Cornea Publications

Vazirani J, Nair D, Shanbhag S, Wurity S, Ranjan A, Sangwan V. Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency - Demography And Underlying Causes. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the demographic features of patients affected by limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD), and to identify the underlying causes of LSCD DESIGN: Retrospective, multi-center case series SETTING: Two large tertiary care ophthalmology hospitals SUBJECTS: Patients with a diagnosis of LSCD presenting from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2014 METHODS: Records of patients with a clinical diagnosis of LSCD were reviewed. Demographic details and clinical features at presentation, as well as the underlying cause of LSCD (if identified) were noted. Descriptive statistical analysis and chart preparation were done. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Type of LSCD (unilateral or bilateral), age and sex of patients, extent of LSCD (clock hours of limbus involved) and underlying cause of LSCD RESULTS: We found 1331 patients with LSCD in the ten year period under study. Unilateral LSCD was more common (791 patients) than bilateral LSCD (540 patients). Out of 1331 patients, 875 (65.74%) were male. The median age of patients was 24 years. Extent of LSCD could be determined in 1849 eyes, of which 1239 eyes (67%) had total LSCD. The underlying cause of LSCD could be identified in 1512 eyes. In cases of unilateral LSCD, ocular surface burns was the commonest identifiable cause ( 83.73%). The leading identifiable causes of bilateral LSCD were ocular surface burns (29.95%), allergic conjunctivitis (29.48%), Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS) or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) (23.11%), aniridia (9.43%) and mucous membrane pemphigoid (3.54%). Lime ("chuna") injury was responsible for ocular surface burns in 352 (62.08%) out of 567 cases in which the agent was identified. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, unilateral LSCD was more common than bilateral LSCD. Young males were commonly affected, with a majority of eyes suffering from total LSCD. Overall, ocular surface burns are the leading cause of LSCD.Unilateral and bilateral LSCD had a markedly different distribution of causes, necessitating different approaches to management.
Cruzat A, Gonzalez-Andrades M, Mauris J, AbuSamra DB, Chidambaram P, Kenyon KR, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH, Argüeso P. Colocalization of Galectin-3 With CD147 Is Associated With Increased Gelatinolytic Activity in Ulcerating Human Corneas. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(1):223-230.Abstract
Purpose: Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein known to promote expression of matrix metalloproteinases, a hallmark of ulceration, through interaction with the extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer CD147. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of galectin-3 in corneas of patients with ulcerative keratitis and to determine its relationship to CD147 and the presence of gelatinolytic activity. Methods: This was an observational case series involving donor tissue from 13 patients with active corneal ulceration and 6 control corneas. Fixed-frozen sections of the corneas were processed to localize galectin-3 and CD147 by immunofluorescence microscopy. Gelatinolytic activity was detected by in situ zymography. Results: Tissue from patients with active corneal ulceration showed a greater galectin-3 immunoreactivity in basal epithelia and stroma compared with controls. Immunofluorescence grading scores revealed increased colocalization of galectin-3 and CD147 in corneal ulcers at the epithelial-stromal junction and within fibroblasts. Quantitative analysis using the Manders' colocalization coefficient demonstrated significant overlap in corneas from patients with ulcerative keratitis (M1 = 0.29; M2 = 0.22) as opposed to control corneas (M1 = 0.01, P < 0.01; M2 = 0.02, P < 0.05). In these experiments, there was a significant positive correlation between the degree of galectin-3 and CD147 colocalization and the presence of gelatinolytic activity. Conclusions: Our results indicate that concomitant stimulation and colocalization of galectin-3 with CD147 are associated with increased gelatinolytic activity in the actively ulcerating human cornea and suggest a mechanism by which galectin-3 may contribute to the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins during ulceration.
Kheirkhah A, Satitpitakul V, Syed ZA, Müller R, Goyal S, Tu EY, Dana R. Factors Influencing the Diagnostic Accuracy of Laser-Scanning In Vivo Confocal Microscopy for Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Cornea 2018;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the factors that influence the sensitivity and specificity of laser-scanning in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) for diagnosing Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). METHODS: This retrospective, controlled study included 28 eyes of 27 patients with AK and 34 eyes of 34 patients with bacterial keratitis (as the control group). All patients had undergone corneal imaging with a laser-scanning IVCM (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph 3 with the Rostock Cornea Module). The IVCM images were independently evaluated by 2 experienced and 2 inexperienced masked observers. Sensitivity and specificity of IVCM for diagnosing AK and the effects of various clinical and imaging parameters on the sensitivity were then investigated. RESULTS: Overall, IVCM had average sensitivity and specificity of 69.7% ± 2.5% and 97.1% ± 4.2% for experienced observers and 59.0% ± 7.6% and 92.7% ± 10.4% for inexperienced observers, respectively. However, the sensitivity did not show any significant association with the duration of disease, size of ulcer, depth of involvement, culture results, or cyst morphology. Although interobserver agreement was good (κ = 0.60, P < 0.001) for the experienced observers, it was only at a moderate level (κ = 0.48, P < 0.001) for the inexperienced observers. CONCLUSIONS: IVCM has a moderate sensitivity and a high specificity for diagnosis of AK. Although clinical parameters do not affect this diagnostic accuracy, a higher sensitivity is seen when images are interpreted by experienced observers.
Moein H-R, Kheirkhah A, Muller RT, Cruzat AC, Pavan-Langston D, Hamrah P. Corneal nerve regeneration after herpes simplex keratitis:An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ocul Surf 2018;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term alterations in corneal nerves in patients with herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal, cross sectional. METHODS: This study included 16 patients with history of HSV keratitis and 15 age-matched normal controls. Slit-scanning IVCM was performed in all subjects at baseline and then after a mean follow-up of 37.3 ± 1.7 months in the patient group. Corneal subbasal nerve density and corneal sensation were compared between groups at baseline and follow up. RESULTS: At baseline, the mean subbasal nerve density was significantly lower in both affected eyes (1.4 ± 0.6 mm/mm2) and contralateral unaffected eyes (6.4 ± 0.7 mm/mm2) compared with the controls (14.1 ± 1.6 mm/mm2; all P < .001). At the end of follow-up, the mean nerve density in affected eyes increased to 2.8 ± 0.7 mm/mm2 (P = .006), with no significant change in contralateral unaffected eyes (6.5 ± 1.0 mm/mm2, P = .72). However, both eyes had lower nerve density than controls (all P < .001). Corneal sensation was significantly lower in affected eyes (2.6 ± 0.6 cm) than in the control group (6.0 ± 0.0, P < .001) and showed no significant change at the end of follow-up (2.5 ± 0.6 cm, P = .80). Corneal sensation in contralateral unaffected eyes was not different in comparison with controls at both baseline and follow up (all p > .05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that although corneal nerve regeneration occurs in patients with HSV keratitis, this change is not clinically significant and does not results in changes of corneal sensation. Therefore, these patients need to be followed closely for complications of neurotrophic keratopathy and might benefit from neuro-regenerative therapies.
Eslani M, Putra I, Shen X, Hamouie J, Tadepalli A, Anwar KN, Kink JA, Ghassemi S, Agnihotri G, Reshetylo S, Mashaghi A, Dana R, Hematti P, Djalilian AR. Cornea Derived MSCs Therapeutically Modulate Macrophage Immunophenotype And Angiogenic Function. Stem Cells 2018;Abstract
Macrophages are crucial drivers of inflammatory corneal neovascularization and thus are potential targets for immunomodulatory therapies. We hypothesized that therapeutic use of cornea derived mesenchymal stromal cells (cMSCs) may alter the function of macrophages. We found that cMSCs can modulate the phenotype and angiogenic function of macrophages. In vitro, cMSCs induce apoptosis of macrophages while preferentially promoting a distinct CD14hi CD16hi CD163hi CD206hi immunophenotype that has significantly reduced angiogenic effects based on in vitro angiogenesis assays. In vivo, application of cMSCs to murine corneas after injury leads to reduced macrophage infiltration and higher expression of CD206 in macrophages. Macrophages co-cultured ("educated") by cMSCs express significantly higher levels of anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory factors compared to control macrophages. In vivo, injured corneas treated with cMSC-educated macrophages demonstrate significantly less neovascularization compared to corneas treated with control macrophages. Knocking down the expression of PEDF in cMSCs significantly abrogates its modulating effects on macrophages, as shown by the reduced rate of apoptosis, decreased expression of sFLT-1/PEDF, and increased expression of VEGF-A in the co-cultured macrophages. Similarly, cMSCs isolated from PEDF knockout mice are less effective compared to wild type cMSCs at inhibiting macrophage infiltration when applied to wild type corneas after injury. Overall, these results demonstrate that cMSCs therapeutically suppress the angiogenic capacity of macrophages and highlight the role of cMSC secreted PEDF in the modulation of macrophage phenotype and function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Kobashi H, Kamiya K, Shimizu K. Impact of Forward and Backward Scattering and Corneal Higher-Order Aberrations on Visual Acuity after Penetrating Keratoplasty. Semin Ophthalmol 2018;:1-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess the relationship of forward and backward scattering and corneal higher-order aberrations (HOAs) with corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) after penetrating keratoplasty (PK). METHODS: This retrospective study comprised 25 eyes of 25 consecutive patients who underwent PK using the VisuMax femtosecond laser system and age-matched 25 eyes of 25 healthy subjects. We quantitatively assessed objective scattering index (OSI) using the double-pass instrument (OQAS II, Visiometrics), corneal densitometry (CD) and corneal HOAs with the Scheimpflug rotating camera (Pentacam HR, Oculus) 1 year postoperatively. RESULTS: The OSI, CD, and corneal HOAs were significantly larger in the PK group than those in the control group (p ≤ 0.011). We found significant correlations of logMAR CDVA with the OSI (r = 0.477, p = 0.016), and with the anterior, posterior, and total corneal HOAs of the central 4-mm zone (anterior: r = 0.573, p = 0.003, posterior: r = 0.596, p = 0.002, total: r = 0.472, p = 0.017), but no significant association with the CD of the 0-2 mm zone at any layers (anterior: r = 0.236, p = 0.257, center: r = 0.139, p = 0.506, posterior: r = 0.073, p = 0.728, total: r = 0.212, p = 0.308). Similar results were obtained when the analysis was repeated with corneal HOAs of the central 6-mm zone and CDs in 2-6 mm zone. CONCLUSIONS: Our pilot study demonstrated that the postoperative CDVA was significantly correlated with OSI and corneal HOAs, but not with backward scattering in post-PK eyes, suggesting that OSI as well as corneal HOAs plays an essential role in postoperative visual performance after PK.
Uchino Y, Woodward AM, Mauris J, Peterson K, Verma P, Nilsson UJ, Rajaiya J, Argüeso P. Galectin-3 is an amplifier of the interleukin-1β-mediated inflammatory response in corneal keratinocytes. Immunology 2018;Abstract
Interleukin (IL)-1β is a potent mediator of innate immunity commonly upregulated in a broad spectrum of inflammatory diseases. When bound to its cell surface receptor, IL-1β initiates a signaling cascade that cooperatively induces the expression of canonical IL-1 target genes such as IL-8 and IL-6. Here, we present galectin-3 as a novel regulator of IL-1β responses in corneal keratinocytes. Using the SNAP-tag system and digitonin semipermeabilization, we show that recombinant exogenous galectin-3 binds to the plasma membrane of keratinocytes and is internalized into cytoplasmic compartments. We find that exogenous galectin-3, but not a dominant negative inhibitor of galectin-3 polymerization lacking the N-terminal domain, exacerbates the response to IL-1β by stimulating the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. The activity of galectin-3 could be reduced by a novel D-galactopyranoside derivative targeting the conserved galactoside-binding site of galectins and did not involve interaction with IL1R1 or the induction of endogenous IL-1β. Consistent with these observations, we demonstrate that siRNA-mediated suppression of endogenous galectin-3 expression is sufficient to impair the IL-1β-induced secretion of IL-8 and IL-6 in a p38 MAPK-independent manner. Collectively, our findings provide a novel role for galectin-3 as an amplifier of IL-1β responses during epithelial inflammation through an as yet unidentified mechanism. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Rodriguez JD, Lane KJ, Ousler GW, Angjeli E, Smith LM, Abelson MB. Blink: Characteristics, Controls, and Relation to Dry Eyes. Curr Eye Res 2018;43(1):52-66.Abstract
Blink is a complex phenomenon that is profoundly affected by diverse endogenous and exogenous stimuli. It has been studied in the context of cognition, emotional, and psychological states, as an indicator of fatigue and sleepiness, particularly in the automobile and transportation industry, in visual tasking, and finally, as it relates to tear film stability and ocular surface health. The fact that it is highly variable and has input from so many sources makes it very difficult to study. In the present review, the behavior of blink in many of these systems is discussed, ultimately returning in each instance to a discussion of how these factors affect blink in the context of dry eyes. Blink is important to ocular surface health and to an individual's optimal functioning and quality of life. Disturbances in blink, as cause or effect, result in a breakdown of tear film stability, optical clarity, and visual function.
Inomata T, Hua J, Nakao T, Shiang T, Chiang H, Amouzegar A, Dana R. Corneal Tissue From Dry Eye Donors Leads to Enhanced Graft Rejection. Cornea 2018;37(1):95-101.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess the effect of dry eye disease (DED) in graft donors on dendritic cell (DC) maturation, host T-cell sensitization, and corneal allograft rejection. METHODS: Corneas of control (healthy donor) and DED mice (C57BL/6) were transplanted onto fully allogeneic naive BALB/c recipients (n = 10 mice/group). Long-term allograft survival was evaluated for 8 weeks. Corneas and draining lymph nodes (dLNs) were harvested at posttransplantation day 14 (n = 5 mice/group). The frequencies of MHCII CD11c DCs in the donor corneas and host dLNs and the frequencies of interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-17 CD4 T cells and Foxp3 expression by Tregs in host dLNs were investigated using flow cytometry. The enzyme-linked immunospot assay was used to assess host T-cell allosensitization through direct and indirect pathways (n = 3/group). RESULTS: Recipients of DED donor corneas showed significantly reduced graft survival (10%) compared with control mice (50% survival, P = 0.022), and had significantly increased frequencies of mature DCs in the grafted cornea (DED donor 44.0% ± 0.36% vs. healthy donor 35.4 ± 0.5%; P < 0.0001) and host dLNs (DED donor 25.1% ± 0.66% vs. healthy donor 13.7% ± 1.6%; P = 0.005). Frequencies of IFN-γ and IL-17 T cells were increased in the dLNs of recipients of DED corneas, whereas the expression (mean fluorescence intensity) of Foxp3 in Tregs was decreased significantly in these mice (DED donor 6004 ± 193 vs. healthy donor 6806 ± 81; P = 0.0002). Enzyme-linked immunospot analysis showed that the direct pathway of allosensitization was significantly amplified in recipients of grafts with DED (P = 0.0146). CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that DED in the donor is a significant risk factor for subsequent corneal allograft rejection.
Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Sahin A, Pavan-Langston D, Samayoa E, Hamrah P. In vivo confocal microscopy detects bilateral changes of corneal immune cells and nerves in unilateral herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Ocul Surf 2018;16(1):101-111.Abstract
PURPOSE: To analyze bilateral corneal immune cell and nerve alterations in patients with unilateral herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and their correlation with corneal sensation and clinical findings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a prospective, cross-sectional, controlled, single-center study. Twenty-four eyes of 24 HZO patients and their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes and normal controls (n = 24) were included. Laser IVCM (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph/Rostock Cornea Module), corneal esthesiometry (Cochet-Bonnet) were performed. Changes in corneal dendritiform cell (DC) density and morphology, number and length of subbasal nerve fibers and their correlation to corneal sensation, pain, lesion location, disease duration, and number of episodes were analyzed. RESULTS: HZO-affected and contralateral eyes showed a significant increase in DC influx of the central cornea as compared to controls (147.4 ± 33.9, 120.1 ± 21.2, and 23.0 ± 3.6 cells/mm2; p < 0.0001). In HZO eyes DCs were larger in area (319.4 ± 59.8 μm2; p < 0.001) and number of dendrites (3.5 ± 0.4 n/cell; p = 0.01) as compared to controls (52.2 ± 11.7, and 2.3 ± 0.5). DC density and size showed moderate negative correlation with total nerve length (R = -0.43 and R = -0.57, respectively; all p < 0.001). A higher frequency of nerve beading and activated DCs close to nerve fibers were detected specifically in pain patients. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic unilateral HZO causes significant bilateral increase in corneal DC density and decrease of the corneal subbasal nerves as compared to controls. Negative correlation was observed for DC density and size to nerve parameters, suggesting interplay between the immune and nervous systems. Patients with chronic pain also showed increased nerve beading and activated DCs.
Liu Y, Kam WR, Fernandes P, Sullivan DA. The Effect of Solithromycin, a Cationic Amphiphilic Drug, on the Proliferation and Differentiation of Human Meibomian Gland Epithelial Cells. Curr Eye Res 2017;:1-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: We previously discovered that azithromycin (AZM) acts directly on immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells (IHMGECs) to stimulate their lipid and lysosome accumulation and overall differentiation. We hypothesize that this phospholipidosis-like effect is due to AZM's cationic amphiphilic drug (CAD) nature. If our hypothesis is correct, then other CADs (e.g., solithromycin [SOL]) should be able to duplicate AZM's action on IHMGECs. Our purpose was to test this hypothesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: IHMGECs were cultured in the presence of vehicle or SOL (2, 10, or 20 µg/ml) for up to 7 days under proliferating or differentiating conditions. Positive (epidermal growth factor and bovine pituitary extract for proliferation; AZM for differentiation) and negative (vehicle) controls were included with the experiments. IHMGECs were evaluated for cell number, neutral lipid content, and lysosome accumulation. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that SOL induces a rapid and dose-dependent increase in the accumulation of neutral lipids and lysosomes in HMGECs. The lysosomal effects were most prominent with the 10 and 20 µg/ml doses, and occurred earlier (i.e., 1 day) with SOL than with the AZM (10 µg/ml) control. The effects of SOL and AZM on IHMGEC differentiation were essentially the same after 3 days of culture. SOL did not influence the proliferation of HMGECs during a 7-day time period. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support our hypothesis that SOL, a CAD, is able to reproduce AZM's impact on lysosome and lipid accumulation, as well as the differentiation, of HMGECs. The effect of SOL on lysosome appearance was faster than that of AZM.
Kaufman AR, Cruzat A, Colby KA. Clinical Outcomes Using Oversized Back Plates in Type I Boston Keratoprosthesis. Eye Contact Lens 2017;Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To examine clinical outcomes of oversized titanium back plates in type I Boston keratoprosthesis (KPro) implantation. METHODS: Retrospective study of 22 sequential eyes (20 patients) undergoing type I KPro implantation with an oversized titanium back plate (larger than trephined wound diameter by 1.0 mm or more), performed by a single surgeon (K.A.C.) from June 2010 to November 2014. Data were collected regarding preoperative eye characteristics, surgical details, and postoperative clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Mean follow-up time per eye was 24.1±14.9 months. All eyes had improved vision after surgery; 13 eyes (59.1%) maintained visual acuity improvement at last follow-up. Initial KPro's were retained in 19 eyes (86.4%); one eye required KPro replacement. Primary retroprosthetic membrane (RPM) developed in three eyes (13.6%), with similar occurrence in aniridic (14.3%) and nonaniridic eyes (13.3%). Secondary RPM's developed in two eyes (9.1%) after vitritis (one eye) and retinal and choroidal detachment (one eye). Glaucoma was a common comorbidity: 2 of 14 eyes (14.3%) with preoperative glaucoma had glaucoma progression, and 4 of 8 eyes (50.0%) without preoperative glaucoma developed glaucoma postoperatively. Other postoperative complications included retinal detachment (5 eyes, 22.7%) and idiopathic vitritis (3 eyes, 13.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Oversized titanium KPro back plates are associated with a low rate of primary RPM formation and may have particular utility in reducing primary RPM formation in aniridic eyes. Glaucoma remains a challenge in postoperative KPro management. Complex eyes, at increased risk of postoperative complications, require careful management.
Alageel SA, Arafat SN, Salvador-Culla B, Kolovou PE, Jahanseir K, Kozak A, Braithwaite GJC, Ciolino JB. Corneal Cross-Linking With Verteporfin and Nonthermal Laser Therapy. Cornea 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: To test whether verteporfin with a nonthermal laser increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic degradation ex vivo. METHODS: Thirty human corneas (n = 5 per group) were treated with verteporfin alone (V), irradiated with nonthermal laser therapy (689 nm) alone (NTL), or received combined treatment of verteporfin with nonthermal laser therapy for 1 sequence (V+NTL1) or 6 sequences (V+NTL6) of 1 minute of NTL exposure. Positive controls were pretreated with 0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran every 3 to 5 minutes for 30 minutes and irradiated with ultraviolet light type A (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for 30 minutes using the Dresden protocol (R+UVA). Untreated corneas were used as negative controls. The corneal biomechanical properties were measured with enzymatic digestion, compression, creep, and tensile strength testing. RESULTS: V+NTL6- and R+UVA-treated corneas acquired higher rigidity and more pronounced curvature than untreated corneas. The stress-strain tests showed that V+NTL6 and R+UVA corneas became significantly stiffer than controls (P < 0.005). The V+NTL6 group seemed to be slightly stiffer than the R+UVA group, although the differences were not statistically significant. V+NTL6 corneas were found to have a significantly lower absolute creep rate (-1.87 vs. -3.46, P < 0.05) and significantly higher maximum stress values (7.67 vs. 3.02 P < 0.05) compared with untreated corneas. CONCLUSIONS: Verteporfin-NTL (V+NTL6) increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic collagenase degradation. Although a clinical study is needed, our results suggest that V+NTL6 induces corneal cross-linking and corneal biomechanical changes that are similar to those induced by standard corneal collagen cross-linking.