BACKGROUND/AIMS: To evaluate ex vivo biomechanical and enzymatic digestion resistance differences between standard myopic laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) compared with LASIK+CXL, in which high-irradiance cross-linking (CXL) is added. METHODS: Eight human donor corneas were subjected to femtosecond-assisted myopic LASIK. Group A (n=4) served as a control group (no CXL). The corneas in LASIK+CXL group B were subjected to concurrent prophylactic high-irradiance CXL (n=4). Saline-diluted (0.10%) riboflavin was instilled on the stroma, subsequently irradiated with UV-A through the repositioned flap. The cornea stroma and flap specimens were separately subjected to transverse biaxial resistance measurements; biomechanical differences were assessed via stress and Young's shear modulus. Subsequently, the specimens were subjected to enzymatic degradation. RESULTS: For the corneal stroma specimen, stress at 10% strain was 128±11 kPa for control group A versus 293±20 kPa for the LASIK+CXL group B (relative difference Δ=+129%, p<0.05). The stress in group B was also increased at 20% strain by +68% (p<0.05). Shear modulus in group B was increased at 10% strain by +79%, and at 20% strain by +48% (both statistically significant, p<0.05). The enzymatic degradation time to dissolution was 157.5±15.0 min in group A versus 186.25±7.5 min in group B (Δ=+18%, p=0.014). For the flaps, both biomechanical, as well as enzymatic degradation tests showed no significant differences. CONCLUSIONS: LASIK+CXL appears to provide significant increase in underlying corneal stromal rigidity, up to +130%. Additionally, there is significant relevant enzymatic digestion resistance confirmatory to the above. LASIK flaps appear unaffected biomechanically by the LASIK+CXL procedure, suggesting effective CXL just under the flap.
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal endothelial cell density (ECD) in patients with dry eye disease (DED) compared to an age-matched control group. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, controlled study. METHODS: This study included 90 eyes of 45 patients with moderate to severe DED (aged 53.7 ± 9.8 years) and 30 eyes of 15 normal controls (aged 50.7 ± 9.8 years). All subjects had a complete ophthalmic evaluation including symptom assessment using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and corneal fluorescein staining. In addition, laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy was performed to measure the density of the following parameters in the central cornea: endothelial cells, subbasal nerves, and subbasal immune dendritic cells. RESULTS: Corneal ECD was significantly lower in the DED group (2595.8 ± 356.1 cells/mm(2)) than in the control group (2812.7 ± 395.2 cells/mm(2), P = .046). The DED group showed significantly lower corneal subbasal nerve density (17.1 ± 6.9 mm/mm(2)) compared to the control group (24.7 ± 4.4 mm/mm(2), P < .001). Dendritic cell density was significantly higher in the DED group than in the controls (111.7 ± 137.3 vs 32.0 ± 24.4 cells/mm(2), respectively, P = .002). There were statistically significant correlations between corneal ECD and dry eye severity parameters including the OSDI score (rs = -0.26, P = .03), and corneal fluorescein staining (rs = -0.28, P = .008). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant reduction in corneal ECD in DED that correlates with clinical severity of the disease.
PURPOSE: Corneal wound healing is a highly regulated process that requires the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells and interactions between epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts. Compounds that can be applied topically to the ocular surface and that have the capability of activating corneal epithelial cells to proliferate and/or migrate would be useful to promote corneal wound healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) will activate signal transducers and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial cell and fibroblast proliferation and/or migration in vitro. The purpose of this study was to test these hypotheses. METHODS: We studied cell signaling, proliferation, and migration using an immortalized human corneal epithelial cell line and primary human corneal fibroblasts in vitro. We also examined whether insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone known to mediate many of HGH's growth promoting actions, may play a role in this effect. RESULTS: We show that HGH activates STAT5 signaling and promotes corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. The migratory effect requires an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts and is not mediated by IGF-1. CONCLUSIONS: HGH may represent a topical therapeutic to promote corneal epithelial wound healing. This warrants further investigation.
PURPOSE: To analyze the density and morphology of corneal epithelial cells and keratocytes by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) in patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) as associated with corneal innervation. DESIGN: Prospective, controlled and masked cross-sectional study. METHODS: setting: Single-center study. PATIENTS: Thirty eyes with the diagnosis HZO and their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes, 15 eyes of 15 normal controls. intervention procedures: In vivo confocal microscopy and corneal esthesiometry of the central cornea. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in morphology and density of the superficial and basal epithelial cells and stromal keratocytes, and correlation with corneal sensation. RESULTS: The density of superficial epithelial cells in HZO eyes with severe sensation loss (766.5 ± 25.2 cells/mm(2)) was significantly lower than both healthy control eyes (1450.23 ± 150.83 cells/mm(2)) and contralateral unaffected eyes (1974.13 ± 298.24 cells/mm(2)) (P = .003). Superficial epithelial cell size (1162.5 μm(2)) was significantly larger in HZO eyes with severe loss of sensation, as compared to contralateral (441.46 ± 298.14) or healthy eyes (407.4 ± 47.2μm(2); all P < .05). The density of basal epithelial cells, anterior keratocytes, and posterior keratocytes did not show statistical significance between patients, controls, and contralateral unaffected eyes. Changes in superficial epithelial cell density and morphology correlated strongly with corneal sensation. CONCLUSIONS: In vivo confocal microscopy reveals profound HZO-induced changes in the superficial epithelium, as demonstrated by increase in cell size, decrease in cell density, and squamous metaplasia. We demonstrate that these changes strongly correlate with changes in corneal innervation in eyes affected by HZO.
AIM/PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To develop a one-week storage method, without serum and xenobiotics, that would maintain cell viability, morphology, and phenotype of cultured human limbal epithelial sheets. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human limbal explants were cultured on intact human amniotic membranes for two weeks. The sheets were stored in a hermetically sealed container at 23°C in either a serum-free medium with selected animal serum-derived compounds (Quantum 286) or a xenobiotic-free medium (Minimal Essential Medium) for 4 and 7 days. Stored and non-stored cultures were analyzed for cell viability, amniotic membrane and epithelial sheet thickness, and a panel of immunohistochemical markers for immature cells (ΔNp63α, p63, Bmi-1, C/EBP∂, ABCG2 and K19), differentiated cells (K3 and Cx43), proliferation (PCNA), and apoptosis (Caspase-3). RESULTS: The cell viability of the cultures was 98 ± 1% and remained high after storage. Mean central thickness of non-stored limbal epithelial sheets was 23 ± 3 μm, and no substantial loss of cells was observed after storage. The non-stored epithelial sheets expressed a predominantly immature phenotype with ΔNp63α positivity of more than 3% in 9 of 13 cultures. After storage, the expression of ABCG2 and C/EBP∂ was reduced for the 7 day Quantum 286-storage group; (P = 0.04), and Bmi-1 was reduced after 4 day Quantum 286-storage; (P = 0.02). No other markers varied significantly. The expression of differentiation markers was unrelated to the thickness of the epithelia and amniotic membrane, apart from ABCG2, which correlated negatively with thickness of limbal epithelia (R = -0.69, P = 0.01) and ΔNp63α, which correlated negatively with amniotic membrane thickness (R = -0.59, P = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Limbal epithelial cells cultured from explants on amniotic membrane can be stored at 23°C in both serum-free and xenobiotic-free media, with sustained cell viability, ultrastructure, and ΔNp63α-positivity after both 4 and 7 days.
PURPOSE: To update the 2008 International Classification of Corneal Dystrophies (IC3D) incorporating new clinical, histopathologic, and genetic information. METHODS: The IC3D reviewed worldwide peer-reviewed articles for new information on corneal dystrophies published between 2008 and 2014. Using this information, corneal dystrophy templates and anatomic classification were updated. New clinical, histopathologic, and confocal photographs were added. RESULTS: On the basis of revisiting the cellular origin of corneal dystrophy, a modified anatomic classification is proposed consisting of (1) epithelial and subepithelial dystrophies, (2) epithelial-stromal TGFBI dystrophies, (3) stromal dystrophies, and (4) endothelial dystrophies. Most of the dystrophy templates are updated. The entity "Epithelial recurrent erosion dystrophies" actually includes a number of potentially distinct epithelial dystrophies (Franceschetti corneal dystrophy, Dystrophia Smolandiensis, and Dystrophia Helsinglandica) but must be differentiated from dystrophies such as TGFBI-induced dystrophies, which are also often associated with recurrent epithelial erosions. The chromosome locus of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy is only located on 5q31. The entity previously designated as a variant of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy on chromosome 10q24 may represent a novel corneal dystrophy. Congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED, formerly CHED2) is most likely only an autosomal recessive disorder. The so-called autosomal dominant inherited CHED (formerly CHED1) is insufficiently distinct to continue to be considered a unique corneal dystrophy. On review of almost all of the published cases, the description appeared most similar to a type of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy linked to the same chromosome 20 locus (PPCD1). Confocal microscopy also has emerged as a helpful tool to reveal in vivo features of several corneal dystrophies that previously required histopathologic examination to definitively diagnose. CONCLUSIONS: This revision of the IC3D classification includes an updated anatomic classification of corneal dystrophies more accurately classifying TGFBI dystrophies that affect multiple layers rather than are confined to one corneal layer. Typical histopathologic and confocal images have been added to the corneal dystrophy templates.
PURPOSE: Azithromycin and tetracyclines are commonly prescribed in the United States for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The efficacy of these antibiotics has been believed to be their antiinflammatory and antibacterial actions, which suppress MGD-associated posterior blepharitis and growth of lid bacteria. However, we recently discovered that azithromycin can act directly on human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs) to stimulate their function. In this study, we sought to determine whether tetracycline antibiotics can duplicate this azithromycin effect. METHODS: Immortalized HMGEC were cultured in the presence of a vehicle, azithromycin, doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline for 5 days. Cells were evaluated for cholesterol and neutral lipid staining, and the lipid composition of cellular lysates was analyzed by high-performance thin-layer chromatography. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that azithromycin's ability to stimulate the differentiation of human meibomian gland cells is unique, and is not duplicated by doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline. Azithromycin, but not the other antibiotics, significantly increased the cellular accumulation of cholesterol, cholesterol esters, phospholipids, and lysosomes. These differentiative actions of azithromycin were paralleled by an increased expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the stimulatory effects of azithromycin on HMGEC function are unique and are not duplicated by the antibiotics doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline. Our results further suggest that this stimulatory influence of azithromycin may contribute to its beneficial effect in treating MGD and its associated evaporative dry eye disease.
Membrane-associated mucins (MAMs) expressed on the ocular surface epithelium form a dense glycocalyx that is hypothesized to protect the cornea and conjunctiva from external insult. In this study, the hypothesis that the MAMs MUC1 and MUC16, expressed on the apical surface of the corneal epithelium, suppress Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated innate immune responses was tested. Using an in vitro model of corneal epithelial cells that are cultured to express MAMs, we show that reduced expression of either MUC1 or MUC16 correlates with increased message and secreted protein levels of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) following exposure of cells to the TLR2 and TLR5 agonists, heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes and flagellin, respectively. As mice express Muc1 (but not Muc16) in the corneal epithelium, a Muc1(-/-) mouse model was used to extend in vitro findings. Indeed, IL-6 and TNF-α message levels were increased in the corneal epithelium of Muc1(-/-) mice, in comparison with wild-type mice, following exposure of enucleated eyes to the TLR2 and TLR5 agonists. Our results suggest that the MAMs MUC1 and MUC16 contribute to the maintenance of immune homeostasis at the ocular surface by limiting TLR-mediated innate immune responses.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of phacoemulsification in patients with ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). METHODS: The occurrence of cataracts, cataract surgery, and its outcomes were analyzed in the medical records of 229 patients (458 eyes) with ocular GVHD. Outcome measures included pre- and postoperative corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) and the rate of postoperative complications. RESULTS: Of the 458 eyes evaluated, 58 were pseudophakic; from the 400 phakic eyes, 238 (59 %) presented with cataracts and 62 (26 %) underwent cataract surgery. Analysis of postoperative complications and visual outcomes at 1 month was performed in 51 eyes in which detailed surgical and immediate postoperative records were available. Preoperatively, the mean CDVA was 0.67 ± 0.57 LogMAR (Snellen 20/93), improving postoperatively to 0.17 ± 0.18 (Snellen 20/29) at 1 month (P < 0.0001), and to 0.13 ± 0.14 (Snellen 20/26) by the final follow-up visit (P < 0.0001). Postoperative complications included corneal epithelial defects (8 %), filamentary keratitis (6 %), worsening of corneal epitheliopathy (16 %), posterior capsular opacification (18 %), and cystoid macular edema (4 %). A corrected distance visual acuity of 20/30 or better was achieved in 87 % of the eyes; suboptimal CDVA improvement was attributable to severe ocular surface disease, pre-existing advanced glaucoma, and prior macular surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Phacoemulsification in patients with chronic ocular GVHD is a safe and efficacious procedure resulting in significant visual improvement. Overall, postoperative adverse events responded well to timely management.
PURPOSE: To report a case of caruncular dacryops in a 58-year-old man that was excised in its entirety and to offer an immunohistopathologic analysis. METHODS: Sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, and Grocott methenamine silver (the latter 2 for identification of mucus) were evaluated, and immunohistochemical investigations were performed using cytokeratin (CK) 7, CK14, CK17, and smooth muscle actin. RESULTS: Histopathologic examination revealed a cystic dilation of the lacrimal gland ducts containing secretory globules. The ducts were composed of double-layered cuboidal epithelium with rare scattered goblet cells and interspersed prominent lobules of lacrimal gland tissue, diagnostic of dacryops. Immunohistochemistry of cystic ducts demonstrated a CK profile identical to that of the conjunctiva including the absence of a myoepithelium. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first case of an intact caruncular lacrimal ductal cyst (dacryops). A previous report documented a spontaneously collapsed cyst with extrusion of secretory globoid bodies into extracellular space that elicited a foreign body giant cell response.
As many patients with severe corneal disease are not even considered as candidates for a human graft due to their high risk of rejection, it is essential to find ways to reduce the chance of rejection. One of the options is proper matching of the cornea donor and recipient for the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), a subject of much debate. Currently, patients receiving their first corneal allograft are hardly ever matched for HLA and even patients undergoing a regraft usually do not receive an HLA-matched graft. While anterior and posterior lamellar grafts are not immune to rejection, they are usually performed in low risk, non-vascularized cases. These are the cases in which the immune privilege due to the avascular status and active immune inhibition is still intact. Once broken due to infection, sensitization or trauma, rejection will occur. There is enough data to show that when proper DNA-based typing techniques are being used, even low risk perforating corneal transplantations benefit from matching for HLA Class I, and high risk cases from HLA Class I and probably Class II matching. Combining HLA class I and class II matching, or using the HLAMatchmaker could further improve the effect of HLA matching. However, new techniques could be applied to reduce the chance of rejection. Options are the local or systemic use of biologics, or gene therapy, aiming at preventing or suppressing immune responses. The goal of all these approaches should be to prevent a first rejection, as secondary grafts are usually at higher risk of complications including rejections than first grafts.
PURPOSE: We determined the ultrastructure of mouse adenovirus keratitis, a model for human adenovirus keratitis. METHODS: Adenovirus keratitis was induced in C57Bl/6j mice by intrastromal injection of human adenovirus species D type 37 (HAdV-D37) with a heat-pulled, glass, micropipette needle under compressed air. At select time points after infection, mice were euthanized and their corneas removed, fixed, and sectioned at 70-nm thickness for electron microscopy. RESULTS: Injection of HAdV-D37 into the mouse corneal stroma placed virus predominantly in the pericellular corneal stromal matrix. Virus was seen bound to and entering stromal cells at 1 and 2 hours after infection, respectively. Cell membrane transit by virus was seen to involve two distinct structures resembling caveolae and macropinosomes. However, later during infection intracellular virus was not seen within membrane-bound organelles. By 8 hours after infection, intracellular virus had accumulated into densely packed, perinuclear arrays. Virus disassembly was not obvious at any time point after infection. Infiltrating neutrophils seen by one day after infection had engulfed degraded stromal cells by 4 days after infection. CONCLUSIONS: By transmission electron microscopy, injected HAdV-D37 readily enters stromal cells in the C57Bl/6j mouse cornea and induces stromal inflammation, as was shown previously by light microscopy. However, electron microscopy also revealed dense, static arrays of intracytoplasmic virus, suggesting a block in viral capsid disassembly and viral DNA nuclear entry. These findings may explain why human adenoviruses do not replicate in the mouse corneal stroma.