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Seo Y, Ji YW, Lee SM, Shim J, Noh H, Yeo A, Park C, Park MS, Chang EJ, Lee HK. Activation of HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor-1α) prevents dry eye-induced acinar cell death in the lacrimal gland. Cell Death Dis 2014;5:e1309.Abstract
The pathogenesis of immune-mediated lacrimal gland (LG) dysfunction in Sjögren's syndrome has been thoroughly studied. However, the majority of dry eye (DE) is not related to Sjögren type, and its pathophysiology remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine and investigate the protective mechanisms against DE stress in mice. DE induced prominent blood vessel loss without apoptosis or necrosis in the LG. Autophagic vacuoles, distressed mitochondria, and stressed endoplasmic reticulum were observed via electron microscopy. Immunoblotting confirmed the increase in autophagic markers. Glycolytic activities were enhanced with increasing levels of succinate and malate that, in turn, activated hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α. Interestingly, the areas of stable HIF-1α expression overlapped with COX-2 and MMP-9 upregulation in LGs of DE-induced mice. We generated HIF-1α conditional knockout (CKO) mice in which HIF-1α expression was lost in the LG. Surprisingly, normal LG polarities and morphologies were completely lost with DE induction, and tremendous acinar cell apoptosis was observed. Similar to Sjögren's syndrome, CD3(+) and CD11b(+) cells infiltrated HIF-1α CKO LGs. Our results show that DE induced the expression of HIF-1α that activated autophagy signals to prevent further acinar cell damage and to maintain normal LG function.
Salvador-Culla B, Behlau I, Sayegh RR, Stacy RC, Dohlman CH, Delori F. Very low risk of light-induced retinal damage during Boston keratoprosthesis surgery: a rabbit study. Cornea 2014;33(2):184-90.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of light damage to the retina by a surgical microscope during implantation of a Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) in rabbits. METHODS: The retinal irradiance from a Zeiss OPMI Lumera S7 operating microscope was measured at the working distance (16.5 cm). Light transmittance through an isolated B-KPro was measured. A B-KPro was implanted into 1 eye of 12 rabbits with the optic covered during the procedure. The operated eyes were then continuously exposed to a fixed light intensity under the microscope for 1 hour. Fluorescein angiography was carried out on days 2 and 9 postsurgery, after which the animals were euthanized. Further, we compared the potential of these retinal exposures to well-accepted light safety guidelines applicable to humans. RESULTS: Light transmittance of B-KPro revealed a blockage of short wavelengths (<390 nm) and of long wavelengths (1660-1750 nm) of light. In addition, the surgical microscope filtered a part of the blue, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths. Neither fluorescein angiography nor a histological examination showed any morphological retinal changes in our rabbits. Moreover, the retinal exposures were well below the safety limits. CONCLUSIONS: Modern surgical microscopes have filters incorporated in them that block the most damaging wavelengths of light. The B-KPro is made of 100% poly(methyl methacrylate), which makes it in itself a blocker of short wavelengths of light. No damage could be demonstrated in the animal study, and the retinal exposures were well below the safety limits. Together, these results suggest that light exposures during B-KPro surgery present a low risk of photochemical damage to the retina.
Vajaranant TS, Grossardt BR, Maki PM, Pasquale LR, Sit AJ, Shuster LT, Rocca WA. Risk of glaucoma after early bilateral oophorectomy. Menopause 2014;21(4):391-8.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Because early estrogen deficiency may increase the susceptibility of the optic nerve to glaucoma, we studied the association of early bilateral oophorectomy with glaucoma. METHODS: In the Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Oophorectomy and Aging, we studied the risk of glaucoma by comparing women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy from 1950 to 1987 with age-matched referent women who did not undergo unilateral or bilateral oophorectomy. Glaucoma diagnostic codes were identified in the records linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated during a median follow-up of 25.5 years. Analyses were stratified by age at the time of bilateral oophorectomy (in tertiles). RESULTS: Of 1,044 women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before menopause, 147 developed glaucoma. Of 1,070 referent women, 133 developed glaucoma. Women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy showed no increased risk of glaucoma in the overall group (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.89-1.42). However, women who underwent oophorectomy before the age of 43 years (n = 344; first tertile) had a significantly increased risk of glaucoma (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.15-2.23). The results did not change after adjustment for hypertension, obesity, diabetes, or disorders of lipid metabolism at baseline. Approximately 11% of women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years were treated with estrogen up to the age of 50 years; however, treatment did not reduce the association (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.81-3.13). CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 43 years may increase the risk of glaucoma, and estrogen treatment does not seem to attenuate the risk.
Thomas S, Thomas MG, Andrews C, Chan W-M, Proudlock FA, McLean RJ, Pradeep A, Engle EC, Gottlob I. Autosomal-dominant nystagmus, foveal hypoplasia and presenile cataract associated with a novel PAX6 mutation. Eur J Hum Genet 2014;22(3):344-9.Abstract
Autosomal-dominant idiopathic infantile nystagmus has been linked to 6p12 (OMIM 164100), 7p11.2 (OMIM 608345) and 13q31-q33 (OMIM 193003). PAX6 (11p13, OMIM 607108) mutations can also cause autosomal-dominant nystagmus, typically in association with aniridia or iris hypoplasia. We studied a large multigenerational white British family with autosomal-dominant nystagmus, normal irides and presenile cataracts. An SNP-based genome-wide analysis revealed a linkage to a 13.4-MB region on chromosome 11p13 with a maximum lod score of 2.93. A mutation analysis of the entire coding region and splice junctions of the PAX6 gene revealed a novel heterozygous missense mutation (c.227C>G) that segregated with the phenotype and is predicted to result in the amino-acid substitution of proline by arginine at codon 76 p.(P76R). The amino-acid variation p.(P76R) within the paired box domain is likely to destabilise the protein due to steric hindrance as a result of the introduction of a polar and larger amino acid. Eye movement recordings showed a significant intrafamilial variability of horizontal, vertical and torsional nystagmus. High-resolution in vivo imaging of the retina using optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed features of foveal hypoplasia, including rudimentary foveal pit, incursion of inner retinal layers, short photoreceptor outer segments and optic nerve hypoplasia. Thus, this study presents a family that segregates a PAX6 mutation with nystagmus and foveal hypoplasia in the absence of iris abnormalities. Moreover, it is the first study showing detailed characteristics using eye movement recordings of autosomal-dominant nystagmus in a multigenerational family with a novel PAX6 mutation.
Sánchez J, de Borba Campos M, Espinoza M, Merabet LB. Audio Haptic Videogaming for Developing Wayfinding Skills in Learners Who are Blind. IUI 2014;2014:199-208.Abstract
Interactive digital technologies are currently being developed as a novel tool for education and skill development. Audiopolis is an audio and haptic based videogame designed for developing orientation and mobility (O&M) skills in people who are blind. We have evaluated the cognitive impact of videogame play on O&M skills by assessing performance on a series of behavioral tasks carried out in both indoor and outdoor virtual spaces. Our results demonstrate that the use of Audiopolis had a positive impact on the development and use of O&M skills in school-aged learners who are blind. The impact of audio and haptic information on learning is also discussed.
Stevenson W, Sadrai Z, Hua J, Kodati S, Huang J-F, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Effects of topical Janus kinase inhibition on ocular surface inflammation and immunity. Cornea 2014;33(2):177-83.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the effects of topical Janus kinase inhibition on ocular surface inflammation and immunity. METHODS: Ophthalmic 0.003% tofacitinib (CP-690,550) was administered topically to inhibit Janus kinase activation at the ocular surface. Male BALB/c mice 6 to 8 weeks of age were subjected to corneal thermocautery and randomized to receive tofacitinib, vehicle, or no treatment. Corneas were subsequently excised for fluorescence-activated cell sorting and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Female C57BL/6 mice 6 to 8 weeks of age were exposed to desiccating stress to induce experimental dry eye disease and randomized to receive tofacitinib, tofacitinib and vehicle, vehicle, or no treatment. Corneal fluorescein staining was performed to evaluate clinical disease severity. The corneas and conjunctivae were harvested for immunohistochemical staining and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: After corneal thermocautery, it was found that tofacitinib treatment decreased the corneal infiltration of CD45+, Gr-1+, and CD11b+ cells on days 1 and 3. Transcripts encoding interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were significantly decreased by tofacitinib treatment at post-thermocautery day 3. In experimental dry eye disease, tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly decreased corneal fluorescein staining on days 12 and 15. The corneal infiltration of CD11b+ cells was significantly decreased by tofacitinib treatment twice per day. Tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly increased the corneal expression of IL-1RA, and significantly decreased the corneal expression of tumor necrosis factor and IL-23. Further, tofacitinib treatment twice per day significantly decreased the conjunctival expression of IL-17A and significantly increased the conjunctival expression of FoxP3. CONCLUSIONS: Topical ophthalmic tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor, suppressed ocular surface inflammation and immunity in experimental corneal thermocautery and dry eye disease.
Sharma RK, Makino CL, Hicks D, Duda T. ROS-GC interlocked Ca(2+)-sensor S100B protein signaling in cone photoreceptors: review. Front Mol Neurosci 2014;7:21.Abstract
Photoreceptor rod outer segment membrane guanylate cyclase (ROS-GC) is central to visual transduction; it generates cyclic GMP, the second messenger of the photon signal. Photoexcited rhodopsin initiates a biochemical cascade that leads to a drop in the intracellular level of cyclic GMP and closure of cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels. Recovery of the photoresponse requires resynthesis of cyclic GMP, typically by a pair of ROS-GCs, 1 and 2. In rods, ROS-GCs exist as complexes with guanylate cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs), which are Ca(2+)-sensing elements. There is a light-induced fall in intracellular Ca(2+). As Ca(2+) dissociates from GCAPs in the 20-200 nM range, ROS-GC activity rises to quicken the photoresponse recovery. GCAPs then progressively turn down ROS-GC activity as Ca(2+) and cyclic GMP levels return to baseline. To date, GCAPs mediate the only known mechanism of ROS-GC regulation in the photoreceptors. However, in mammalian cone outer segments, cone synapses and ON bipolar cells, another Ca(2+) sensor protein, S100B, complexes with ROS-GC1 and senses the Ca(2+) signal with a K1/2 of 400 nM. Unlike GCAPs, S100B stimulates ROS-GC activity when Ca(2+) is bound. Thus, the ROS-GC system in cones functions as a Ca(2+) bimodal switch; with rising intracellular Ca(2+), its activity is first turned down by GCAPs and then turned up by S100B. This presentation provides a historical perspective on the role of S100B in the photoreceptors, offers a pictorial model for the "bimodal" operation of the ROS-GC switch and projects future tasks that are needed to understand its operation. Some accounts of this review have been adopted from the original publications of these authors.
Sassoubre LM, Ramsey MM, Gilmore MS, Boehm AB. Transcriptional response of Enterococcus faecalis to sunlight. J Photochem Photobiol B 2014;130:349-56.Abstract
Microarrays were used to investigate the transcriptional response of Enterococcus faecalis to photostress. E. faecalis are Gram-positive bacteria used as indicators of water quality and have been shown to vary diurnally in response to sunlight. E. faecalis in filtered seawater microcosms were exposed to artificial sunlight for 12h and then placed in the dark for 12h. Transcript abundance was measured at 0, 2, 6, 12, and 24h in the sunlit microcosm and a dark control using microarrays. Culturable E. faecalis concentrations decreased 6-7 orders of magnitude within the first 6h of light exposure. After 12h in the dark, no evidence of dark-repair was observed. Expression data collected after 12h of sunlight exposure revealed a difference in transcript abundance in the light relative to dark microcosms for 35 unique ORFs, 33 ORFs showed increased transcript abundance and 2 ORFs showed reduced transcript abundance. A majority (51%) of the ORFs with increased transcript abundance in the sunlit relative to dark microcosms encoded hypothetical proteins; others were associated with protein synthesis, oxidative stress and DNA repair. Results suggest that E. faecalis exposed to sunlight actively transcribe RNA in response to photostress.
Truong TN, Li H, Hong Y-K, Chen L. Novel characterization and live imaging of Schlemm's canal expressing Prox-1. PLoS One 2014;9(5):e98245.Abstract
Schlemm's canal is an important structure of the conventional aqueous humor outflow pathway and is critically involved in regulating the intraocular pressure. In this study, we report a novel finding that prospero homeobox protein 1 (Prox-1), the master control gene for lymphatic development, is expressed in Schlemm's canal. Moreover, we provide a novel in vivo method of visualizing Schlemm's canal using a transgenic mouse model of Prox-1-green fluorescent protein (GFP). The anatomical location of Prox-1⁺ Schlemm's canal was further confirmed by in vivo gonioscopic examination and ex vivo immunohistochemical analysis. Additionally, we show that the Schlemm's canal is distinguishable from typical lymphatic vessels by lack of lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor (LYVE-1) expression and absence of apparent sprouting reaction when inflammatory lymphangiogenesis occurred in the cornea. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into Schlemm's canal and provide a new experimental model for live imaging of this critical structure to help further our understanding of the aqueous humor outflow. This may lead to new avenues toward the development of novel therapeutic intervention for relevant diseases, most notably glaucoma.
Takeuchi K, Yanai R, Kumase F, Morizane Y, Suzuki J, Kayama M, Brodowska K, Nakazawa M, Miller JW, Connor KM, Vavvas DG. EGF-like-domain-7 is required for VEGF-induced Akt/ERK activation and vascular tube formation in an ex vivo angiogenesis assay. PLoS One 2014;9(3):e91849.Abstract
EGFL7 is a secreted angiogenic factor, which in contrast to the well-known secreted angiogenic molecules VEGF and FGF-2, is almost exclusively expressed by endothelial cells and may act in an autocrine fashion. Prior studies have shown EGFL7 to mediate its angiogenic effects by interfering with the Notch pathway and/or via the intronic miR126. Less is known about its effects on VEGF signaling. We wanted to investigate the role of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 (EGFL7) in VEGF-driven angiogenesis using an ex vivo Matrigel-embedded mouse eye cup assay and siRNA mediated knockdown of EGFL7 by siRNA. Our results suggested that VEGF-induced vascular tube formation was significantly impaired after siRNA downregulation of EGFL7. In addition, knockdown of EGFL7 suppressed VEGF upregulation of phospho-Akt and phospho-Erk(1/2) in endothelial cells, but did not alter VEGFR phosphorylation and neuropilin-1 protein expression or miR126 expression. Thus, in conclusion, EGFL7 is required for VEGF upregulation of the Akt/Erk (1/2) pathway during angiogenesis, and may represent a new therapeutic target in diseases of pathological neovascularization.
Sullivan DA, Liu Y, Kam WR, Ding J, Green KM, Shaffer SA, Hatton MP, Liu S. Serum-induced differentiation of human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(6):3866-77.Abstract
PURPOSE: We hypothesize that culturing immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells in serum-containing medium will induce their differentiation. The purpose of this investigation was to begin to test our hypothesis, and explore the impact of serum on gene expression and lipid accumulation in human meibomian gland epithelial cells. METHODS: Immortalized and primary human meibomian gland epithelial cells were cultured in the presence or absence of serum. Cells were evaluated for lysosome and lipid accumulation, polar and neutral lipid profiles, and gene expression. RESULTS: Our results support our hypothesis that serum stimulates the differentiation of human meibomian gland epithelial cells. This serum-induced effect is associated with a significant increase in the expression of genes linked to cell differentiation, epithelium development, the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, vesicles, and lysosomes, and a significant decrease in gene activity related to the cell cycle, mitochondria, ribosomes, and translation. These cellular responses are accompanied by an accumulation of lipids within lysosomes, as well as alterations in the fatty acid content of polar and nonpolar lipids. Of particular importance, our results show that the molecular and biochemical changes of immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells during differentiation are analogous to those of primary cells. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our findings indicate that immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells may serve as an ideal preclinical model to identify factors that control cellular differentiation in the meibomian gland.
Sobrin L, Seddon JM. Nature and nurture- genes and environment- predict onset and progression of macular degeneration. Prog Retin Eye Res 2014;40:1-15.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of irreversible visual loss and the disease burden is rising world-wide as the population ages. Both environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development of this disease. Among environmental factors, smoking, obesity and dietary factors including antioxidants and dietary fat intake influence onset and progression of AMD. There are also several lines of evidence that link cardiovascular, immune and inflammatory biomarkers to AMD. The genetic etiology of AMD has been and continues to be an intense and fruitful area of investigation. Genome-wide association studies have revealed numerous common variants associated with AMD and sequencing is increasing our knowledge of how rare genetic variants strongly impact disease. Evidence for interactions between environmental, therapeutic and genetic factors is emerging and elucidating the mechanisms of this interplay remains a major challenge in the field. Genotype-phenotype associations are evolving. The knowledge of non-genetic, modifiable risk factors along with information about heritability and genetic risk variants for this disease acquired over the past 25 years have greatly improved patient management and our ability to predict which patients will develop or progress to advanced forms of AMD. Personalized medicine and individualized prevention and treatment strategies may become a reality in the near future.
Schaumberg DA, Rose L, Deangelis MM, Semba RD, Hageman GS, Chasman DI. Prospective study of common variants in CX3CR1 and risk of macular degeneration: pooled analysis from 5 long-term studies. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(1):84-95.Abstract
IMPORTANCE: The CX3CR1 gene is implicated as a candidate gene for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through several lines of evidence. There is uncertainty, however, as to whether common genetic variants in CX3CR1 alter risk of AMD, since prior studies have been inconsistent and mostly limited to evaluation of 2 nonsynonymous variants, T280M (rs3732378) and V249I (rs3732379). OBJECTIVE: To determine if common variants in CX3CR1 predict future risk of AMD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective nested case-control study within 5 large study populations with long-term follow-up. We measured genotypes for T280M, V249I, and 13 other common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CX3CR1 gene among people who developed AMD (n = 1110, including 369 with neovascular AMD) and 2532 age- and sex-matched controls. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: We determined the incidence rate ratios (RR) and 95% CIs for incidence of AMD for each variant and examined interactions with other AMD-associated variants and modifiable risk factors. RESULTS: In additive genetic models, we identified nonsignificant associations with AMD for T280M (RR, 0.87; P = .07) and 3 other SNPs, rs2853707 (RR, 0.88; P = .07), rs12636547 (RR, 0.85; P = .10), and rs1877563 (RR, 0.84; P = .06), 1 of which, rs2853707, is positioned in the CX3CR1 promoter region and was associated with neovascular AMD (RR, 0.75; P = .03). We observed that a recessive model was a better fit to the data for some SNPs, with associations between rs11715522 and AMD (RR, 1.27; P = .03) and between rs2669845 (RR, 3.10; P = .04), rs2853707 (RR, 0.48; P = .050), and rs9868689 (RR, 0.31; P = .02) and neovascular AMD. Moreover, in exploratory analyses, we identified a number of possible interactions including between V249I and rs2669845 and dietary intake of ω-3 fatty acids (P = .004 and P = .009, respectively) for AMD; between rs2669845 and obesity (P = .03) for neovascular AMD; between T280M and complement component 3 (C3) R102G for AMD (P = .03); between rs2669845 and Y402H in complement factor H for AMD (P = .04); and between rs2669845, rs2853707, and V249I and C3 R102G for neovascular AMD (P = .008; .04; and .002, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study failed to identify significant associations between common CX3CR1 variants and AMD after considering the number of SNPs analyzed and multiple comparisons. However, we observed evidence consistent with recessive modes of association and that an effect of CX3CR1 variants may depend on other factors including dietary intake of ω-3 fatty acids, obesity, and genotypes at CFH Y402H and C3 R102G. If replicated in other populations, these findings would support a role for CX3CR1 in AMD but also suggest that its role may involve mechanisms that are independent of the T280M/V249I variations.
Saint-Geniez M, Ghelfi E, Liang X, Yu C, Spencer C, Abend S, Hotamisligil G, Cataltepe S. Fatty acid binding protein 4 deficiency protects against oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice. PLoS One 2014;9(5):e96253.Abstract
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of blindness in children worldwide due to increasing survival rates of premature infants. Initial suppression, followed by increased production of the retinal vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) expression are key events that trigger the pathological neovascularization in ROP. Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) is an intracellular lipid chaperone that is induced by VEGF in a subset of endothelial cells. FABP4 exhibits a pro-angiogenic function in cultured endothelial cells and in airway microvasculature, but whether it plays a role in modulation of retinal angiogenesis is not known. We hypothesized that FABP4 deficiency could ameliorate pathological retinal vascularization and investigated this hypothesis using a well-characterized mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). We found that FABP4 was not expressed in retinal vessels, but was present in resident macrophages/microglial cells and endothelial cells of the hyaloid vasculature in the immature retina. While FABP4 expression was not required for normal development of retinal vessels, FABP4 expression was upregulated and localized to neovascular tufts in OIR. FABP4-/- mice demonstrated a significant decrease in neovessel formation as well as a significant improvement in physiological revascularization of the avascular retinal tissues. These alterations in retinal vasculature were accompanied by reduced endothelial cell proliferation, but no effect on apoptosis or macrophage/microglia recruitment. FABP4-/- OIR samples demonstrated decreased expression of genes involved in angiogenesis, such as Placental Growth Factor, and angiopoietin 2. Collectively, our findings suggest FABP4 as a potential target of pathologic retinal angiogenesis in proliferative retinopathies.

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