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Narayanan D, Wallstrom G, Rodriguez J, Welch D, Chapin M, Arrigg P, Patil R, Abelson M. Early Ophthalmic Changes in Macula Does Not Correlate with Visual Function. Clin Ophthalmol 2020;14:2571-2576.Abstract
Purpose: Early detection and treatment of age-related macular degeneration require a clear understanding of the early progress of the disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether minimal macular ophthalmoscopic changes corresponded to changes in visual function. Methods: Color macular photos from a group of older subjects who were classified as grade 0 on AREDS simplified grading were further evaluated by a retinal specialist using 5x magnification for possible minimal macular anomalies. Group 0-A ( = 15) were defined as subjects with no visible macular anomalies while Group 0-B ( = 19) comprised subjects for whom minimal macular mottling, pigment changes or very small drusen (< 63 µm) were observed in the study eye. All subjects had best VA of 20/25 or better and had no evidence of other retinal diseases in the study eye. All subjects underwent a series of visual function tests such as standard ETDRS VA, low luminance ETDRS VA, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity, variable contrast flicker (VCF) sensitivity, and reading speed (words per minute, wpm) using both MNRead and low luminance reading on a tablet. Results: There was no significant difference between the mean age between the two groups (74.8 ± 5.2 years for 0-A vs 74.5 ± 4.4 for 0-B, = 0.82). None of the visual function tests identified any significant difference between the two groups. Mean ETDRS VA was 0.0 ± 0.11 for 0-A subjects and 0.08 ± 0.12 for 0-B ( = 0.063). Mean Pelli-Robson log contrast sensitivity was 1.75 ± 0.29 for 0-A and 1.78 ± 0.17 for the 0-B group ( = 0.73). VCF threshold was 0.47 ± 0.25 for 0-A and 0.43 ± 0.22 for 0-B ( = 0.64). Reading speed using MNRead was 214 ± 47.4 wpm for 0-A and 210 ± 64.7 for 0-B ( = 0.85). Low luminance tablet reading speed was 137 ± 71.8 wpm for 0-A and 151 ± 39.4 (0-B) ( = 0.49). Conclusion: A panel of psychophysical tests did not demonstrate significant differences between subjects with and without minimal macular changes.
VanderVeen DK, Drews-Botsch CD, Nizam A, Bothun ED, Wilson LB, Wilson EM, Lambert SR, Lambert SR. Outcomes of Secondary Intraocular Lens Implantation in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. J Cataract Refract Surg 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To report outcomes of secondary intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) SETTING:: Multicenter clinical practice DESIGN:: Secondary analysis of patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial METHODS:: Details regarding all secondary IOL surgeries conducted in children enrolled in the IATS were compiled. We evaluated visual outcomes, refractive outcomes, and adverse events at age 10 ½ years. Comparisons were made to eyes that remained aphakic and to eyes randomized to primary IOL placement. RESULTS: 55/57 patients randomized to aphakia with contact lens correction were seen for the 10 ½ year study visit; 24/55 eyes (44%) had secondary IOL surgery. Median age at IOL surgery was 5.4 years (range 1.7 to 10.3 years). Mean absolute prediction error was 1.0 ± 0.7D. At age 10 ½ years, the median log MAR VA was 0.9 (range 0.2 to 1.7), similar to VA in the 31 eyes still aphakic (0.8, range 0.1 to 2.9); the number of eyes with stable or improved VA scores between the 4 ½ and 10 ½ year study visits was also similar (78% secondary IOL eyes, 84% aphakic eyes). For eyes undergoing IOL implantation after the 4.5 year study visit (n=22), the mean refraction at age 10 ½ years was -3.2 ±2.7D (range -9.9D to 1.1D), compared to -5.5 ±6.6 D (n=53, range -26.5 to 3.0D) in eyes with primary IOL (p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Delayed IOL implantation allows a more predictable refractive outcome at age 10 ½ years, though the range of refractive error is still large.
Lei F, Cui N, Zhou C, Chodosh J, Vavvas DG, Paschalis EI. CSF1R inhibition by a small-molecule inhibitor is not microglia specific; affecting hematopoiesis and the function of macrophages. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;117(38):23336-23338.Abstract
Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibition has been proposed as a method for microglia depletion, with the assumption that it does not affect peripheral immune cells. Here, we show that CSF1R inhibition by PLX5622 indeed affects the myeloid and lymphoid compartments, causes long-term changes in bone marrow-derived macrophages by suppressing interleukin 1β, CD68, and phagocytosis but not CD208, following exposure to endotoxin, and also reduces the population of resident and interstitial macrophages of peritoneum, lung, and liver but not spleen. Thus, small-molecule CSF1R inhibition is not restricted to microglia, causing strong effects on circulating and tissue macrophages that perdure long after cessation of the treatment. Given that peripheral monocytes repopulate the central nervous system after CSF1R inhibition, these changes have practical implications for relevant experimental data.
Daniel S, Renwick M, Chau VQ, Datta S, Maddineni P, Zode G, Wade EM, Robertson SP, Petroll MW, Hulleman JD. Fibulin-3 knockout mice demonstrate corneal dysfunction but maintain normal retinal integrity. J Mol Med (Berl) 2020;98(11):1639-1656.Abstract
Fibulin-3 (F3) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein found in basement membranes across the body. An autosomal dominant R345W mutation in F3 causes a macular dystrophy resembling dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereas genetic removal of wild-type (WT) F3 protects mice from sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposit formation. These observations suggest that F3 is a protein which can regulate pathogenic sub-RPE deposit formation in the eye. Yet the precise role of WT F3 within the eye is still largely unknown. We found that F3 is expressed throughout the mouse eye (cornea, trabecular meshwork (TM) ring, neural retina, RPE/choroid, and optic nerve). We next performed a thorough structural and functional characterization of each of these tissues in WT and homozygous (F3) knockout mice. The corneal stroma in F3 mice progressively thins beginning at 2 months, and the development of corneal opacity and vascularization starts at 9 months, which worsens with age. However, in all other tissues (TM, neural retina, RPE, and optic nerve), gross structural anatomy and functionality were similar across WT and F3 mice when evaluated using SD-OCT, histological analyses, electron microscopy, scotopic electroretinogram, optokinetic response, and axonal anterograde transport. The lack of noticeable retinal abnormalities in F3 mice was confirmed in a human patient with biallelic loss-of-function mutations in F3. These data suggest that (i) F3 is important for maintaining the structural integrity of the cornea, (ii) absence of F3 does not affect the structure or function of any other ocular tissue in which it is expressed, and (iii) targeted silencing of F3 in the retina and/or RPE will likely be well-tolerated, serving as a safe therapeutic strategy for reducing sub-RPE deposit formation in disease. KEY MESSAGES: • Fibulins are expressed throughout the body at varying levels. • Fibulin-3 has a tissue-specific pattern of expression within the eye. • Lack of fibulin-3 leads to structural deformities in the cornea. • The retina and RPE remain structurally and functionally healthy in the absence of fibulin-3 in both mice and humans.
Bai J, Khajavi M, Sui L, Fu H, Krishnaji ST, Birsner AE, Bazinet L, Kamm RD, D'Amato RJ. Angiogenic responses in a 3D micro-engineered environment of primary endothelial cells and pericytes. Angiogenesis 2020;Abstract
Angiogenesis plays a key role in the pathology of diseases such as cancer, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Understanding the driving forces of endothelial cell migration and organization, as well as the time frame of these processes, can elucidate mechanisms of action of important pathological pathways. Herein, we have developed an organ-specific microfluidic platform recapitulating the in vivo angiogenic microenvironment by co-culturing mouse primary brain endothelial cells with brain pericytes in a three-dimensional (3D) collagen scaffold. As a proof of concept, we show that this model can be used for studying the angiogenic process and further comparing the angiogenic properties between two different common inbred mouse strains, C57BL/6J and 129S1/SvlmJ. We further show that the newly discovered angiogenesis-regulating gene Padi2 promotes angiogenesis through Dll4/Notch1 signaling by an on-chip mechanistic study. Analysis of the interplay between primary endothelial cells and pericytes in a 3D microfluidic environment assists in the elucidation of the angiogenic response.
Anand N, Klug E, Nirappel A, Solá-Del Valle D. A Review of Cyclodestructive Procedures for the Treatment of Glaucoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-15.Abstract
Cyclodestruction aims to reduce aqueous humor production through the coagulation or destruction of the ciliary body and has been an important treatment choice for glaucoma since the 1930s. The purpose of the current review is to highlight the evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of various cyclodestructive modalities, emphasizing peer-reviewed articles from the last 20 years and the most common variants of these procedures. The review focuses primarily on the two most common variants of transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (TS-CPC), continuous-wave diode cyclophotocoagulation (CW-TSCPC) and MicroPulse diode cyclophotocoagulation (MP-TSCPC) as well as endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP) and high-intensity focused ultrasound cyclodestruction (HIFU). We believe that the role of cyclodestruction in glaucoma treatment will only continue to expand given the advances in the field, particular with regards to targeted ciliary body destruction and improvement in the safety profile.
Chen D, Wang J, Sullivan DA, Kam WR, Liu Y. Effects of Terpinen-4-ol on Meibomian Gland Epithelial Cells In Vitro. Cornea 2020;39(12):1541-1546.Abstract
PURPOSE: Infestation with demodex mites has been linked to the development of chalazion, meibomian gland dysfunction, and blepharitis. An effective treatment is the eyelid application of terpinen-4-ol (T4O), a tea tree oil component. However, T4O is also known to be toxic to nonocular epithelial cells. We hypothesize that T4O toxicity also extends to human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). METHODS: Immortalized (I) HMGECs were cultured with varying concentrations (1.0%-0.001%) of T4O under proliferating or differentiating conditions up to 5 days. Experimental procedures included analyses of cell appearance, survival, P-Akt signaling, lysosome accumulation, and neutral lipid content. RESULTS: Our findings show that T4O causes a dose- and time-dependent decrease in the cell survival of IHMGECs. After 15 minutes of exposure to 1% T4O, IHMGECs exhibited rounding, atrophy, and poor adherence. Within 90 minutes of such treatment, almost all cells died. Reducing the T4O concentration to 0.1% also led to a marked decrease in P-Akt signaling and cell survival of IHMGECs. Decreasing the T4O amount to 0.01% caused a slight, but significant, reduction in the IHMGEC number after 5 days of culture and did not influence the ability of these cells to differentiate. CONCLUSIONS: T4O, even at levels 10-fold to 100-fold lower than demodicidal concentrations, is toxic to HMGECs in vitro.
Kras A, Celi LA, Miller JB. Accelerating ophthalmic artificial intelligence research: the role of an open access data repository. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2020;31(5):337-350.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Artificial intelligence has already provided multiple clinically relevant applications in ophthalmology. Yet, the explosion of nonstandardized reporting of high-performing algorithms are rendered useless without robust and streamlined implementation guidelines. The development of protocols and checklists will accelerate the translation of research publications to impact on patient care. RECENT FINDINGS: Beyond technological scepticism, we lack uniformity in analysing algorithmic performance generalizability, and benchmarking impacts across clinical settings. No regulatory guardrails have been set to minimize bias or optimize interpretability; no consensus clinical acceptability thresholds or systematized postdeployment monitoring has been set. Moreover, stakeholders with misaligned incentives deepen the landscape complexity especially when it comes to the requisite data integration and harmonization to advance the field. Therefore, despite increasing algorithmic accuracy and commoditization, the infamous 'implementation gap' persists. Open clinical data repositories have been shown to rapidly accelerate research, minimize redundancies and disseminate the expertise and knowledge required to overcome existing barriers. Drawing upon the longstanding success of existing governance frameworks and robust data use and sharing agreements, the ophthalmic community has tremendous opportunity in ushering artificial intelligence into medicine. By collaboratively building a powerful resource of open, anonymized multimodal ophthalmic data, the next generation of clinicians can advance data-driven eye care in unprecedented ways. SUMMARY: This piece demonstrates that with readily accessible data, immense progress can be achieved clinically and methodologically to realize artificial intelligence's impact on clinical care. Exponentially progressive network effects can be seen by consolidating, curating and distributing data amongst both clinicians and data scientists.
Jakobiec FA, Barrantes PC, Yonekawa Y, Lad EM, Proia AD. Subretinal Mononuclear Cells in Coats' Disease Studied with RPE65 and CD163: Evidence for Histiocytoid Pigment Epithelial Cells. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the mononuclear cells in the subretinal exudate in Coats' disease. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Five enucleated globes and one cytology sample with Coats' disease and one case of chronic retinal detachment following repair of an open globe injury were examined immunohistochemically to identify the intraretinal and subretinal exudative cells. The two biomarkers were RPE65 for retinal pigment epithelium and CD163 for histiocytes, each tagged with different chromogens, yellow for pigment epithelium and purple for CD163+ monocytes/histiocytes. Expressions were sought of both biomarkers together or singly. A color shift to red in the cells' chromogenic reaction indicated the simultaneous presence of the two biomarkers. RESULTS: The majority of the mononuclear cells in Coats' disease were CD163 (purple) positive, and a minority were RPE65 (yellow) positive. An intermediate number of cells were RPE65/CD163 positive (orange-red). The eye with a chronic retinal detachment had an equal distribution of CD163 positive and RPE65/CD163 positive cells. CONCLUSIONS: The retinal pigment epithelium has several well-delineated phenotypes and functions. In normal visual physiology, the pigment epithelium supports the photoreceptors and participates in their renewal by phagocytosis of the tips of the photoreceptors. The expression of CD163, a feature of hematopoietically derived monocytes, together with RPE65 in the retinal pigment epithelium, supports differentiation toward histiocytes. Yellow staining detached pigment epithelial cells were rare. The presence of histiocytoid pigment epithelium at the level of Bruch's membrane probably also has implications for macular degeneration.
Rossato FA, Su Y, Mackey A, Ng YSE. Fibrotic Changes and Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Promoted by VEGFR2 Antagonism Alter the Therapeutic Effects of VEGFA Pathway Blockage in a Mouse Model of Choroidal Neovascularization. Cells 2020;9(9)Abstract
Many patients with wet age-related macular degeneration do not respond well to anti- vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) therapy for choroidal neovascularization (CNV), and the efficacy of anti-VEGFA decreases over time. We investigated the hypothesis that fibrotic changes, in particular via endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT), play a role in CNV and alter the therapeutic effects of VEGFA pathway blockage. Induction of EndoMT of primary human retinal endothelial cells led to a significantly reduced response to VEGFA at the level of gene expression, cellular proliferation, migration, and tube formation. Suppression of EndoMT restored cell responsiveness to VEGFA. In a mouse model of spontaneous CNV, fibrotic changes and EndoMT persisted as the CNV lesions became more established over time. VEGFA receptor-2 (VEGFR2) antagonism further induced fibrosis and EndoMT in the CNV. The combination of VEGFR2 antagonism and fibrosis/EndoMT inhibition was more effective than either individual treatment in reducing CNV. Our data indicate that fibrosis and EndoMT are involved in the progression of CNV, are exacerbated by VEGFR2 inhibition, and could provide an explanation for the reduced efficacy of anti-VEGFA treatment over time.

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