de novo DNA methyltransferase 3a (Dnmt3a) in intestinal tumor development, we analyzed the expression of Dnmt3a in murine colon crypts, murine colon adenomas and human colorectal cancer using RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), quantitative PCR and immunostaining. Following conditional deletion of Dnmt3a in the colon of APC((Min/+)) mice, we analyzed tumor numbers, genotype of macroadenomas and laser dissected microadenomas, global and regional DNA methylation and gene expression. Our results showed increased Dnmt3a expression in colon adenomas of APC((Min/+)) mice and human colorectal cancer samples when compared with control tissue. Interestingly, in tumor tissue, RNA FISH analysis showed highest Dnmt3a expression in Lgr5-positive stem/progenitor cells. Deletion of Dnmt3a in APC((Min/+)) mice reduced colon tumor numbers by ~40%. Remaining adenomas and microadenomas almost exclusively contained the non-recombined Dnmt3a allele; no tumors composed of the inactivated Dnmt3a allele were detected. DNA methylation was reduced at the Oct4, Nanog, Tff2 and Cdkn1c promoters and expression of the tumor-suppressor genes Tff2 and Cdkn1c was increased. In conclusion, our results show that Dnmt3a is predominantly expressed in the stem/progenitor cell compartment of tumors and that deletion of Dnmt3a inhibits the earliest stages of intestinal tumor development.