Reply. Ophthalmology 2019;126(10):e78-e79..
Developing Therapies for Age-related Macular Degeneration: The Art and Science of Problem-solving: The 2018 Charles L. Schepens, MD, Lecture. Ophthalmol Retina 2019;3(10):900-909.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To review the roles of analytic and innovative thought in advancing knowledge, using past examples in ophthalmology, and to explore potential strategies to improve our understanding of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and develop new therapies. DESIGN: Presented as the 2018 Charles L. Schepens, MD, Lecture at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Retina Subspecialty Day, Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 2018. PARTICIPANTS: None. METHODS: Review of published literature and sources on creativity and innovation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Recommendations for future AMD research. RESULTS: Innovative solutions to problems often seem intuitively obvious in hindsight. Yet, some problems seem impossible to solve. In the 1990s, AMD was a significant unmet need, with only destructive therapies for neovascular disease. This changed with the development of 2 therapies: (1) verteporfin photodynamic therapy (PDT) and (2) anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies, which are now administered to millions of people annually around the world. Now, we are frustrated by the lack of therapies for early and intermediate AMD and geographic atrophy. Photodynamic therapy and anti-VEGF drug development occurred through a combination of analytic thought and creative disruption through innovation. To get past our current impasse in understanding and treating AMD, we need to harness both analysis and innovation. We have many important building blocks in place-information on genetics, clinical findings, imaging, and histology-and have identified key pathways and potential therapeutic targets. Perhaps we need additional investigation, analysis, and integration to improve our understanding through work on structure/function and genotype/phenotype correlations and development of imaging and systemic biomarkers. We likely also need an innovative disruption. This innovation might be the concept that there are subtypes of early and intermediate AMD characterized by specific clinical phenotypes, genotype, functional characteristics, and biomarkers that are dependent on particular pathways and treatable with a specific agent. We need to encourage innovation in each of us within our research and clinical community. CONCLUSIONS: Although we have accumulated extensive knowledge about AMD, we are currently at an impasse in the development of new treatments. We need to continue the analytic process, but at the same time encourage innovative disruption to develop successful AMD therapies.
Analysis of Neuroretinal Rim by Age, Race, and Sex Using High-Density 3-Dimensional Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography. J Glaucoma 2019;28(11):979-988.Abstract.
PRéCIS:: Neuroretinal rim minimum distance band (MDB) thickness is significantly lower in older subjects and African Americans compared with whites. It is similar in both sexes. PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationship between age, race, and sex with the neuroretinal rim using high-density spectral-domain optical coherence tomography optic nerve volume scans of normal eyes. METHODS: A total of 256 normal subjects underwent Spectralis spectral-domain optical coherence tomography optic nerve head volume scans. One eye was randomly selected and analyzed for each subject. Using custom-designed software, the neuroretinal rim MDB thickness was calculated from volume scans, and global and quadrant neuroretinal rim thickness values were determined. The MDB is a 3-dimensional neuroretinal rim band comprised of the shortest distance between the internal limiting membrane and the termination of the retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch's membrane complex. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine the associations of age, race, and sex with neuroretinal rim MDB measurements. RESULTS: The population was 57% female and 69% white with a mean age of 58.4±15.3 years. The mean MDB thickness in the normal population was 278.4±47.5 µm. For this normal population, MDB thickness decreased by 0.84 µm annually (P<0.001). African Americans had thinner MDBs compared with whites (P=0.003). Males and females had similar MDB thickness values (P=0.349). CONCLUSION: Neuroretinal rim MDB thickness measurements decreased significantly with age. African Americans had thinner MDB neuroretinal rims than whites.
Mechanisms of Collagen Crosslinking in Diabetes and Keratoconus. Cells 2019;8(10)Abstract.
Collagen crosslinking provides the mechanical strength required for physiological maintenance of the extracellular matrix in most tissues in the human body, including the cornea. Aging and diabetes mellitus (DM) are processes that are both associated with increased collagen crosslinking that leads to increased corneal rigidity. By contrast, keratoconus (KC) is a corneal thinning disease associated with decreased mechanical stiffness leading to ectasia of the central cornea. Studies have suggested that crosslinking mediated by reactive advanced glycation end products during DM may protect the cornea from KC development. Parallel to this hypothesis, riboflavin-mediated photoreactive corneal crosslinking has been proposed as a therapeutic option to halt the progression of corneal thinning by inducing intra- and intermolecular crosslink formation within the collagen fibrils of the stroma, leading to stabilization of the disease. Here, we review the pathobiology of DM and KC in the context of corneal structure, the epidemiology behind the inverse correlation of DM and KC development, and the chemical mechanisms of lysyl oxidase-mediated crosslinking, advanced glycation end product-mediated crosslinking, and photoreactive riboflavin-mediated corneal crosslinking. The goal of this review is to define the biological and chemical pathways important in physiological and pathological processes related to collagen crosslinking in DM and KC.
Phenotype delineation of ZNF462 related syndrome. Am J Med Genet A 2019;179(10):2075-2082.Abstract.
Zinc finger protein 462 (ZNF462) is a relatively newly discovered vertebrate specific protein with known critical roles in embryonic development in animal models. Two case reports and a case series study have described the phenotype of 10 individuals with ZNF462 loss of function variants. Herein, we present 14 new individuals with loss of function variants to the previous studies to delineate the syndrome of loss of function in ZNF462. Collectively, these 24 individuals present with recurring phenotypes that define a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome. Most have some form of developmental delay (79%) and a minority has autism spectrum disorder (33%). Characteristic facial features include ptosis (83%), down slanting palpebral fissures (58%), exaggerated Cupid's bow/wide philtrum (54%), and arched eyebrows (50%). Metopic ridging or craniosynostosis was found in a third of study participants and feeding problems in half. Other phenotype characteristics include dysgenesis of the corpus callosum in 25% of individuals, hypotonia in half, and structural heart defects in 21%. Using facial analysis technology, a computer algorithm applying deep learning was able to accurately differentiate individuals with ZNF462 loss of function variants from individuals with Noonan syndrome and healthy controls. In summary, we describe a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome associated with haploinsufficiency of ZNF462 that has distinct clinical characteristics and facial features.
Advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2019;30(6):407-411.Abstract.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). RECENT FINDINGS: Less common manifestations of GCA include corneal edema, proptosis from lacrimal gland ischemia and sensorineuronal hearing loss. Histology studies have suggested that temporal artery biopsies (TAB) with fixed specimen lengths of 15 mm may be adequate to prevent false negative biopsies. In centers with appropriate radiologic expertise, a European rheumatology consensus guideline has proposed Doppler ultrasound as a first-line confirmatory test for GCA in lieu of temporal artery biopsy. Finding extracranial large vessel disease can help to diagnose GCA. Statistical prediction rules can help risk stratify patients with suspected GCA. Age and platelet level when maintained as continuous variables are the strongest predictors for GCA. SUMMARY: GCA can present with diverse ophthalmic and systemic presentations and expedient recognition of same can avoid diagnostic delay and possible vision loss, among other complications. TAB remains the conventional diagnostic standard test for GCA. The use of statistical prediction models and increased expertise in noninvasive imaging techniques such as ultrasound may decrease reliance on TAB, especially in patients determined to be at low risk for GCA.
Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondrial Cross-Talk in Neurodegenerative and Eye Diseases. Neurology (ECronicon) 2019;11(9):864-873.Abstract.
Neurodegenerative diseases demonstrate the progressive decline of brain functions resulting in a significant deterioration in the quality of patient's life. With increasing life expectancy, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of these diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are devastating and afflicts a large world population. Eye, given the similar neural and vascular similarity to the brain, demonstrates many pathological hallmarks of some of these neurological diseases. Moreover, these diseases create an economic and social burden to society. Despite tremendous efforts made in the drug discovery, there is no cure for these fatal diseases. Thus, there is an unmet need to understand cellular and molecular pathophysiology of these diseases. All these diseases demonstrate damage to a large number of seemingly disparate cellular processes and functions such as Ca homeostasis, lipid metabolism, axonal transport, unfolded protein response, autophagy and inflammatory responses. Mitochondria are closely associated with Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER-mitochondrial cross-talk regulates many of these cellular processes and functions damaged in neurodegenerative and eye diseases. Several studies have implicated the disruption of ER-mitochondria contacts in these diseases. This review is aimed at understanding and summarizing the role of ER-mitochondria interacting proteins in major neurodegenerative and eye diseases studied so far.
Disparate Entry of Adenoviruses Dictates Differential Innate Immune Responses on the Ocular Surface. Microorganisms 2019;7(9)Abstract.
Human adenovirus infection of the ocular surface is associated with severe keratoconjunctivitis and the formation of subepithelial corneal infiltrates, which may persist and impair vision for months to years following infection. Long term pathology persists well beyond the resolution of viral replication, indicating that the prolonged immune response is not virus-mediated. However, it is not clear how these responses are sustained or even initiated following infection. This review discusses recent work from our laboratory and others which demonstrates different entry pathways specific to both adenovirus and cell type. These findings suggest that adenoviruses may stimulate specific pattern recognition receptors in an entry/trafficking-dependent manner, leading to distinct immune responses dependent on the virus/cell type combination. Additional work is needed to understand the specific connections between adenoviral entry and the stimulation of innate immune responses by the various cell types present on the ocular surface.
Transient Mitomycin C-treatment of human corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts alters cell migration, cytokine secretion, and matrix accumulation. Sci Rep 2019;9(1):13905.Abstract.
A single application of Mitomycin C (MMC) is used clinically in ophthalmology to reduce scarring and enhance wound resolution after surgery. Here we show in vitro that a 3-hour MMC treatment of primary and telomerase immortalized human corneal limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells impacts their migration and adhesion. Transient MMC treatment induces HCLE expression of senescence associated secretory factors, cytokine secretion, and deposition of laminin 332 for several days. Transient MMC treatment also reduces migration and deposition of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1)-stimulated collagen by corneal fibroblasts. Using conditioned media from control and MMC treated cells, we demonstrate that factors secreted by MMC-treated corneal epithelial cells attenuate collagen deposition by HCFs whereas those secreted by MMC-treated HCFs do not. These studies are the first to probe the roles played by corneal epithelial cells in reducing collagen deposition by corneal fibroblasts in response to MMC.
Clinical and radiologic approach to 'typical' versus antibody-related optic neuritis. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2019;30(6):412-417.Abstract.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Optic neuritis is an autoimmune optic neuropathy that has been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and more recently antimyelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (anti-MOG)-positive disorder. At initial presentation, it is often difficult to differentiate these entities given their significant overlap in clinical presentation and MRI findings. This review summarizes the distinguishing clinical and radiological features of MS, NMOSD, and anti-MOG disorders to help clinicians accurately diagnose and manage patients affected by these conditions. RECENT FINDINGS: Antiaquaporin-4 (AQP4) and more recently anti-MOG antibodies are both associated with central nervous system demyelinating diseases that often initially present with optic neuritis. Serologic testing now allows for a new classification of these overlapping conditions that can help to differentiate 'typical' optic neuritis that is often associated with MS from 'atypical' optic neuritis associated with NMOSD and anti-MOG-positive disorder. SUMMARY: Optic neuritis associated with MS, NMOSD, and anti-MOG-positive disease can have a similar clinical presentation. However, some clinical and radiologic findings can help clinicians to differentiate these entities so that they can be properly managed to optimize visual prognosis.
Membrane-associated mucins of the ocular surface: New genes, new protein functions and new biological roles in human and mouse. Prog Retin Eye Res 2019;:100777.Abstract.
The mucosal glycocalyx of the ocular surface constitutes the point of interaction between the tear film and the apical epithelial cells. Membrane-associated mucins (MAMs) are the defining molecules of the glycocalyx in all mucosal epithelia. Long recognized for their biophysical properties of hydration, lubrication, anti-adhesion and repulsion, MAMs maintain the wet ocular surface, lubricate the blink, stabilize the tear film and create a physical barrier to the outside world. However, it is increasingly appreciated that MAMs also function as cell surface receptors that transduce information from the outside to the inside of the cell. A number of excellent review articles have provided perspective on the field as it has progressed since 1987, when molecular cloning of the first MAM was reported. The current article provides an update for the ocular surface, placing it into the broad context of findings made in other organ systems, and including new genes, new protein functions and new biological roles. We discuss the epithelial tissue-equivalent with mucosal differentiation, the key model system making these advances possible. In addition, we make the first systematic comparison of MAMs in human and mouse, establishing the basis for using knockout mice for investigations with the complexity of an in vivo system. Lastly, we discuss findings from human genetics/genomics, which are providing clues to new MAM roles previously unimagined. Taken together, this information allows us to generate hypotheses for the next stage of investigation to expand our knowledge of MAM function in intracellular signaling and roles unique to the ocular surface.
Reply. Cornea 2019;38(12):e56-e57..
Filling Adeno-Associated Virus Capsids: Estimating Success by Cryo-Electron Microscopy. Hum Gene Ther 2019;30(12):1449-1460.Abstract.
Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) have been employed successfully as gene therapy vectors in treating various genetic diseases for almost two decades. However, transgene packaging is usually imperfect, and developing a rapid and accurate method for measuring the proportion of DNA encapsidation is an important step for improving the downstream process of large scale vector production. In this study, we used two-dimensional class averages and three-dimensional classes, intermediate outputs in the single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) image reconstruction pipeline, to determine the proportion of DNA-packaged and empty capsid populations. Two different preparations of AAV3 were analyzed to estimate the minimum number of particles required to be sampled by cryo-EM in order for robust calculation of the proportion of the full versus empty capsids in any given sample. Cost analysis applied to the minimum amount of data required for a valid ratio suggests that cryo-EM is an effective approach to analyze vector preparations.
Outcomes of strabismus surgery in genetically confirmed congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles. J AAPOS 2019;Abstract.
PURPOSE: To detail surgical strategy and strabismus outcomes in a genetically defined cohort of patients with congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM). METHODS: A total of 13 patients with genetically confirmed CFEOM (via genetic testing for mutations in KIF21A, PHOX2A, and TUBB3) were retrospectively identified after undergoing strabismus surgery at Boston Children's Hospital and surgical outcomes were compared. RESULTS: Age at first surgery ranged from 11 months to 63 years, with an average of 3 strabismus procedures per patient. Ten patients had CFEOM1, of whom 9 had the KIF21A R954W amino acid (AA) substitution and 1 had the M947T AA substitution. Of the 3 with CFEOM3, 2 had the TUBB3 E410K AA substitution, and 1 had a previously unreported E410V AA substitution. CFEOM1 patients all underwent at least 1 procedure to address chin-up posture. Chin-up posture improved from 24° ± 8° before surgery to 10.0° ± 8° postoperatively (P < 0.001). Three CFEOM1 patients developed exotropia after vertical muscle surgery alone; all had the R954W AA substitution. Postoperatively, 1 CFEOM1 patient developed a corneal ulcer. All CFEOM3 patients appeared to have underlying exposure keratopathy, successfully treated with prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) lens in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: CFEOM is a complex strabismus disorder for which surgical management is difficult. Despite an aggressive surgical approach, multiple procedures may be necessary to achieve a desirable surgical effect. Knowledge of the underlying genetic diagnosis may help to inform surgical management.
In Reply: Protocol For Titrated Endocycloplasty When Combined With Phacoemulsification in an Exclusive Cohort of Angle Closure Glaucoma. J Glaucoma 2019;28(12):e178-e179..