Retina

Yang Y, Huang X, Ma G, Cui J, Matsubara JA, Kazlauskas A, Zhao J, Wang J, Lei H. PDGFRβ plays an essential role in patient vitreous-stimulated contraction of retinal pigment epithelial cells from epiretinal membranes. Exp Eye Res 2020;197:108116.Abstract
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is associated with clinical proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), which is characterized by formation of sub- or epi-retinal membranes that consist of cells including retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and extracellular matrix. RPE cells play an important role in PVR pathogenesis. Previous findings indicated that PDGF receptor (PDGFR)α was essential in experimental PVR induced by fibroblasts. In RPE cells derived from epiretinal membranes from patients with PVR (RPEMs), Akt was activated by PDGF-B but not PDGF-A, which suggested that PDGFRβ was the predominant PDGFR isoform expressed in RPEMs. Indeed, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated depletion of PDGFRβ in RPEMs attenuated patient vitreous-induced Akt activation and cellular responses intrinsic to PVR including cell proliferation, migration, and contraction. We conclude that PDGFRβ appears to be the PVR relevant PDGFR isoform in RPEMs.
Hamad AE, Moinuddin O, Blair MP, Schechet SA, Shapiro MJ, Quiram PA, Mammo DA, Berrocal AM, Prakhunhungsit S, Cernichiaro-Espinosa LA, Mukai S, Yonekawa Y, Ung C, Holz ER, Harper AC, Young RC, Besirli CG, Nagiel A, Lee TC, Gupta MP, Walsh MK, Khawly JA, Campbell PJ, Kychenthal A, Nudleman ED, Robinson JE, Hartnett ME, Calvo CM, Chang EY. Late-Onset Retinal Findings and Complications in Untreated Retinopathy of Prematurity. Ophthalmol Retina 2020;4(6):602-612.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate late retinal findings and complications of eyes with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) that did not meet treatment criteria and did not receive treatment during infancy. DESIGN: Retrospective, nonconsecutive, noncomparative, multicenter case series. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred sixty-three eyes of 186 patients. METHODS: Data were requested from multiple providers on premature patients with a history of ROP and no treatment during infancy who demonstrated late retinal findings or complications and included age, gender, gestational age and weight, zone and stage at infancy, visual acuity, current retina vascularization status, vitreous character, presence of peripheral retinal findings such as lattice retinal tears and detachments (RDs), retinoschisis, and fluorescein findings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rate of RDs and factors conferring a higher risk of RDs. RESULTS: The average age was 34.5 years (range, 7-76 years), average gestational age was 26.6 weeks (range, 23-34 weeks), and average birth weight was 875 g (range, 425-1590 g). Findings included lattice in 196 eyes (54.0%), atrophic holes in 126 eyes (34.7%), retinal tears in 111 eyes (30.6%), RDs in 140 eyes (38.6 %), tractional retinoschisis in 44 eyes (11.9%), and visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface in 112 eyes (30.5%). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed in 113 eyes, of which 59 eyes (52.2%) showed leakage and 16 eyes (14.2%) showed neovascularization. Incomplete vascularization posterior to zone 3 was common (71.6% of eyes). Retinal detachments were more likely in patients with a gestational age of 29 weeks or less (P < 0.05) and in eyes with furthest vascularization to posterior zone 2 eyes compared with zone 3 eyes (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Eyes with ROP not meeting the treatment threshold during infancy showed various late retinal findings and complications, of which RDs were the most concerning. Complications were seen in all age groups, including patients born after the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study. Contributing factors to RDs included atrophic holes within peripheral avascular retina, visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface with residual traction, and premature vitreous syneresis. We recommend regular examinations and consideration of ultra-widefield FA examinations. Prospective studies are needed to explore the frequency of complications and benefit of prophylactic treatment and if eyes treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy are at risk of similar findings and complications.
Yan W, Peng Y-R, van Zyl T, Regev A, Shekhar K, Juric D, Sanes JR. Cell Atlas of The Human Fovea and Peripheral Retina. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):9802.Abstract
Most irreversible blindness results from retinal disease. To advance our understanding of the etiology of blinding diseases, we used single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to analyze the transcriptomes of ~85,000 cells from the fovea and peripheral retina of seven adult human donors. Utilizing computational methods, we identified 58 cell types within 6 classes: photoreceptor, horizontal, bipolar, amacrine, retinal ganglion and non-neuronal cells. Nearly all types are shared between the two retinal regions, but there are notable differences in gene expression and proportions between foveal and peripheral cohorts of shared types. We then used the human retinal atlas to map expression of 636 genes implicated as causes of or risk factors for blinding diseases. Many are expressed in striking cell class-, type-, or region-specific patterns. Finally, we compared gene expression signatures of cell types between human and the cynomolgus macaque monkey, Macaca fascicularis. We show that over 90% of human types correspond transcriptomically to those previously identified in macaque, and that expression of disease-related genes is largely conserved between the two species. These results validate the use of the macaque for modeling blinding disease, and provide a foundation for investigating molecular mechanisms underlying visual processing.
Yu Z, Ma S, Wu M, Cui H, Wu R, Chen S, Xu C, Lu X, Feng S. Self-assembling hydrogel loaded with 5-FU PLGA microspheres as a novel vitreous substitute for proliferative vitreoretinopathy. J Biomed Mater Res A 2020;108(12):2435-2446.Abstract
The vitreous substitute for proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) surgery remains an unmet clinical need in ophthalmology. In our study, we developed an in situ formed hydrogel by crosslinking polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and chitosan as a potential vitreous substitute. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres were developed and loaded onto the PVA/chitosan hydrogels to treat PVR. In vitro, PVA/chitosan hydrogels at four concentrations were subjected to morphological, physical, rheological analyses, and cytotoxicity was evaluated together with the characterization of 5-FU PLGA microspheres. In vivo, pharmacologically induce PVR rabbits were performed a vitrectomy. In the PVA group, 3% PVA/chitosan hydrogel was injected into the vitreous cavity. In the PVA/MS group, 3% PVA/chitosan hydrogel and 5-FU PLGA microspheres were injected. In the Control group, phosphate-buffered saline was injected. Therapeutic efficacy was evaluated with postoperative examinations and histological analyses. This study demonstrated that the 3% PVA/chitosan hydrogel showed properties similar to those of the human vitreous and could be a novel in situ crosslinked vitreous substitute for PVR. Loading 5-FU PLGA microspheres onto this hydrogel may represent an effective strategy to improve the prognosis of PVR.
Sohn EH, Strohbehn A, Stryjewski T, Brodowska K, Flamme-Wiese MJ, Mullins RF, Eliott D. POSTERIORLY INSERTED VITREOUS BASE: Preoperative Characteristics, Intraoperative Findings, and Outcomes After Vitrectomy. Retina 2020;40(5):943-950.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the preoperative characteristics, intraoperative and postoperative complications, and outcomes of eyes with posteriorly inserted vitreous base. METHODS: In this retrospective, observational, consecutive case series at 2 academic centers, 37 patients were studied who had posteriorly inserted vitreous base noted during vitrectomy. Posteriorly inserted vitreous base was defined as the insertion of the posterior hyaloid membrane being located posterior to the vortex veins. Fifteen eyes were analyzed in a histopathologic study of donor eyes to determine the average distance of the ora serrata from the vortex veins as this distance is uncertain. RESULTS: Posteriorly inserted vitreous base was identified during vitrectomy in 31 eyes with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (84%), 4 with macular hole (11%), 1 with vitreous hemorrhage, and 1 with epiretinal membrane. Adjunctive buckle was used in 24%; 54% had 360° laser. Average number of tears seen preoperatively in those with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment was 3.1. Thirty percent had new breaks identified intraoperatively. Forty-one percent had lattice degeneration; new breaks were found in 40% of eyes with lattice. Thirteen percent of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments developed proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Average distance from the ora serrata to the vortex veins was 7.6 mm. CONCLUSION: Any eye undergoing vitrectomy may have posteriorly inserted vitreous base, but those with a high number of retinal breaks and lattice near the equator may be at highest risk. Redetachment and proliferative vitreoretinopathy still occur despite knowledge of the disorder and adjuvant treatments.
Vu THK, Chen H, Pan L, Cho K-S, Doesburg D, Thee EF, Wu N, Arlotti E, Jager MJ, Chen DF. CD4 T-Cell Responses Mediate Progressive Neurodegeneration in Experimental Ischemic Retinopathy. Am J Pathol 2020;190(8):1723-1734.Abstract
Retinal ischemic events, which result from occlusion of the ocular vasculature share similar causes as those for central nervous system stroke and are among the most common cause of acute and irreversible vision loss in elderly patients. Currently, there is no established treatment, and the condition often leaves patients with seriously impaired vision or blindness. The immune system, particularly T-cell-mediated responses, is thought to be intricately involved, but the exact roles remain elusive. We found that acute ischemia-reperfusion injury to the retina induced a prolonged phase of retinal ganglion cell loss that continued to progress during 8 weeks after the procedure. This phase was accompanied by microglial activation and CD4 T-cell infiltration into the retina. Adoptive transfer of CD4 T cells isolated from diseased mice exacerbated retinal ganglion cell loss in mice with retinal reperfusion damage. On the other hand, T-cell deficiency or administration of T-cell or interferon-γ-neutralizing antibody attenuated retinal ganglion cell degeneration and retinal function loss after injury. These findings demonstrate a crucial role for T-cell-mediated responses in the pathogenesis of neural ischemia. These findings point to novel therapeutic targets of limiting or preventing neuron and function loss for currently untreatable conditions of optic neuropathy and/or central nervous system ischemic stroke.
Corral-Serrano JC, Lamers IJC, van Reeuwijk J, Duijkers L, Hoogendoorn ADM, Yildirim A, Argyrou N, Ruigrok RAA, Letteboer SJF, Butcher R, van Essen MD, Sakami S, van Beersum SEC, Palczewski K, Cheetham ME, Liu Q, Boldt K, Wolfrum U, Ueffing M, Garanto A, Roepman R, Collin RWJ. PCARE and WASF3 regulate ciliary F-actin assembly that is required for the initiation of photoreceptor outer segment disk formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;117(18):9922-9931.Abstract
The outer segments (OS) of rod and cone photoreceptor cells are specialized sensory cilia that contain hundreds of opsin-loaded stacked membrane disks that enable phototransduction. The biogenesis of these disks is initiated at the OS base, but the driving force has been debated. Here, we studied the function of the protein encoded by the photoreceptor-specific gene , which is mutated in inherited retinal dystrophy (RP54). We demonstrate that C2orf71/PCARE (photoreceptor cilium actin regulator) can interact with the Arp2/3 complex activator WASF3, and efficiently recruits it to the primary cilium. Ectopic coexpression of PCARE and WASF3 in ciliated cells results in the remarkable expansion of the ciliary tip. This process was disrupted by small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based down-regulation of an actin regulator, by pharmacological inhibition of actin polymerization, and by the expression of PCARE harboring a retinal dystrophy-associated missense mutation. Using human retinal organoids and mouse retina, we observed that a similar actin dynamics-driven process is operational at the base of the photoreceptor OS where the PCARE module and actin colocalize, but which is abrogated in mice. The observation that several proteins involved in retinal ciliopathies are translocated to these expansions renders it a potential common denominator in the pathomechanisms of these hereditary disorders. Together, our work suggests that PCARE is an actin-associated protein that interacts with WASF3 to regulate the actin-driven expansion of the ciliary membrane at the initiation of new outer segment disk formation.
Guan J-T, Li X-X, Peng D-W, Zhang W-M, Qu J, Lu F, D'Amato RJ, Chi Z-L. MicroRNA-18a-5p Administration Suppresses Retinal Neovascularization by Targeting FGF1 and HIF1A. Front Pharmacol 2020;11:276.Abstract
Pathologic ocular neovascularization commonly results in visual impairment or even blindness in numerous fundus diseases, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). MicroRNAs regulate angiogenesis through modulating target genes and disease progression, making them a new class of targets for drug discovery. In this study, we investigated the potential role of miR-18a-5p in retinal neovascularization using a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy (OIR). We found that miR-18a-5p was highly expressed in the retina of pups as well as retinal endothelial cells, and was consistently down-regulated during retinal development. On the other hand, miR-18a-5p was increased significantly during pathologic neovascularization in the retinas of OIR mice. Moreover, intravitreal administration of miRNA mimic, agomiR-18a-5p, significantly suppressed retinal neovascularization in OIR models. Accordingly, agomir-18a-5p markedly suppressed human retinal microvascular endothelial cell (HRMEC) function including proliferation, migration, and tube formation ability. Additionally, we demonstrated that miR-18a-5p directly down-regulated known vascular growth factors, fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1A), as the target genes. In conclusion, miR-18a-5p may be a useful drug target for pathologic ocular neovascularization.
Wang T, Tsirukis DI, Sun Y. Targeting Neuroinflammation in Neovascular Retinal Diseases. Front Pharmacol 2020;11:234.Abstract
Retinal blood vessels provide the necessary energy, nutrients and oxygen in order to support visual function and remove harmful particles from blood, thus acting to protect neuronal cells. The homeostasis of the retinal vessels is important for the maintenance of retinal visual function. Neovascularization is the most common cause of blindness in patients with retinopathy. Previous studies have shown that inflammatory mediators are known key regulators in retinopathy, but their causal link has been elusive. Although inflammation is often thought to arise from inflammatory cells like macrophages, neutrophils, and resident microglia, retinal neurons have also been reported to contribute to inflammation, through inflammatory signals, which mediate blood vessel growth. Therefore, it is important to explore the detailed mechanisms of neuroinflammation's effects on retinal neovascularization. This review looks to summarize current research on the relationship between retinal angiogenesis and neuroinflammation in retinopathy, as well as the potential effects of neuroinflammation on retinal neovascularization in different animal models.
Enayati S, Chang K, Achour H, Cho K-S, Xu F, Guo S, Z Enayati K, Xie J, Zhao E, Turunen T, Sehic A, Lu L, Utheim TP, Chen DF. Electrical Stimulation Induces Retinal Müller Cell Proliferation and Their Progenitor Cell Potential. Cells 2020;9(3)Abstract
Non-invasive electrical stimulation (ES) is increasingly applied to improve vision in untreatable eye conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Our previous study suggested that ES promoted retinal function and the proliferation of progenitor-like glial cells in mice with inherited photoreceptor degeneration; however, the underlying mechanism remains obscure. Müller cells (MCs) are thought to be dormant residential progenitor cells that possess a high potential for retinal neuron repair and functional plasticity. Here, we showed that ES with a ramp waveform of 20 Hz and 300 µA of current was effective at inducing mouse MC proliferation and enhancing their expression of progenitor cell markers, such as (cone-rod homeobox) and , as well as their production of trophic factors, including ciliary neurotrophic factor. RNA sequencing revealed that calcium signaling pathway activation was a key event, with a false discovery rate of 5.33 × 10 ( = 1.78 × 10) in ES-mediated gene profiling changes. Moreover, the calcium channel blocker, nifedipine, abolished the observed effects of ES on MC proliferation and progenitor cell gene induction, supporting a central role of ES-induced Ca signaling in the MC changes. Our results suggest that low-current ES may present a convenient tool for manipulating MC behavior toward neuroregeneration and repair.
Ung C, Stryjewski TP, Eliott D. Indications, Findings, and Outcomes of Pars Plana Vitrectomy after Open Globe Injury. Ophthalmol Retina 2020;4(2):216-223.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the indications, findings, and outcomes of patients with open globe injury (OGI) requiring pars plana vitrectomy (PPV). DESIGN: Retrospective, single-vitreoretinal surgeon case series. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-one consecutive eyes with OGI that required PPV. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of consecutive patients who underwent PPV after OGI between March 1, 2011, and August 1, 2017, at Massachusetts Eye and Ear by 1 surgeon. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Final visual acuity and rates of recurrent retinal detachment (RD) and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). RESULTS: Sixty-one eyes of 61 consecutive patients underwent PPV after sustaining OGI. Mean follow-up was 12.8±12.1 months (range, 0.5-65 months). At the time of presentation after OGI, 64% of eyes showed light perception or worse vision. The indications for PPV, which was performed on average of 15 days after injury, included RD without retinal incarceration (39%), RD with retinal incarceration in the scleral or corneal wound or both (13%), media opacity without RD (28%), vitreous traction without RD (11%), intraocular foreign body (5%), and endophthalmitis (3%). At the time of PPV, substantial comorbidities were noted, including corneal trauma (20%), hyphema (41%), iris trauma (62%), lens expulsion (54%), subretinal hemorrhage (51%), and choroidal hemorrhage (30%). Using multivariate analysis, factors associated with RD after initial PPV were preoperative subretinal hemorrhage (odds ratio [OR], 5.73; P = 0.03), PVR found at initial PPV (OR, 11.94; P = 0.021), and retinectomy (OR, 17.88; P = 0.003). No patients were inoperable, because all patients left the operating room with complete retinal reattachment. Of 35 eyes that showed RD, 19 (54%) redetached as a result of PVR. In 80% of eyes with RD at initial presentation (28/35 eyes), the retina remained completely attached at last follow-up, and 5 additional eyes remained partially attached (33/35 [94%]). Of 61 total eyes included in this study, 89% remained completely attached, and 42 (69%) achieved visual acuity of 20/200 or better at last follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Despite substantial ocular comorbidities, PPV can result in retinal reattachment in even the most severe cases. Good visual outcomes can be achieved for most patients who undergo vitreoretinal surgery after open globe trauma.
Fu Z, Sun Y, Cakir B, Tomita Y, Huang S, Wang Z, Liu C-H, Cho SS, Britton W, Kern TS, Antonetti DA, Hellström A, Smith LEH. Targeting Neurovascular Interaction in Retinal Disorders. Int J Mol Sci 2020;21(4)Abstract
The tightly structured neural retina has a unique vascular network comprised of three interconnected plexuses in the inner retina (and choroid for outer retina), which provide oxygen and nutrients to neurons to maintain normal function. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that neuronal metabolic needs control both normal retinal vascular development and pathological aberrant vascular growth. Particularly, photoreceptors, with the highest density of mitochondria in the body, regulate retinal vascular development by modulating angiogenic and inflammatory factors. Photoreceptor metabolic dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation may cause adaptive but ultimately pathological retinal vascular responses, leading to blindness. Here we focus on the factors involved in neurovascular interactions, which are potential therapeutic targets to decrease energy demand and/or to increase energy production for neovascular retinal disorders.
Tomita Y, Fu Z, Wang Z, Cakir B, Cho SS, Britton W, Sun Y, Hellström A, Talukdar S, Smith LEH. Long-Acting FGF21 Inhibits Retinal Vascular Leakage in In Vivo and In Vitro Models. Int J Mol Sci 2020;21(4)Abstract
The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) on retinal vascular leakage utilizing machine learning and to clarify the mechanism underlying the protection. To assess the effect on retinal vascular leakage, C57BL/6J mice were pre-treated with long-acting FGF21 analog or vehicle (Phosphate Buffered Saline; PBS) intraperitoneally (i.p.) before induction of retinal vascular leakage with intravitreal injection of mouse (m) vascular endothelial growth factor 164 (VEGF164) or PBS control. Five hours after mVEGF164 injection, we retro-orbitally injected Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) -dextran and quantified fluorescence intensity as a readout of vascular leakage, using the Image Analysis Module with a machine learning algorithm. In FGF21- or vehicle-treated primary human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs), cell permeability was induced with human (h) VEGF165 and evaluated using FITC-dextran and trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER). Western blots for tight junction markers were performed. Retinal vascular leakage in vivo was reduced in the FGF21 versus vehicle- treated mice. In HRMECs in vitro, FGF21 versus vehicle prevented hVEGF-induced increase in cell permeability, identified with FITC-dextran. FGF21 significantly preserved TEER compared to hVEGF. Taken together, FGF21 regulates permeability through tight junctions; in particular, FGF21 increases Claudin-1 protein levels in hVEGF-induced HRMECs. Long-acting FGF21 may help reduce retinal vascular leakage in retinal disorders and machine learning assessment can help to standardize vascular leakage quantification.
Scott HA, Place EM, Ferenchak K, Zampaglione E, Wagner NE, Chao KR, DiTroia SP, Navarro-Gomez D, Mukai S, Huckfeldt RM, Pierce EA, Bujakowska KM. Expanding the phenotypic spectrum in RDH12-associated retinal disease. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2020;6(1)Abstract
Retinol dehydrogenase 12, RDH12, plays a pivotal role in the visual cycle to ensure the maintenance of normal vision. Alterations in activity of this protein result in photoreceptor death and decreased vision beginning at an early age and progressing to substantial vision loss later in life. Here we describe 11 patients with retinal degeneration that underwent next-generation sequencing (NGS) with a targeted panel of all currently known inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) genes and whole-exome sequencing to identify the genetic causality of their retinal disease. These patients display a range of phenotypic severity prompting clinical diagnoses of macular dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset severe retinal dystrophy all attributed to biallelic recessive mutations in We report 15 causal alleles and expand the repertoire of known mutations with four novel variants: c.215A > G (p.Asp72Gly); c.362T > C (p.Ile121Thr); c.440A > C (p.Asn147Thr); and c.697G > A (p.Val233Ille). The broad phenotypic spectrum observed with biallelic mutations has been observed in other genetic forms of IRDs, but the diversity is particularly notable here given the prior association of primarily with severe early-onset disease. This breadth emphasizes the importance of broad genetic testing for inherited retinal disorders and extends the pool of individuals who may benefit from imminent gene-targeted therapies.

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