Ophthalmology (Eye & Ear Hospital) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 328
Nuclear response to divergent mitochondrial DNA genotypes modulates the interferon immune response
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-10-08)
Mitochondrial OXPHOS generates most of the energy required for cellular function. OXPHOS biogenesis requires the coordinated expression of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. This represents a unique challenge that highlights the importance of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic communication to cellular function. Here we investigated the transcriptomic and functional consequences of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence in vitro and in vivo. We utilized xenomitochondrial cybrid cell lines containing nuclear DNA from the common laboratory mouse Mus musculus domesticus and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from Mus musculus domesticus, or exogenous mtDNA from progressively divergent mouse species Mus spretus, Mus terricolor, Mus caroli and Mus pahari. These cybrids model a wide range of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence that cannot be achieved with other research models. Furthermore, we used a xenomitochondrial mouse model generated in our laboratory that harbors wild-type, C57BL/6J Mus musculus domesticus nuclear DNA and homoplasmic mtDNA from Mus terricolor. RNA sequencing analysis of xenomitochondrial cybrids revealed an activation of interferon signaling pathways even in the absence of OXPHOS dysfunction or immune challenge. In contrast, xenomitochondrial mice displayed lower baseline interferon gene expression and an impairment in the interferon-dependent innate immune response upon immune challenge with herpes simplex virus, which resulted in decreased viral control. Our work demonstrates that nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence caused by the introduction of exogenous mtDNA can modulate the interferon immune response both in vitro and in vivo, even when OXPHOS function is not compromised. This work may lead to future insights into the role of mitochondrial genetic variation and the immune function in humans, as patients affected by mitochondrial disease are known to be more susceptible to immune challenges.
Cross-sectional study of the association between cataract surgery and age-related macular degeneration in the era of phacoemulsification in the national health and nutrition examination survey 2005-2008
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-01-01)
OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between cataract surgery and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a representative US sample. DESIGN: Population-based, cross-sectional study. SETTING: The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2008. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 5401 participants aged ≥40 years had information in cataract surgery status and gradable retinal photographs for right eyes. METHODS: Cataract surgery status was obtained from questionnaire. Non-mydriatic fundus photographs were collected and AMD status was assessed. The associations between AMD and cataract surgery were evaluated in right eyes using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Of 338 right eyes with any AMD, 107 right eyes (28.9%) had cataract surgery. After adjusting for multiple variables, there were significant associations between cataract surgery and any AMD (OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.81) or late AMD (OR 2.48; 95% CI 1.01 to 6.09). No significant association was found between cataract surgery and early AMD after adjusting for multiple covariates (OR 1.20; 95% CI 0.91 to 1.59). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that cataract surgery is associated with the presence of AMD, particularly for late AMD. Longitudinal studies investigating the risk and progression of AMD after cataract surgery are needed in the era of phacoemulsification.
Comparison of CRISPR/Cas Endonucleases forin vivoRetinal Gene Editing
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-09-10)
CRISPR/Cas has opened the prospect of direct gene correction therapy for some inherited retinal diseases. Previous work has demonstrated the utility of adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated delivery to retinal cells in vivo; however, with the expanding repertoire of CRISPR/Cas endonucleases, it is not clear which of these are most efficacious for retinal editing in vivo. We sought to compare CRISPR/Cas endonuclease activity using both single and dual AAV delivery strategies for gene editing in retinal cells. Plasmids of a dual vector system with SpCas9, SaCas9, Cas12a, CjCas9 and a sgRNA targeting YFP, as well as a single vector system with SaCas9/YFP sgRNA were generated and validated in YFP-expressing HEK293A cell by flow cytometry and the T7E1 assay. Paired CRISPR/Cas endonuclease and its best performing sgRNA was then packaged into an AAV2 capsid derivative, AAV7m8, and injected intravitreally into CMV-Cre:Rosa26-YFP mice. SpCas9 and Cas12a achieved better knockout efficiency than SaCas9 and CjCas9. Moreover, no significant difference in YFP gene editing was found between single and dual CRISPR/SaCas9 vector systems. With a marked reduction of YFP-positive retinal cells, AAV7m8 delivered SpCas9 was found to have the highest knockout efficacy among all investigated endonucleases. We demonstrate that the AAV7m8-mediated delivery of CRISPR/SpCas9 construct achieves the most efficient gene modification in neurosensory retinal cells in vivo.
Topical Application of Hyaluronic Acid-RGD Peptide-Coated Gelatin/Epigallocatechin-3 Gallate (EGCG) Nanoparticles Inhibits Corneal Neovascularization via Inhibition of VEGF Production
Neovascularization (NV) of the cornea disrupts vision which leads to blindness. Investigation of antiangiogenic, slow-release and biocompatible approaches for treating corneal NV is of great importance. We designed an eye drop formulation containing gelatin/epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) nanoparticles (NPs) for targeted therapy in corneal NV. Gelatin-EGCG self-assembled NPs with hyaluronic acid (HA) coating on its surface (named GEH) and hyaluronic acid conjugated with arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) (GEH-RGD) were synthesized. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were used to evaluate the antiangiogenic effect of GEH-RGD NPs in vitro. Moreover, a mouse model of chemical corneal cauterization was employed to evaluate the antiangiogenic effects of GEH-RGD NPs in vivo. GEH-RGD NP treatment significantly reduced endothelial cell tube formation and inhibited metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity in HUVECs in vitro. Topical application of GEH-RGD NPs (once daily for a week) significantly attenuated the formation of pathological vessels in the mouse cornea after chemical cauterization. Reduction in both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and MMP-9 protein in the GEH-RGD NP-treated cauterized corneas was observed. These results confirm the molecular mechanism of the antiangiogenic effect of GEH-RGD NPs in suppressing pathological corneal NV.
Quantile regression analysis reveals widespread evidence for gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia development
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-05-06)
A genetic contribution to refractive error has been confirmed by the discovery of more than 150 associated variants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Environmental factors such as education and time outdoors also demonstrate strong associations. Currently however, the extent of gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that refractive error-associated variants exhibit effect size heterogeneity, a hallmark feature of genetic interactions. Of 146 variants tested, evidence of non-uniform, non-linear effects were observed for 66 (45%) at Bonferroni-corrected significance (P < 1.1 × 10-4) and 128 (88%) at nominal significance (P < 0.05). LAMA2 variant rs12193446, for example, had an effect size varying from -0.20 diopters (95% CI -0.18 to -0.23) to -0.89 diopters (95% CI -0.71 to -1.07) in different individuals. SNP effects were strongest at the phenotype extremes and weaker in emmetropes. A parsimonious explanation for these findings is that gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia are pervasive.
Endogenous spartin (SPG20) is recruited to endosomes and lipid droplets and interacts with the ubiquitin E3 ligases AIP4 and AIP5
(PORTLAND PRESS LTD, 2009-10-01)
The HSPs (hereditary spastic paraplegias) are genetic conditions in which there is distal degeneration of the longest axons of the corticospinal tract, resulting in spastic paralysis of the legs. The gene encoding spartin is mutated in Troyer syndrome, an HSP in which paralysis is accompanied by additional clinical features. There has been controversy over the subcellular distribution of spartin. We show here that, at steady state, endogenous spartin exists in a cytosolic pool that can be recruited to endosomes and to lipid droplets. Cytosolic endogenous spartin is mono-ubiquitinated and we demonstrate that it interacts via a PPXY motif with the ubiquitin E3 ligases AIP4 [atrophin-interacting protein 4; ITCH (itchy E3 ubiquitin protein ligase homologue] [corrected] and AIP5 (WWP1). Surprisingly, the PPXY motif, AIP4 and AIP5 are not required for spartin's ubiquitination, and so we propose that spartin acts as an adaptor for these proteins. Our results suggest that spartin is involved in diverse cellular functions, which may be of relevance to the complex phenotype seen in Troyer syndrome.
The Spectrum of CHM Gene Mutations in Choroideremia and Their Relationship to Clinical Phenotype
(ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2016-11-01)
Purpose: We report the underlying genotype and explore possible genotypic-phenotypic correlations in a large cohort of choroideremia patients. Methods: We studied prospectively a cohort of 79 patients diagnosed within a tertiary referral service for patients with retinal dystrophies. Phenotypic evaluation consisted of clinical examination, including visual acuity and residual retinal area by fundus autofluorescence (FAF). Genotype was established by sequencing. We also investigated whether particular genotypes were associated with more severe phenotypes by performing analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with visual acuity and FAF as the dependent variables and age as the covariant. Results: A total of 74 (94%) of patients in our cohort had causative mutations by sequencing, the majority of which were anticipated to be null. Of these, 35 (47%) had insertions and deletions, 13 (18%) had mutations predicted to affect splicing, and 26 (35%) had single point mutations. In the latter case, 13 of 21 (62%) pedigrees with single point mutations were C to T transitions at C-phosphate-G (CpG) dinucleotides. These mutations were spread across 5 of only 24 CpG dinucleotides in the entire CHM cDNA. Furthermore, these 5 locations are the only sites at which C to T transitions result in a stop codon. No clear evidence was found for genotype-phenotype correlation except in the instance of a patient with a large deletion involving neighbouring sequences. Conclusions: In patients with a diagnosis of choroideremia made by a specialty service, there is a high likelihood of establishing a genetic diagnosis. The majority of causative mutations appear to be null and, therefore, may benefit from gene replacement therapy. A disproportionate number of single point mutations observed were C to T transitions, consistent with the evolutionary decay of CpG dinucleotides through methylation and subsequent deamination. Hence, the development of choroideremia in such patients may represent the unwanted consequence of human evolution; de novo mutations are predicted to arise at these sites in future generations. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01461213.).
Correlation of Optical Coherence Tomography and Autofluorescence in the Outer Retina and Choroid of Patients With Choroideremia
(ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2016-07-01)
PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationships between RPE, photoreceptor, and choroidal degeneration in choroideremia. METHODS: Enhanced-depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT), scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), and autofluorescence (AF) were performed on 39 patients (78 eyes) with choroideremia. The edges of surviving outer retina on OCT and residual AF were aligned. The distribution of outer retinal tubulations was mapped over a range of ages (16-71 years), and comparison made between pre- and postsubretinal gene therapy. Subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) was compared between 23 choroideremia patients (42 eyes) and 20 age- and refraction-matched male controls (40 eyes). RESULTS: The edges of RPE AF aligned with a reduction in outer nuclear layer thickness (Spearman's rho = 0.9992). Correlation was also found between the quality of AF and integrity of ellipsoid zone within islands of surviving retina. Tubulations existed in 71 of 78 (91%) eyes with choroideremia and remained stable following gene therapy. Subfoveal choroidal thickness was reduced at baseline in choroideremia (179.7 ± 17.2 μm) compared with controls (302.0 ± 4.8 μm; P < 0.0001), but did not undergo significant thinning until end-stage retinal degeneration (43.1 ± 6.5 μm). CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that RPE loss is the primary cause of photoreceptor degeneration in choroideremia. The choroid is thinner than controls from early stages, in keeping with a mild developmental defect. Photoreceptors appear to lose outer segments following loss of underlying RPE and form tubulations at the edges of degeneration. The preservation of tubulations over time and after subretinal injection would be consistent with these structures maintaining attachment to the inner retina and hence being potentially light responsive (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01461213).
Robot-assisted vitreoretinal surgery: current perspectives.
(Informa UK Limited, 2018)
Vitreoretinal microsurgery is among the most technically challenging of the minimally invasive surgical techniques. Exceptional precision is required to operate on micron scale targets presented by the retina while also maneuvering in a tightly constrained and fragile workspace. These challenges are compounded by inherent limitations of the unassisted human hand with regard to dexterity, tremor and precision in positioning instruments. The limited human ability to visually resolve targets on the single-digit micron scale is a further limitation. The inherent attributes of robotic approaches therefore, provide logical, strategic and promising solutions to the numerous challenges associated with retinal microsurgery. Robotic retinal surgery is a rapidly emerging technology that has witnessed an exponential growth in capabilities and applications over the last decade. There is now a worldwide movement toward evaluating robotic systems in an expanding number of clinical applications. Coincident with this expanding application is growth in the number of laboratories committed to "robotic medicine". Recent technological advances in conventional retina surgery have also led to tremendous progress in the surgeon's capabilities, enhanced outcomes, a reduction of patient discomfort, limited hospitalization and improved safety. The emergence of robotic technology into this rapidly advancing domain is expected to further enhance important aspects of the retinal surgery experience for the patients, surgeons and society.
Microvascular narrowing and BP monitoring: A single centre observational study
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-03-14)
INTRODUCTION: Half of all hypertensive individuals have inadequately-controlled BP because monitoring methods are ineffective. This single centre study examined consecutive subjects undergoing 24 hour BP measurements for clinic and ambulatory BP levels, and for end-organ damage (retinal microvascular abnormalities and left ventricular hypertrophy, LVH, > 1.1 cm). Retinal images were graded for microvascular retinopathy (Wong and Mitchell classification), and vessel calibre using a semiautomated method. Features were compared using chi-squared, Fisher's exact or the student's t test. METHODS: One hundred and thirty-one individuals (59 male, 45.0%, mean age 61.7 ± 14.5 years) were studied. Ninety-nine (76.2%) had a clinic BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg, 84 (64.6%) had a mean awake systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg, 100 (76.9%) had a mean sleeping systolic BP ≥ 120 mm Hg, and 100 (76.2%) had abnormal nocturnal BP dipping patterns. Sixty-nine individuals had undergone echocardiography and 23 (33.3%) had LVH. RESULTS: All participants had a mild (88.5%) or moderate (11.5%) microvascular retinopathy. Moderate microvascular retinopathy was found in 86.7% of those with a mean awake systolic BP ≥135 mm Hg (p = 0.058) but was not associated with other abnormal BP measurements, abnormal dipping patterns or LVH. However retinal arteriole calibre was reduced in subjects with a mean 24 hour awake systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg (p = 0.05). Retinal arteriole calibre was smaller in subjects with LVH (128.1 ± 13.5 μm compared with 137.6 ± 14.1 μm in normals, p = 0.014). Venular calibre was also less in subjects with LVH (185.4 ± 24.6 μm compared with 203.0 ± 27.2 μm in normals, p = 0.016). Arteriole narrowing predicted an increased risk of LVH (AUC 0.69, 95%CI 0.55 to 0.83) that was comparable with 24 hour systolic BP ≥130 mm Hg (AUC 0.68, 95%CI 0.53 to 0.82) and mean awake systolic BP ≥135 mm Hg (AUC 0.68, 95%CI 0.54 to 0.83). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that retinal arteriole narrowing may be equally accurate in predicting LVH as any clinic or ambulatory BP measurement. The convenience and accuracy of microvascular calibre measurement mean that it should be investigated further for a role in routine hypertension assessment and monitoring.
IMI - Myopia Genetics Report
(ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2019-02-01)
The knowledge on the genetic background of refractive error and myopia has expanded dramatically in the past few years. This white paper aims to provide a concise summary of current genetic findings and defines the direction where development is needed. We performed an extensive literature search and conducted informal discussions with key stakeholders. Specific topics reviewed included common refractive error, any and high myopia, and myopia related to syndromes. To date, almost 200 genetic loci have been identified for refractive error and myopia, and risk variants mostly carry low risk but are highly prevalent in the general population. Several genes for secondary syndromic myopia overlap with those for common myopia. Polygenic risk scores show overrepresentation of high myopia in the higher deciles of risk. Annotated genes have a wide variety of functions, and all retinal layers appear to be sites of expression. The current genetic findings offer a world of new molecules involved in myopiagenesis. As the missing heritability is still large, further genetic advances are needed. This Committee recommends expanding large-scale, in-depth genetic studies using complementary big data analytics, consideration of gene-environment effects by thorough measurement of environmental exposures, and focus on subgroups with extreme phenotypes and high familial occurrence. Functional characterization of associated variants is simultaneously needed to bridge the knowledge gap between sequence variance and consequence for eye growth.