Retina

Zhang Y, Wang K, Pan J, Yang S, Yao H, Li M, Li H, Lei H, Jin H, Wang F. Exosomes mediate an epithelial-mesenchymal transition cascade in retinal pigment epithelial cells: Implications for proliferative vitreoretinopathy. J Cell Mol Med 2020;Abstract
Exosomes have recently emerged as a pivotal mediator of many physiological and pathological processes. However, the role of exosomes in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) has not been reported. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of exosomes in PVR. Transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFß-2) was used to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, as an in vitro model of PVR. Exosomes from normal and EMTed RPE cells were extracted and identified. We incubated extracted exosomes with recipient RPE cells, and co-cultured EMTed RPE cells and recipient RPE cells in the presence of the exosome inhibitor GW4869. Both experiments suggested that there are further EMT-promoting effects of exosomes from EMTed RPE cells. MicroRNA sequencing was also performed to identify the miRNA profiles in exosomes from both groups. We identified 34 differentially expressed exosomal miRNAs (P <. 05). Importantly, miR-543 was found in exosomes from EMTed RPE cells, and miR-543-enriched exosomes significantly induced the EMT of recipient RPE cells. Our study demonstrates that exosomal miRNA is differentially expressed in RPE cells during EMT and that these exosomal miRNAs may play pivotal roles in EMT induction. Our results highlight the importance of exosomes as cellular communicators within the microenvironment of PVR.
Maidana DE, Notomi S, Ueta T, Zhou T, Joseph D, Kosmidou C, Caminal-Mitjana JM, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. ThicknessTool: automated ImageJ retinal layer thickness and profile in digital images. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):18459.Abstract
To develop an automated retina layer thickness measurement tool for the ImageJ platform, to quantitate nuclear layers following the retina contour. We developed the ThicknessTool (TT), an automated thickness measurement plugin for the ImageJ platform. To calibrate TT, we created a calibration dataset of mock binary skeletonized mask images with increasing thickness masks and different rotations. Following, we created a training dataset and performed an agreement analysis of thickness measurements between TT and two masked manual observers. Finally, we tested the performance of TT measurements in a validation dataset of retinal detachment images. In the calibration dataset, there were no differences in layer thickness between measured and known thickness masks, with an overall coefficient of variation of 0.00%. Training dataset measurements of immunofluorescence retina nuclear layers disclosed no significant differences between TT and any observer's average outer nuclear layer (ONL) (p = 0.998), inner nuclear layer (INL) (p = 0.807), and ONL/INL ratio (p = 0.944) measurements. Agreement analysis showed that bias between TT vs. observers' mean was lower than between any observers' mean against each other in the ONL (0.77 ± 0.34 µm vs 3.25 ± 0.33 µm) and INL (1.59 ± 0.28 µm vs 2.82 ± 0.36 µm). Validation dataset showed that TT can detect significant and true ONL thinning (p = 0.006), more sensitive than manual measurement capabilities (p = 0.069). ThicknessTool can measure retina nuclear layers thickness in a fast, accurate, and precise manner with multi-platform capabilities. In addition, the TT can be customized to user preferences and is freely available to download.
Shire DB, Gingerich MD, Wong PI, Skvarla M, Cogan SF, Chen J, Wang W, Rizzo JF. Micro-Fabrication of Components for a High-Density Sub-Retinal Visual Prosthesis. Micromachines (Basel) 2020;11(10)Abstract
We present a retrospective of unique micro-fabrication problems and solutions that were encountered through over 10 years of retinal prosthesis product development, first for the Boston Retinal Implant Project initiated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard Medical School's teaching hospital, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear-and later at the startup company Bionic Eye Technologies, by some of the same personnel. These efforts culminated in the fabrication and assembly of 256+ channel visual prosthesis devices having flexible multi-electrode arrays that were successfully implanted sub-retinally in mini-pig animal models as part of our pre-clinical testing program. We report on the processing of the flexible multi-layered, planar and penetrating high-density electrode arrays, surgical tools for sub-retinal implantation, and other parts such as coil supports that facilitated the implantation of the peri-ocular device components. We begin with an overview of the implantable portion of our visual prosthesis system design, and describe in detail the micro-fabrication methods for creating the parts of our system that were assembled outside of our hermetically-sealed electronics package. We also note the unique surgical challenges that sub-retinal implantation of our micro-fabricated components presented, and how some of those issues were addressed through design, materials selection, and fabrication approaches.
Wons J, Kempen J, Garweg JG. HIV-induced Retinitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;28(8):1259-1268.Abstract
PURPOSE: To provide an overview of the current knowledge on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-associated retinopathies. METHODS: A PubMed search was performed, using the key terms "HIV Retinopathy OR Retinitis" and "HIV AND Retinitis" to find manuscripts published within the last ten years. RESULTS: If left untreated, HIV infection causes a progressive immunodeficiency caused by depletion of CD4-positive T lymphocytes. Noninfectious HIV retinopathy, clinically manifested by cotton wool spots. Once the CD4 count drops below 200 c/μl, immunodeficiency creates a vulnerability for systemic opportunistic infections. Within the posterior segment of the eye, cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis has to be distinguished from infections with other members of the herpes virus family, as well as from toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, and syphilis. Upon restoration of the immune system, immune recovery uveitis may manifest in one third of CMV affected eyes. CONCLUSION: Targeted antiviral treatment and secondary recurrence prophylaxis prevent vision loss of the retina prior to immune recovery.
Agranat JS, Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Miller JB. A guarded light pipe for direct visualization during primary scleral buckling on the Ngenuity platform. Int J Retina Vitreous 2020;6:42.Abstract
Background: Visualization during scleral buckling is traditionally achieved via indirect ophthalmoscopy. Recent advances have utilized the surgical microscope and a 25 gauge cannula-based endoillumination system, also known as a Chandelier lighting system. This report details an improved approach using a guarded 25 or 27 gauge light pipe and the Ngenuity digital three dimensional platform. Methods: A standard Alcon light pipe is modified with a silicone guard to expose only 5 mm of the tip of the light pipe. The guard is created from the silicone that is already opened to secure the ends of the encircling band most often employed sleeve (e.g. 70, 270). This guarded light pipe is then inserted into the cannula as an alternative to a Chandelier lighting system. Results: This is a technical report of a surgical visualization technique using a three dimensional digital visualization platform with a modified handheld vitrectomy light pipe. Conclusion: The utilization of a guarded light pipe for visualization during primary scleral buckling is a promising, effective, and efficient technique. The three dimensional digital display allows for better educational impact and surgical communication with trainees and ancillary members of the surgical team.
Jakobiec FA, Barrantes PC, Yonekawa Y, Lad EM, Proia AD. Subretinal Mononuclear Cells in Coats' Disease Studied with RPE65 and CD163: Evidence for Histiocytoid Pigment Epithelial Cells. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the mononuclear cells in the subretinal exudate in Coats' disease. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Five enucleated globes and one cytology sample with Coats' disease and one case of chronic retinal detachment following repair of an open globe injury were examined immunohistochemically to identify the intraretinal and subretinal exudative cells. The two biomarkers were RPE65 for retinal pigment epithelium and CD163 for histiocytes, each tagged with different chromogens, yellow for pigment epithelium and purple for CD163+ monocytes/histiocytes. Expressions were sought of both biomarkers together or singly. A color shift to red in the cells' chromogenic reaction indicated the simultaneous presence of the two biomarkers. RESULTS: The majority of the mononuclear cells in Coats' disease were CD163 (purple) positive, and a minority were RPE65 (yellow) positive. An intermediate number of cells were RPE65/CD163 positive (orange-red). The eye with a chronic retinal detachment had an equal distribution of CD163 positive and RPE65/CD163 positive cells. CONCLUSIONS: The retinal pigment epithelium has several well-delineated phenotypes and functions. In normal visual physiology, the pigment epithelium supports the photoreceptors and participates in their renewal by phagocytosis of the tips of the photoreceptors. The expression of CD163, a feature of hematopoietically derived monocytes, together with RPE65 in the retinal pigment epithelium, supports differentiation toward histiocytes. Yellow staining detached pigment epithelial cells were rare. The presence of histiocytoid pigment epithelium at the level of Bruch's membrane probably also has implications for macular degeneration.
Begaj T, Marmalidou A, Papakostas TD, Diaz DJ, Kim LA, Wu DM, Miller JB. Outcomes of primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair with extensive scleral-depressed vitreous removal and dynamic examination. PLoS One 2020;15(9):e0239138.Abstract
There are multiple surgical approaches to the repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). Here, we evaluated the outcomes of small-gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), alone or in combination with scleral buckle (SB-PPV), for RRD repair using a standardized technique by 3 vitreoretinal surgeons: "extensive" removal of the vitreous with scleral depression and dynamic examination of the peripheral retina. One hundred eighty seven eyes of 180 consecutive patients treated for primary RRD by three vitreoretinal surgeons at a tertiary academic medical center from September 2015 to March 2018 were analyzed. Most RRDs occurred in males (134 [71.3%] eyes), affected the left eye (102 [54.3%]), and were phakic (119 [63.3%]). PPV alone was performed in 159 eyes (84.6%), with a combined SB-PPV used in the remaining 29 eyes (15.4%); focal endolaser was used in all (100%) cases. The single surgery anatomic success rate was 186 eyes (99.5%) at 3 months, and 187 (100%) at last follow up. Overall best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) had significantly improved at 3 months ([Snellen 20/47] P<0.00005) and last follow up ([Snellen 20/31] P<0.00005), as compared to day of presentation ([Snellen 20/234]). Our findings suggest that "extensive" removal of the vitreous and dynamic peripheral examination with scleral depression may lead to high single surgery success in primary uncomplicated RRD repair.
Williams PR, Benowitz LI, Goldberg JL, He Z. Axon Regeneration in the Mammalian Optic Nerve. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2020;6:195-213.Abstract
The damage or loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons accounts for the visual functional defects observed after traumatic injury, in degenerative diseases such as glaucoma, or in compressive optic neuropathies such as from optic glioma. By using optic nerve crush injury models, recent studies have revealed the cellular and molecular logic behind the regenerative failure of injured RGC axons in adult mammals and suggested several strategies with translational potential. This review summarizes these findings and discusses challenges for developing clinically applicable neural repair strategies.
Harris JM, Han IC, Sachdeva MM, Zhang AY, Zebardast N. Post-operative intracranial gas migration with optic nerve infiltration and atrophy following retinal detachment repair. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2020;20:100920.Abstract
Purpose: To report a patient with post-operative gas migration into the optic nerve and lateral ventricles after retinal detachment repair. Observations: A 78-year-old pseudophakic man developed a temporal visual field cut in his non-operative, right eye 3 weeks after repair of a recurrent, shallow, macula-involving retinal detachment with perfluoropropane intraocular gas in the left eye. Visual acuity in the right eye measured 20/40, and static perimetry demonstrated temporal visual field loss that respected the vertical midline. Dilated fundus examination of the right eye was unrevealing for any retinal cause, raising suspicion for an intracranial etiology. An urgent CT scan of the brain demonstrated gas in all segments of the left optic nerve and lateral ventricles, consistent with intracranial gas migration along the optic nerve. Given the absence of systemic neurologic symptoms, cautious observation was advised on consultation with neuroradiology and neurosurgery, and follow-up CT scan 1 week later showed resolution of the intracranial gas. By 10-weeks post-operatively, vision returned to 20/20 in the right eye with persistent temporal field loss, and the left eye was hand motions (20/70 pre-operatively) with evidence of optic nerve atrophy and severe cupping. Conclusions: Intracranial gas migration is a rare complication of retinaldetachment repair with intraocular gas and may occur in the setting of structural defects of the optic nerve and high post-operative intraocular pressure. Clinicians should be alert to this rare but serious complication, which can cause neurologic symptoms and result in vision loss in both the operative and non-operative eyes.
Zucker CL, Bernstein PS, Schalek RL, Lichtman JW, Dowling JE. A connectomics approach to understanding a retinal disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;117(31):18780-18787.Abstract
Macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel), a late-onset macular degeneration, has been linked to a loss in the retina of Müller glial cells and the amino acid serine, synthesized by the Müller cells. The disease is confined mainly to a central retinal region called the MacTel zone. We have used electron microscopic connectomics techniques, optimized for disease analysis, to study the retina from a 48-y-old woman suffering from MacTel. The major observations made were specific changes in mitochondrial structure within and outside the MacTel zone that were present in all retinal cell types. We also identified an abrupt boundary of the MacTel zone that coincides with the loss of Müller cells and macular pigment. Since Müller cells synthesize retinal serine, we propose that a deficiency of serine, required for mitochondrial maintenance, causes mitochondrial changes that underlie MacTel development.
Yamada K, Maeno T, Kusaka S, Arroyo JG, Yamada M. Recalcitrant Macular Hole Closure by Autologous Retinal Transplant Using the Peripheral Retina. Clin Ophthalmol 2020;14:2301-2306.Abstract
Purpose: The peripheral adult human retina has been found to contain neuroepithelial stem cells. In this study, we examined the efficacy of an auto-transplant of peripheral retina into refractory macular holes (MH) from both anatomic and physiologic perspectives. Methods: The population consisted of four female patients aged 72, 82, 65 and 84 years (cases 1-4, respectively) with persistent refractory MH status; internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling (case 1), ILM transplant (case 2), and inverted ILM (cases 3 and 4 with myopic MH). In all our cases, retinal grafts were harvested beyond the equator from the far retinal periphery using curved horizontal scissors and gently moved toward the MH using a forceps. A 25-G manipulator with a silicone ball tip was used to tuck the trimmed graft into the MH, followed by fluid-air exchange and infusion of silicone oil, which was removed three months later. Results: Partial restoration and integration of the outer retinal layer were confirmed on an OCT-B scan imaging. The visual acuity (VA) was improved in all cases: 1.2 to 1.0 logMAR (case 1), 2.0 to 1.3 logMAR (case 2), 2.3 to 1.4 logMAR (case 3) and 2.0 to 1.0 logMAR (case 4). Microperimetry showed improved retinal sensitivity in every case. No intra- or post-operative complications were observed. Conclusion: Under pathological conditions, the Müller glia reportedly serves as a source of neuronal progenitor cells in regenerating retina, continuing to divide and migrate to the outer nuclear layer thus replacing lost photo-receptors. Although the histological findings remain unknown, the positive anatomic and physiologic outcomes of the auto-transplanted retinal flap in our series suggest that this technique may offer an effective option for treating recalcitrant MH. Further studies are warranted.
Liu Z, Xu J, Ma Q, Zhang X, Yang Q, Wang L, Cao Y, Xu Z, Tawfik A, Sun Y, Weintraub NL, Fulton DJ, Hong M, Dong Z, Smith LEH, Caldwell RB, Sodhi A, Huo Y. Glycolysis links reciprocal activation of myeloid cells and endothelial cells in the retinal angiogenic niche. Sci Transl Med 2020;12(555)Abstract
The coordination of metabolic signals among different cellular components in pathological retinal angiogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we showed that in the pathological angiogenic vascular niche, retinal myeloid cells, particularly macrophages/microglia that are spatially adjacent to endothelial cells (ECs), are highly glycolytic. We refer to these macrophages/microglia that exhibit a unique angiogenic phenotype with increased expression of both M1 and M2 markers and enhanced production of both proinflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines as pathological retinal angiogenesis-associated glycolytic macrophages/microglia (PRAGMs). The phenotype of PRAGMs was recapitulated in bone marrow-derived macrophages or retinal microglia stimulated by lactate that was produced by hypoxic retinal ECs. Knockout of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2, 6-bisphosphatase (; for rodents), a glycolytic activator in myeloid cells, impaired the ability of macrophages/microglia to acquire an angiogenic phenotype, rendering them unable to promote EC proliferation and sprouting and pathological neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy. Mechanistically, hyperglycolytic macrophages/microglia produced large amount of acetyl-coenzyme A, leading to histone acetylation and PRAGM-related gene induction, thus reprogramming macrophages/microglia into an angiogenic phenotype. These findings reveal a critical role of glycolytic metabolites as initiators of reciprocal activation of macrophages/microglia and ECs in the retinal angiogenic niche and suggest that strategies targeting the metabolic communication between these cell types may be efficacious in the treatment of pathological retinal angiogenesis.
Maleki A, Ueberroth JA, Manhapra A, Walsh M, Asgari S, Chang PY, Anesi SD, Foster SC. Fixed-Luminance and Multi-Luminance Flicker Electroretinography Parameters in Patients with Early Active Birdshot Chorioretinopathy. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-7.Abstract
Purpose To evaluate the parameters of the Fixed-Luminance and Multi-Luminance flicker electroretinography protocol among patients with early active birdshot chorioretinopathy. Methods Fixed-Luminance magnitude, Fixed-Luminance phase, Multi-Luminance magnitude area under the curve, and Multi-Luminance phase area under the curve parameters were compared between early active birdshot chorioretinopathy patients and an age-matched control group. Results There was no statistically significant difference between the Fixed-Luminance flicker magnitude ( = .6), the Fixed-Luminance flicker phase ( = .9), and the Multi-Luminance flicker phase area under the curve ( = .55) when each was compared to the normal population; however, the difference between the mean Multi-Luminance flicker magnitude area under the curve in our patients and the healthy control group was statistically significant. ( = .003) Conclusions Multi-Luminance flicker magnitude area under the curve has been shown to be significantly different from the normal population in the early active course of the disease. Abbreviations BSCR: birdshot chorioretinopathy; cd: Cadmium; ERG: Electroretinography; FA: Fluorescein angiography; FL-: Fixed-luminance; HVF: Humphrey visual field; Hz: Hertz; ICG: Indocyanine green; m: Square meter; ML-: Multi-luminance; ms: millisecond; SITA: Swedish interactive thresholding algorithm; SWAP: Short wave-length automated perimetry.

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