Cornea

Cornea Publications

Botten N, Hodges RR, Bair J, Utheim TP, Serhan CN, Yang M, Dartt DA. Resolvin D2 uses multiple Ca2+ -dependent signaling pathways to stimulate mucin secretion in rat and human conjunctival goblet cells. J Cell Physiol 2022;Abstract
The mucin layer of the tear film is produced by goblet cells in the conjunctiva to protect the ocular surface and maintain homeostasis. The pro-resolving lipid mediator resolvin D2 (RvD2) biosynthesized from an omega 3 fatty acid actively terminates inflammation and regulates mucin secretion from conjunctival goblet cells. Our objective was to determine which Ca2+ -dependent signaling pathways RvD2 uses to stimulate conjunctival goblet cell function (CGC). We hypothesize that RvD2 activates multiple intracellular Ca2+ signaling pathways to stimulate CGC secretion. Rat and human CGCs were cultured from conjunctival explants. The amount of RvD2 receptor GPR18/DRV2 message and protein were determined. The intracellular concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+ ]i ) was measured in CGCs using a fluorescent Ca2+ dye and mucin secretion was determined by measuring protein secretion enzymatically with a lectin. Goblet cells were incubated with signaling pathway inhibitors before stimulation with RvD2 and [Ca2+ ]i or secretion was measured. In rat and human CGCs RvD2 receptor and in rat CGCs IP3 (a molecule that releases Ca2+ from intracellular organelles) receptors 1-3 were detected. In both species of CGC RvD2 increased [Ca2+ ]i similarly to RvD1. In rat CGCs, the increase in [Ca2+ ]i and secretion stimulated by RvD2 was significantly blocked by inhibitors to phospholipase (PL-) C and IP3 -receptor, but not protein kinase C. Increase in [Ca2+ ]i was blocked by the PLD inhibitor, but not the PLA2 inhibitor. Secretion was blocked by PLA2 inhibitor, but not the PLD inhibitor. An inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor blocked the increase in [Ca2+ ]i by RvD2 in both species of CGCs. In CGCs RvD2 activates multiple intracellular signaling pathways that are Ca2+ -dependent, along with one Ca2+ -independent and one cAMP/protein kinase A-dependent pathway. Activation of these pathways stimulate mucin secretion from rat and human CGCs into the tear film contributing to ocular surface homeostasis and health.
Yang M, Fjærvoll HK, Fjærvoll KA, Wang NH, Utheim TP, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. Sex-based differences in conjunctival goblet cell responses to pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators. Sci Rep 2022;12(1):16305.Abstract
Many conjunctival inflammatory diseases differ between the sexes and altered conjunctival goblet cells (CGCs) response is often involved. Inflammation is initiated by the release of pro-inflammatory mediators and terminated by the biosynthesis of specialized pro-resolution mediators (SPMs). Herein, we determined the sex-based difference in the responses of CGCs to inflammatory stimuli or pro-resolving lipid SPMs and their interaction with sex hormones. GCs were cultured from pieces of human conjunctiva in RPMI media. CGCs were transferred 24 h before the start of experiments to phenol red-free and FBS-free media to minimize exogenous hormones. RT-PCR, immunofluorescence microscopy (IF), and Western Blot (WB) were performed to determine the presence of sex hormone receptors. Cellular response to pro-inflammatory stimuli or SPMs was studied by measuring the increase in intracellular [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) using fura 2/AM microscopy. Use of RT-PCR demonstrated estrogen receptor (ER) α in 4/5 males and 3/3 females; ERβ in 2/4 males and 2/3 females; and androgen receptors (AR) in 3/3 male and 3/3 female CGCs. Positive immunoreactivity by IF and protein expression by WB was detected using antibodies for the ERα and ERβ in 3/3 males and 3/3 females, while AR were only present in males. Significantly different Ca2+ responses between sexes were found with carbachol only at 10-3 M, but not with histamine or leukotriene (LT) B4 at any concentration used. Incubation with dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), or estradiol (E2) at 10-7 M for 30 min significantly inhibited the LTB4-stimulated [Ca2+]i increase in male and female CGCs. Incubation with DHT, E1, and E2 overnight significantly inhibited the LTB4 response in females, while DHT and E2 significantly inhibited the LTB4 response in males. The SPM lipoxin A4 (LXA4) (10-9-10-8 M), but not the resolvins D1 or D2, induced an [Ca2+]i increase that was significantly higher in males compared to females. We conclude that male and female CGCs showed differences in the expression of sex hormone receptors. Treatment with sex hormones altered pro-inflammatory mediator LTB4-induced response. Males compared to females have a higher response to the ω-6-fatty acid derived SPM LXA4, indicating males may terminate inflammation in conjunctival goblet cells faster than females.
Ogawa Y, Dana R, Kim S, Jain S, Rosenblatt MI, Perez VL, Clayton JA, Alves M, Rocha EM, Amparo F, Seo KY, Wang Y, Shen J, Oh JY, Vanathi M, Nair S, Na K-S, Riemens A, Sippel K, Soifer M, Wang S, Trindade M, Kim MK, Yoon CH, Yagi R, Hiratsuka R, Ogawa M, Shimizu E, Sato Y, Pflugfelder S, Tsubota K. Multicenter prospective validation study for international chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease consensus diagnostic criteria. Ocul Surf 2022;26:200-208.Abstract
PURPOSE: To validate the international chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) diagnostic criteria (ICCGVHD) compared to the National Institute of Health diagnostic criteria 2014 (NIH2014) for chronic ocular GVHD. METHODS: Between 2013 and 2019, the study enrolled 233 patients with or without chronic ocular GVHD combined with the presence or absence of systemic chronic GVHD in an internationally prospective multicenter and observational cohort from 9 institutions. All patients were evaluated for four clinical parameters of ICCGVHD. RESULTS: The relation between the ICCGVHD score (0-11) and NIH2014 eye score (0-4) was relatively high (r = 0.708, 95% CI: 0.637-0.767, p < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of ICCGVHD for NIH 2014 for 233 patients were 94.3% (95% CI: 89.6%-98.1%) and 71.7% (95% CI: 63.0-79.5%), respectively (cutoff value of the ICCGVHD score = 6). The positive predictive value was 77.1% (95% CI: 71.1%-82.1%), and the negative predictive value was 87.0% (95% CI:81.6-92.5%). For the patients with systemic GVHD (n = 171), the sensitivity and specificity were 94.2% and 67.2%, respectively (ICCGVHD-score cutoff value = 6). By receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.903 (95% CI: 0.859-0.948). For patients without systemic GVHD (n = 62), the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 76.7%, respectively (ICCGVHD-score cutoff value = 6). The AUC was 0.891 (95% CI 0.673-1.000). CONCLUSIONS: Good sensitivity, specificity, predictive value and correlation were found between ICCGVHD and NIH2014. ICCGVHD scores ≥6 can be useful to diagnose ocular GVHD with or without systemic GVHD for clinical research.
Dohlman C. The Boston Keratoprosthesis-The First 50 Years: Some Reminiscences. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2022;8:1-32.Abstract
Millions of people worldwide are bilaterally blind due to corneal diseases including infectious etiologies, trauma, and chemical injuries. While corneal transplantation can successfully restore sight in many, corneal graft survival decreases in eyes with chronic inflammation and corneal vascularization. Additionally, the availability of donor cornea material can be limited, especially in underdeveloped countries where corneal blindness may also be highly prevalent. Development of methods to create and implant an artificial cornea (keratoprosthesis) may be the only option for patients whose eye disease is not suitable for corneal transplantation or who live in regions where corneal transplantation is not possible. The Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) is the most commonly implanted keratoprosthesis worldwide, having restored vision in thousands of patients. This article describes the initial design of the B-KPro and the modifications that have been made over many years. Additionally, some of the complications of surgical implantation and long-term care challenges, particularly complicating inflammation and glaucoma, are discussed.
van Zyl T, Yan W, McAdams AM, Monavarfeshani A, Hageman GS, Sanes JR. Cell atlas of the human ocular anterior segment: Tissue-specific and shared cell types. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2022;119(29):e2200914119.Abstract
The anterior segment of the eye consists of the cornea, iris, ciliary body, crystalline lens, and aqueous humor outflow pathways. Together, these tissues are essential for the proper functioning of the eye. Disorders of vision have been ascribed to defects in all of them; some disorders, including glaucoma and cataract, are among the most prevalent causes of blindness in the world. To characterize the cell types that compose these tissues, we generated an anterior segment cell atlas of the human eye using high-throughput single-nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNAseq). We profiled 195,248 nuclei from nondiseased anterior segment tissues of six human donors, identifying >60 cell types. Many of these cell types were discrete, whereas others, especially in the lens and cornea, formed continua corresponding to known developmental transitions that persist in adulthood. Having profiled each tissue separately, we performed an integrated analysis of the entire anterior segment, revealing that some cell types are unique to a single structure, whereas others are shared across tissues. The integrated cell atlas was then used to investigate cell type-specific expression patterns of more than 900 human ocular disease genes identified through either Mendelian inheritance patterns or genome-wide association studies.
Gomez A, Mercado C, Venkateswaran N, de la Sen-Corcuera B, Miller D, Dubovy S, Salero E, Sabater AL. Brief incubation of corneal grafts in activated platelet rich plasma enhances corneal endothelial cell survival and regeneration. Exp Eye Res 2022;220:109100.Abstract
Corneal transplantation is the most frequent organ transplantation worldwide. Unfortunately, corneal graft failure is common and endothelial decompensation is considered the major cause. Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) lack the capacity to reproduce, and perioperative and postoperative endothelial cell loss remains a significant challenge associated with corneal graft viability. Therefore, strategies to preserve CEC density are critical to extend graft survival. Activated platelet rich plasma (aPRP), a product extracted from autologous blood, has both antioxidant and regenerative properties. aPRP eye drops have shown effectiveness in the treatment of corneal pathologies such as ulcers, dry eye, and burns. Our purpose is to determine the protective and regenerative effect of aPRP on corneal grafts by evaluating aPRP's effect on the survival and proliferation of human CECs. Human corneal grafts were incubated in aPRP for 15 min to assess the activation of the CEC pAkt survival pathway as measured by ELISA. Evaluation of the protective effect of aPRP was made using an apoptotic model, which simulated oxidative stress conditions. Expression of apoptotic markers was measured using ELISA and endothelial cell viability was determined by optical microscopy. The CEC proliferation rate was measured in vitro with Ki-67 staining. Corneal graft gross structure was evaluated by Hematoxylin & Eosin and Masson trichrome staining. Our results indicate that a short incubation of human corneal grafts in aPRP protects CECs from apoptosis by upregulating the pAkt survival pathway and promoting CEC proliferation. Additionally, aPRP incubation does not induce histological changes in the grafts. A brief pre-treatment of human corneal grafts in aPRP may be beneficial for transplant longevity, as it protects CECs from apoptosis by upregulating intracellular survival pathways and promoting proliferation. In addition, this approach appears to be safe and has the potential to improve surgical outcomes following corneal transplantation.
Saini C, Chen TC, Young LH, Vavvas DG, Vangel M, Papaliodis GN, Mukai S, Turalba AV, Rhee DJ, Wu DM, Eliott D, Miller JB, Song BJ, Shen LQ, Pasquale LR, Chodosh J. Restoration of Vision in Severe, Cicatricial, Ocular Surface Disease with the Boston Keratoprosthesis Type II. Am J Ophthalmol 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess clinical outcomes of patients with severe, cicatricial ocular surface disease (OSD) implanted with the currently marketed design of the Boston keratoprosthesis type II (BK2). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Records of consecutive patients undergoing BK2 implantation from June 2009 to March 2021 were assessed for postoperative visual acuity, postoperative complications, device replacement, and additional surgeries. RESULTS: Fifty-six eyes of 53 patients with a mean follow-up of 45.8 months (range: 0.2-134.7 months) were included. Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis was the most common indication (49.1%), followed by mucous membrane pemphigoid (39.6%) and other OSD (11.3%). Visual acuity improved from LogMAR 2.2±0.5 preoperatively to 1.5±1.2 at final follow-up. Fifty of 56 eyes saw ≥20/200 at some point postoperatively. Of the eyes with a follow-up of more than 5 years, 50.0% retained a visual acuity of ≥20/200 at their final follow-up. The most common complications, over the entire postoperative course (mean ∼4 years), were de-novo or worsening glaucoma (41.1%), choroidal effusions (30.3%), retinal detachment (25.0%) and end-stage glaucoma (25.0%). In a univariate analysis, patients who experienced irreversible loss of ≥20/200 visual acuity were more likely to have been previously implanted with an older design of BK2, less likely to be on preoperative systemic immunosuppressive therapy, and less likely to have undergone concurrent glaucoma tube implantation, compared to patients who retained ≥20/200 acuity (p<0.04 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Advances in device design and postoperative care have made implantation of BK2 a viable option for corneal blindness in the setting of severe cicatricial OSD.
Singh RB, Yuksel E, Sinha S, Wang S, Taketani Y, Luznik Z, Yin J, Dohlman TH, Dana R. Prevalence of neurotrophic keratopathy in patients with chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease. Ocul Surf 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and risk factors associated with neurotrophic keratopathy (NK) in patients with chronic ocular graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: We performed a chart review of patients diagnosed with chronic oGVHD between January 2015 and December 2018 at a single academic institution and recorded demographic data, systemic and ocular comorbidities, history of hematologic malignancy, transplant characteristics, oGVHD severity scores, and adnexal and ocular examination findings. We determined the prevalence of NK and clinical characteristics associated with NK in these patients. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the risk factors associated with NK in these patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of NK in chronic oGVHD. RESULTS: We identified 213 patients diagnosed with chronic oGVHD following hematopoietic stem cell or bone marrow transplantation from our electronic patient database, and the prevalence of NK was 14%. The mean age of oGVHD patients with NK was 62.6 ± 12.9 years; 48% were women, 19 had unilateral NK, and ten had bilateral NK. In the cohort, 56%, 20%, and 24% eyes of the patients had grades 1, 2, and 3 of NK, respectively. The mean time to diagnose NK after transplantation was 52.9 ± 45.4 months. oGVHD patients diagnosed with NK had a significantly higher NIH oGVHD severity score (p = 0.04) and a lower corneal sensation score (p = 0.0001) than those without NK. Our analyses showed a significantly higher CFS score (p = 0.01) and a trend toward lower Schirmer test scores (p = 0.16) and tear break-up times (p = 0.08) in oGVHD patients with NK. Additionally, we observed a significantly higher prevalence of persistent epithelial defect (p = 0.0001), corneal ulceration (p = 0.0001), and corneal perforation (p = 0.005) in oGVHD patients diagnosed with NK. A logistic regression analysis to determine factors associated with NK showed that a higher NIH oGVHD score (odds ratio [OR] = 2.03, p = 0.026) and history of cataract surgery (odds ratio [OR] = 5.03, p = 0.001) are significant risk factors for NK in oGVHD patients. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of NK in chronic oGVHD patients was 14% during the study period. Our analysis shows that oGVHD patients with a higher NIH oGVHD severity score and previous history of cataract surgery are at a higher risk of developing NK and may develop severe sequelae such as persistent epithelial defect or corneal ulceration.
Kitazawa K, Inotmata T, Shih K, Hughes J-WB, Bozza N, Tomioka Y, Numa K, Yokoi N, Campisi J, Dana R, Sotozono C. Impact of aging on the pathophysiology of dry eye disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ocul Surf 2022;25:108-118.Abstract
PURPOSE: Dry eye disease (DED) is a common age-related ocular surface disease. However, it is unknown how aging influences the ocular surface microenvironment. This systematic review aims to investigate how the aging process changes the ocular surface microenvironment and impacts the development of DED. METHODS: An article search was performed in PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science. 44 studies reporting on age-related ocular changes and 14 large epidemiological studies involving the prevalence of DED were identified. 8 out of 14 epidemiological studies were further analyzed with meta-analysis. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) reporting guidelines were followed. Study-specific estimates (impact of aging on the prevalence of DED) were combined using one-group meta-analysis in a random-effects model. RESULTS: Meta-analysis revealed the prevalence of DED in the elderly aged 60 years old or older was 5519 of 60107 (9.2%) and the odds ratio of aging compared to younger age was 1.313 (95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.107, 1.557). With increasing age, the integrity of the ocular surface and tear film stability decreased. Various inflammatory cells, including senescent-associated T-cells, infiltrated the ocular surface epithelium, lacrimal gland, and meibomian gland, accompanied by senescence-related changes, including accumulation of 8-OHdG and lipofuscin-like inclusions, increased expression of p53 and apoptosis-related genes, and decreased Ki67 positive cells. CONCLUSIONS: The aging process greatly impacts the ocular surface microenvironment, consequently leading to DED.
Simpson FC, Islam MM, Buznyk O, Edin E, Groleau M, Kozak-Ljunggren M, Magrelli FM, AbuSamra DB, Argüeso P, Chodosh J, Liszka A, Fagerholm P, Griffith M. Electron-Beam Irradiated Recombinant Human Collagen-Phosphorylcholine Corneal Implants Retain Pro-Regeneration Capacity. Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2022;10:883977.Abstract
Sterilization of biodegradable, collagen-based implants is challenging as irradiation sterilization methods can alter their mechanical properties. Electron beam (EB) irradiation is a terminal sterilization method that has been used for biologically-derived implants. Here, recombinant human collagen type III-phosphorylcholine (RHCIII-MPC) hydrogels were irradiated with EB doses of 17, 19, or 21 kGy and their subsequent biocompatibility and ability to promote regeneration in rabbit corneas was evaluated. Unirradiated hydrogels stored in 1% chloroform in phosphate-buffered saline (C-PBS) were the controls. There were no significant differences between irradiated and non-irradiated samples in optical or physical properties (tensile strength, modulus, elasticity), or the ability to support cell growth. However, irradiated implants were more sensitive to high levels of collagenase than unirradiated controls and the C-PBS implants had increased cell growth compared to EB and controls at 72 h. Corneal implants e-beamed at 17 kGy or e-beamed and subsequently frozen (EB-F) to increase shelf-life showed no adverse biological effects of the irradiation. EB, EB-F, and C-PBS implanted corneas all rapidly re-epithelialized but showed mild neovascularization that resolved over 6 months. The regenerated neo-corneas were transparent at 6 months post-operation. In vivo confocal microscopy confirmed normal morphology for the epithelium, stroma, sub-basal nerves and unoperated endothelium. Histology showed that all the regenerated corneas were morphologically similar to the normal. Immunohistochemistry indicated the presence of a differentiated corneal epithelium and functional tear film. In conclusion, the e-beamed corneal implants performed as well as non-irradiated control implants, resulting in fully regenerated neo-corneas with new nerves and without blood vessels or inflammation that may impede vision or corneal function. Therefore, a complete validation study to establish EB irradiation as an effective means for corneal implant sterilization prior to clinical application is necessary as a next step.

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