REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0269.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE); endosomes; phagosomes; lysosomes, autophagy; RPE cultures; Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Online: 29 January 2018 (08:07:19 CET)
Chronic degeneration of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) is a precursor to pathological changes in the outer retina. The RPE monolayer, which lies beneath the neuroretina, daily internalises and digests large volumes of spent photoreceptor outer segments. Impaired cargo handling and processing in the endocytic/phagosome and autophagy pathways leads to the accumulation of lipofuscin and N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine aggregates and chemically-modified compounds such as malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal within RPE. These contribute to increased proteolytic and oxidative stress, resulting in irreversible damage to post-mitotic RPE cells and development of blinding conditions such as Age-related Macular Degeneration, Stargardt disease and Choroideremia. Here, we review how impaired cargo handling in the RPE results in their dysfunction, discuss new findings from our laboratory and consider how newly discovered roles for lysosomes and the autophagy pathway could provide insights into retinopathies. Studies of these dynamic, molecular events have also been spurred on by recent advances in optics and imaging technology. Mechanisms underpinning lysosomal impairment in other degenerative conditions including storage disorders, a-synuclein pathologies and Alzheimer’s disease are also discussed. Collectively, these findings help transcend conventional understanding of these intracellular compartments as simple waste disposal bags to bring about a paradigm shift in the way lysosomes are perceived.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0273.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Dry-AMD; oxidative stress; MnSOD; RPE; retinal degeneration; Erythropoietin; gene therapy; Animal model; AAV; ERG
Online: 12 April 2021 (09:37:18 CEST)
Erythropoietin (EPO) protects cells by inhibiting apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammation in several models of retinal degeneration. In this study, we demonstrate the effects of recombinant Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vector-mediated delivery of a modified form of erythropoietin (EPO-R76E) in an established mouse model of dry-AMD in which retinal degeneration is induced by RPE oxidative stress. Experimental vector AAV-EPO-R76E and control vector AAV-GFP were packaged into serotype-1 (AAV1) to enable RPE selective expression. RPE oxidative stress-mediated retinal degeneration was induced by exon specific deletion of the protective enzyme MnSOD (encoded by Sod2) by cre/lox mechanism. Experimental mice received subretinal injection of AAV-EPO-R76E in the right eye and AAV-GFP in the left eye. Western blotting of RPE/Choroid protein samples from AAV-EPO-R76E injected eyes showed RPE specific exogenous protein expression. Retinal degeneration was monitored by electroretinography (ERG). EPO-R76E over-expression in RPE delayed the progressive retinal degeneration as measured by light microscopy in RPE specific Sod2 knockout mice. Delivery of EPO-R76E vector can be used as a tool to prevent retinal degeneration induced by RPE oxidative stress as seen in this mouse model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0191.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: retinal pigmented epithelium, exocyst complex component 5, photoreceptor, visual function.
Online: 7 April 2021 (11:15:10 CEST)
To characterize the mechanisms by which the highly-conserved exocyst trafficking complex regulates eye physiology in zebrafish and mice, we focused on exoc5 (aka sec10), a central exocyst component. We analyzed both exoc5 zebrafish mutants and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)-specific Exoc5 knockout mice. Exoc5 is present in both the non-pigmented epithelium of the ciliary body and in the RPE. In this study we set out to establish an animal model to study the mechanisms underlying the ocular phenotype and to establish if loss of visual function is induced by postnatal RPE Exoc5-deficiency. Exoc5-/- zebrafish showed smaller eyes, with decreased number of melanocytes in the RPE and shorter photoreceptor outer segments. At 3.5 days post fertilization, loss of rod and cone opsins were observed in zebrafish Tg:exoc5 mutants. Mice with postnatal RPE-specific loss of Exoc5 showed retinal thinning associated with compromised visual function, and loss of visual photoreceptor pigments. This retinal phenotype in Exoc5-/- mice was present at 20-weeks, and the phenotype was more severe at 27-weeks, indicating progressive disease phenotype. We previously showed that the exocyst is necessary for photoreceptor ciliogenesis and retinal development. Here, we report that exoc5 mutant zebrafish and mice with RPE-specific genetic ablation of Exoc5 develop abnormal RPE pigmentation, resulting in retinal cell dystrophy and loss of visual pigments associated with compromised vision. As RPE cells are “downstream” of photoreceptor cells in the visual process, these data suggest exocyst-mediated retrograde communication and dependence between the RPE and photoreceptors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0066.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: carotenoid; lutein; zexanthin; dehydrolutein; retina; retinal pigment epithelium; singlet oxygen; photosensitized oxidation; age-related macular degeneration.
Online: 2 April 2021 (14:04:44 CEST)
Dehydrolutein accumulates in substantial concentrations in the retina. The aim of this study was to compare antioxidant properties of dehydrolutein with other retinal carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, and their effects on ARPE-19 cells. The time-resolved detection of characteristic singlet oxygen phosphorescence was used to compare the singlet oxygen quenching rate constants of dehydrolutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The effects of these carotenoids on photosensitized oxidation were tested in liposomes, where photooxidation was induced by light in the presence of photosensitizers, and monitored by oximetry. To compare the uptake of dehydrolutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin, ARPE-19 cells were incubated with carotenoids for up to 19 days, and carotenoid contents were determined by spectrophotometry in cell extracts. To investigate the effects of carotenoids on phototocytotoxicity, cells were exposed to light in the presence of rose bengal or all-trans-retinal. The results demonstrate that the rate constants for singlet oxygen quenching are 0.77x1010, 0.55x1010, and 1.23x1010 M-1s-1 for dehydrolutein, lutein and zeaxanthin, respectively. Overall, dehydrolutein is similar to lutein or zeaxanthin in protection of lipids against photosensitized oxidation. ARPE-19 cells accumulate substantial amounts of both zeaxanthin and lutein but no detectable amounts of dehydrolutein. Cells pre-incubated with carotenoids are equally susceptible to photosensitized damage as cells without carotenoids. Carotenoids provided to cells together with the extracellular photosensitizers offer partial protection against photodamage. In conclusion, the antioxidant properties of dehydrolutein are similar to lutein and zeaxanthin. The mechanism responsible for its lack of accumulation in ARPE-19 cells deserves further investigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0139.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: postnatal retinal development; retinal layer thickness; OCT
Online: 11 January 2022 (13:01:38 CET)
A better study of the postnatal retinal development is not only essential for the in-depth understanding of the nature of the vision system but also may provide insights for treatment developments of eye conditions, such as retinopathy of premature (ROP). To date, quantitative analysis of postnatal retinal development is primarily limited to endpoint histological examination. This study is to validate in vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) for longitudinal monitoring of postnatal retinal development in developing mouse eyes. Three-dimensional (3D) frame registration and super averaging were adopted to investigate the fine structure of the retina. Interestingly, a hyporeflective layer (HRL) between the nerve fiber layer (NFL) and inner plexiform layer (IPL) was observed in developing eyes and gradually disappeared with aging. To interpret the observed retinal layer kinetics, a model based on eyeball expansion, cell apoptosis, and retinal structural modification was proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0340.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: iPSC-RPE; retinal pigment epithelium; immunodeficient RCS rat; ultrathin parylene; retinal degeneration; retinal transplantation
Online: 20 September 2021 (15:31:18 CEST)
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) replacement therapy is evolving as a feasible approach to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In majority of the preclinical studies, RPE cells are transplanted as cell suspension into immunosuppressed animal eyes and transplant effects were monitored only short-term. We investigated long-term effects of human iPSC derived RPE transplants in immunodeficient Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat model, in which RPE dysfunction lead to photoreceptor degeneration. iPSC-RPE cultured as polarized monolayer on nanoengineered ultrathin parylene C scaffold was transplanted into the subretinal space of 28-day old immunodeficient RCS rat pups and evaluated after 1, 4 and 11 months. Assessment at early time points showed good iPSC-RPE survival. The transplants remained as a monolayer, expressed RPE specific markers, performed phagocytic function and contributed to vision preservation. At 11-month post-implantation, RPE survival was observed only in 50% of the eyes that were concomitant with vision preservation. Loss of RPE monolayer characteristics at the 11month time point was associated with peri-membrane fibrosis, immune reaction through activation of macrophages (CD 68 expression) and transition of cell fate (expression of mesenchymal markers). The overall study outcome supports the therapeutic potential of RPE grafts despite the loss of some transplant benefits during long-term observations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0184.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Retinal degenerative diseases; Age related macular degeneration; Biomaterials, Stem cells, Retinal pigment epithelium; Tissue engineering
Online: 8 February 2021 (10:46:50 CET)
The retina is a complex and fragile photosensitive part of the central nervous system which is prone to degenerative diseases leading to permanent vision loss. No proven treatment strategies exist to treat or reverse the degenerative conditions. Recent investigations demonstrate that cell transplantation therapies to replace the dysfunctional retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and or the degenerating photoreceptors (PRs) are viable options to restore vision. Pluripotent stem cells, retinal progenitor cells and somatic stem cells are the main cell sources used for cell transplantation therapies. The success of retinal transplantation based on cell suspension injection is hindered by limited cell survival and lack of cellular integration. Recent advances in material science helped to develop strategies to grow cells as intact monolayers or as sheets on biomaterial scaffolds for transplantation into the eyes. Such implants are found to be more promising than the bolus injection approach. Tissue engineering techniques are specifically designed to construct biodegradable or non-degradable polymer scaffolds to grow cells as a monolayer and construct implantable grafts. The engineered cell construct along with the extracellular matrix formed, can hold the cells in place to enable easy survival, better integration and improved visual function. This article reviews the advances in the use of scaffolds for transplantation studies in animal models and its application in current clinical trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0584.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS); retinal degeneration; primary cilia; ciliopathy; dog; BBS8; TTC8; progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); retinitis pigmentosa
Online: 26 August 2020 (12:24:47 CEST)
In golden retriever dogs, a 1 bp deletion in the canine TTC8 gene has been shown to cause progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), the canine equivalent of retinitis pigmentosa. In humans, TTC8 is also implicated in Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). To investigate if the affected dogs only exhibit a non-syndromic PRA or develop a syndromic ciliopathy similar to human BBS, we recruited ten affected dogs to the study. The progression of PRA for two of the dogs was followed for two years, and a rigorous clinical characterization allowed a careful comparison with primary and secondary characteristics of human BBS. In addition to PRA, the dogs showed a spectrum of clinical and morphological signs similar to primary and secondary characteristics of human BBS patients, such as obesity, renal anomalies, sperm defects, and anosmia. We used Oxford Nanopore long-read cDNA sequencing to characterize retinal full-length TTC8 transcripts in affected and non-affected dogs, the results of which suggest that three isoforms are transcribed in the retina, and the 1 bp deletion is a loss-of-function mutation, resulting in a canine form of Bardet-Biedl syndrome with heterogeneous clinical signs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0275.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: inherited retinal disease; VUS; functional analysis; minigene assay
Online: 9 June 2021 (23:01:36 CEST)
Inherited retinal diseases (IRD) comprise a heterogeneous set of clinical and genetic disorders that lead to blindness. Given the emerging opportunities in precision medicine and gene thera-py, it has become increasingly important to determine whether DNA variants with uncertain significance (VUS) are responsible for the patients’ IRD. This research was performed to assess the functional consequence of six VUS identified in patients with IRD. Clinical assessments in-cluded an ophthalmic examination, best corrected visual acuity, and kinetic perimetry. Imaging was acquired with the Optos ultra-widefield camera and spectral-domain optical coherence to-mography (SD-OCT). Genetic testing was performed by Molecular Vision Laboratories. VUS that were predicted to alter splicing were analyzed with a minigene assay which revealed that VUS in the genes OPA1, CNGB1, and CLUAP1 altered spicing mechanisms. Due to the emerging gene and cell therapies, these results expand the genotype-phenotype correlations for patients diag-nosed with an IRD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0398.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: retinal degeneration; DNA methylation; epigenetics; oxidative stress; inflammation
Online: 28 May 2018 (10:33:13 CEST)
The role of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been pending so far. Our study investigated the effect of oxidative stress and inflammation on DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) functions, as well as on long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) methylation, in human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells. Therefore, we evaluated whether treatment with resveratrol may restore changes in LINE-1 methylation by modulating DNMTs and SIRT1 functions. Cells were treated with 25 mU/ml glucose oxidase (GOx) or 10 µg/ml lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic oxidative or inflammatory conditions, respectively. Oxidative stress decreased DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b and SIRT1 expression (p-values <0.05), as well as total DNMTs (-28.5%; p<0.0001) and SIRT1 (-29.0%;p<0.0001) activities. Similarly, inflammatory condition decreased DNMT1 and SIRT1 expression (p-values<0.05), as well as total DNMTs (-14.9%;p=0.007) and SIRT1 (-20.1%;p<0.002) activities. Interestingly, GOx- and LPS-treated cells exhibited lower LINE-1 methylation compared to controls (p-values<0.0001). We also demonstrated that treatment with 10 μM resveratrol for 24 hours counteracted the detrimental effect on LINE-1 methylation via increasing DNMTs and SIRT1 functions in cells upon oxidative and inflammatory conditions. However, further studies should explore the perspectives of resveratrol as a suitable strategy for the prevention and/or treatment of AMD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0571.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Retinal ganglion cell function; Pattern electroretinogram; Glaucoma; Optic neuropathy
Online: 21 April 2021 (11:38:10 CEST)
As in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies cellular dysfunction often precedes cell death, sensitive assessment of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function represents a key outcome measure for neuroprotective strategies aimed at targeting distressed but still viable cells. Here we offer a conceptual framework to identify progressive stages of RGC dysfunction leading to cell death in mouse models of glaucoma and other optic neuropathies based on non-invasive pattern electroretinogram (PERG), to differentiate phenotypic and altered RGC response dynamics, to assess susceptibility to stressors and to assess reversible dysfunction.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0339.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: cis-prenyltransferase; DHDDS; dolichol; Nogo-B receptor; retinal degeneration; RP59
Online: 22 September 2022 (10:18:11 CEST)
Retinitis pigmentosa-59 (RP59) is a rare, recessive form of RP, caused by mutations in the gene encoding DHDDS (dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase). DHDDS forms a heterotetrameric complex with Nogo-B Receptor (NgBR; gene NUS1) to form a cis-prenyltransferase (CPT) enzyme complex, which is required for synthesis of dolichol, which in turn is required for protein N-glycosylation as well as other glycosylation reactions in eukaryotic cells. Herein, we review the published phenotypic characteristics of RP59 models extant, with an emphasis on their ocular phenotypes, based primarily upon knock-in of known RP59-associated DHDDS mutations as well as cell type- and tissue-specific knockout of DHDDS alleles in mice. We also briefly review findings in RP59 patients with retinal disease and other patients with DHDDS mutations causing epilepsy and other neurologic disease. We discuss these findings in the context of addressing “knowledge gaps” in our current understanding of the underlying pathobiology mechanism of RP59, as well as their potential utility for developing therapeutic interventions to block the onset, or to dampen the severity or progression, of RP59.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: cardiovascular risk; lipids; NMR spectroscopy; pulse wave velocity; retinal vessel diameters
Online: 22 June 2022 (03:37:53 CEST)
Lipoproteins are important cardiovascular (CV) risk biomarkers. This study aimed to investigate the associations of lipoprotein subclasses with micro- and macrovascular biomarkers to better understand how these subclasses relate to atherosclerotic CV diseases. One hundred fifty-eight serum samples from the EXAMIN AGE study, consisting of healthy individuals and CV risk patients, were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to quantify lipoprotein subclasses. Microvascular health was quantified by measuring retinal arteriolar and venular diameters. Macrovascular health was quantified by measuring carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Nineteen lipoprotein subclasses showed statistically significant associations with retinal vessel diameters and nine with PWV. These lipoprotein subclasses together explained up to 26% of variation (R2=0.26, F(29,121)=2.80, p<0.001) in micro- and 12% (R2=0.12, F(29,124)=1.70, p=0.025) of variation in macrovascular health. High-density (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) as well as triglycerides together explained up to 13% (R2=0.13, F(3,143)=8.42, p<0.001) of micro and 8% (R2=0.08, F(3,145)=5.46, p=0.001) of macrovascular variation. Lipoprotein subclasses seem to reflect micro- and macrovascular end organ damage more precisely as compared to only measuring HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides. Further studies are needed to analyse how the additional quantification of lipoprotein subclasses can improve CV risk stratification and CV disease prediction.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0217.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: stem cells; retinal diseases; optic nerve diseases; cell replacement; cell sources
Online: 10 May 2021 (15:34:07 CEST)
The aim of this review was to provide an update on the potential of cell therapies to restore or replace damaged and/or lost cells in retinal degenerative and optic nerve diseases, describing the available cell sources and the challenges involved in such treatments when these techniques are applied in real clinical practice. Sources include human fetal retinal stem cells, allogenic cadaveric human cells, adult hippocampal neural stem cells, human CNS stem cells, ciliary pigmented epithelial cells, limbal stem cells, retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) (including both human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Of these, RPCs, PSCs and MSCs have already entered early-stage clinical trials since they can all differentiate into RPE, photoreceptors or ganglion cells, and have demonstrated safety, while showing some indicators of efficacy. Stem/progenitor cell therapies for retinal diseases still have some drawbacks, such as the inhibition of proliferation and/or differentiation in vitro (with the exception of RPE) and the limited long-term survival and functioning of grafts in vivo. Some other issues remain to be solved concerning the clinical translation of cell-based therapy, including (1) the ability to enrich for specific retinal subtypes; (2) cell survival; (3) cell delivery, which may need to incorporate a scaffold to induce correct cell polarization, which increases the size of the retinotomy in surgery and, therefore, the chance of severe complications; (4) the need to induce retinal detachment to perform the subretinal placement of the transplanted cell; and (5) the evaluation of the risk of tumor formation caused by the undifferentiated stem cells and prolific progenitor cells. Despite these challenges, stem/progenitor cells represent the most promising strategy for retinal and optic nerve disease treatment in the near future, and therapeutics assisted by gene techniques, neuroprotective compounds and artificial devices can be applied to fulfil clinical needs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0152.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: multiple sclerosis; preganglionic retinal elements; photoreceptors; bipolar cells; multifocal electroretinogram; neurodegeneration
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:52:34 CEST)
The involvement of macular function in its preganglionic elements, during the neurodegenerative process of multiple sclerosis (MS), is controversial. In this case-control observational and retrospective study, we assessed multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) responses from 41 healthy Controls, 41 relapsing-remitting MS patients without optic neuritis (ON) (MS-noON Group), 47 MS patients with ON: 27 with full recovery of high-contrast best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (MS-ON-G Group) and 20 with poor recovery of BCVA (MS-ON-P Group). MfERG N1 and P1 implicit times (ITs), and N1-P1 response amplitude densities (RADs) were measured from concentric rings (R) with increasing foveal eccentricity: 0-5° (R1), 5-10° (R2), 10-15° (R3), 15-20° (R4), 20- 25° (R5), and from retinal sectors [superior, nasal, inferior and temporal] between 0-15° and 0- 25°. In MS-ON-P Group, mean mfERG RADs detected from R1 (0-5°) and from the central nasal quadrant (0-15°) were significantly reduced (p<0.01) with respect to those of Control, MS-noON and MS-ON-G Groups. No other significant differences between Groups for any mfERG parameters were found. Our results suggest that in MS, exclusively after ON with poor recovery of BCVA, the neurodegenerative process can induce dysfunctional mechanisms involving photoreceptors and bipolar cells of the fovea and of the more central nasal macular area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0053.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: myocilin; myoc; zebrafish; transgenic myoc; anterior segment alterations; retinal dysplasia; matri-cellular protein
Online: 2 August 2022 (09:18:31 CEST)
Myocilin is an enigmatic glaucoma-associated glycoprotein whose biological role remains incompletely understood. To gain novel insight into its normal function, we used transposon-mediated transgenesis to generate the first zebrafish line stably overexpressing myocilin [Tg(actb1:myoc-2A-mCherry)]. qPCR showed an approximately four-fold increased myocilin expression in transgenic zebrafish embryos (144 hpf). Adult (13 months old) transgenic animals displayed variable and age-dependent ocular anterior segment alterations. Almost 60% of two-years old male, but not female, transgenic zebrafish developed enlarged eyes with severe asymmetrical and variable abnormalities in the anterior segment, characterized by corneal limbus hypertrophy, and thickening of the cornea, iris, annular ligament and lens capsule. The most severe phenotype presented small or absent ocular anterior chamber and pupils, due to iris overgrowth along with dysplastic retinal growth and optic nerve hypertrophy. Immunohistochemistry revealed increased presence of myocilin in most altered ocular tissues of adult transgenic animals, as well as signs of retinal gliosis, and expanded ganglion cells and nerve fibers. The preliminary results indicate that these cells contributed to retinal dysplasia. Visual impairment was demonstrated in all old male transgenic zebrafish. Transcriptomic analysis of the abnormal transgenic eyes identified disrupted expression of genes involved in lens, muscular and extracellular matrix activities, among other processes. In summary, the developed transgenic zebrafish provides a new tool to investigate this puzzling protein and provides evidence for the role of zebrafish myocilin in ocular anterior segment and retinal biology, through the influence of extracellular matrix organization and cellular proliferation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0245.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics Keywords: Osteomeles Schwerinae; diabetic retinopathy (DR); spontaneously diabetic Torii (SDT) rat; human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs); advanced glycation end products (AGEs); retinal apoptosis; oxidative stress; mitochondrial function; adjunctive effect; combination therapy
Online: 24 January 2019 (08:37:29 CET)
Retinal apoptosis plays a critical role in the progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR), a common diabetic complication. Currently, the tight control of blood glucose levels is the standard approach to prevent or delay the progression of DR. However, prevalence of DR among diabetic patients remains high. Focusing on natural nutrients or herbal medicines that can prevent or delay the onset of diabetic complications, we administered an ethanol extract of the aerial portion of Osteomeles Schwerinae (OSSCE), a Chinese herbal medicine, over a period of 17 weeks to spontaneously diabetic Torii (SDT) rats. OSSCE was found to ameliorate retinal apoptosis through the regulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) accumulation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial function via inhibition of NF-κB activity, in turn through the downregulation of PKCδ, P47phox, and ERK1/2. We further demonstrated in 25 mM glucose-treated human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) that hyperoside (3-O-galactoside-quercetin), quercitrin (3-O-rhamnoside-quercetin), and 2''-O-acetylvitexin (8-C-(2''-O-acetyl-glucoside)-apigenin) were the active components of OSSCE that mediated its pharmacological action. Our results provide evidence that OSSCE is a powerful agent that may directly mediate a delay in development or disease improvement in patients of DR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0228.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: lipofuscin; retina; retinal pigment epithelium; docosahexaenoate; docosahexaenoic acid; fluorescence; photodegradation; photobleaching; cell viability; endocytic activity
Online: 14 December 2021 (11:41:14 CET)
Retinal lipofuscin accumulates with age in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) where its fluorescence properties are used to assess the retinal health. It was observed that there is a decrease in lipofuscin fluorescence above the age of 75 years and in early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of lipofuscin isolated from human RPE, and lipofuscin-laden-cells to visible light, and determine whether an abundant component of lipofuscin, docosahexaenoate (DHA) can contribute to lipofuscin fluorescence upon oxidation. Exposure of lipofuscin to visible leads to a decrease of its long-wavelength fluorescence at about 610 nm with concomitant growth of the short-wavelength fluorescence. The emission spectrum of photodegraded lipofuscin exhibits similarity with that of oxidized DHA. Exposure to light of lipofuscin-laden cells leads to loss of lipofuscin granules from cells, while retaining cell viability. The spectral changes of fluorescence in lipofuscin-laden cells resemble those seen during photodegradation of isolated lipofuscin. Our results demonstrate that fluorescence emission spectra together with quantitation of intensity of long-wavelength fluorescence can serve as a marker useful for lipofuscin quantification and for monitoring its oxidation, thereby useful for screening the retina for increased oxidative damage and early AMD-related changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0347.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: autograft; embryonic stem cells (ESC); growth factor (GF); hereditary retinal disease; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); Limoli retinal restoration technique (LRRT); mesenchymal stem cell (MSC); retinitis pigmentosa; spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)
Online: 31 July 2019 (04:45:51 CEST)
To evaluate whether autologous mesenchymal cells, adipose derived stem cells and platelet-rich plasma, grafted into the supracoroideal space by surgical treatment according to Limoli retinal restoration technique (LRRT), can produce growth factors in order to exert a beneficial effect in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients. Twenty-one eyes underwent surgery and divided based on retinal foveal thickness ≤ 190 or >190 µm into group A and group B, respectively. The specific LRRT triad was grafted in a deep scleral pocket above the choroid of each eye. At 6-month follow-up, group B showed an improvement in residual close-up visus and sensitivity at microperimetry compared to group A. After an in-depth review of molecular biology studies concerning degenerative phenomena underlying the etiopathogenesis of RP, it can be confirmed that further research is needed on tapeto-retinal degenerations both from a clinical and molecular point of view to obtain better functional results. In particular, it is necessary to increase the number of patients, extend observation times, and treat subjects in the presence of still trophic retinal tissue to allow adequate biochemical and functional catering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0106.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: DPAGT1; Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation; sensitized chemical mutagenesis screen; mouse genetics; inherited retinal disease; ER Stress
Online: 4 August 2022 (07:08:13 CEST)
Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG) are a heterogenous group of primarily autosomal recessive mendelian diseases caused by disruptions in the synthesis of lipid linked oligosaccha-rides and their transfer to proteins. CDGs affect multiple organ systems and vary in presentation, even within families. Here we describe a chemically induced mouse mutant, tvrm76, with early onset photoreceptor degeneration. The recessive mutation was mapped to Chromosome 9 and as-sociated with a missense mutation in the Dpagt1 gene encoding UDP-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine:dolichyl-phosphate N-acetyl-D-glucosaminephosphotransferase (EC 18.104.22.168). The mutation is predicted to cause a substitution of aspartic acid with glycine at residue 166 of DPAGT1. Increased expression of Ddit3, and elevated levels of HSPA5 (BiP) sug-gest the presence of early-onset endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. These changes were associated with induction of photoreceptor apoptosis in tvrm76 retinas. Mutations in human DPAGT1 cause Myasthenic Syndrome 13 and severe forms of Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation Type Ij. In contrast, Dpagt1tvrm76 homozygous mice present with congenital photoreceptor degeneration without overt muscle or muscular junction involvement. Our results suggest the possibility of DPAGT1 mutations in human patients that present primarily with retinitis pigmentosa with little or no muscle disease. Variants in DPAGT1 should be considered when evaluating cases of non-syndromic retinal degeneration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0163.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: OCTA; central serous chorioretinopathy; choroidal perfusion; choriocapillaris; Sattler’s layer; Haller’s layer; retinal perfusion; subthreshold micropulse laser
Online: 10 May 2021 (10:39:25 CEST)
Background: Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) is a common macular condition characterized by detachment of the neuroretina and is a frequent cause of central vision loss in adults. Among the various therapeutic strategies, subthreshold microsecond pulsed laser (SML) treatment has become a useful option. Despite the suggested involvement of choroidal circulatory disturbances in CSC, effects of this treatment on macular microperfusion have not been fully evaluated yet. Herein, we report the impact of SML on retinal and choroidal microvascular flow using non-invasive optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography (OCTA). Methods: In this study, CSC patients with persistent subretinal fluid (SRF) with or without secondary choroidal neovascularization (CNV) were included (referred to as pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV) group and CSC group, respectively). SML was conducted using a yellow (577 nm) laser with duty cycle of 10%, spot size of 200 µm and duration of 200 ms. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) as well as OCT and OCTA images were evaluated at baseline and 4 weeks after SML. OCTA parameters of interest included full retinal perfusion (FRP), choriocapillaris perfusion (CCP), Sattler’s layer perfusion (SLP), and Haller’s layer perfusion (HLP), which were evaluated longitudinally and compared to unaffected fellow eyes. Results: 27 affected eyes and 17 fellow eyes from 27 patients were included. Before treatment, central retinal thickness (CRT) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) of affected eyes were significantly larger than in fellow eyes. Four weeks after SML, CRT decreased significantly, whereas perfusion parameters did not change. In subgroup analyses, the CSC group showed a significant decrease of SFCT, whereas the PNV group did not despite the decrease of CRT. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the SML may SFCT of CSC, but not of PNV patients at least within four weeks following treatment. This effect seems to be independent of the change in choroidal perfusion measured with OCTA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0284.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Retina; Retinal nerve fiber layer; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Optical coherence tomography; OCT; CPAP; Upper airway surgery.
Online: 17 December 2021 (08:47:15 CET)
Retinal findings may change in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The present study aims to evaluate several retinal findings such as macula layer thickness, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer, and the optic nerve head in patients with OSAS using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and monitor the result of several types of treatment of OSAS with OCT. A prospective comparative study was designed. Patients were recruited at a Sleep Unit of a University Hospital and underwent comprehensive ophthalmological examinations. Following exclusion criteria, fifty-two patients with OSAS were finally included. Patients were examined by OCT twice: first, before treatment; secondly, after six months of treatment. In mild-moderate patients, where retinal swelling has been demonstrated, retinal thicknesses decreased [fovea (p=0.026), as well as inner ring macula (p=0.007), outer ring macula (p=0.015), and macular volume (p=0.015)]. In severe patients, where retinal atrophy had been observed, retinal thickness increased [fovea (p<0.001)]. No statistically significant differences in efficacy between treatments were demonstrated. In conclusion, OCT can evaluate the retina in patients with OSAS and help monitor results after treatment. In severe OSAS, retinal thickness increased six months after treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0010.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Gene therapy, gene editing, CRISPR/Cas9, Cas12a, dual AAV, triple AAV, clinical trials, retina, hereditary retinal dystrophies
Online: 1 October 2018 (13:52:23 CEST)
Recently, there have been revolutions in the development of both gene therapy and genome surgical treatments for inherited diseases. Much of this progress has been centered around hereditary retinal dystrophies, because the eye is an immune-privileged and anatomically ideal target. Gene therapy treatments, already demonstrated to be safe and efficacious in numerous clinical trials, are benefitting from the development of new viral vectors, such as dual and triple AAVs. CRISPR/Ca9, which revolutionized the field of gene editing, is being adapted into more precise “high fidelity” and catalytically dead variants. New CRISPR endonucleases, such as CjCas9 and Cas12a, are generating excitement in the field as well. Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising alternative, allowing human embryo derived stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to be edited precisely in vitro and then reintroduced into the body. This article highlights recent progress made in gene therapy and genome surgery for retinal disorders, and it provides an update on precision medicine FDA treatment trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0140.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: PlGF; PGF; blood-retinal barrier; RNA Seq; HREC; gene ontology; fastQC; Trimmomatic; KEGG; pentose phosphate pathway; TGF-β
Online: 10 July 2019 (07:48:20 CEST)
Placental growth factor (PlGF or PGF) is a member of the VEGF family, which is known to play a critical role in pathological angiogenesis, inflammation, and endothelial cell barrier function. However, the molecular mechanisms by which PlGF mediates its effects in non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) remain elusive. In this study, we performed transcriptome-wide profiling of differential gene expression for human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) treated with PlGF antibody. The effect of antibody treatment on the samples was validated using trans-endothelial electric resistance (TEER), and western blot. A total of 3760 genes (1750 upregulated and 2010 downregulated) were found to be differentially expressed between the control and PlGF antibody treatment group. These differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were used for gene ontology and enrichment analysis to identify gene function, signal pathway, and interaction networks. The gene ontology results revealed that catalytic activity (GO:0003824) of molecular function, cell (GO:0005623) of the cellular component, and cellular process (GO:0009987) were among the most enriched biological processes. Pathways such as TGF-β, VEGF-VEGFR2, p53, apoptosis, pentose phosphate pathway, and ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, were among the most enriched, and TGF-β1 was identified as a primary upstream regulator. These data provide new insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms of PlGF in mediating biological functions, in relation to DR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0244.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: vertebrate retina, mouse, zebrafish, two-photon microscopy, biosensor, activity probes, visual stimulus-evoked activity, laser-evoked retinal activity
Online: 26 March 2019 (14:01:49 CET)
Two-photon imaging of light stimulus-evoked neuronal activity has been used to study all neuron classes in the vertebrate retina, from the photoreceptors to the retinal ganglion cells. Clearly, the ability to study retinal circuits down to the level of single synapses or zoomed out at the level of complete populations of neurons, has been a major asset in our understanding of this beautiful circuit. In this chapter, we discuss the possibilities and pitfalls of using an all-optical approach in this highly light-sensitive part of the brain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0346.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: retinal pigment epithelium (RPE); oxidative stress; mitochondria; apoptosis; 2-oxoglutarate carrier (OGC); dicarboxylate carrier (DIC); glutathione (GSH); mitochondrial GSH (mGSH)
Online: 19 July 2018 (06:15:58 CEST)
Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are thought to be relevant to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Glutathione (GSH) homeostasis fulfills a number of important roles in mitochondria, such as maintenance of mitochondrial DNA and respiratory competency of cells. Although the transport of mitochondrial GSH (mGSH) is not fully understood, increasing evidence from non-ocular tissues suggests that OGC (2-oxoglutarate carrier, SLC25A11) and DIC (dicarboxylate carrier, SLC25A10) are involved in mGSH transport. However, whether OGC and DIC mediate the transfer of GSH into the mitochondria of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) remains unknown. Thus, we investigated the expression, localization, and function of OGC and DIC in human RPE (hRPE) in relation to oxidative stress and GSH. Both OGC and DIC are expressed in hRPE and are localized in mitochondria. We also found a dose and time-dependent decrease of OGC and DIC expression under oxidative stress and increased expression in polarized RPE. Our data show that the downregulation of OGC and DIC resulted in increased apoptosis and mGSH depletion which can be overcome by co-treatment with GSH-MEE. These findings suggest that overexpression of OGC and DIC may be an effective strategy to decrease susceptibility to mitochondrial toxicants by elevation of mGSH.