Narayanan D, Rodriguez J, Wallstrom G, Welch D, Chapin M, Arrigg P, Abelson M. An exploratory study to evaluate visual function endpoints in non-advanced age-related macular degeneration. BMC Ophthalmol 2020;20(1):424.Abstract
BACKGROUND: To prevent irreversible vision loss in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is critical to detect retinal dysfunction before permanent structural loss occurs. In the current study we evaluated a series of visual function tests to identify potential endpoints to detect visual dysfunction in non-advanced AMD. METHODS: A series of visual function tests were performed on 23 non-advanced AMD subjects (AREDS grade 1-4 on simplified scale) and 34 age-matched normals (AREDS grade 0). Tests included some commonly used endpoints such as ETDRS visual acuity (VA), low luminance (LL) 2.0ND ETDRS VA, MNREAD as well as newly developed tests such as the Ora-VCF™ test, Ora-tablet reading test, color sensitivity etc. Differences between the two groups were compared for each test. Test-retest repeatability and reproducibility was assessed on a subset of subjects and percent agreement was calculated. RESULTS: There was no difference in standard ETDRS VA between non-advanced AMD (0.06 ± 0.02 logMAR) and normal groups (0.04 ± 0.02 logMAR) (p = 0.57). LL 2.0 ETDRS VA and MNREAD showed no difference between the groups (p > 0.05). Ora-VCF™ test was significantly worse in the non-advanced AMD group compared to normals (0.67 ± 0.07 in AMD; 0.45 ± 0.04 in normals, p = 0.005). Non-advanced AMD subjects also had significantly worse reading performance using the Ora-tablet with LL 2.0ND (114.55 ± 11.22 wpm in AMD; 145.17 ± 9.55 wpm in normals p = 0.049). No significant difference between the groups was noted using other tests. Repeatability was 82% for Ora-VCF™ test and 92% for Ora-tablet LL 2.0ND reading. Reproducibility was 89% for both Ora-VCF™ test and Ora-tablet LL 2.0ND reading. CONCLUSION: While there was no significant difference between non-advanced AMD and normal groups using some current common endpoints such as ETDRS VA, LL 2.0 ETDRS VA or MNREAD, Ora-VCF™ test and Ora-tablet LL 2.0ND reading tests were able to identify significant visual dysfunction in non-advanced AMD subjects. These tests show promise as endpoints for AMD studies.
Shire DB, Gingerich MD, Wong PI, Skvarla M, Cogan SF, Chen J, Wang W, Rizzo JF. Micro-Fabrication of Components for a High-Density Sub-Retinal Visual Prosthesis. Micromachines (Basel) 2020;11(10)Abstract
We present a retrospective of unique micro-fabrication problems and solutions that were encountered through over 10 years of retinal prosthesis product development, first for the Boston Retinal Implant Project initiated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard Medical School's teaching hospital, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear-and later at the startup company Bionic Eye Technologies, by some of the same personnel. These efforts culminated in the fabrication and assembly of 256+ channel visual prosthesis devices having flexible multi-electrode arrays that were successfully implanted sub-retinally in mini-pig animal models as part of our pre-clinical testing program. We report on the processing of the flexible multi-layered, planar and penetrating high-density electrode arrays, surgical tools for sub-retinal implantation, and other parts such as coil supports that facilitated the implantation of the peri-ocular device components. We begin with an overview of the implantable portion of our visual prosthesis system design, and describe in detail the micro-fabrication methods for creating the parts of our system that were assembled outside of our hermetically-sealed electronics package. We also note the unique surgical challenges that sub-retinal implantation of our micro-fabricated components presented, and how some of those issues were addressed through design, materials selection, and fabrication approaches.
Zhang Y, Wang K, Pan J, Yang S, Yao H, Li M, Li H, Lei H, Jin H, Wang F. Exosomes mediate an epithelial-mesenchymal transition cascade in retinal pigment epithelial cells: Implications for proliferative vitreoretinopathy. J Cell Mol Med 2020;Abstract
Exosomes have recently emerged as a pivotal mediator of many physiological and pathological processes. However, the role of exosomes in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) has not been reported. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of exosomes in PVR. Transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFß-2) was used to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, as an in vitro model of PVR. Exosomes from normal and EMTed RPE cells were extracted and identified. We incubated extracted exosomes with recipient RPE cells, and co-cultured EMTed RPE cells and recipient RPE cells in the presence of the exosome inhibitor GW4869. Both experiments suggested that there are further EMT-promoting effects of exosomes from EMTed RPE cells. MicroRNA sequencing was also performed to identify the miRNA profiles in exosomes from both groups. We identified 34 differentially expressed exosomal miRNAs (P <. 05). Importantly, miR-543 was found in exosomes from EMTed RPE cells, and miR-543-enriched exosomes significantly induced the EMT of recipient RPE cells. Our study demonstrates that exosomal miRNA is differentially expressed in RPE cells during EMT and that these exosomal miRNAs may play pivotal roles in EMT induction. Our results highlight the importance of exosomes as cellular communicators within the microenvironment of PVR.
Jacob A, Brun L, Gil PJ, Ménard L, Bouzelha M, Broucque F, Roblin A, Vandenberghe LH, Adjali O, Robin C, François A, Blouin V, Penaud-Budloo M, Ayuso E. Homologous Recombination Offers Advantages Over Transposition-Based Systems to Generate Recombinant Baculovirus for Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Production. Biotechnol J 2020;:e2000014.Abstract
Viral vectors have a great potential for gene delivery, but manufacturing at a pharmaceutical scale is a big challenge for the industry. The baculovirus-insect cell system is one of the most scalable platforms to produce clinical-grade recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus (rAAV) vectors. The standard procedure to generate recombinant baculovirus is based on Tn7 transposition which is time-consuming and still suffers technical constraints. Moreover, werecently showed that baculoviral sequences adjacent to the AAV ITRs are preferentially encapsidated into the rAAV vector particles. This observation raised concerns about safety for clinical applications due to the presence of bacterial and antibiotic resistance coding sequences with a Tn7-mediated system for the construction of baculoviruses reagents. Here, weinvestigated a faster and safer method based on homologous recombination (HR). First, weconfirmed the functionality of the inserted cassette and the absence of undesirable genes into HR-derived baculoviral genomes. Strikingly, wefound that the exogenous cassette showed increased stability over passages when using the HR system. Finally, wetested these materials to produce rAAV vectors. The baculoviruses originated from both systems lead to high rAAV vector genome yields, with the advantage of the HR system being exempted from undesirable bacterial genes which provides an additional level of safety for the manufacturing of rAAV vectors. Overall, this study highlights the importance of the upstream process and starting biologic materials to generate safer rAAV biotherapeutic products. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Tomita Y, Lee D, Tsubota K, Kurihara T. PPARα Agonist Oral Therapy in Diabetic Retinopathy. Biomedicines 2020;8(10)Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an eye condition that develops after chronically poorly-managed diabetes, and is presently the main cause for blindness on a global scale. Current treatments for DR such as laser photocoagulation, topical injection of corticosteroids, intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents and vitreoretinal surgery are only applicable at the late stages of DR and there are possibilities of significant adverse effects. Moreover, the forms of treatment available for DR are highly invasive to the eyes. Safer and more effective pharmacological treatments are required for DR treatment, in particular at an early stage. In this review, we cover recently investigated promising oral pharmacotherapies, the methods of which are safer, easier to use, patient-friendly and pain-free, in clinical studies. We especially focus on peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor alpha (PPARα) agonists in which experimental evidence suggests PPARα activation may be closely related to the attenuation of vascular damages, including lipid-induced toxicity, inflammation, an excess of free radical generation, endothelial dysfunction and angiogenesis. Furthermore, oral administration of selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha modulator (SPPARMα) agonists may induce hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 expression, indirectly resulting in retinal protection in animal studies. Our review will enable more comprehensive approaches for understanding protective roles of PPARα for the prevention of DR development.
Valdes L, Bispo P, Sobrin L. Application of Metagenomic Sequencing in the Diagnosis of Infectious Uveitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-4.Abstract
: to summarize the origin and very recent history of the use of metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis, convey the technique as described by one of the primary institutions experimenting with the technology, and present recent successful applications of the technology as well as potential advantages and pitfalls compared to other current diagnostic tools.: review of peer-reviewed literature concerning metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis.: compared to existing diagnostic methods, metagenomic deep sequencing is a sensitive, unbiased, and comprehensive technique with great potential for diagnosing the causative pathogens of cases of infectious uveitis. However, many issues remain to be addressed in the process of developing this technology, including but not limited to the potentially overwhelming amount of information generated, definition of diagnostic thresholds, demonstration of validity, contamination, and cost.
Brazile BL, Yang B, Waxman S, Lam P, Voorhees AP, Hua Y, Loewen RT, Loewen NA, Rizzo JF, Jakobs T, Sigal IA. Lamina Cribrosa Capillaries Straighten as Intraocular Pressure Increases. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020;61(12):2.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to visualize the lamina cribrosa (LC) capillaries and collagenous beams, measure capillary tortuosity (path length over straight end-to-end length), and determine if capillary tortuosity changes when intraocular pressure (IOP) increases. Methods: Within 8 hours of sacrifice, 3 pig heads were cannulated via the external ophthalmic artery, perfused with PBS to remove blood, and then perfused with a fluorescent dye to label the capillaries. The posterior pole of each eye was mounted in a custom-made inflation chamber for control of IOP with simultaneous imaging. Capillaries and collagen beams were visualized with structured light illumination enhanced imaging at IOPs from 5 to 50 mm Hg at each 5 mm Hg increment. Capillary tortuosity was measured from the images and paired two-sample t-tests were used to assess for significant changes in relation to changes in IOP. Results: Capillaries were highly tortuous at 15 mm Hg (up to 1.45). In all but one eye, tortuosity decreased significantly as IOP increased from 15 to 25 mm Hg (P < 0.01), and tortuosity decreased significantly in every eye as IOP increased from 15 to 40 mm Hg (P < 0.01). In only 16% of capillaries, tortuosity increased with elevated IOP. Capillaries had a surprisingly different topology from the collagen beams. Conclusions: Although high capillary tortuosity is sometimes regarded as potentially problematic because it can reduce blood flow, LC capillary tortuosity may provide slack that mitigates against reduced flow and structural damage caused by excessive stretch under elevated IOP. We speculate that low capillary tortuosity could be a risk factor for damage under high IOP.
Cakir B, Hellström W, Tomita Y, Fu Z, Liegl R, Winberg A, Hansen-Pupp I, Ley D, Hellström A, Löfqvist C, Smith LEH. IGF1, serum glucose, and retinopathy of prematurity in extremely preterm infants. JCI Insight 2020;5(19)Abstract
BACKGROUNDHyperglycemia, insulin insensitivity, and low IGF1 levels in extremely preterm infants are associated with an increased risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), but the interactions are incompletely understood.METHODSIn 117 extremely preterm infants, serum glucose levels and parenteral glucose intake were recoded daily in the first postnatal week. Serum IGF1 levels were measured weekly. Mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy alone versus oxygen-induced retinopathy plus streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemia/hypoinsulinemia were assessed for glucose, insulin, IGF1, IGFBP1, and IGFBP3 in blood and liver. Recombinant human IGF1 was injected to assess the effect on glucose and retinopathy.RESULTSThe highest mean plasma glucose tertile of infants positively correlated with parenteral glucose intake [r(39) = 0.67, P < 0.0001]. IGF1 plasma levels were lower in the high tertile compared with those in low and intermediate tertiles at day 28 (P = 0.038 and P = 0.03). In high versus lower glucose tertiles, ROP was more prevalent (34 of 39 versus 19 of 39) and more severe (ROP stage 3 or higher; 71% versus 32%). In oxygen-induced retinopathy, hyperglycemia/hypoinsulinemia decreased liver IGF1 expression (P < 0.0001); rh-IGF1 treatment improved normal vascular regrowth (P = 0.027) and reduced neovascularization (P < 0.0001).CONCLUSIONIn extremely preterm infants, high early postnatal plasma glucose levels and signs of insulin insensitivity were associated with lower IGF1 levels and increased ROP severity. In a hyperglycemia retinopathy mouse model, decreased insulin signaling suppressed liver IGF1 production, lowered serum IGF1 levels, and increased neovascularization. IGF1 supplementation improved retinal revascularization and decreased pathological neovascularization. The data support IGF1 as a potential treatment for prevention of ROP.TRIAL NCT02760472 (Donna Mega).FUNDINGThis study has been supported by the Swedish Medical Research Council (14940, 4732, 20144-01-3, and 21144-01-3), a Swedish government grant (ALFGB2770), Lund medical faculty grants (ALFL, 11615 and 11601), the Skåne Council Foundation for Research and Development, the Linnéa and Josef Carlsson Foundation, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the NIH/National Eye Institute (EY022275, EY017017, EY017017-13S1, and P01 HD18655), European Commission FP7 project 305485 PREVENT-ROP, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (CA-1940/1-1), and Stiftelsen De Blindas Vänner.
Maleki A, Gomez S, Asgari S, Bosenberg Z, Manhapra A, Walsh M, Weng A, Tseng C, He C, Anesi SD, Foster SC. Diagnostic and Prognostic Roles of Serum Interleukin-6 Levels in Patients with Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To examine the diagnostic and prognostic roles of serum interleukin-6 levels in patients with uveitis. METHODS: This was a retrospective observational case series. Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared between Group One (sixty patients) with normal serum IL-6 levels and Group Two (twenty patients) with high serum interleukin-6 levels. RESULTS: Mean IL-6 level was 1.77 ± 0.97 pg/ml and 10.2 ± 9.7 pg/ml in Group One and Group Two respectively. Age, presence of systemic disease, and mean number of flare-ups were statistically significant ( = .015, = .000, = .03, respectively). Multivariate analysis was performed on variables that were statistically significant in univariate analysis and showed that three variables had significant correlation with IL-6 levels in both groups: systemic disease (OR = 10.83, < .001), Age (OR = 0.95, = .03) and number of flare-ups (OR = 2.9, = .02). CONCLUSION: Serum IL-6 levels can provide diagnostic and prognostic information in regard to the course of disease and its treatment.
Lužnik Z, Sun Z, Nakagawa H, Taylor AW, Jurkunas UV, Yin J, Dana R. Association of α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone With Corneal Endothelial Cell Survival During Oxidative Stress and Inflammation-Induced Cell Loss in Donor Tissue. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
Importance: Corneal endothelial cell (CEnC) damage and loss are major issues in eye banking and transplantation. The underlying mechanisms for CEnC loss are incompletely understood, and cytoprotective strategies that enhance CEnC viability could have a major effect on donor tissue quality and graft survival. Objective: To investigate the cytoprotective role of neuropeptide α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in preventing CEnC loss in eye bank cold-stored corneas under oxidative and inflammatory cytokine-induced stress. Design, Setting, and Participants: This single-center comparative research study conducted ex vivo experiments using 16 pairs of research-grade human donor corneas (courtesy of Eversight Eye Bank). Data were collected from June 2018 to November 2019, and data were analyzed from December 2019 to January 2020. Exposures: Two corneas from the same donor were randomized to either control or 0.1 mmol/L of α-MSH treatment and then subjected to oxidative stress (1.4 mmol/L of hydrogen peroxide-phosphate-buffered saline for 15 minutes at 37 °C; n = 8 pairs) or cytokine-induced stress (100 ng/mL of tumor necrosis factor-α and 100 ng/mL of interferon γ for 18 hours at 37 °C; n = 8 pairs). Corneas were then stored at 4 °C. Specular images were taken at baseline and repeated twice per week using a calibrated wide-field specular microscope. CEnC viability was assessed using a fluorescent live/dead viability assay. Main Outcome and Measures: Endothelial morphometry analysis, central corneal thickness measurements, and percentage of dead cells at day 11. Results: Of 16 donors who provided corneas, 9 (56%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 57.9 (12.4) years. Corneas were paired, and baseline parameters were comparable between all groups. At all time points, CEnC loss was lower in the α-MSH groups compared with the control groups. This difference was statistically significant after cytokine-induced stress (20.2% vs 35.2%; sample estimate of median, -14.9; 95% CI, -23.6 to -6.3; P = .008). Compared with the control group, α-MSH treatment resulted in a smaller increase in central corneal thickness (cytokine-induced stress: 89.3 μm vs 169.8 μm; sample estimate of median, -84.9; 95% CI, -131.5 to -41.6; P = .008; oxidative stress: 43.6 μm vs 111.9 μm; sample estimate of median, -68.8; 95% CI, -100.0 to -34.5; P = .008) and a smaller proportion of cell death (cytokine-induced stress: 2.7% vs 10.4%; difference, -7.7; 95% CI, -13.1 to -2.4; P = .01; oxidative stress: 2.9% vs 12.4%; difference, 9.5; 95% CI, 5.1 to 13.9; P = .006). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, α-MSH treatment attenuated CEnC loss during cold storage after acute oxidative and cytokine-induced stress in human eye bank cold-stored corneas. These data suggest that supplementation of corneal storage solution with α-MSH may positively affect CEnC survival after transplant and protect the endothelium from proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress after full-thickness or endothelial keratoplasty, which is particularly valuable in patients at high risk of graft failure.
Papadopoulos Z. Recent Developments in the Treatment of Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration. Curr Med Sci 2020;40(5):851-857.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in individuals over the age of 50 years in western societies. More than 25 million people currently suffer from this illness in the world, with an additional 500 000 every year, approximately. It is a multifactorial ocular disease that affects the maculae due to a late-onset progressive neurodegeneration and dysfunction of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). There are many subtypes of AMD but basically two broad forms: the nonneovascular (dry, nonexudative) and neovascular (wet, exudative). Exudative AMD is the less common form (about 15%) but tends to progress more rapidly. At the moment, wet AMD is treated primarily on the basis of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents, which have led to massive improvement in the prognosis of the disease since they were first introduced. This article focuses on the latest treatment approaches to neovascular AMD. An extensive literature review was performed in order to illustrate the effectiveness of current and future anti-VEGF agents as well as the landmark clinical studies that have been carried out to establish these drugs as a gold standard in the therapy of wet AMD.
Liu WW, McClurkin M, Tsikata E, Hui P-C, Elze T, Celebi ARC, Khoueir Z, Lee R, Shieh E, Simavli H, Que C, Guo R, de Boer J, Chen TC. Three-dimensional Neuroretinal Rim Thickness and Visual Fields in Glaucoma: A Broken-stick Model. J Glaucoma 2020;29(10):952-963.Abstract
PRECIS: In open-angle glaucoma, when neuroretinal rim tissue measured by volumetric optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans is below a third of the normal value, visual field (VF) damage becomes detectable. PURPOSE: To determine the amount of neuroretinal rim tissue thickness below which VF damage becomes detectable. METHODS: In a retrospective cross-sectional study, 1 eye per subject (of 57 healthy and 100 open-angle glaucoma patients) at an academic institution had eye examinations, VF testing, spectral-domain OCT retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurements, and optic nerve volumetric scans. Using custom algorithms, the minimum distance band (MDB) neuroretinal rim thickness was calculated from optic nerve scans. "Broken-stick" regression was performed for estimating both the MDB and RNFL thickness tipping-point thresholds, below which were associated with initial VF defects in the decibel scale. The slopes for the structure-function relationship above and below the thresholds were computed. Smoothing curves of the MDB and RNFL thickness covariates were evaluated to examine the consistency of the independently identified tipping-point pairs. RESULTS: Plots of VF total deviation against MDB thickness revealed plateaus of VF total deviation unrelated to MDB thickness. Below the thresholds, VF total deviation decreased with MDB thickness, with the associated slopes significantly greater than those above the thresholds (P<0.014). Below 31% of global MDB thickness, and 36.8% and 43.6% of superior and inferior MDB thickness, VF damage becomes detectable. The MDB and RNFL tipping points were in good accordance with the correlation of the MDB and RNFL thickness covariates. CONCLUSIONS: When neuroretinal rim tissue, characterized by MDB thickness in OCT, is below a third of the normal value, VF damage in the decibel scale becomes detectable.
Agranat JS, Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Miller JB. A guarded light pipe for direct visualization during primary scleral buckling on the Ngenuity platform. Int J Retina Vitreous 2020;6:42.Abstract
Background: Visualization during scleral buckling is traditionally achieved via indirect ophthalmoscopy. Recent advances have utilized the surgical microscope and a 25 gauge cannula-based endoillumination system, also known as a Chandelier lighting system. This report details an improved approach using a guarded 25 or 27 gauge light pipe and the Ngenuity digital three dimensional platform. Methods: A standard Alcon light pipe is modified with a silicone guard to expose only 5 mm of the tip of the light pipe. The guard is created from the silicone that is already opened to secure the ends of the encircling band most often employed sleeve (e.g. 70, 270). This guarded light pipe is then inserted into the cannula as an alternative to a Chandelier lighting system. Results: This is a technical report of a surgical visualization technique using a three dimensional digital visualization platform with a modified handheld vitrectomy light pipe. Conclusion: The utilization of a guarded light pipe for visualization during primary scleral buckling is a promising, effective, and efficient technique. The three dimensional digital display allows for better educational impact and surgical communication with trainees and ancillary members of the surgical team.
Dagi LR, Elhusseiny AM. Adjustable graded augmentation of superior rectus transposition for treatment of abducens nerve palsy and Duane syndrome. J AAPOS 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the results of adjustable graded augmentation of superior rectus transposition, a novel modification of superior rectus transposition (SRT) designed to reduce postoperative vertical or torsional diplopia. METHODS: The medical records of patients who underwent adjustable graded augmentation of SRT with or without adjustable medial rectus recession (MRc) from February 2017 to December 2019 were reviewed retrospectively. A Mendez ring was used to monitor torsional change after transposition of the superior rectus muscle to the lateral rectus muscle and after sequential placement of 2 or 3 augmentation sutures by superior rectus-lateral rectus loop myopexy. If excessive mechanical intorsion was induced, the responsible augmentation suture was severed intraoperatively. If torsional or vertical diplopia was noted after recovery, the distal-most augmentation suture was cut. Exotropia was managed by severing the distal-most augmentation suture or by medial rectus adjustment. RESULTS: A total of 8 patients who underwent adjustable graded augmentation of SRT were included (6 using the 3-suture technique): 3 for esotropic Duane syndrome, 2 for abducens nerve palsy, 1 for Moebius syndrome, and 2 for combined trochlear and abducens nerve palsies. Of the 8 patients, 4 had prior strabismus surgery, and 1 patient had previously undergone treatment with botulinum toxin. Severing one augmentation suture in 3 cases resolved vertical (n = 2) or torsional (n = 1) diplopia and consecutive exotropia (n = 1), resulting in excellent alignment and reduction of torticollis to <4° in 7 cases. The technique proved insufficient in 1 patient, who had undergone 3 prior strabismus procedures. CONCLUSIONS: In this study cohort, adjustable graded augmentation of SRT effectively managed the risk of postoperative vertical or torsional diplopia.