Ciolino JB, Stefanescu CF, Ross AE, Salvador-Culla B, Cortez P, Ford EM, Wymbs KA, Sprague SL, Mascoop DR, Rudina SS, Trauger SA, Cade F, Kohane DS. In vivo performance of a drug-eluting contact lens to treat glaucoma for a month. Biomaterials 2014;35(1):432-9.Abstract
For nearly half a century, contact lenses have been proposed as a means of ocular drug delivery, but achieving controlled drug release has been a significant challenge. We have developed a drug-eluting contact lens designed for prolonged delivery of latanoprost for the treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Latanoprost-eluting contact lenses were created by encapsulating latanoprost-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) films in methafilcon by ultraviolet light polymerization. In vitro and in vivo studies showed an early burst of drug release followed by sustained release for one month. Contact lenses containing thicker drug-polymer films demonstrated released a greater amount of drug after the initial burst. In vivo, single contact lenses were able to achieve, for at least one month, latanoprost concentrations in the aqueous humor that were comparable to those achieved with topical latanoprost solution, the current first-line treatment for glaucoma. The lenses appeared safe in cell culture and animal studies. This contact lens design can potentially be used as a treatment for glaucoma and as a platform for other ocular drug delivery applications.
Cohen LP, Wong J, Jiwani AZ, Greenstein SH, Brauner SC, Chen SC, Turalba AV, Chen TC, Shen L, Rhee DJ, Wiggs JL, Kang JH, Loomis S, Pasquale LR. A survey of preoperative blood tests in primary open-angle glaucoma patients versus cataract surgery patients. Digit J Ophthalmol 2014;20(2):20-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate biomarker differences in routine preoperative blood tests performed on primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) case and control patients presenting for anterior segment eye surgery. METHODS: POAG cases and age-related cataract surgery patients (controls) who underwent anterior segment surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear from January 2009 through March 2012 were identified by retrospective record review. Patients with diabetes mellitus, secondary glaucoma, and cataract due to trauma or steroid exposure were excluded. Data on demographic features, preoperative ophthalmological and medical diagnosis, blood pressure, anthropometric measures, basic metabolic panel, and complete blood count were extracted from the medical records. Univariate differences in lab values between POAG cases and controls were assessed using unpaired t tests. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was completed to determine the independent associations of biomarkers with POAG. RESULTS: A total of 150 cases and 150 age-related controls were included. In multivariate analysis, higher AG was inversely associated with POAG (odds ratio [OR] = 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-1.00), and higher Cl- level was positively associated with POAG (OR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.29). The lower AG in POAG patients could be explained by higher IgG levels as the available data in post hoc analysis showed a nonsignificant trend toward higher IgG in cases compared to controls (17 vs 23; 1142 ± 284 mg/dl vs 1028 ± 291 mg/dl; P = 0.22). Furthermore, in multivariable analysis, a higher red blood cell count was also associated with POAG (OR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.11-3.28). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with POAG presenting for anterior segment surgery had a lower AG compared to age-related cataract surgery patients. The etiology of this reduced gap is unclear but the possible contribution of IgG warrants further exploration. The etiology of higher red blood cell counts in POAG cases is unknown and deserves further exploration.
Buys ES, Potter LR, Pasquale LR, Ksander BR. Regulation of intraocular pressure by soluble and membrane guanylate cyclases and their role in glaucoma. Front Mol Neurosci 2014;7:38.Abstract
Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy characterized by visual field defects that ultimately lead to irreversible blindness (Alward, 2000; Anderson et al., 2006). By the year 2020, an estimated 80 million people will have glaucoma, 11 million of which will be bilaterally blind. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of glaucoma. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is currently the only risk factor amenable to treatment. How IOP is regulated and can be modulated remains a topic of active investigation. Available therapies, mostly geared toward lowering IOP, offer incomplete protection, and POAG often goes undetected until irreparable damage has been done, highlighting the need for novel therapeutic approaches, drug targets, and biomarkers (Heijl et al., 2002; Quigley, 2011). In this review, the role of soluble (nitric oxide (NO)-activated) and membrane-bound, natriuretic peptide (NP)-activated guanylate cyclases that generate the secondary signaling molecule cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the regulation of IOP and in the pathophysiology of POAG will be discussed.
Chatterjee A, Villarreal G, Oh D-J, Kang MH, Rhee DJ. AMP-activated protein kinase regulates intraocular pressure, extracellular matrix, and cytoskeleton in trabecular meshwork. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(5):3127-39.Abstract
PURPOSE: In this study, we investigate how adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) affects extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular tone in the trabecular meshwork (TM), and examine how deletion of its catalytic α2 subunit affects IOP and aqueous humor clearance in mice. METHODS: Human TM tissue was examined for expression of AMPKα1 and AMPKα2, genomically distinct isoforms of the AMPK catalytic subunit. Primary cultured human TM cells were treated for 24 hours with the AMPK activator 5-amino-1-β-Dffff-ribofuranosyl-imidazole-4-carboxamide (AICAR), under basal or TGF-β2 stimulatory conditions. Conditioned media (CM) was probed for secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), and ECM proteins, and cells were stained for F-actin. Cells underwent adenoviral infection with a dominant negative AMPKα subunit (ad.DN.AMPKα) and were similarly analyzed. Intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness (CCT), and aqueous clearance were measured in AMPKα2-null and wild-type (WT) mice. RESULTS: Both AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 are expressed in TM. AICAR activated AMPKα and suppressed the expression of various ECM proteins under basal and TGF-β2 stimulatory conditions. AICAR decreased F-actin staining and increased the phospho-total RhoA ratio (Ser188). Transforming growth factor-β2 transiently dephosphorylated AMPKα. Infection with ad.DN.AMPKα upregulated various ECM proteins, decreased the phospho-total RhoA ratio, and increased F-actin staining. AMPKα2-null mice exhibited 6% higher IOP and decreased aqueous clearance compared with WT mice, without significant differences in CCT or angle morphology. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data identify AMPK as a critical regulator of ECM homeostasis and cytoskeletal arrangement in the TM. Mice that are AMPKα2-null exhibit higher IOPs and decreased aqueous clearance than their WT counterparts.
Cohen LP, Pasquale LR. Clinical characteristics and current treatment of glaucoma. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2014;4(6)Abstract
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disorder in which degenerating retinal ganglion cells (RGC) produce significant visual disability. Clinically, glaucoma refers to an array of conditions associated with variably elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) that contributes to RGC loss via mechanical stress, vascular abnormalities, and other mechanisms, such as immune phenomena. The clinical diagnosis of glaucoma requires assessment of the ocular anterior segment with slit lamp biomicroscopy, which allows the clinician to recognize signs of conditions that can produce elevated IOP. After measurement of IOP, a specialized prismatic lens called a gonioscope is used to determine whether the angle is physically open or closed. The structural manifestation of RGC loss is optic nerve head atrophy and excavation of the neuroretinal rim tissue. Treatment is guided by addressing secondary causes for elevated IOP (such as inflammation, infection, and ischemia) whenever possible. Subsequently, a variety of medical, laser, and surgical options are used to achieve a target IOP.
Alasil T, Wang K, Yu F, Field MG, Lee H, Baniasadi N, de Boer JF, Coleman AL, Chen TC. Correlation of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and visual fields in glaucoma: a broken stick model. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;157(5):953-59.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness at which visual field (VF) damage becomes detectable and associated with structural loss. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. METHODS: Eighty-seven healthy and 108 glaucoma subjects (1 eye per subject) were recruited from an academic institution. All patients had VF examinations (Swedish Interactive Threshold Algorithm 24-2 test of the Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer 750i) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography RNFL scans. Comparison of RNFL thickness values with VF threshold values showed a plateau of VF threshold values at high RNFL thickness values and then a sharp decrease at lower RNFL thickness values. A broken stick statistical analysis was used to estimate the tipping point at which RNFL thickness values are associated with VF defects. The slope for the association between structure and function was computed for data above and below the tipping point. RESULTS: The mean RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial VF loss was 89 μm. The superior RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial corresponding inferior VF loss was 100 μm. The inferior RNFL thickness value that was associated with initial corresponding superior VF loss was 73 μm. The differences between all the slopes above and below the aforementioned tipping points were statistically significant (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: In open-angle glaucoma, substantial RNFL thinning or structural loss appears to be necessary before functional visual field defects become detectable.
Liu Y, Garrett ME, Yaspan BL, Bailey JC, Loomis SJ, Brilliant M, Budenz DL, Christen WG, Fingert JH, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Kang JH, Lee RK, Lichter P, Moroi SE, Realini A, Richards JE, Schuman JS, Scott WK, Singh K, Sit AJ, Vollrath D, Weinreb R, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Zhang K, Pericak-Vance MA, Haines JL, Pasquale LR, Wiggs JL, Allingham RR, Ashley-Koch AE, Hauser MA. DNA copy number variants of known glaucoma genes in relation to primary open-angle glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(12):8251-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined the role of DNA copy number variants (CNVs) of known glaucoma genes in relation to primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). METHODS: Our study included DNA samples from two studies (NEIGHBOR and GLAUGEN). All the samples were genotyped with the Illumina Human660W_Quad_v1 BeadChip. After removing non-blood-derived and amplified DNA samples, we applied quality control steps based on the mean Log R Ratio and the mean B allele frequency. Subsequently, data from 3057 DNA samples (1599 cases and 1458 controls) were analyzed with PennCNV software. We defined CNVs as those ≥5 kilobases (kb) in size and interrogated by ≥5 consecutive probes. We further limited our investigation to CNVs in known POAG-related genes, including CDKN2B-AS1, TMCO1, SIX1/SIX6, CAV1/CAV2, the LRP12-ZFPM2 region, GAS7, ATOH7, FNDC3B, CYP1B1, MYOC, OPTN, WDR36, SRBD1, TBK1, and GALC. RESULTS: Genomic duplications of CDKN2B-AS1 and TMCO1 were each found in a single case. Two cases carried duplications in the GAS7 region. Genomic deletions of SIX6 and ATOH7 were each identified in one case. One case carried a TBK1 deletion and another case carried a TBK1 duplication. No controls had duplications or deletions in these six genes. A single control had a duplication in the MYOC region. Deletions of GALC were observed in five cases and two controls. CONCLUSIONS: The CNV analysis of a large set of cases and controls revealed the presence of rare CNVs in known POAG susceptibility genes. Our data suggest that these rare CNVs may contribute to POAG pathogenesis and merit functional evaluation.

Swaminathan SS, Oh D-J, Kang MH, Rhee DJ. Aqueous outflow: segmental and distal flow. J Cataract Refract Surg 2014;40(8):1263-72.Abstract
UNLABELLED: The elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) of primary open-angle glaucoma is caused by impaired outflow of aqueous humor through the trabecular meshwork. Within the juxtacanalicular region, alterations of both extracellular matrix homeostasis and the cellular tone of trabecular meshwork endothelial and the inner wall of Schlemm canal cells affect outflow. Newer pharmacologic agents that target trabecular meshwork and Schlemm canal cell cytoskeleton lower IOP. Aqueous drainage occurs nonhomogenously with greater flow going through certain portions of the TM and less going through other portions-a concept known as segmental flow, which is theoretically the result of outflow being dependent on the presence of discrete pores within Schlemm canal. The limited long-term success of trabecular meshwork bypass surgeries implicates the potential impact of resistance in Schlemm canal itself and collector channels. Additionally, others have observed that outflow occurs preferentially near collector channels. These distal structures may be more important to aqueous outflow than previously believed. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Dr. Rhee is a consultant to Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Allegan, Inc., Aquesys, Inc., Glaukos Corp., Ivantis, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and Santen, Inc., and has received research funding from Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., and Ivantis, Inc. No other author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
Chen TC, Chen PP, Francis BA, Junk AK, Smith SD, Singh K, Lin SC. Pediatric glaucoma surgery: a report by the American Academy Of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2014;121(11):2107-15.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To review the current published literature to evaluate the success rates and long-term problems associated with surgery for pediatric glaucoma. METHODS: Literature searches of the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases were last conducted in May 2012. The search yielded 838 potentially relevant citations, of which 273 were in non-English languages. The titles and abstracts of these articles were reviewed by the authors, and 364 were selected for possible further review. Members of the Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Committee Glaucoma Panel reviewed the full text of these articles and used the 36 that met inclusion and exclusion criteria for this Ophthalmic Technology Assessment. There were no studies on the topic that provided level I evidence. The assessment included only level II and level III studies. RESULTS: Surgeons treat pediatric glaucoma most commonly with goniotomy, trabeculotomy, trabeculectomy, combined trabeculotomy and trabeculectomy, tube shunt surgery, cyclodestruction, and deep sclerectomy. Certain surgical options seem better for specific diagnoses, such as primary congenital glaucoma, aphakic glaucoma, and glaucomas associated with other ocular or systemic anomalies. CONCLUSIONS: There are many surgical options for the treatment of the pediatric glaucomas. The relative efficacy of these various procedures for particular diagnoses and clinical situations should be weighed against the specific risks associated with the procedures for individual patients.
Jakobs TC. Differential gene expression in glaucoma. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2014;4(7):a020636.Abstract

In glaucoma, regardless of its etiology, retinal ganglion cells degenerate and eventually die. Although age and elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) are the main risk factors, there are still many mysteries in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. The advent of genome-wide microarray expression screening together with the availability of animal models of the disease has allowed analysis of differential gene expression in all parts of the eye in glaucoma. This review will outline the findings of recent genome-wide expression studies and discuss their commonalities and differences. A common finding was the differential regulation of genes involved in inflammation and immunity, including the complement system and the cytokines transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Other genes of interest have roles in the extracellular matrix, cell-matrix interactions and adhesion, the cell cycle, and the endothelin system.

Turalba AV, Pasquale LR. Hypertensive phase and early complications after Ahmed glaucoma valve implantation with intraoperative subtenon triamcinolone acetonide. Clin Ophthalmol 2014;8:1311-6.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate intraoperative subtenon triamcinolone acetonide (TA) as an adjunct to Ahmed glaucoma valve (AGV) implantation. DESIGN: Retrospective comparative case series. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-two consecutive cases of uncontrolled glaucoma undergoing AGV implantation: 19 eyes receiving intraoperative subtenon TA and 23 eyes that did not receive TA. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed on consecutive pseudophakic adult patients with uncontrolled glaucoma undergoing AGV with and without intraoperative subtenon TA injection by a single surgeon. Clinical data were collected from 42 eyes and analyzed for the first 6 months after surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes included intraocular pressure (IOP) and number of glaucoma medications prior to and after AGV implantation. The hypertensive phase (HP) was defined as an IOP measurement of greater than 21 mmHg (with or without medications) during the 6-month postoperative period that was not a result of tube obstruction, retraction, or malfunction. Postoperative complications and visual acuity were analyzed as secondary outcome measures. RESULTS: Five out of 19 (26%) TA cases and 12 out of 23 (52%) non-TA cases developed the HP (P=0.027). Mean IOP (14.2±4.6 in TA cases versus [vs] 14.7±5.0 mmHg in non-TA cases; P=0.78), and number of glaucoma medications needed (1.8±1.3 in TA cases vs 1.6±1.1 in the comparison group; P=0.65) were similar between both groups at 6 months. Although rates of serious complications did not differ between the groups (13% in the TA group vs 16% in the non-TA group), early tube erosion (n=1) and bacterial endophthalmitis (n=1) were noted with TA but not in the non-TA group. CONCLUSIONS: Subtenon TA injection during AGV implantation may decrease the occurrence of the HP but does not alter the ultimate IOP outcome and may pose increased risk of serious complications within the first 6 months of surgery.
Feke GT, Bex PJ, Taylor CP, Rhee DJ, Turalba AV, Chen TC, Wand M, Pasquale LR. Effect of brimonidine on retinal vascular autoregulation and short-term visual function in normal tension glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;158(1):105-112.e1.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess whether brimonidine 0.15% alters retinal vascular autoregulation and short-term visual function in normal tension glaucoma patients who demonstrate retinal vascular dysregulation. DESIGN: Nonrandomized clinical trial. METHODS: In this prospective study, 46 normal tension glaucoma patients not previously treated with brimonidine underwent retinal vascular autoregulation testing and visual function assessment using frequency doubling technology perimetry and equivalent noise motion sensitivity testing. We measured blood flow in a major temporal retinal artery with subjects seated and then while reclined for 30 minutes. Patients having a change in retinal blood flow with posture change outside the range previously found in healthy subjects were classified as having retinal vascular dysregulation. They were treated with brimonidine 0.15% for 8 weeks and designated for retesting. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients demonstrated retinal vascular dysregulation at the initial visit. Younger age (P = .050) and diabetes (P = .055) were marginally significant risk factors for retinal vascular dysregulation. After the 8-week course with brimonidine, 14 of the 17 patients who completed the study showed a return of posture-induced retinal blood flow changes to levels consistent with normal retinal vascular autoregulation (P < .0001). We found no significant changes in frequency doubling technology perimetry or in motion detection parameters following treatment with brimondine (P > .09 for all tests performed). CONCLUSIONS: Brimonidine significantly improved impaired retinal vascular autoregulation in normal tension glaucoma patients, but short-term alteration in visual function could not be demonstrated.

Pasquale LR, Kang JH, Wiggs JL. Prospects for gene-environment interactions in exfoliation syndrome. J Glaucoma 2014;:S64-7.Abstract

Complex traits can be triggered by environmental factors in genetically predisposed individuals. The lysyl oxidase-like 1 gene (LOXL1) variants associated with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) are detected in >90% of cases that have been genotyped from sites around the world. Remarkably, roughly 80% of people without XFS also possess these same variants in all populations that have been tested. Nonetheless, the prevalence of XFS varies from ≤0.4% to >20%. These data suggest that other genetic variants, epigenetic modifications, or environmental factors also contribute to XFS. Furthermore, it is possible that environmental factors modify the association between LOXL1 and XFS. Interactions between LOXL1 variants and environmental factors could explain the varying prevalence of XFS seen throughout the world. At the very least, the discovery of the association between LOXL1 variants and XFS has opened the door to the discovery of environmental risk factors for this condition. Candidate gene-environment interactions in XFS will be discussed.

Hysi PG, Cheng C-Y, Springelkamp H, Macgregor S, Bailey JCN, Wojciechowski R, Vitart V, Nag A, Hewitt AW, Höhn R, Venturini C, Mirshahi A, Ramdas WD, Thorleifsson G, Vithana E, Khor C-C, Stefansson AB, Liao J, Haines JL, Amin N, Wang YX, Wild PS, Ozel AB, Li JZ, Fleck BW, Zeller T, Staffieri SE, Teo Y-Y, Cuellar-Partida G, Luo X, Allingham RR, Richards JE, Senft A, Karssen LC, Zheng Y, Bellenguez C, Xu L, Iglesias AI, Wilson JF, Kang JH, van Leeuwen EM, Jonsson V, Thorsteinsdottir U, Despriet DDG, Ennis S, Moroi SE, Martin NG, Jansonius NM, Yazar S, Tai E-S, Amouyel P, Kirwan J, van Koolwijk LME, Hauser MA, Jonasson F, Leo P, Loomis SJ, Fogarty R, Rivadeneira F, Kearns L, Lackner KJ, de Jong PTVM, Simpson CL, Pennell CE, Oostra BA, Uitterlinden AG, Saw S-M, Lotery AJ, Bailey-Wilson JE, Hofman A, Vingerling JR, Maubaret C, Pfeiffer N, Wolfs RCW, Lemij HG, Young TL, Pasquale LR, Delcourt C, Spector TD, Klaver CCW, Small KS, Burdon KP, Stefansson K, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Wong T-Y, Viswanathan A, Mackey DA, Craig JE, Wiggs JL, van Duijn CM, Hammond CJ, Aung T. Genome-wide analysis of multi-ancestry cohorts identifies new loci influencing intraocular pressure and susceptibility to glaucoma. Nat Genet 2014;46(10):1126-30.Abstract

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor in developing glaucoma, and variability in IOP might herald glaucomatous development or progression. We report the results of a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 18 population cohorts from the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium (IGGC), comprising 35,296 multi-ancestry participants for IOP. We confirm genetic association of known loci for IOP and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and identify four new IOP-associated loci located on chromosome 3q25.31 within the FNDC3B gene (P = 4.19 × 10(-8) for rs6445055), two on chromosome 9 (P = 2.80 × 10(-11) for rs2472493 near ABCA1 and P = 6.39 × 10(-11) for rs8176693 within ABO) and one on chromosome 11p11.2 (best P = 1.04 × 10(-11) for rs747782). Separate meta-analyses of 4 independent POAG cohorts, totaling 4,284 cases and 95,560 controls, showed that 3 of these loci for IOP were also associated with POAG.