Cheng S-F, Dastjerdi MH, Ferrari G, Okanobo A, Bower KS, Ryan DS, Amparo F, Stevenson W, Hamrah P, Nallasamy N, Dana R. Short-term topical bevacizumab in the treatment of stable corneal neovascularization. Am J Ophthalmol 2012;154(6):940-948.e1.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of topical bevacizumab in the treatment of corneal neovascularization. DESIGN: Prospective, nonrandomized, interventional case series. METHODS: setting: Institutional, multicenter clinical trial. study population: Twenty eyes from 20 patients with stable corneal neovascularization. intervention procedures: Patients were treated with topical 1.0% bevacizumab for 3 weeks and were monitored for a total of 24 weeks. main outcome measures: Primary outcome measures included: neovascular area, defined as the area of the corneal vessels themselves; vessel caliber, defined as the mean corneal vessel diameter; and invasion area, defined as the fraction of the total cornea into which the vessels extended. The occurrence of ocular and systemic adverse events was monitored closely. RESULTS: As compared with the baseline visit, patients exhibited a statistically significant improvement in neovascular area by week 6 (P = .007) and in vessel caliber by week 12 (P = .006). At the final visit, neovascular area, vessel caliber, and invasion area were reduced by 47.5%, 36.2%, and 20%, respectively. The decreases in neovascular area and vessel caliber were statistically significant (P < .001 and P = .003, respectively); however, the reduction in invasion area did not reach statistical significance (P = .06). There were no significant changes in the secondary outcomes, and there were no adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term topical bevacizumab treatment reduced the extent of stable corneal neovascularization as measured by neovascular area and vessel caliber with no associated adverse events. Interestingly, the degree of treatment efficacy was inversely proportional to the baseline invasion area.
Kasaoka M, Ma J, Lashkari K. c-Met modulates RPE migratory response to laser-induced retinal injury. PLoS One 2012;7(7):e40771.Abstract
Retinal laser injuries are often associated with aberrant migration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which can cause expansion of the scar beyond the confines of the original laser burn. In this study, we devised a novel method of laser-induced injury to the RPE layer in mouse models and began to dissect the mechanisms associated with pathogenesis and progression of laser-induced RPE injury. We have hypothesized that the proto-oncogene receptor, c-Met, is intimately involved with migration of RPE cells, and may be an early responder to injury. Using transgenic mouse models, we show that constitutive activation of c-Met induces more robust RPE migration into the outer retina of laser-injured eyes, while abrogation of the receptor using a cre-lox method reduces these responses. We also demonstrate that retinal laser injury increases expression of both HGF and c-Met, and activation of c-Met after injury is correlated with RPE cell migration. RPE migration may be responsible for clinically significant anatomic changes observed after laser injury. Abrogation of c-Met activity may be a therapeutic target to minimize retinal damage from aberrant RPE cell migration.
Chen J, Smith LEH. Protective inflammasome activation in AMD. Nat Med 2012;18(5):658-60.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. AMD progression is associated with alterations in inflammatory pathways and the immune system. A new study identifies a protective role for inflammasomes in AMD, suggesting that inflammasome activation might be manipulated as a potential therapeutic strategy for this condition (pages 791-798).
Huynh N, Shildkrot Y, Lobo A-M, Sobrin L. Intravitreal triamcinolone for cancer-associated retinopathy refractory to systemic therapy. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2012;2(3):169-71.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to report the use of intravitreal triamcinolone for treatment of cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) refractory to systemic therapy. METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review study. RESULTS: A 67-year-old man presented with cancer-associated retinopathy with antibodies against a 46-kDa retinal protein, alpha enolase. There was disease progression despite therapy with mycophenolate and intravenous immunoglobulin. Serial intravitreal injections of triamcinolone resulted in restoration of photoreceptor anatomy on optical coherence tomography and visual improvement. The patient's vision was preserved at 20/40 OD and 20/32 OS until his death from lung cancer 31 months after CAR diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal triamcinolone may be beneficial for maintenance of vision in patients with CAR.
Burbank KS, Kreiman G. Depression-biased reverse plasticity rule is required for stable learning at top-down connections. PLoS Comput Biol 2012;8(3):e1002393.Abstract
Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP) where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP) produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body.
Hemberg M, Gray JM, Cloonan N, Kuersten S, Grimmond S, Greenberg ME, Kreiman G. Integrated genome analysis suggests that most conserved non-coding sequences are regulatory factor binding sites. Nucleic Acids Res 2012;40(16):7858-69.Abstract
More than 98% of a typical vertebrate genome does not code for proteins. Although non-coding regions are sprinkled with short (<200 bp) islands of evolutionarily conserved sequences, the function of most of these unannotated conserved islands remains unknown. One possibility is that unannotated conserved islands could encode non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs); alternatively, unannotated conserved islands could serve as promoter-distal regulatory factor binding sites (RFBSs) like enhancers. Here we assess these possibilities by comparing unannotated conserved islands in the human and mouse genomes to transcribed regions and to RFBSs, relying on a detailed case study of one human and one mouse cell type. We define transcribed regions by applying a novel transcript-calling algorithm to RNA-Seq data obtained from total cellular RNA, and we define RFBSs using ChIP-Seq and DNAse-hypersensitivity assays. We find that unannotated conserved islands are four times more likely to coincide with RFBSs than with unannotated ncRNAs. Thousands of conserved RFBSs can be categorized as insulators based on the presence of CTCF or as enhancers based on the presence of p300/CBP and H3K4me1. While many unannotated conserved RFBSs are transcriptionally active to some extent, the transcripts produced tend to be unspliced, non-polyadenylated and expressed at levels 10 to 100-fold lower than annotated coding or ncRNAs. Extending these findings across multiple cell types and tissues, we propose that most conserved non-coding genomic DNA in vertebrate genomes corresponds to promoter-distal regulatory elements.
Alhatem A, Cavalcanti B, Hamrah P. In vivo confocal microscopy in dry eye disease and related conditions. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):138-48.Abstract
A new era of ocular imaging has recently begun with the advent of in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM), shedding more light on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and potential treatment strategies for dry eye disease. IVCM is a noninvasive and powerful tool that allows detection of changes in ocular surface epithelium, immune and inflammatory cells, corneal nerves, keratocytes, and meibomian gland structures on a cellular level. Ocular surface structures in dry eye-related conditions have been assessed and alterations have been quantified using IVCM. IVCM may aid in the assessment of dry eye disease prognosis and treatment, as well as lead to improved understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms in this complex disease. Further, due to visualization of subclinical findings, IVCM may allow detection of disease at much earlier stages and allow stratification of patients for clinical trials. Finally, by providing an objective methodology to monitor treatment efficacy, image-guided therapy may allow the possibility of tailoring treatment based on cellular changes, rather than on clinical changes alone.
Fostad IG, Eidet JR, Shatos MA, Utheim TP, Utheim OA, Raeder S, Dartt DA. Biopsy harvesting site and distance from the explant affect conjunctival epithelial phenotype ex vivo. Exp Eye Res 2012;104:15-25.Abstract
The purpose of the study was to investigate if the number of goblet cells expanded ex vivo from a conjunctival explant is affected by the biopsy harvesting site on the conjunctiva and the distance from the explant. Conjunctival explants from six regions: superior and inferior bulbus, fornix, and tarsus of male Sprague-Dawley rats were grown in RPMI 1640 with 10% fetal bovine serum on coverslips for eight days. Histochemical and immunofluorescent staining of goblet (CK-7/UEA-1/MUC5AC), stratified squamous, non-goblet (CK-4), proliferating (PCNA) and progenitor (ABCG2) cells were analyzed by epifluorescence and laser confocal microscopy. Outgrowth was measured with NIH ImageJ. For statistical analysis the Mann-Whitney test and Spearman's rank-order correlation test were used. Cultures from superior and inferior fornix contained the most goblet cells as indicated by the presence of CK-7+, UEA-1+ and MUC5AC+ cells. Superior and inferior forniceal cultures displayed 60.8% ± 9.2% and 64.7% ± 6.7% CK-7+ cells, respectively, compared to the superior tarsal (26.6% ± 8.4%; P < 0.05), superior bulbar (31.0% ± 4.0%; P < 0.05), inferior bulbar (38.5% ± 9.3%; P < 0.05) and inferior tarsal cultures (27.7% ± 8.3%; P < 0.05). While 28.4% ± 6.3% of CK-7+ goblet cells co-labeled with PCNA, only 7.4% ± 1.6% of UEA-1+ goblet cells did (P < 0.01). CK-7+ goblet cells were located at a lower concentration close to the explant (39.8% ± 3.1%) compared to near the leading edge (58.2% ± 4.5%; P < 0.05). Both markers for goblet cell secretory product (UEA-1 and MUC5AC), however, displayed the opposite pattern with a higher percentage of positive cells close to the explant than near the leading edge (P < 0.05). The percentage of CK-4+ cells was higher near the explant compared to near the leading edge (P < 0.01). The percentage of CK-7+ goblet cells in the cultures did not correlate with the outgrowth size (r(s) = -0.086; P = 0.435). The percentage of UEA-1+ goblet cells correlated negatively with outgrowth size (r(s) = -0.347; P < 0.01), whereas the percentage of CK-4+ cells correlated positively with the outgrowth size (r(s) = 0.473; P < 0.05). We conclude that forniceal explants yield the highest number of goblet cells ex vivo and thereby seem to be optimal for goblet cell transplantation. We also suggest that CK-7+/UEA-1- cells represent highly proliferative immature goblet cells. These cells could be important during conjunctival migration as they are mostly located close to the leading edge and their density does not decrease with increasing outgrowth size.
Ding J, Sullivan DA. Aging and dry eye disease. Exp Gerontol 2012;47(7):483-90.Abstract
Dry eye disease is a prevalent eye disorder that in particular affects the elderly population. One of the major causes of dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), shows increased prevalence with aging. MGD is caused by hyperkeratinization of the ductal epithelium of meibomian gland and reduced quantity and/or quality of meibum, the holocrine product that stabilizes and prevents the evaporation of the tear film. Of note, retinoids which are used in current anti-aging cosmetics may promote the development of MGD and dry eye disease. In this review, we will discuss the possible mechanisms of age-related MGD.
Dagi LR, Bhargava A, Melvin P, Prabhu SP. Associated signs, demographic characteristics, and management of dacryocystocele in 64 infants. J AAPOS 2012;16(3):255-60.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the incidence of associated infection, respiratory compromise, apparent intranasal cyst, as well as sex, laterality, and age at presentation in 64 infants with dacryocystocele and to assess characteristics associated with successful interventions. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients with dacryocystocele seen at Children's Hospital Boston between 1996 and 2010 was performed. Inclusion criteria were accuracy of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up at our institution. Interventions were divided into 3 categories: procedures that did not require general anesthesia; simple procedures requiring general anesthesia, such as nasolacrimal probing with or without stent or balloon dilation; and more complex procedures under general anesthesia, specifically, those aided by intranasal endoscopy. RESULTS: Of the 90 identified patients, 64 met inclusion criteria. The majority of patients were female (63%) and had unilateral involvement (77%). More than one-half of all patients were successfully treated without anesthesia; however, patients presenting with infection were more likely to be treated with a simple procedure under general anesthesia. All patients treated endoscopically had intranasal cysts. Age, sex, and infection did not predict the use of intranasal endoscopy. Bilaterality of dacryocystocele was associated with the use of an endoscopic approach. CONCLUSIONS: Many infants with dacryocystocoele can be successfully treated without general anesthesia. The incidence of occult intranasal cyst among those treated without endoscopy remains unknown. Patients who were treated under general anesthesia but without the use of nasal endoscopy were more likely to have an infected system, but the clinical significance of this association is not clear.
Khandelwal P, Liu S, Sullivan DA. Androgen regulation of gene expression in human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. Mol Vis 2012;18:1055-67.Abstract
PURPOSE: Androgens exert a significant influence on the structure, function and/or pathophysiology of the meibomian gland and conjunctiva. We sought to determine whether this hormone action involves the regulation of epithelial cell gene expression in these tissues. METHODS: Immortalized human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells were treated with placebo or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and processed for molecular biologic procedures. Gene expression was evaluated with BeadChips and data were analyzed with bioinformatic and statistical software. RESULTS: Androgen treatment significantly influenced the expression of approximately 3,000 genes in immortalized human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. The nature of DHT action on gene activity was predominantly cell-specific. Similarly, DHT exerted a significant, but primarily cell-specific, influence on many gene ontologies and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. These included groups of genes related, for example, to lipid dynamics, innate immunity, cell cycle, Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (stat) cascades, oxidative phosphorylation, the proteasome, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), Wnt, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support our hypothesis that androgens regulate gene expression in human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. Our ongoing studies are designed to determine whether many of these genes are translated and play a role in the health and well being of the eye.
Callahan AB, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR, Fay A. Isolated unilateral linear epidermal nevus of the upper eyelid. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2012;28(6):e135-8.Abstract
A 75-year-old man presented with a recurrent, unilateral, solitary, linear, corrugated lesion of the right upper eyelid of prolonged duration together with bilateral dermatochalasis. A re-excision with blepharoplasty was performed. Histopathologic analysis of the tissue revealed parallel linear arrays of papillomatosis and acanthosis with overlying basket-weave hyperkeratosis consistent with a linear epidermal nevus. Immunohistochemical studies disclosed normal numbers of intraepidermal melanocytes and Langerhans cells without Merkel cells or an increase in cycling keratinocytes. Although the term "nevus" is mostly used in conjunction with the common nevomelanocytic nevus, in fact nevi of other cutaneous cellular elements can occur on a malformational basis (such as sebaceous, eccrine, apocrine, pilar, and elastic fiber nevi). Ophthalmologists should be aware of epidermal nevi because they are rarely associated with cataracts, malignant cutaneous neoplasms, neurologic abnormalities, and musculoskeletal disorders. For focal lesions like the present one, local excision is appropriate. A select differential diagnosis of histopathologically related conditions is provided.
Hisatomi T, Nakao S, Murakami Y, Noda K, Nakazawa T, Notomi S, Connolly E, She H, Almulki L, Ito Y, Vavvas DG, Ishibashi T, Miller JW. The regulatory roles of apoptosis-inducing factor in the formation and regression processes of ocular neovascularization. Am J Pathol 2012;181(1):53-61.Abstract
The role of apoptosis in the formation and regression of neovascularization is largely hypothesized, although the detailed mechanism remains unclear. Inflammatory cells and endothelial cells both participate and interact during neovascularization. During the early stage, these cells may migrate into an angiogenic site and form a pro-angiogenic microenvironment. Some angiogenic vessels appear to regress, whereas some vessels mature and remain. The control mechanisms of these processes, however, remain unknown. Previously, we reported that the prevention of mitochondrial apoptosis contributed to cellular survival via the prevention of the release of proapoptotic factors, such as apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and cytochrome c. In this study, we investigated the regulatory role of cellular apoptosis in angiogenesis using two models of ocular neovascularization: laser injury choroidal neovascularization and VEGF-induced corneal neovascularization in AIF-deficient mice. Averting apoptosis in AIF-deficient mice decreased apoptosis of leukocytes and endothelial cells compared to wild-type mice and resulted in the persistence of these cells at angiogenic sites in vitro and in vivo. Consequently, AIF deficiency expanded neovascularization and diminished vessel regression in these two models. We also observed that peritoneal macrophages from AIF-deficient mice showed anti-apoptotic survival compared to wild-type mice under conditions of starvation. Our data suggest that AIF-related apoptosis plays an important role in neovascularization and that mitochondria-regulated apoptosis could offer a new target for the treatment of pathological angiogenesis.
Bansal AK, Singer JM, Anderson WS, Golby A, Madsen JR, Kreiman G. Temporal stability of visually selective responses in intracranial field potentials recorded from human occipital and temporal lobes. J Neurophysiol 2012;108(11):3073-86.Abstract
The cerebral cortex needs to maintain information for long time periods while at the same time being capable of learning and adapting to changes. The degree of stability of physiological signals in the human brain in response to external stimuli over temporal scales spanning hours to days remains unclear. Here, we quantitatively assessed the stability across sessions of visually selective intracranial field potentials (IFPs) elicited by brief flashes of visual stimuli presented to 27 subjects. The interval between sessions ranged from hours to multiple days. We considered electrodes that showed robust visual selectivity to different shapes; these electrodes were typically located in the inferior occipital gyrus, the inferior temporal cortex, and the fusiform gyrus. We found that IFP responses showed a strong degree of stability across sessions. This stability was evident in averaged responses as well as single-trial decoding analyses, at the image exemplar level as well as at the category level, across different parts of visual cortex, and for three different visual recognition tasks. These results establish a quantitative evaluation of the degree of stationarity of visually selective IFP responses within and across sessions and provide a baseline for studies of cortical plasticity and for the development of brain-machine interfaces.