Festschrift for Simmons Lessell, MD. J Neuroophthalmol 2013;33(4):e26-7..
Neutrophils express oncomodulin and promote optic nerve regeneration. J Neurosci 2013;33(37):14816-24.Abstract.
Although neurons are normally unable to regenerate their axons after injury to the CNS, this situation can be partially reversed by activating the innate immune system. In a widely studied instance of this phenomenon, proinflammatory agents have been shown to cause retinal ganglion cells, the projection neurons of the eye, to regenerate lengthy axons through the injured optic nerve. However, the role of different molecules and cell populations in mediating this phenomenon remains unclear. We show here that neutrophils, the first responders of the innate immune system, play a central role in inflammation-induced regeneration. Numerous neutrophils enter the mouse eye within a few hours of inducing an inflammatory reaction and express high levels of the atypical growth factor oncomodulin (Ocm). Immunodepletion of neutrophils diminished Ocm levels in the eye without altering levels of CNTF, leukemia inhibitory factor, or IL-6, and suppressed the proregenerative effects of inflammation. A peptide antagonist of Ocm suppressed regeneration as effectively as neutrophil depletion. Macrophages enter the eye later in the inflammatory process but appear to be insufficient to stimulate extensive regeneration in the absence of neutrophils. These data provide the first evidence that neutrophils are a major source of Ocm and can promote axon regeneration in the CNS.
Depression-biased reverse plasticity rule is required for stable learning at top-down connections. PLoS Comput Biol 2012;8(3):e1002393.Abstract.
Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP) where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP) produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body.
Dorsal midbrain syndrome from a ring-enhancing lesion. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(3-4):65-8.Abstract.
A ring-enhancing lesion is an uncommon cause of a dorsal midbrain syndrome. Here, we describe the case of a 60-year-old man with eye movement and pupillary findings consistent with dorsal midbrain syndrome, and in whom neuroimaging showed a single ring-enhancing lesion in the right midbrain and thalamus. Further investigation revealed a longstanding right groin mass which proved to be a malignant melanoma. His intracranial lesion was presumed to be a metastatic lesion, and treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. We report the patient's clinical course, and discuss the diagnosis and management of the solitary midbrain lesion.
Neuro-imaging: a review for the general ophthalmologist. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):192-6.Abstract.
The diagnosis of many neuro-ophthalmic conditions is facilitated with neuro-imaging. The two main modalities are Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Clinicians who refer patients for either of these techniques must not only know which of them to choose, but also where the imaging should be performed (e.g. brain, orbit), whether or not contrast is indicated, and if angiography should be supplemented. These complexities often result in imaging studies that are either unneeded or unhelpful. The goal of this manuscript is to provide a practical set of guidelines for the general ophthalmologist of how to choose the correct parameters for neuro-imaging studies.