While efforts have been made over the years, the exact cause of keratoconus (KC) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to identify alterations in endogenous metabolites in the tears of KC patients compared with age-matched healthy subjects. Three groups were tested: 1) Age-matched controls with no eye disease (N = 15), 2) KC - patients wearing Rigid Gas permeable lenses (N = 16), and 3) KC - No Correction (N = 14). All samples were processed for metabolomics analysis using LC-MS/MS. We identified a total of 296 different metabolites of which >40 were significantly regulated between groups. Glycolysis and gluconeogenesis had significant changes, such as 3-phosphoglycerate and 1,3 diphosphateglycerate. As a result the citric acid cycle (TCA) was also affected with notable changes in Isocitrate, aconitate, malate, and acetylphosphate, up regulated in Group 2 and/or 3. Urea cycle was also affected, especially in Group 3 where ornithine and aspartate were up-regulated by at least 3 fold. The oxidation state was also severely affected. Groups 2 and 3 were under severe oxidative stress causing multiple metabolites to be regulated when compared to Group 1. Group 2 and 3, both showed significant down regulation in GSH-to-GSSG ratio when compared to Group 1. Another indicator of oxidative stress, the ratio of lactate - pyruvate was also affected with Groups 2 and 3 showing at least a 2-fold up regulation. Overall, our data indicate that levels of metabolites related to urea cycle, TCA cycle and oxidative stress are highly altered in KC patients.
PURPOSE: To compare corneal inflammation after syngeneic and allogeneic penetrating keratoplasty (PK) with miniature Keratoprosthesis (m-KPro) implantation in mice. METHODS: BALB/C (syngeneic) or C57BL/6 (allogeneic) corneas were transplanted onto BALB/C host beds as part of PK or m-KPro implantation. Corneal inflammation was assessed by determining the frequencies of CD45(+) leukocytes, CD4(+) T cells, CD11b(+) cells, and Gr-1(+) granulocytes/monocytes by flow cytometry at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post transplantation. In addition, expression levels of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β were analyzed using real-time qPCR at 8 weeks post transplantation. RESULTS: Cell frequencies in the syngeneic (syn) and allogeneic (allo) m-KPro groups were higher compared with the syngeneic and allogeneic PK groups, respectively, at all time points. However, after week 4, frequencies of all analyzed immune cells were higher in the alloPK group as compared with synKPro group. At 8 weeks, the expression of TNF-α was higher in synKPro, alloPK, and alloKPro groups compared with the naïve and synPK groups. The expression of IL-1β was significantly higher in both KPro groups as compared with PK groups. CONCLUSIONS: Although the m-KPro device augments the inflammatory response in the cornea after its implantation, allogenicity (of the carrier tissue) is also a significant contributor to corneal inflammation. These data suggest that using syngeneic or decellularized corneal tissue as a Boston-KPro carrier could reduce the postoperative inflammation response.
Although corneal allotransplantation is performed in the immune-privileged cornea, many grafts are still rejected after transplantation. This study examined the role of chemokine receptor D6 expression in a corneal allograft rejection, investigated the modulation of D6 expression in cells, and determined the effect of D6 on graft survival. Interestingly, D6 was highly expressed in CD45 -: cells and the corneal epithelium of accepted corneal allografts. From the mouse corneal allograft model, TGF-β was found to play a key role in D6 up-regulation, leading to reduced CCL2, CCL5, and CCL3. To modulate D6 chemokine binding, a D6MT was developed and showed effective chemokine trapping through SPR and FACS assays. By treating corneal allografts with D6MT, the allograft survival rate was improved, and (lymph) angiogenesis was reduced. Direct allosensitization and DC LN homing was drastically reduced in the mouse corneal allograft model. These findings suggest that TGF-β is a positive regulator of D6 expression, and it is a potential therapeutic target to enhance the survival of corneal allografts.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to revisit the clinical paradigm attributed to Boston keratoprosthesis recipients presenting with idiopathic vitreous inflammation. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed of keratoprosthesis recipients at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, from January 2000 to August 2013, for demographic data, indication(s) for surgery, timing and presentation of vitreous inflammation, and best-corrected visual acuity at baseline, on presentation, and after resolution of vitritis. RESULTS: Twenty-three (23 eyes) of 346 patients developed idiopathic vitreous inflammation after keratoprosthesis implantation. Six of 23 patients presented with signs and symptoms similar to infectious endophthalmitis but were culture negative. The proportion of patients who fit the previous paradigm of sudden painless loss of vision without external signs of infection ("sterile vitritis") at their first presentation with vitritis was only 4 of 23. Vision decline was variable (median, 9 lines on Snellen chart; range, 0-24), as was time to recovery of best vision (median, 8.9 weeks; range, 0.9-36.7). Nine eyes had repeat bouts (43 episodes in 23 patients). Ten of 43 episodes did not recover to baseline vision. Seventeen of 23 eyes with idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis later developed other complications. CONCLUSIONS: The current paradigm for idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis implantation includes sudden painless loss of vision with full recovery of vision on treatment with periocular corticosteroids. However, idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis can also mimic infectious endophthalmitis with pain and external signs of inflammation. Visual loss can be gradual. Vision may not recover to baseline despite treatment. Vitritis may be a part of a common pathway of chronic inflammation after keratoprosthesis.
PURPOSE: To evaluate whether levels of corneal subbasal nerve fiber length (SNFL) in dry eye disease (DED) could prognosticate the level of improvement in signs and symptoms after treatment. DESIGN: Phase IV, double-masked, randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty patients with meibomian gland dysfunction-associated DED and 27 age-matched controls. METHODS: Patients with DED were randomized to receive topical artificial tears, loteprednol etabonate 0.5%, or loteprednol etabonate 0.5%/tobramycin 0.3% twice daily for 4 weeks. At baseline, in vivo confocal microscopy of central cornea was performed in both eyes. Patients with DED were divided into 2 subgroups: those with low baseline SNFL and those with near-normal baseline SNFL for this purpose (the cutoff point: the mean SNFL in controls minus 2 standard deviations). Clinical signs and symptoms at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment were compared between the subgroups with low and near-normal SNFL for all therapeutic groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Symptom questionnaires, corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), conjunctival staining with lissamine green, tear break-up time, Schirmer's test, and SNFL. RESULTS: In patients with DED, baseline SNFL (17.06±5.78 mm/mm(2)) was significantly lower than in controls (23.68±3.42 mm/mm(2), P = 0.001). In the artificial tear and loteprednol groups, although no significant improvement in any sign or symptom was noted in patients with low baseline SNFL (<16.84 mm/mm(2)), subjects with near-normal baseline SNFL (≥16.84 mm/mm(2)) showed significant improvement in both symptoms and CFS score (all P < 0.05). In the loteprednol/tobramycin group, no significant change was evident for any sign or symptom in either subgroup of low or near-normal baseline SNFL. CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements in CFS and patient symptomatology after DED treatment were evident only in the subgroup with near-normal corneal SNFL. Consideration of SNFL may assist in explaining the variability of patients' response to DED therapy.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of host immunity (allospecific) and surgical manipulation (non-allospecific) on corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in corneal transplantation. METHODS: Draining lymph nodes and grafted C57BL/6 corneas were harvested from syngeneic recipients, allograft acceptors, and allograft rejectors (BALB/c) 1, 3, and 8 weeks after transplantation. We analyzed CEC apoptosis using an ex vivo cornea-in-the-cup assay, and visualized cell-to-cell junctions using immunohistochemical staining (ZO-1). Automatic cell analysis using Confoscan software was used to measure CEC density as well as changes in CEC morphology by quantifying the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) and shape (pleomorphism). RESULTS: The cornea-in-the-cup assay showed that allogeneic acceptor T cells and to an even greater extent rejector T cells (but not syngeneic T cells) induced CEC apoptosis. CEC density after corneal transplantation was significantly reduced in allogeneic acceptors compared with syngeneic grafts (P<0.001), and CEC density was even further reduced in the allo-rejector group compared with the allo-acceptor group. Allogeneic grafts showed a greater increase in the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) when compared with syngeneic grafts 1 week after transplantation (P=P<0.001). However, pleomorphism was not significantly different between syngeneic and allo-acceptor grafts, indicating that polymegethism (but not pleomorphism or cell density) is a sensitive indicator of the effect of alloimmunity on CECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that host alloimmunity rather than surgical manipulation alone is the major cause of CEC damage in corneal transplantation, and such morphologic changes of CECs can be detected before the clinically visible onset of allograft rejection.
PURPOSE: To report the visual outcomes of prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment in patients with ocular surface disease related to Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: We included 86 patients (167 eyes) with history of SJS/TEN who underwent PROSE treatment from January 1, 2006, to January 1, 2011. METHODS: Etiology, previous interventions, change in visual acuity, change in visual function, and duration of follow-up are reported. Paired t test and Friedman test with Dunn's post hoc test for multiple comparisons were used for statistical analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual acuity at last follow-up and visual function based on the National Eye Institute 25-item Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) at 6 months. RESULTS: We treated 35 males and 51 females with a history of SJS/TENS; median age was 36 years. The most common reported etiologies for SJS/TENS were antibiotics (n = 25), ibuprofen (n = 15), and lamotrigine (n = 11). The median visual acuity at the initial visit was 20/60 (range, 20/400-20/25; 0.48 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]), and the visual acuity at completion of customization was 20/25 (range, 20/200-20/20; 0.096 logMAR; P < 0.001), with no decline in median acuity at the end of follow-up. Median duration of follow-up was 16 months. There was a significant improvement in the visual function of the patients based on the NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire (mean of 48 points at baseline vs. mean of 72 points at 6 months; P < 0.001). In addition, there was also an improvement in the self-reported general health of the patients (mean of 57 points at baseline vs. mean of 65 points at 6 months; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of patients with chronic ocular surface disease related to SJS/TEN, PROSE treatment offers sustained and significant large improvement in visual function and acuity.