PURPOSE: To evaluate the antifungal properties of topical antibiotics (already being used successfully to prevent bacterial endophthalmitis) and some promising antiseptics for antifungal prophylaxis in the setting of artificial corneal implantation. METHODS: Several commonly used antibiotics for antimicrobial prophylaxis after artificial corneal implantation, in addition to antiseptics [benzalkonium chloride (BAK), povidone-iodine (PI), and some ionic liquids (ILs)], were tested in vitro against Candida albicans, Fusarium solani, and Aspergillus fumigatus. The time-kill activity was determined. Toxicity was assayed in vitro on human corneal epithelial cultures using trypan blue. Adhesion and tissue invasion experiments were also carried out on porcine corneas and commonly used contact lenses, with or without gamma irradiation, and by analysis with fluorescence microscopy. RESULTS: Polymyxin B (PMB)/trimethoprim/BAK (Polytrim), PMB alone, gatifloxacin with BAK (Zymaxid), and same-concentration BAK alone exhibited antifungal activity in vitro. Moxifloxacin (MOX) or gatifloxacin without BAK-as well as trimethoprim, vancomycin, and chloramphenicol-had no effect. 1% PI and ILs had the highest efficacy/toxicity ratios (>1), and Polytrim was species dependent. Subfungicidal concentrations of Polytrim reduced adhesion of C. albicans to Kontur contact lenses. Gamma-irradiated corneas showed enhanced resistance to fungal invasion. CONCLUSIONS: Of antibiotic preparations already in use for bacterial prophylaxis after KPro surgery, Polytrim is a commonly used antibiotic with antifungal effects mediated by both PMB and BAK and may be sufficient for prophylaxis. PI as a 1% solution seems to be promising as a long-term antifungal agent. Choline-undecanoate IL is effective and virtually nontoxic and warrants further development.
AIM: To evaluate and report the outcomes following phacoemulsification on four eyes, 45 years or more after corneal transplantation. METHODS: A retrospective case series of four eyes in three patients (P1, P2, P3), undergoing phacoemulsification at least 45 years after corneal transplantation by Dr Ramon Castroviejo. Corneal graft survival outcome measures included central corneal thickness (CCT), best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), corneal clarity and endothelial cell count (ECC). RESULTS: Phacoemulsification was successfully completed in all four cases with no instances of graft failure during the postoperative follow-up period, which ranged from 17 months to 76 months. At the conclusion of the follow-up period, all four grafts remained clear, and BCVA remained better than or similar to preoperative values. Long-term follow-up revealed no meaningful changes in CCT after phacoemulsification. All but one case experienced a decrease in ECC, with ECC values in the four cases ranging from 538 cells/mm to 1436 cells/mm at the conclusion of postoperative follow-up. CONCLUSION: Limited data have been published on the long-term survival of corneal grafts after intraocular surgery, especially for extremely 'mature' corneal transplants. This case series demonstrates that with appropriate preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative measures, successful phacoemulsification can be performed in these cases with excellent long-term results.
The management of corneal infections often requires complex therapeutic regimens involving the prolonged and high-frequency application of antibiotics that provide many challenges to patients and impact compliance with the therapeutic regimens. In the context of severe injuries that lead to tissue defects (e.g. corneal lacerations) topical drug regimens are inadequate and suturing is often indicated. There is thus an unmet need for interventions that can provide tissue closure while concurrently preventing or treating infection. In this study, we describe the development of an antibacterial bioadhesive hydrogel loaded with micelles containing ciprofloxacin (CPX) for the management of corneal injuries at risk of infection. The in vitro release profile showed that the hydrogel system can release CPX, a broad-spectrum antibacterial drug, for up to 24 h. Moreover, the developed CPX-loaded hydrogels exhibited excellent antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two bacterial strains responsible for the most ocular infections. Physical characterization, as well as adhesion and cytocompatibility tests, were performed to assess the effect of CPX loading in the developed hydrogel. Results showed that CPX loading did not affect stiffness, adhesive properties, or cytocompatibility of hydrogels. The efficiency of the antibacterial hydrogel was assessed using an ex vivo model of infectious pig corneal injury. Corneal tissues treated with the antibacterial hydrogel showed a significant decrease in bacterial colony-forming units (CFU) and a higher corneal epithelial viability after 24 h as compared to non-treated corneas and corneas treated with hydrogel without CPX. These results suggest that the developed adhesive hydrogel system presents a promising suture-free solution to seal corneal wounds while preventing infection.
Purpose: Ocular infection by human adenovirus species D type 37 (HAdV-D37) causes epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, a severe, hyperacute condition. The corneal component of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis begins upon infection of corneal epithelium, and the mechanism of viral entry dictates subsequent proinflammatory gene expression. Therefore, it is important to understand the specific pathways of adenoviral entry in these cells. Methods: Transmission electron microscopy of primary and tert-immortalized human corneal epithelial cells infected with HAdV-D37 was performed to identify the means of viral entry. Confocal microscopy was used to determine intracellular trafficking. The results of targeted small interfering RNA and specific chemical inhibitors were analyzed by quantitative PCR, and Western blot. Results: By transmission electron microscopy, HAdV-D37 was seen to enter by both clathrin-coated pits and macropinocytosis; however, entry was both pH and dynamin 2 independent. Small interfering RNA against clathrin, AP2A1, and lysosome-associated membrane protein 1, but not early endosome antigen 1, decreased early viral gene expression. Ethyl-isopropyl amiloride, which blocks micropinocytosis, did not affect HAdV-D37 entry, but IPA, an inhibitor of p21-activated kinase, and important to actin polymerization, decreased viral entry in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusions: HAdV-D37 enters human corneal epithelial cells by a noncanonical clathrin-mediated pathway involving lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 and PAK1, independent of pH, dynamin, and early endosome antigen 1. We showed earlier that HAdV-D37 enters human keratocytes through caveolae. Therefore, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis-associated viruses enter different corneal cell types via disparate pathways, which could account for a relative paucity of proinflammatory gene expression upon infection of corneal epithelial cells compared with keratocytes, as seen in prior studies.
The cornea is an avascular, transparent ocular tissue that serves as a refractive and protective structure for the eye. Over 90% of the cornea is composed of a collagenous-rich extracellular matrix within the stroma with the other 10% composed by the corneal epithelium and endothelium layers and their corresponding supporting collagen layers (e.g., Bowman's and Descemet's membranes) at the anterior and posterior cornea, respectively. Due to its prominent role in corneal structure, tissue engineering approaches to model the human cornea in vitro have focused heavily on the cellular and functional properties of the corneal stroma. In this review, we discuss model development in the context of culture dimensionality (e.g., 2-dimensional versus 3-dimensional) and expand on the optical, biomechanical, and cellular functions promoted by the culture microenvironment. We describe current methods to model the human cornea with focus on organotypic approaches, compressed collagen, bioprinting, and self-assembled stromal models. We also expand on co-culture applications with the inclusion of relevant corneal cell types, such as epithelial, stromal keratocyte or fibroblast, endothelial, and neuronal cells. Further advancements in corneal tissue model development will markedly improve our current understanding of corneal wound healing and regeneration.
The mucosal epithelia of the ocular surface protect against external threats to the eye. Using a model of human stratified corneal epithelial cells with mucosal differentiation, we previously demonstrated that a small molecule inhibitor of dynamin GTPases, dynasore, prevents damage to cells and their transcellular barriers when subjected to oxidative stress. Investigating mechanisms, we now report the novel finding that dynasore acts by maintaining Ca homeostasis, thereby inhibiting the PERK branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) that promotes cell death. Dynasore was found to protect mitochondria by preventing mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening (mPTP), but, unlike reports using other systems, this was not mediated by dynamin family member DRP1. Necrostatin-1, an inhibitor of RIPK1 and lytic forms of programmed cell death, also inhibited mPTP opening and further protected the plasma membrane barrier. Significantly, necrostatin-1 did not protect the mucosal barrier. Oxidative stress increased mRNA for sXBP1, a marker of the IRE1 branch of the UPR, and CHOP, a marker of the PERK branch. It also stimulated phosphorylation of eIF2α, the upstream regulator of CHOP, as well as an increase in intracellular Ca. Dynasore selectively inhibited the increase in PERK branch markers, and also prevented the increase intracellular Ca in response to oxidative stress. The increase in PERK branch markers were also inhibited when cells were treated with the cell permeable Ca chelator, BAPTA-AM. To our knowledge, this is the first time that dynasore has been shown to have an effect on the UPR and suggests therapeutic applications.
PURPOSE: Report the efficacy of cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive (CTA) application in the management of corneal thinning and perforations associated with microbial keratitis. METHODS: A retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent CTA application for corneal thinning and perforation secondary to microbiologically proven infectious keratitis between 2001 and 2018 at a single center. We defined successful CTA application as an intact globe without tectonic surgical intervention. RESULTS: The cohort included 67 patients, and 37 presented with corneal perforation while 30 had corneal thinning. The perforation/thinning was central/paracentral in 43 eyes and peripheral in 23 eyes. The underlying infectious etiologies were monomicrobial in 42 cases (35 bacterial, 3 fungal, 2 viral, and 2 acanthamoeba cases) and polymicrobial in 25 cases (22 polybacterial cases and 3 cases with a combination of Gram positive bacteria and fungus). The median duration of glue retention was 29 days. The CTA success rate was 73%, 64%, and 44% at 10, 30, and 180 days, respectively. CTA application appears more successful in monomicrobial (vs. polymicrobial) and Gram positive bacterial (vs. Gram negative) keratitis but the differences are statistically non-significant. The location of perforation/thinning and the use of topical corticosteroid were not associated with CTA failure. CONCLUSION: CTA was moderately effective in restoring globe integrity in severe corneal thinning and perforation secondary to microbial keratitis in the short term. However the majority of patients require tectonic surgical intervention within 6 months. CTA application success is not significantly associated with the location of thinning/perforation or the use of topical corticosteroid.
Ocular inflammation is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, and steroids in topical ophthalmic solutions (e.g. dexamethasone eye drops) are the mainstay of therapy for ocular inflammation. For many non-infectious ocular inflammatory diseases, such as uveitis, eye drops are administered as often as once every hour. The high frequency of administration coupled with the side effects of eye drops leads to poor adherence for patients. Drug-eluting contact lenses have long been sought as a potentially superior alternative for sustained ocular drug delivery; but loading sufficient drug into contact lenses and control the release of the drug is still a challenge. A dexamethasone releasing contact lens (Dex-Lens) was previously developed by encapsulating a dexamethasone-polymer film within the periphery of a hydrogel-based contact lens. Here, we demonstrate safety and efficacy of the Dex-Lens in rabbit models in the treatment of anterior ocular inflammation. The Dex-Lens delivered drug for 7 days in vivo (rabbit model). In an ocular irritation study (Draize test) with Dex-Lens extracts, no adverse events were observed in normal rabbit eyes. Dex-Lenses effectively inhibited suture-induced corneal neovascularization and inflammation for 7 days and lipopolysaccharide-induced anterior uveitis for 5 days. The efficacy of Dex-Lenses was similar to that of hourly-administered dexamethasone eye drops. In the corneal neovascularization study, substantial corneal edema was observed in rabbit eyes that received no treatment and those that wore a vehicle lens as compared to rabbit eyes that wore the Dex-Lens. Throughout these studies, Dex-Lenses were well tolerated and did not exhibit signs of toxicity. Dexamethasone-eluting contact lenses may be an option for the treatment of ocular inflammation and a platform for ocular drug delivery.
The purpose of this study was to determine the pathogenic changes that occur in myoepithelial cells (MECs) from lacrimal glands of a mouse model of Sjogren's syndrome. MECs were cultured from lacrimal glands of C57BL/6J (wild type, WT), and thrombospondin 1 null (TSP1) mice, and from mice expressing smooth muscle actin-GFP (SMA-GFP) that labels MECs. MECs were stimulated with cholinergic and α-adrenergic agonists, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and the purinergic (P)2 agonists, ATP and UTP. Then, intracellular [Ca] ([Ca]) was measured using fura 2 and contraction was observed using live cell imaging. Expression of purinergic receptors was determined by western blot analysis and mRNA expression was analyzed by microarray. The increase in [Ca] with VIP and UTP was significantly smaller in MECs from TSP1 compared to WT mice. Cholinergic agonists, ATP, and UTP stimulated contraction in MECs although contraction of MECs from TSP1 mice was reduced compared to WT mice. The amount of P2Y1, P2Y11, and P2Y13 was significantly decreased in MECs from TSP1 compared to WT mice whereas several extracellular matrix and inflammation genes were upregulated in MECs from TSP1 mice. We conclude that lacrimal gland MEC function is altered by inflammation as the functions regulated by cholinergic agonists, VIP and purinergic receptors are decreased in TSP1 compared to WT mice.
PURPOSE: To compare the clinical characteristics and in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) findings of patients with neuropathic corneal pain (NCP) due to refractive surgery (RS-NCP) and herpetic eye disease (H-NCP) to controls. METHODS: Sixteen patients with RS-NCP and 7 patients with H-NCP, and 37 healthy reference age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included to the study. The medical records were reviewed for demographic features, detailed disease history, ocular surface disease index (OSDI), ocular pain assessment survey (OPAS) scores. IVCM images of patients were analyzed and compared to reference controls by two masked observers. RESULTS: The mean pain intensity score for the last 24 h (5.1 ± 2.4 vs. 3.9 ± 1.2; p = 0.27), last 2 weeks (6.1 ± 2.5 vs. 4.8 ± 2.3; p = 0.13) for RS-NCP vs. H-NCP respectively, and quality of life scores (p = 0.23) were similar in both groups. Quality of life, especially mood (p = 0.06) and enjoying life/relations to others (p = 0.10) were affected in both groups, but were not statistically significant between groups. The mean total nerve density was lower in RS-NCP (5702.4 ± 4599.0 μm/mm) compared to their respective controls (26,422.8 ± 4491.0; p < 0.001) and in the H-NCP group (2149.5 ± 2985.9) compared to their respective controls (22,948.8 ± 3169.0; p < 0.001). Alterations in DC density were similar between all groups (38.3 ± 48.0 cells/mm in RS-NCP, 61.0 ± 76.9 in H-NCP, p = 0.95). CONCLUSION: Neuropathic corneal pain patients due to refractive surgery show similar clinical characteristics, pain levels, quality of life impact, and IVCM findings as patients with NCP due to herpetic eye disease.
The objective of this study was to evaluate which hyperelastic model could best describe the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea, in order to characterize the capability of the non-linear model parameters to discriminate structural changes in a damaged cornea. Porcine corneas were used, establishing two different groups: control (non-treated) and NaOH-treated (damaged) corneas (n = 8). NaOH causes a chemical burn to the corneal tissue, simulating a disease associated to structural damage of the stromal layer. Quasi-static uniaxial tensile tests were performed in nasal-temporal direction immediately after preparing corneal strips from the two groups. Three non-linear hyperelastic models (i.e. Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, Ogden model and Mooney-Rivlin model) were fitted to the stress-strain curves obtained in the tensile tests and statistically compared. The corneas from the two groups showed a non-linear mechanical behavior that was best described by the Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, obtaining the highest coefficient of determination (R > 0.95). Moreover, Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model showed the highest discriminative capability of the non-linear model parameter (Parameter A) for the tissue structural changes between the two sample groups (p = 0.0005). The present work determines the best hyperelastic model with the highest discriminative capability in description of the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea.
PURPOSE: Specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator resolvin (Rv) E1 stimulates secretion including mucins from conjunctival goblet cells. RvE1 can use both its ChemR23 receptor and the LTB receptor BLT1 to increase [Ca]. The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of ChemR23 and BLT1 and receptors on conjunctival goblet cells and the respective roles these two receptors play in goblet cell responses to RvE1. METHODS: Goblet cells were cultured from male rat or human conjunctiva from both sexes. Western blotting analysis, reverse transcription PCR and immunofluorescence microscopy were used to demonstrate the expression of ChemR23 and BLT1 in conjunctival goblet cells. High molecular weight glycoprotein secretion was determined using an enzyme-linked lectin assay. Signaling pathways were studied by measuring the increase in [Ca] using fura 2/AM. RESULTS: ChemR23 and BLT1 and receptors were present on both rat and human conjunctival goblet cells. The BLT1 inhibitors LY293111 and U75302 significantly blocked RvE1-and LTB-stimulated [Ca] increase. RvE1-and LTB-stimulated [Ca] and secretion increases were blocked by BLT1-targeted siRNA. RvE1-stimulated [Ca] and secretion increases were also blocked by ChemR23-targeted siRNA. Addition of RvE1 2 min before or simultaneously with LTB desensitized the LTB [Ca] response. Addition of RvE1 and LTB simultaneously caused secretion that was decreased compared to either response alone. CONCLUSION: RvE1, in addition to the ChemR23 receptor, uses the BLT1 receptor to increase [Ca] and stimulate secretion in both rat and human cultured conjunctival goblet cells.
Herpes simplex keratitis, caused primarily by human herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), remains the most common infectious cause of unilateral blindness and vision impairment in the industrialized world. Major advances in the care of HSV keratitis have been driven in large part by the landmark Herpetic Eye Disease Study randomized clinical trials, which were among the first in ophthalmology to reflect emerging trial conventions, including multicenter subject enrollment, double-masking, placebo controls, and a priori sample size determinations. The results of these trials now form much of the evidence basis for the management of this disease. However, management patterns in clinical practice often deviate from evidence-based care. These perceived quality gaps have given rise to the evolving field of implementation science, which is concerned with the methods of promoting the application of evidence-based medicine within routine care. To overcome variations in the quality and consistency of care for HSV keratitis, a range of clinical- and technology-based innovations are proposed. The most pressing needs include the following: a rational and tractable disease classification scheme that provides an immediate link between the anatomical localization of disease (corneal epithelial, stromal, or endothelial) and the appropriate treatment, and the actualization of an electronic medical record system capable of providing evidence-based treatment algorithms at relevant points of care. The latter would also input data to population-wide disease registries to identify implementation-rich targets for quality improvement, education, and research. These innovations may allow us to reduce the human and economic burdens of this highly morbid, and often blinding, disease.
PURPOSE: The diagnosis of neuropathic corneal pain (NCP) is challenging, as it is often difficult to differentiate from conventional dry eye disease (DED). In addition to eye pain, NCP can present with similar signs and symptoms of DED. The purpose of this study is to find an objective diagnostic sign to identify patients with NCP, using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: This was a comparative, retrospective, case-control study. Patients with clinical diagnosis of NCP (n = 25), DED (n = 30), and age and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 16), who underwent corneal imaging with IVCM (HRT3/RCM) were included. Central corneal IVCM scans were analyzed by 2 masked observers for nerve density and number, presence of micro-neuromas (terminal enlargements of subbasal corneal nerve) and/or nerve beading (bead-like formation along the nerves), and dendritiform cell (DC) density. RESULTS: There was a decrease in total nerve density in both NCP (14.14 ± 1.03 mm/mm) and DED patients (12.86 ± 1.04 mm/mm), as compared to normal controls (23.90 ± 0.92 mm/mm; p < 0.001). However, total nerve density was not statistically different between NCP and DED patients (p = 0.63). Presence of nerve beading was not significantly different between patients and normal controls (p = 0.15). Interestingly, micro-neuromas were observed in all patients with NCP, while they were not present in any of the patients with DED (sensitivity and specificity of 100%). DC density was increased significantly in both NCP (71.89 ± 16.91 cells/mm) and DED patients (111.5 ± 23.86 cells/mm), as compared to normal controls (24.81 ± 4.48 cells/mm (Colloca et al., 2017) ; p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in DC density between DED and NCP patients (p = 0.31). CONCLUSION: IVCM may be used as an adjunct diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of NCP in the presence of neuropathic symptoms. Micro-neuromas may serve as a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of NCP.