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Song S, Lemire CA, Seto B, Arroyo JG. Nocturnal normobaric hyperoxia treatment in a case of chronic diabetic macular edema. Eur J Ophthalmol 2022;:11206721221101365.Abstract
PURPOSE: To study the long-term anatomic and physiologic effects of nocturnal normobaric hyperoxia (NNBH) in a patient with treatment-resistant diabetic macular edema (DME). METHODS: A 64-year-old diabetic man with bilateral DME requiring regular anti-VEGF treatments in both eyes was started on 5 LPM (40% FiO2) NNBH treatment 6-h per night. Visual acuity, OCT measurements of retinal thickness and volume, as well as the number of injections given in each eye were retrospectively examined one year prior and prospectively after initiation of NNBH, as well as before and after a planned 1-month discontinuation of NNBH. RESULTS: The patient received 12 anti-VEGF injections in the year prior to beginning NNBH treatment (4 OD; 8 OS) and did not require any injections after commencing NNBH treatment. Visual acuity improved and stabilized to 20/20 and macular edema rapidly resolved in both eyes following initiation of NNBH. After a planned 1-month NNBH vacation, DME recurred but quickly resolved once NNBH treatment was restarted. CONCLUSION: This model case demonstrates that a 6-h NNBH regimen can be successful in treating DME and improving vision, without the need for intravitreal injections. NNBH is a more acceptable treatment regimen compared to 24-h continuous oxygen delivery and may provide a less invasive alternate method for treating DME in patients with diabetes. Further study is warranted.
Halawa OA, Sekimitsu S, Boland MV, Zebardast N. Gender-based differences in Medicare reimbursements among ophthalmologists persist across time. Ophthalmology 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: Evaluate differences in Medicare reimbursements between men and women ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study SUBJECTS: Ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019 receiving Medicare reimbursements METHODS: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File was used to determine total reimbursements and number of services submitted by ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. Reimbursements were standardized to account for geographic differences in Medicare reimbursement per service. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) were used to determine zip-code-level socioeconomic characteristics (unemployment, poverty, income, and education) for the location of each physician's practice. A multivariable linear regression model was used to evaluate differences in annual reimbursements by gender, accounting for calendar year, years of experience, total number of services, ACS zip-code data, and proportion of procedural services. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual Medicare reimbursement, utilization of billing codes (e.g., outpatient office visits and eye examinations, diagnostic testing, laser and surgery) RESULTS: Among 20,281 ophthalmologists who received Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019, 15,451 (76%) were men. The most common billing codes submitted were for outpatient visits and eye examinations (13.8 million charges/year), diagnostic imaging of the retina (5.6 million charges/year), intravitreal injections (2.9 million charges/year) and removal of cataract with insertion of lens (2.4 million charges/year). Compared to men, women ophthalmologists received lower median annual reimbursements ($94,734.21, IQR 30,944.52-195,701.70 for women vs. $194,176.90, IQR 76,380.76-355,790.80 for men, p<0.001) and billed for a lower annual number of services (1,228, IQR 454-2,433 vs. 2,259, IQR 996-4,075, respectively p<0.001). After adjustment for covariates, women ophthalmologists billed for 1015 fewer services (95% confidence interval 1001-1029, p<0.001), and received $20,209.12 less in reimbursements than men (95% confidence interval -21,717.57 to -18,700.66, p <0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Women ophthalmologists billed for a lower number of services and received less in reimbursement from Medicare than men over time and across all categories of billing codes. Disparities persisted after controlling for physician and practice characteristics.
Gong L, Guan Y, Cho W, Li B, Pan L, Yang Z, Wu M, Yang Z, Chauhan SK, Zeng W. A new non-human primate model of desiccating stress-induced dry eye disease. Sci Rep 2022;12(1):7957.Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED), a multifactorial ocular surface disease, is estimated to affect up to 34% of individuals over 50 years old. Although numerous animal models, including rodents and rabbits, have been developed to mimic the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in dry eye, there is a lack of non-human primate (NHP) models, critical for translational drug studies. Here, we developed a novel desiccating stress-induced dry eye disease model using Rhesus macaque monkeys. The monkeys were housed in a controlled environment room for 21 to 36 days under humidity, temperature, and airflow regulation. Following desiccating stress, NHPs demonstrated clinical symptoms similar to those of humans, as shown by increased corneal fluorescein staining (CFS) and decreased tear-film breakup time (TFBUT). Moreover, corticosteroid treatment significantly reduced CFS scoring, restored TFBUT, and prevented upregulation of tear proinflammatory cytokines as observed in dry eye patients following steroid treatment. The close resemblance of clinical symptoms and treatment responses to those of human DED patients provides great translational value to the NHP model, which could serve as a clinically relevant animal model to study the efficacy of new potential treatments for DED.
Eraslan G, Drokhlyansky E, Anand S, Fiskin E, Subramanian A, Slyper M, Wang J, Van Wittenberghe N, Rouhana JM, Waldman J, Ashenberg O, Lek M, Dionne D, Win TS, Cuoco MS, Kuksenko O, Tsankov AM, Branton PA, Marshall JL, Greka A, Getz G, Segrè AV, Aguet F, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Ardlie KG, Regev A. Single-nucleus cross-tissue molecular reference maps toward understanding disease gene function. Science 2022;376(6594):eabl4290.Abstract
Understanding gene function and regulation in homeostasis and disease requires knowledge of the cellular and tissue contexts in which genes are expressed. Here, we applied four single-nucleus RNA sequencing methods to eight diverse, archived, frozen tissue types from 16 donors and 25 samples, generating a cross-tissue atlas of 209,126 nuclei profiles, which we integrated across tissues, donors, and laboratory methods with a conditional variational autoencoder. Using the resulting cross-tissue atlas, we highlight shared and tissue-specific features of tissue-resident cell populations; identify cell types that might contribute to neuromuscular, metabolic, and immune components of monogenic diseases and the biological processes involved in their pathology; and determine cell types and gene modules that might underlie disease mechanisms for complex traits analyzed by genome-wide association studies.
Deiner MS, Kaur G, McLeod SD, Schallhorn JM, Chodosh J, Hwang DH, Lietman TM, Porco TC. A Google Trends Approach to Identify Distinct Diurnal and Day-of-Week Web-Based Search Patterns Related to Conjunctivitis and Other Common Eye Conditions: Infodemiology Study. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(7):e27310.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Studies suggest diurnal patterns of occurrence of some eye conditions. Leveraging new information sources such as web-based search data to learn more about such patterns could improve the understanding of patients' eye-related conditions and well-being, better inform timing of clinical and remote eye care, and improve precision when targeting web-based public health campaigns toward underserved populations. OBJECTIVE: To investigate our hypothesis that the public is likely to consistently search about different ophthalmologic conditions at different hours of the day or days of week, we conducted an observational study using search data for terms related to ophthalmologic conditions such as conjunctivitis. We assessed whether search volumes reflected diurnal or day-of-week patterns and if those patterns were distinct from each other. METHODS: We designed a study to analyze and compare hourly search data for eye-related and control search terms, using time series regression models with trend and periodicity terms to remove outliers and then estimate diurnal effects. We planned a Google Trends setting, extracting data from 10 US states for the entire year of 2018. The exposure was internet search, and the participants were populations who searched through Google's search engine using our chosen study terms. Our main outcome measures included cyclical hourly and day-of-week web-based search patterns. For statistical analyses, we considered P<.001 to be statistically significant. RESULTS: Distinct diurnal (P<.001 for all search terms) and day-of-week search patterns for eye-related terms were observed but with differing peak time periods and cyclic strengths. Some diurnal patterns represented those reported from prior clinical studies. Of the eye-related terms, "pink eye" showed the largest diurnal amplitude-to-mean ratios. Stronger signal was restricted to and peaked in mornings, and amplitude was higher on weekdays. By contrast, "dry eyes" had a higher amplitude diurnal pattern on weekends, with stronger signal occurring over a broader evening-to-morning period and peaking in early morning. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of web-based searches for various eye conditions can show cyclic patterns according to time of the day or week. Further studies to understand the reasons for these variations may help supplement the current clinical understanding of ophthalmologic symptom presentation and improve the timeliness of patient messaging and care interventions.
D'Amore PA, Alcaide P. Macrophage efferocytosis with VEGFC and lymphangiogenesis: rescuing the broken heart. J Clin Invest 2022;132(9)Abstract
Cardiac repair following ischemic injury is indispensable for survival and requires a coordinated cellular response involving the mobilization of immune cells from the secondary lymphoid organs to the site of damage. Efferocytosis, the engulfment of cell debris and dying cells by innate immune cells, along with lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, are emerging as central to the cardiac healing response. In this issue of the JCI, Glinton et al. used state-of-the-art approaches to demonstrate that efferocytosis induced vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) in myeloid cells and stimulated lymphangiogenesis and cardiac repair. These findings provide impactful mechanistic information that can be leveraged to therapeutically target pathways in cardiac repair and ischemic heart failure.
Tabarestani S, Eslami M, Cabrerizo M, Curiel RE, Barreto A, Rishe N, Vaillancourt D, DeKosky ST, Loewenstein DA, Duara R, Adjouadi M. A Tensorized Multitask Deep Learning Network for Progression Prediction of Alzheimer's Disease. Front Aging Neurosci 2022;14:810873.Abstract
With the advances in machine learning for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), most studies have focused on either identifying the subject's status through classification algorithms or on predicting their cognitive scores through regression methods, neglecting the potential association between these two tasks. Motivated by the need to enhance the prospects for early diagnosis along with the ability to predict future disease states, this study proposes a deep neural network based on modality fusion, kernelization, and tensorization that perform multiclass classification and longitudinal regression simultaneously within a unified multitask framework. This relationship between multiclass classification and longitudinal regression is found to boost the efficacy of the final model in dealing with both tasks. Different multimodality scenarios are investigated, and complementary aspects of the multimodal features are exploited to simultaneously delineate the subject's label and predict related cognitive scores at future timepoints using baseline data. The main intent in this multitask framework is to consolidate the highest accuracy possible in terms of precision, sensitivity, F1 score, and area under the curve (AUC) in the multiclass classification task while maintaining the highest similarity in the MMSE score as measured through the correlation coefficient and the RMSE for all time points under the prediction task, with both tasks, run simultaneously under the same set of hyperparameters. The overall accuracy for multiclass classification of the proposed KTMnet method is 66.85 ± 3.77. The prediction results show an average RMSE of 2.32 ± 0.52 and a correlation of 0.71 ± 5.98 for predicting MMSE throughout the time points. These results are compared to state-of-the-art techniques reported in the literature. A discovery from the multitasking of this consolidated machine learning framework is that a set of hyperparameters that optimize the prediction results may not necessarily be the same as those that would optimize the multiclass classification. In other words, there is a breakpoint beyond which enhancing further the results of one process could lead to the downgrading in accuracy for the other.
Halawa OA, Roldan AM, Meshkin RS, Zebardast N, Fenwick EK, Lamoureux EL, Friedman DS. Factors associated with glaucoma-specific quality of life in a US glaucoma clinic in a pilot implementation of an online computerised adaptive test (GlauCAT). Br J Ophthalmol 2022;Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Measure quality of life (QoL) outcomes using a novel computerised adaptive test in a clinical setting, and determine the social and demographic factors associated with specific QoL domains in patients with glaucoma. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study between July 2020 and April 2021. PARTICIPANTS: English-speaking adults presenting to glaucoma clinic. Patients with cognitive impairment on a six-item cognitive impairment screen or with intraocular surgery within 90 days prior to presentation were excluded. RESULTS: Of 206 patients surveyed, mean age was 64.8 years (SD 15.2), 122 (56.7%) were female and 159 (74.7%) were white. On multivariable regression, visual acuity was associated with greater activity limitation (β=-2.8 points, 95% CI -3.8 to -1.8, p<0.001) and worse mobility (β=-2.1 points, 95% CI -3.2 to -0.9, p<0.001), while poorer visual field (VF) mean deviation was associated with lower scores on the emotional well-being domain (β=-2.4 points, 95% CI -4.6 to -0.3, p=0.03). Glaucoma suspects and those with early VF defects had higher QoL scores than those with severe glaucoma in the following domains: activity limitation (88.5±14.6 vs 74.3±21.9, respectively, p<0.001), mobility (91.0±12.5 vs 80.0±25.3, respectively, p=0.005) and concerns domains (82.2±13.9 vs 72.5 5±18.9, respectively, p=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In a busy glaucoma clinic where QoL was measured with online adaptive tests for glaucoma, we found that several demographic and clinical variables are associated with lower domain scores, suggesting that patients with predisposing demographic and clinical factors are at a higher risk of worse QoL.
Oke I, VanderVeen DK, McClatchey TS, Lambert SR, McClatchey SK, McClatchey SK. The accuracy of intraocular lens calculation varies by age in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. J AAPOS 2022;Abstract
Refraction predictions from intraocular lens (IOL) calculation formulae are inaccurate in children. We sought to quantify the relationship between age and prediction error using a model derived from the biometry measurements of children enrolled in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) when they were ≤7 months of age. We calculated theoretical predicted refractions in diopters (D) using axial length, average keratometry, and IOL powers at each measurement time point using the Holladay 1 formula. We compared the predicted refraction to the actual refraction and calculated the absolute prediction error (APE). We found that the median APE was 1.60 D (IQR, 0.73-3.11 D) at a mean age (corrected for estimated gestational age) of 0.20 ± 0.14 years and decreased to 1.11 D (IQR, 0.42-2.20 D) at 10.60 ± 0.27 years. We analyzed the association of age with APE using linear mixed-effects models adjusting for axial length, average keratometry, and IOL power and found that as age doubled, APE decreased by 0.25 D (95% CI, 0.09-0.40 D). The accuracy of IOL calculations increases with age, independent of biometry measurements and IOL power.
Karg MM, John L, Refaian N, Buettner C, Rottmar T, Sommer J, Bock B, Resheq YJ, Ksander BR, Heindl LM, Mackensen A, Bosch JJ. Midkine promotes metastasis and therapeutic resistance via mTOR/RPS6 in uveal melanoma. Mol Cancer Res 2022;Abstract
Uveal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma that originates in the eye, exerts widespread therapeutic resistance and displays an inherent propensity for hepatic metastases. Since metastatic disease is characterized by poor survival, there is an unmet clinical need to identify new therapeutic targets in uveal melanoma. Here, we show that the pleiotropic cytokine midkine is expressed in uveal melanoma. Midkine expression in primary uveal melanoma significantly correlates with poor survival and is elevated in patients that develop metastatic disease. Monosomy 3 and histopathological staging parameters are associated with midkine expression. In addition, we demonstrate that midkine promotes survival, migration across a barrier of hepatic sinusoid endothelial cells and resistance to AKT/mTOR inhibition. Furthermore, midkine is secreted and mediates mTOR activation by maintaining phosphorylation of the mTOR target RPS6 in uveal melanoma cells. Therefore, midkine is identified as a uveal melanoma cell survival factor that drives metastasis and therapeutic resistance, and could be exploited as a biomarker as well as a new therapeutic target. Implications: Midkine is identified as a survival factor that drives liver metastasis and therapeutic resistance in melanoma of the eye.
O'Hare M, Arboleda-Velasquez JF. Notch Signaling in Vascular Endothelial and Mural Cell Communications. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2022;Abstract
The Notch signaling pathway is a highly versatile and evolutionarily conserved mechanism with an important role in cell fate determination. Notch signaling plays a vital role in vascular development, regulating several fundamental processes such as angiogenesis, arterial/venous differentiation, and mural cell investment. Aberrant Notch signaling can result in severe vascular phenotypes as observed in cerebral autosomal-dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) and Alagille syndrome. It is known that vascular endothelial cells and mural cells interact to regulate vessel formation, cell maturation, and stability of the vascular network. Defective endothelial-mural cell interactions are a common phenotype in diseases characterized by impaired vascular integrity. Further refinement of the role of Notch signaling in the vascular junctions will be critical to attempts to modulate Notch in the context of human vascular disease. In this review, we aim to consolidate and summarize our current understanding of Notch signaling in the vascular endothelial and mural cells during development and in the adult vasculature.
Zhu S, Zidan A, Pang K, Musayeva A, Kang Q, Yin J. Promotion of corneal angiogenesis by sensory neuron-derived calcitonin gene-related peptide. Exp Eye Res 2022;220:109125.Abstract
The normal cornea has no blood vessels but has abundant innervation. There is emerging evidence that sensory nerves, originated from the trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons, play a key role in corneal angiogenesis. In the current study, we examined the role of TG sensory neuron-derived calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in promoting corneal neovascularization (CNV). We found that CGRP was expressed in the TG and cultured TG neurons. In the cornea, minimal CGRP mRNA was detected and CGRP immunohistochemical staining was exclusively co-localized with corneal nerves, suggesting corneal nerves are likely the source of CGRP in the cornea. In response to intrastromal suture placement and neovascularization in the cornea, CGRP expression was increased in the TG. In addition, we showed that CGRP was potently pro-angiogenic, leading to vascular endothelial cell (VEC) proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro and corneal hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in vivo. In a co-culture system of TG neurons and VEC, blocking CGRP signaling in the conditioned media of TG neurons led to decreased VEC migration and tube formation. More importantly, subconjunctival injection of a CGRP antagonist CGRP8-37 reduced suture-induced corneal hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in vivo. Taken together, our data suggest that TG sensory neuron and corneal nerve-derived CGRP promotes corneal angiogenesis.
Zabaleta N, Bhatt U, Hérate C, Maisonnasse P, Sanmiguel J, Diop C, Castore S, Estelien R, Li D, Dereuddre-Bosquet N, Cavarelli M, Gallouët A-S, Pascal Q, Naninck T, Kahlaoui N, Lemaitre J, Relouzat F, Ronzitti G, Thibaut HJ, Montomoli E, Wilson JM, Le Grand R, Vandenberghe LH. Durable immunogenicity, adaptation to emerging variants, and low-dose efficacy of an AAV-based COVID-19 vaccine platform in macaques. Mol Ther 2022;Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating consequences on health and economy, even after the approval of safe and effective vaccines. Waning immunity, the emergence of variants of concern, breakthrough infections, and lack of global vaccine access and acceptance perpetuate the epidemic. Here, we demonstrate that a single injection of an adenoassociated virus (AAV)-based COVID-19 vaccine elicits at least 17-month-long neutralizing antibody responses in non-human primates at levels that were previously shown to protect from viral challenge. To improve the scalability of this durable vaccine candidate, we further optimized the vector design for greater potency at a reduced dose in mice and non-human primates. Finally, we show that the platform can be rapidly adapted to other variants of concern to robustly maintain immunogenicity and protect from challenge. In summary, we demonstrate this class of AAV can provide durable immunogenicity, provide protection at dose that is low and scalable, and be adapted readily to novel emerging vaccine antigens thus may provide a potent tool in the ongoing fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).

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