Cornea

Fostad IG, Eidet JR, Shatos MA, Utheim TP, Utheim OA, Raeder S, Dartt DA. Biopsy harvesting site and distance from the explant affect conjunctival epithelial phenotype ex vivo. Exp Eye Res 2012;104:15-25.Abstract
The purpose of the study was to investigate if the number of goblet cells expanded ex vivo from a conjunctival explant is affected by the biopsy harvesting site on the conjunctiva and the distance from the explant. Conjunctival explants from six regions: superior and inferior bulbus, fornix, and tarsus of male Sprague-Dawley rats were grown in RPMI 1640 with 10% fetal bovine serum on coverslips for eight days. Histochemical and immunofluorescent staining of goblet (CK-7/UEA-1/MUC5AC), stratified squamous, non-goblet (CK-4), proliferating (PCNA) and progenitor (ABCG2) cells were analyzed by epifluorescence and laser confocal microscopy. Outgrowth was measured with NIH ImageJ. For statistical analysis the Mann-Whitney test and Spearman's rank-order correlation test were used. Cultures from superior and inferior fornix contained the most goblet cells as indicated by the presence of CK-7+, UEA-1+ and MUC5AC+ cells. Superior and inferior forniceal cultures displayed 60.8% ± 9.2% and 64.7% ± 6.7% CK-7+ cells, respectively, compared to the superior tarsal (26.6% ± 8.4%; P < 0.05), superior bulbar (31.0% ± 4.0%; P < 0.05), inferior bulbar (38.5% ± 9.3%; P < 0.05) and inferior tarsal cultures (27.7% ± 8.3%; P < 0.05). While 28.4% ± 6.3% of CK-7+ goblet cells co-labeled with PCNA, only 7.4% ± 1.6% of UEA-1+ goblet cells did (P < 0.01). CK-7+ goblet cells were located at a lower concentration close to the explant (39.8% ± 3.1%) compared to near the leading edge (58.2% ± 4.5%; P < 0.05). Both markers for goblet cell secretory product (UEA-1 and MUC5AC), however, displayed the opposite pattern with a higher percentage of positive cells close to the explant than near the leading edge (P < 0.05). The percentage of CK-4+ cells was higher near the explant compared to near the leading edge (P < 0.01). The percentage of CK-7+ goblet cells in the cultures did not correlate with the outgrowth size (r(s) = -0.086; P = 0.435). The percentage of UEA-1+ goblet cells correlated negatively with outgrowth size (r(s) = -0.347; P < 0.01), whereas the percentage of CK-4+ cells correlated positively with the outgrowth size (r(s) = 0.473; P < 0.05). We conclude that forniceal explants yield the highest number of goblet cells ex vivo and thereby seem to be optimal for goblet cell transplantation. We also suggest that CK-7+/UEA-1- cells represent highly proliferative immature goblet cells. These cells could be important during conjunctival migration as they are mostly located close to the leading edge and their density does not decrease with increasing outgrowth size.
Hamrah P, Sahin A, Dastjerdi MH, Shahatit BM, Bayhan HA, Dana R, Pavan-Langston D. Cellular changes of the corneal epithelium and stroma in herpes simplex keratitis: an in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ophthalmology 2012;119(9):1791-7.Abstract
PURPOSE: To analyze the morphologic features of corneal epithelial cells and keratocytes by in vivo confocal microscopy in patients with herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) as associated with corneal innervation. DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional, controlled, single-center study. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-one eyes with the diagnosis HSK and their contralateral clinically unaffected eyes were studied and compared with normal controls (n = 15). METHODS: In vivo confocal microscopy (Confoscan 4; Nidek Technologies, Gamagori, Japan) and corneal esthesiometry (Cochet-Bonnet; Luneau Ophthalmologie, Chartres, France) of the central cornea were performed bilaterally in all patients and controls. Patients were grouped into normal (>5.5 cm), mild (>2.5-5.5 cm), and severe (<2.5 cm) loss of sensation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in morphologic features and density of the superficial and basal epithelial cells, as well as stromal keratocytes, were assessed by 2 masked observers. Changes were correlated to corneal sensation, number of nerves, and total length of nerves. RESULTS: There was a significant and gradual decrease in the density of superficial epithelial cells in HSK eyes, with 852.50 ± 24.4 cells/mm(2) in eyes with severe sensation loss and 2435.23 ± 224.3 cells/mm(2) in control eyes (P = 0.008). Superficial epithelial cell size was 2.5-fold larger in HSK eyes (835.3 μm(2)) compared with contralateral or normal eyes (407.4 μm(2); P = 0.003). A significant number of hyperreflective desquamating superficial epithelial cells were present in HSK eyes with normal (6.4%), mild (29.1%), and severe (52.2%) loss of sensation, but were absent in controls. The density of basal epithelial cells, anterior keratocytes, and posterior keratocytes did not show statistical significance between patients and controls. Changes in superficial epithelial cell density and morphologic features correlated strongly with total nerve length, number, and corneal sensation. Scans of contralateral eyes did not show any significant epithelial or stromal changes compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: In vivo confocal microscopy reveals profound HSK-induced changes in the superficial epithelium, as demonstrated by increase in cell size, decrease in cell density, and squamous metaplasia. This study demonstrated that these changes correlate strongly with changes in corneal innervation.
Bitar MS, Liu C, Ziaei A, Chen Y, Schmedt T, Jurkunas UV. Decline in DJ-1 and decreased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(9):5806-13.Abstract
PURPOSE: This study sought to determine factors involved in nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) regulation and their response to oxidative stress in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and normal corneal endothelial cells (CECs). METHODS: FECD corneal buttons were obtained from transplantations and normal human corneas from tissue banks. Oxidative stress was induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP). Protein and mRNA levels of Nrf2, DJ-1, p53, and Kelch-like ECH-associated protein1 (Keap1) were investigated using Western blotting and real-time PCR. Immunoprecipitation was used to detect levels of oxidized DJ-1 protein and Cullin 3- (Cul3)-regulated degradation of DJ-1 in immortalized FECD (FECDi) and normal CEC (HCECi) cell lines. Nrf2 subcellular localization was assessed by immunocytochemistry. RESULTS: Nrf2 protein stabilizer, DJ-1, decreased significantly in FECD CECs compared with normal, whereas Nrf2 protein repressor, Keap1, was unchanged at baseline but increased under oxidative stress. Under oxidative stress, normal CECs upregulated DJ-1 protein synthesis, whereas FECD CECs did not. DJ-1 decline correlated with increased DJ-1 oxidative modification and carbonylation in FECDi as compared with HCECi. Increased labeling of immunoprecipitated DJ-1 protein with anti-Cul3 antibody indicated enhanced DJ-1 degradation in FECDi as compared with HCECi. Following tBHP treatment, Nrf2 translocated from cytoplasm to nuclei in normal CECs, whereas Nrf2 nuclear localization was not observed in FECD. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased levels of DJ-1 in FECD at baseline and under oxidative stress correlate with impaired Nrf2 nuclear translocation and heightened cell susceptibility to apoptosis. Targeting the DJ-1/Nrf2 axis could yield a mechanism to slow CEC degeneration in FECD.
Joyce NC. Proliferative capacity of corneal endothelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2012;95(1):16-23.Abstract
The corneal endothelial monolayer helps maintain corneal transparency through its barrier and ionic "pump" functions. This transparency function can become compromised, resulting in a critical loss in endothelial cell density (ECD), corneal edema, bullous keratopathy, and loss of visual acuity. Although penetrating keratoplasty and various forms of endothelial keratoplasty are capable of restoring corneal clarity, they can also have complications requiring re-grafting or other treatments. With the increasing worldwide shortage of donor corneas to be used for keratoplasty, there is a greater need to find new therapies to restore corneal clarity that is lost due to endothelial dysfunction. As a result, researchers have been exploring alternative approaches that could result in the in vivo induction of transient corneal endothelial cell division or the in vitro expansion of healthy endothelial cells for corneal bioengineering as treatments to increase ECD and restore visual acuity. This review presents current information regarding the ability of human corneal endothelial cells (HCEC) to divide as a basis for the development of new therapies. Information will be presented on the positive and negative regulation of the cell cycle as background for the studies to be discussed. Results of studies exploring the proliferative capacity of HCEC will be presented and specific conditions that affect the ability of HCEC to divide will be discussed. Methods that have been tested to induce transient proliferation of HCEC will also be presented. This review will discuss the effect of donor age and endothelial topography on relative proliferative capacity of HCEC, as well as explore the role of nuclear oxidative DNA damage in decreasing the relative proliferative capacity of HCEC. Finally, potential new research directions will be discussed that could take advantage of and/or improve the proliferative capacity of these physiologically important cells in order to develop new treatments to restore corneal clarity.
Ding J, Sullivan DA. Aging and dry eye disease. Exp Gerontol 2012;47(7):483-90.Abstract
Dry eye disease is a prevalent eye disorder that in particular affects the elderly population. One of the major causes of dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), shows increased prevalence with aging. MGD is caused by hyperkeratinization of the ductal epithelium of meibomian gland and reduced quantity and/or quality of meibum, the holocrine product that stabilizes and prevents the evaporation of the tear film. Of note, retinoids which are used in current anti-aging cosmetics may promote the development of MGD and dry eye disease. In this review, we will discuss the possible mechanisms of age-related MGD.
Khandelwal P, Liu S, Sullivan DA. Androgen regulation of gene expression in human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. Mol Vis 2012;18:1055-67.Abstract
PURPOSE: Androgens exert a significant influence on the structure, function and/or pathophysiology of the meibomian gland and conjunctiva. We sought to determine whether this hormone action involves the regulation of epithelial cell gene expression in these tissues. METHODS: Immortalized human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells were treated with placebo or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and processed for molecular biologic procedures. Gene expression was evaluated with BeadChips and data were analyzed with bioinformatic and statistical software. RESULTS: Androgen treatment significantly influenced the expression of approximately 3,000 genes in immortalized human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. The nature of DHT action on gene activity was predominantly cell-specific. Similarly, DHT exerted a significant, but primarily cell-specific, influence on many gene ontologies and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. These included groups of genes related, for example, to lipid dynamics, innate immunity, cell cycle, Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (stat) cascades, oxidative phosphorylation, the proteasome, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), Wnt, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support our hypothesis that androgens regulate gene expression in human meibomian gland and conjunctival epithelial cells. Our ongoing studies are designed to determine whether many of these genes are translated and play a role in the health and well being of the eye.
Greiner JV. A single LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System treatment improves meibomian gland function and reduces dry eye symptoms for 9 months. Curr Eye Res 2012;37(4):272-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of a single treatment with the LipiFlow(®) Thermal Pulsation System on signs of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye symptoms over a 9-month period. METHODS: Patients (n = 42 eyes, 21 subjects) diagnosed with MGD and dry eye symptoms were recruited for a non-significant risk, prospective, open-label, 1-month clinical trial. Patients received a single 12-minute treatment using the LipiFlow(®) Thermal Pulsation System on each eye. The LipiFlow(®) device applies heat to the conjunctival surfaces of the upper and lower inner eyelids while simultaneously applying pulsatile pressure to the outer eyelid surfaces to express the meibomian glands. Patient symptoms were evaluated using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and Standard Patient Evaluation for Eye Dryness (SPEED) dry eye questionnaires; tear break-up time was measured with the dry eye test (DET™); and meibomian gland function was evaluated using a standardized diagnostic expression technique. Data are presented for patient's pre-treatment (baseline) and at 1-month and 9-month post-treatment. RESULTS: Meibomian gland secretion scores improved significantly from baseline (4.4 ± 4.0) to 1-month post-treatment (11.3 ± 6.2; p < 0.0001) and this improvement was maintained with no significant regression at 9 months (11.7 ± 5.9). Similarly, baseline tear break-up time (4.8 ± 3.2) was significantly increased at 1 month (9.6 ± 7.6; p < 0.001) and this increase was maintained with no significant regression at 9 months (7.1 ± 5.6). Symptom scores on both OSDI and SPEED questionnaires improved significantly at 1 month (p < 0.0001) and this improvement was maintained at 9 months. CONCLUSION: With such prolonged improvement in signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, the LipiFlow(®) Thermal Pulsation System offers a technological advancement for the treatment of dry eye disease secondary to meibomian gland dysfunction. A single 12-minute LipiFlow(®) treatment results in up to 9 months of sustained improvement of meibomian gland function, tear break-up time and dry eye symptoms that are unparalleled with current dry eye treatments.
Shazly TA, Latina MA, Dagianis JJ, Chitturi S. Effect of central corneal thickness on the long-term outcome of selective laser trabeculoplasty as primary treatment for ocular hypertension and primary open-angle glaucoma. Cornea 2012;31(8):883-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine if central corneal thickness (CCT) impacts the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering effect of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) in patients with ocular hypertension (OHT) and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). METHODS: A retrospective chart review of consecutive patients, who underwent SLT as primary treatment for OHT and POAG, between 2002 and 2005, was performed. Partial correlation analysis was performed to correlate the CCT to the percentage of IOP reduction at 3 to 30 months after SLT. Independent samples t test was performed to compare mean percentage of IOP reduction in eyes with CCT less than 555 μm versus CCT 555 μm or greater. RESULTS: Eighty eyes of 47 patients were identified. The partial correlation coefficient value between the CCT and percentage of IOP reduction after SLT at 3 months was -0.253 (P = 0.025), at 12 months it was -0.22 (P = 0.049), and at 30 months it was 0.301 (P = 0.007). Independent samples t test showed that the mean percentage of IOP reduction in eyes with thinner corneas (CCT < 555 μm) was greater than that in thicker corneas (CCT ≥ 555 μm) at 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, and 30-month post-SLT (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with POAG and OHT, percentage of IOP reduction after SLT was significantly greater in eyes with thinner corneas (CCT < 555 μm). These findings indicate that patients treated with SLT as primary therapy who had thinner corneas demonstrated better IOP control for at least 30 months after SLT.
Stevenson W, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Dry eye disease: an immune-mediated ocular surface disorder. Arch Ophthalmol 2012;130(1):90-100.Abstract
Dry eye disease is a multifactorial disorder of the tears and ocular surface characterized by symptoms of dryness and irritation. Although the pathogenesis of dry eye disease is not fully understood, it is recognized that inflammation has a prominent role in the development and propagation of this debilitating condition. Factors that adversely affect tear film stability and osmolarity can induce ocular surface damage and initiate an inflammatory cascade that generates innate and adaptive immune responses. These immunoinflammatory responses lead to further ocular surface damage and the development of a self-perpetuating inflammatory cycle. Herein, we review the fundamental links between inflammation and dry eye disease and discuss the clinical implications of inflammation in disease management.
Shatos MA, Haugaard-Kedstrom L, Hodges RR, Dartt DA. Isolation and characterization of progenitor cells in uninjured, adult rat lacrimal gland. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(6):2749-59.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of progenitor cells in the uninjured, adult rat lacrimal gland (LG). METHODS: The presence of progenitor cells was examined in LG sections from male rats using antibodies against selected stem cell markers and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), which marks myoepithelial cells (MECs), by immunofluorescence microscopy (IF). Small, immature cells were isolated after digestion of LG with collagenase and culture in RPMI 1640 for 2 weeks. Immature cells were examined for expression of stem cell markers by IF. Immature cell were grown in neuronal, epithelial, and myoepithelial cell media, and examined by light morphology and IF using antibodies to markers of different cell lineages. RESULTS: In the intact LGs, MECs expressed the stem cell markers nestin, Musashi 1, ABCG2, Pax6, Chx 10, ΔN p63, and Sox 2. All markers colocalized with SMA. Isolated immature cells contained Ki-67, nestin, Musashi 1, Pax 6, and CHX 10. In neuronal media, immature cells differentiated and assumed a neuronal cell morphology expressing neurofilament 200. In media for human corneal endothelial cells, immature cells differentiated, assumed cobblestone morphology, and labeled with the epithelial marker AE1/AE3. In RPMI media immature cells differentiated into cells with MEC-like morphology, and expressed the MEC markers SMA, α-actinin, adenylate cyclase II, and vimentin. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that uninjured, adult LG contains progenitor cells that may be MECs, which can be isolated and differentiated into multiple lineages.
Shukla AN, Cruzat A, Hamrah P. Confocal microscopy of corneal dystrophies. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):107-16.Abstract
In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) of the cornea is becoming an indispensable tool in the cellular study of corneal physiology and disease. This technique offers non-invasive imaging of the living cornea with images comparable to that of ex vivo histology. The ability to provide high-resolution images of all layers in the living cornea has resulted in new discoveries of corneal pathology at the cellular level. The IVCM analysis of corneal dystrophies is of importance to clinicians, as current methods of diagnosis involve slit-lamp characteristics, genetic analysis, and invasive biopsy. IVCM is helpful in evaluating the morphological characteristics of corneal dystrophies at the histological level and may be helpful in diagnosis, determination of progression, and understanding the pathophysiology of disease. The purpose of this review is to describe the principles, applications, and clinical correlation of IVCM in the study of corneal dystrophies.
Sullivan DA, Hammitt KM, Schaumberg DA, Sullivan BD, Begley CG, Gjorstrup P, Garrigue J-S, Nakamura M, Quentric Y, Barabino S, Dalton M, Novack GD. Report of the TFOS/ARVO Symposium on global treatments for dry eye disease: an unmet need. Ocul Surf 2012;10(2):108-16.Abstract
In September 2010, a Symposium in Florence, Italy, was held to address the unmet need for global treatments for dry eye disease (DED). It was sponsored by The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS; www.TearFilm.org) and co-sponsored by the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (www.arvo.org). The Symposium objectives were two-fold: first, to discuss accepted and emerging clinical endpoints of DED with regulatory experts from around the world; and second, to consider how to improve clinical trials of treatments for DED. The Symposium focused on the personal and collective burden of DED, as well as the developmental and regulatory challenges associated with generating new DED therapeutics. This article provides a synopsis of many of the presentations, discussions and recommendations of this Symposium.
Sahin A, Hamrah P. Clinically relevant biometry. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2012;23(1):47-53.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Obtaining precise postoperative target refraction is of utmost importance in today's modern cataract and refractive surgery. Given the growing number of patients undergoing premium intraocular lens (IOL) implantations, patient expectation continues to rise. In order to meet heightened patient expectations, it is crucial to pay utmost attention to patient selection, accurate keratometry and biometry readings, as well as to the application of correct IOL power formula with optimized lens constants. This article reviews recent advances in the field of clinical biometry and IOL power calculations. RECENT FINDINGS: Recently developed low-coherence reflectometry optical biometry is comparable to older ultrasonic biometric and keratometric techniques. In addition, the new IOLMaster software upgrade has improved reproducibility and enhanced signal acquisition. Further, the modern lens power formulas currently determine the effective lens position and the shape of the intraocular lens power prediction curve more accurately. SUMMARY: In order to reach target refraction, precise biometric measurements are imperative. Understanding the strengths and limitations of the currently available biometry devices allows prevention of high variability and inaccuracy, ultimately determining the refractive outcomes.
Sayegh RR, Pineda R. Practical applications of anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging following corneal surgery. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):125-32.Abstract
Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) has recently emerged as an important modality for imaging of the cornea. Since its introduction less than a decade ago, it has been clinically used for the diagnosis and management of an expanding number of corneal conditions. In this review, we will discuss the applications of anterior segment optical coherence tomography after corneal surgery, focusing on penetrating and lamellar keratoplasty, keratoprosthesis, intracorneal ring segments, collagen cross-linking and refractive surgery. Anterior segment optical coherence tomography is useful in evaluating outcomes, detecting adverse events, determining prognosis, guiding management decisions, and surgical planning.

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