Sandberg MA, Pearce EN, Harper S, Weigel-DiFranco C, Hart L, Rosner B, Berson EL. The relationship of central foveal thickness to urinary iodine concentration in retinitis pigmentosa with or without cystoid macular edema. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(10):1209-14.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Current treatments for cystoid macular edema (CME) in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are not always effective, may lead to adverse effects, and may not restore visual acuity. The present research lays the rationale for evaluating whether an iodine supplement could reduce CME in RP. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether central foveal thickness (CFT) in the presence of CME is related to dietary iodine intake inferred from urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in nonsmoking adults with RP. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a cross-sectional observational study of 212 nonsmoking patients aged 18 to 69 years referred to our institution for RP with visual acuity of no worse than 20/200 in at least 1 eye. EXPOSURE: Retinitis pigmentosa with or without CME. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: With the eye as the unit of analysis, the relationship of log CFT measured by optical coherence tomography to UIC measured from multiple spot samples and represented as a 3-level classification variable (<100, 100-199, and ≥200 µg/L), assigning greater weight to patients with more reliable UIC estimates. RESULTS: Analyses were limited to 199 patients after excluding 11 who failed to return urine samples for measuring UIC and 2 outliers for UIC. Of the 199 patients, 36.2% had CME in 1 or both eyes. Although log CFT was inversely related to UIC based on findings from all eyes (P = .02), regression of log CFT on UIC separately for eyes with and without CME showed a strong inverse significant relationship for the former group (P < .001) and no significant relationship for the latter group (P = .66) as tested. For the eyes with CME, CFT ranged from a geometric mean of 267 µm for a median UIC of less than 100 µg/L to a geometric mean of 172 µm for a median UIC of 200 µg/L or greater. In contrast, we found no significant association between CME prevalence and UIC based on the entire sample as tested (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.38-2.67]; P = .99). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: A higher UIC in nonsmoking adults with RP was significantly associated with less central foveal swelling in eyes with CME. Additional study is required to determine whether an iodine supplement can limit or reduce the extent of CME in patients with RP.

Rahimi Darabad R, Suzuki T, Richards SM, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR, Barabino S, Sullivan DA. Does estrogen deficiency cause lacrimal gland inflammation and aqueous-deficient dry eye in mice?. Exp Eye Res 2014;127:153-60.Abstract

Researchers have proposed that estrogen deficiency will lead to a Sjögren's syndrome (SjS)-like lacrimal gland inflammation, aqueous tear deficiency and dry eye. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this proposal is correct. Lacrimal glands were obtained from adult, age-matched wild type (WT) and aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice, in which estrogen synthesis is completely eliminated. Tissues were also obtained from autoimmune MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice as inflammation controls. Tear volumes in WT and ArKO mice were measured and glands were processed for molecular biological and histological evaluation. Our results demonstrate that estrogen absence does not lead to a SjS-like inflammation in lacrimal tissue or to an aqueous-deficient dry eye. There was no upregulation of genes associated with inflammatory pathways in lacrimal glands of male or female ArKO mice. Such inflammatory activity was prominent in autoimmune MRL/lpr tissues. We also found no evidence of inflammation in lacrimal gland tissue sections of estrogen-deficient mice, and tear volumes of ArKO males were actually increased as compared to those WT controls. Interestingly, our study did show that estrogen absence influences the expression of thousands of lacrimal gland genes, and that this impact is sex- and genotype-specific. Our findings demonstrate that estrogen absence is not a risk factor for the development of SjS-like lacrimal gland inflammation or for aqueous-deficient dry eye in mice.

Zinn E, Vandenberghe LH. Adeno-associated virus: fit to serve. Curr Opin Virol 2014;8C:90-97.Abstract

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a helper-dependent parvovirus which has not been linked with human disease. This aspect, in combination with its broad cell and tissue tropism, and limited viral host response has made it an attractive vector system for gene therapy. The viral protein capsid, the primary interface with the host, is the main determinant for these phenotypes, is highly variable, and is most subject to pressures during replication. Here, we explore the evolutionary path of AAV and other parvoviruses in respect to these phenotypes, as well as directed evolution and engineering strategies that have exploited the lessons learned from natural selection in order to address remaining limitations of AAV as a therapeutic gene transfer platform.

Cattaneo Z, Lega C, Gardelli C, Merabet LB, Cela-Conde CJ, Nadal M. The role of prefrontal and parietal cortices in esthetic appreciation of representational and abstract art: a TMS study. Neuroimage 2014;99:443-50.Abstract
To explain the biological foundations of art appreciation is to explain one of our species' distinctive traits. Previous neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have pointed to the prefrontal and the parietal cortex as two critical regions mediating esthetic appreciation of visual art. In this study, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the left prefrontal cortex and the right posterior parietal cortex while participants were evaluating whether they liked, and by how much, a particular painting. By depolarizing cell membranes in the targeted regions, TMS transiently interferes with the activity of specific cortical areas, which allows clarifying their role in a given task. Our results show that both regions play a fundamental role in mediating esthetic appreciation. Critically though, the effects of TMS varied depending on the type of art considered (i.e. representational vs. abstract) and on participants' a-priori inclination toward one or the other.
Jakobiec FA, Rashid A, Lane KA, Kazim M. Granulomatous dacryoadenitis in regional enteritis (crohn disease). Am J Ophthalmol 2014;158(4):838-844.e1.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical and immunopathologic features of 2 patients with bilateral dacryoadenitis associated with regional enteritis. DESIGN: Retrospective, clinicopathologic study. METHODS: Clinical records, photographs, and imaging studies were reviewed and microscopic sections of lacrimal gland biopsy samples were critically re-evaluated. The microscopic slides were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, special stains for organisms, and a range of immunohistochemical biomarkers, including CD3, CD4, CD5, CD8, CD20, CD68, CD138, CD1a, and immunoglobulins Ig G, IgG4, and IgA. RESULTS: Both patients were young women with a well-established diagnosis of regional enteritis. Histopathologic examination of biopsy samples disclosed moderate intraparenchymal fibrosis and lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates without lymphoid follicles. Small to medium intraparenchymal, noncaseating granulomas lacking multinucleated giant cells and, in 1 patient, CD68-positive and CD1a-negative palisading granulomas in widened interlobular fibrous septa were detected. Vasculitis and IgG4 plasma cells were not observed. Additional immunohistochemical studies revealed that CD8 T lymphocytes (suppressor or cytotoxic subset) predominated over CD4-positive T lymphocytes (helper cells) surrounding the necrobiotic foci and were intermixed with the CD68-positive histiocytes in the absence of CD20 B lymphocytes. Special stains for organisms demonstrated negative results. CONCLUSIONS: Dacryoadenitis is the rarest form of ocular adnexal involvement in regional enteritis, which affects the orbit far more frequently than ulcerative colitis. It is a granulomatous process with the possibility of palisading necrobiotic foci. In contrast, ulcerative colitis causes an interstitial lymphocytic and nongranulomatous myositis. Sarcoidosis, Wegener granulomatosis, and pseudorheumatoid nodules must be ruled out. Treatment options entail a wide variety of agents with selection based on empirical considerations and tailored to the patient's symptoms.

Farkas MH, Lew DS, Sousa ME, Bujakowska K, Chatagnon J, Bhattacharya SS, Pierce EA, Nandrot EF. Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factors 3, 8, and 31 cause dysfunction of the retinal pigment epithelium. Am J Pathol 2014;184(10):2641-52.Abstract

Mutations in the ubiquitously expressed pre-mRNA processing factors 3, 8, and 31 (PRPF3, PRPF8, and PRPF31) cause nonsyndromic dominant retinitis pigmentosa in humans, an inherited retinal degeneration. It is unclear what mechanisms, or which cell types of the retina, are affected. Transgenic mice with the human mutations in these genes display late-onset morphological changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). To determine whether the observed morphological changes are preceded by abnormal RPE function, we investigated its phagocytic function in Prpf3(T494M/T494M), Prpf8(H2309P/H2309P), and Prpf31(+/-) mice. We observe decreased phagocytosis in primary RPE cultures from mutant mice, and this is replicated by shRNA-mediated knockdown of PRPF31 in human ARPE-19 cells. The diurnal rhythmicity of phagocytosis is almost lost, indicated by the marked attenuation of the phagocytic burst 2 hours after light onset. The strength of adhesion between RPE apical microvilli and photoreceptor outer segments also declined during peak adhesion in all mutants. In all models, at least one of the receptors involved in binding and internalization of shed photoreceptor outer segments was subjected to changes in localization. Although the mechanism underlying these changes in RPE function is yet to be elucidated, these data are consistent with the mouse RPE being the primary cell affected by mutations in the RNA splicing factors, and these changes occur at an early age.

Hysi PG, Cheng C-Y, Springelkamp H, Macgregor S, Bailey JCN, Wojciechowski R, Vitart V, Nag A, Hewitt AW, Höhn R, Venturini C, Mirshahi A, Ramdas WD, Thorleifsson G, Vithana E, Khor C-C, Stefansson AB, Liao J, Haines JL, Amin N, Wang YX, Wild PS, Ozel AB, Li JZ, Fleck BW, Zeller T, Staffieri SE, Teo Y-Y, Cuellar-Partida G, Luo X, Allingham RR, Richards JE, Senft A, Karssen LC, Zheng Y, Bellenguez C, Xu L, Iglesias AI, Wilson JF, Kang JH, van Leeuwen EM, Jonsson V, Thorsteinsdottir U, Despriet DDG, Ennis S, Moroi SE, Martin NG, Jansonius NM, Yazar S, Tai E-S, Amouyel P, Kirwan J, van Koolwijk LME, Hauser MA, Jonasson F, Leo P, Loomis SJ, Fogarty R, Rivadeneira F, Kearns L, Lackner KJ, de Jong PTVM, Simpson CL, Pennell CE, Oostra BA, Uitterlinden AG, Saw S-M, Lotery AJ, Bailey-Wilson JE, Hofman A, Vingerling JR, Maubaret C, Pfeiffer N, Wolfs RCW, Lemij HG, Young TL, Pasquale LR, Delcourt C, Spector TD, Klaver CCW, Small KS, Burdon KP, Stefansson K, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Viswanathan A, Mackey DA, Craig JE, Wiggs JL, van Duijn CM, Hammond CJ, Aung T. Genome-wide analysis of multi-ancestry cohorts identifies new loci influencing intraocular pressure and susceptibility to glaucoma. Nat Genet 2014;46(10):1126-30.Abstract

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor in developing glaucoma, and variability in IOP might herald glaucomatous development or progression. We report the results of a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 18 population cohorts from the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium (IGGC), comprising 35,296 multi-ancestry participants for IOP. We confirm genetic association of known loci for IOP and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and identify four new IOP-associated loci located on chromosome 3q25.31 within the FNDC3B gene (P = 4.19 × 10(-8) for rs6445055), two on chromosome 9 (P = 2.80 × 10(-11) for rs2472493 near ABCA1 and P = 6.39 × 10(-11) for rs8176693 within ABO) and one on chromosome 11p11.2 (best P = 1.04 × 10(-11) for rs747782). Separate meta-analyses of 4 independent POAG cohorts, totaling 4,284 cases and 95,560 controls, showed that 3 of these loci for IOP were also associated with POAG.

Arnoldner MA, Kheirkhah A, Jakobiec FA, Durand ML, Hamrah P. Successful treatment of Paecilomyces lilacinus keratitis with oral posaconazole. Cornea 2014;33(7):747-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case of successful medical treatment with oral posaconazole in refractory fungal keratitis caused by Paecilomyces lilacinus. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 57-year-old male, soft contact lens wearer presented with irritation, pain, photophobia, and reduced vision. Slit-lamp examination showed a large corneal epithelial defect with a peripheral infiltrate. The patient did not improve on fortified topical antibiotics. After the diagnosis of P. lilacinus fungal keratitis, oral voriconazole and topical antifungal therapy were started. Despite antifungal therapy, progressive disease required therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty. Postoperatively, because of clinical signs of recurrence and in vivo confocal microscopy findings of presumed hyphae in the cornea, intracameral miconazole was injected and oral posaconazole was started. The patient improved and demonstrated no hyphae 6 weeks after starting posaconazole. When posaconazole was stopped, the cornea remained clear with excellent acuity. However, because of acute graft rejection 2 months after stopping posaconazole, keratoprosthesis was implanted, with no evidence of infection at surgery or during the 3.5-year follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of oral posaconazole for Paecilomyces keratitis. Posaconazole might be indicated in the treatment of refractory Paecilomyces keratitis that is resistant to conventional therapy.
Bauer CM, Heidary G, Koo B-B, Killiany RJ, Bex P, Merabet LB. Abnormal white matter tractography of visual pathways detected by high-angular-resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) corresponds to visual dysfunction in cortical/cerebral visual impairment. J AAPOS 2014;18(4):398-401.Abstract
Cortical (cerebral) visual impairment (CVI) is characterized by visual dysfunction associated with damage to the optic radiations and/or visual cortex. Typically it results from pre- or perinatal hypoxic damage to postchiasmal visual structures and pathways. The neuroanatomical basis of this condition remains poorly understood, particularly with regard to how the resulting maldevelopment of visual processing pathways relates to observations in the clinical setting. We report our investigation of 2 young adults diagnosed with CVI and visual dysfunction characterized by difficulties related to visually guided attention and visuospatial processing. Using high-angular-resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI), we characterized and compared their individual white matter projections of the extrageniculo-striate visual system with a normal-sighted control. Compared to a sighted control, both CVI cases revealed a striking reduction in association fibers, including the inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus as well as superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi. This reduction in fibers associated with the major pathways implicated in visual processing may provide a neuroanatomical basis for the visual dysfunctions observed in these patients.
Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Primo V, Graham M, James A, Manent J, D'Amore PA. Notch signaling functions in retinal pericyte survival. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(8):5191-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: Pericytes, the vascular cells that constitute the outer layer of capillaries, have been shown to have a crucial role in vascular development and stability. Loss of pericytes precedes endothelial cell dysfunction and vascular degeneration in small-vessel diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. Despite their clinical relevance, the cellular pathways controlling survival of retinal pericytes remain largely uncharacterized. Therefore, we investigated the role of Notch signaling, a master regulator of cell fate decisions, in retinal pericyte survival. METHODS: A coculture system of ligand-dependent Notch signaling was developed using primary cultured retinal pericytes and a mesenchymal cell line derived from an inducible mouse model expressing the Delta-like 1 Notch ligand. This model was used to examine the effect of Notch activity on pericyte survival using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and a light-induced cell death assay. The effect of Notch gain- and loss-of-function was analyzed in monocultures of retinal pericytes using antibody arrays to interrogate the expression of apoptosis-related proteins. RESULTS: Primary cultured retinal pericytes differentially expressed key molecules of the Notch pathway and displayed strong expression of canonical Notch/RBPJK (recombination signal-binding protein 1 for J-kappa) downstream targets. A gene expression screen using gain- and loss-of-function approaches identified genes relevant to cell survival as downstream targets of Notch activity in retinal pericytes. Ligand-mediated Notch activity protected retinal pericytes from light-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS: Our results have identified signature genes downstream of Notch activity in retinal pericytes and suggest that tight regulation of Notch signaling is crucial for pericyte survival.
Brodowska K, Al-Moujahed A, Marmalidou A, Meyer Zu Horste M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. The clinically used photosensitizer Verteporfin (VP) inhibits YAP-TEAD and human retinoblastoma cell growth in vitro without light activation. Exp Eye Res 2014;124:67-73.Abstract
Verteporfin (VP), a benzoporphyrin derivative, is clinically used in photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. Recent studies indicate that VP may inhibit growth of hepatoma cells without photoactivation through inhibition of YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human retinoblastoma cell lines. Verteporfin but not vehicle control inhibited the growth, proliferation and viability of human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79 and WERI) in a dose-dependent manner and was associated with downregulation of YAP-TEAD associated downstream proto-oncogenes such as c-myc, Axl, and surviving. In addition VP affected signals involved in cell migration and angiogenesis such as CTGF, cyr61, and VEGF-A but was not associated with significant effect on the mTOR/autophagy pathway. Of interest the pluripotency marker Oct4 were downregulated by Verteporfin treatment. Our results indicate that the clinically used photosensitizer VP is a potent inhibitor of cell growth in retinoblastoma cells, disrupting YAP-TEAD signaling and pluripotential marker OCT4. This study highlights for the first time the role of the YAP-TEAD pathway in Retinoblastoma and suggests that VP may be a useful adjuvant therapeutic tool in treating Rb patients.
Malik AN, Vierbuchen T, Hemberg M, Rubin AA, Ling E, Couch CH, Stroud H, Spiegel I, Farh KK-H, Harmin DA, Greenberg ME. Genome-wide identification and characterization of functional neuronal activity-dependent enhancers. Nat Neurosci 2014;17(10):1330-9.Abstract

Experience-dependent gene transcription is required for nervous system development and function. However, the DNA regulatory elements that control this program of gene expression are not well defined. Here we characterize the enhancers that function across the genome to mediate activity-dependent transcription in mouse cortical neurons. We find that the subset of enhancers enriched for monomethylation of histone H3 Lys4 (H3K4me1) and binding of the transcriptional coactivator CREBBP (also called CBP) that shows increased acetylation of histone H3 Lys27 (H3K27ac) after membrane depolarization of cortical neurons functions to regulate activity-dependent transcription. A subset of these enhancers appears to require binding of FOS, which was previously thought to bind primarily to promoters. These findings suggest that FOS functions at enhancers to control activity-dependent gene programs that are critical for nervous system function and provide a resource of functional cis-regulatory elements that may give insight into the genetic variants that contribute to brain development and disease.