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Mutations in fibrillin-1 (FBN1) cause a wide spectrum of disorders, including Marfan syndrome, which have in common defects in fibrillin-1 microfibrils. Ectopia lentis and myopia are frequently observed ocular manifestations of Marfan syndrome. Glaucoma is also associated with Marfan syndrome, though the form of glaucoma has not been well-characterized. In this report, ocular examination of a patient diagnosed with Marfan syndrome based on family history and aortic dilatation was performed, including measurement of facility of aqueous humor outflow by tonography. The patient did not have ectopia lentis at the age of 42 years. Based on optic nerve appearance, reduced outflow facility, elevated IOP with open angles and clear signs of pigment dispersion, the patient was diagnosed with pigmentary glaucoma. The patient was heterozygous for a novel truncating mutation in FBN1, p.Leu72Ter. Histology of normal human eyes revealed abundant expression of elastic fibers and fibrillin-1 in aqueous humor outflow structures. This is the first report of a patient with Marfan syndrome that is caused by a confirmed FBN1 mutation with associated pigmentary glaucoma. In addition to identifying a novel mutation of FBN1 and broadening the spectrum of associated ocular phenotypes in Marfan syndrome, our findings suggest that pigmentary glaucoma may involve defects in fibrillin-1 microfibrils.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND AND AIM - Researchers find that monitoring the differentiation of implanted cells in vivo is difficult. This study was designed to show that it is possible to track the efficacy of transplanted human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE cells) in a rat model of Parkinson's disease by using positron emission tomography (PET).
METHODS - RPE cells or normal saline were injected into striatum of the injured side of the rat model in treated and control groups, respectively. PET imaging of both groups was undertaken before transplantation and at intervals afterwards, using C-raclopride and C-beta-CFT as the markers. Observation of the rats' behaviour and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy were also used to prove the PET results.
RESULTS - PET studies showed increased accumulation of C-raclopride and decreased C-beta-CFT in the injured side of striatum in both groups. C-raclopride decreased along with a concomitant increase of C-beta-CFT after transplantation in the treated group. The changes shown by the PET studies paralleled the behavioural states and confocal microscopy observations in the treated animals.
CONCLUSION - These results suggest that even a clinical PET scanner could, to a certain extent, provide some information on the existence and in-vivo differentiation of RPE cells in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.
Proper organization of microtubule arrays is essential for intracellular trafficking and cell motility. It is generally assumed that most if not all microtubules in vertebrate somatic cells are formed by the centrosome. Here we demonstrate that a large number of microtubules in untreated human cells originate from the Golgi apparatus in a centrosome-independent manner. Both centrosomal and Golgi-emanating microtubules need gamma-tubulin for nucleation. Additionally, formation of microtubules at the Golgi requires CLASPs, microtubule-binding proteins that selectively coat noncentrosomal microtubule seeds. We show that CLASPs are recruited to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) at the Golgi periphery by the TGN protein GCC185. In sharp contrast to radial centrosomal arrays, microtubules nucleated at the peripheral Golgi compartment are preferentially oriented toward the leading edge in motile cells. We propose that Golgi-emanating microtubules contribute to the asymmetric microtubule networks in polarized cells and support diverse processes including post-Golgi transport to the cell front.
PURPOSE - Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate cell cycle withdrawal of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) during development, or about the mechanisms maintaining epithelial cell quiescence in adult retinas. The present study examines the potential role of the negative cell cycle regulator p27(Kip1) in controlling RPE proliferation, using mice with targeted ablation of the p27(Kip1) gene.
METHODS - Ocular tissues were obtained from wild-type and p27(Kip1)-null mice at several postnatal ages. Following aldehyde fixation, eyes were processed intact for JB-4 histology and electron microscopy. Alternatively, tissues were removed by manual or enzymatic dissection in order to obtain flat-mounts of the RPE attached to either the choroid-sclera or neural retina, respectively. Epithelial flat-mounts were either left unlabeled, in which case melanin pigment provided internal contrast, or labeled with Alexa Fluor 488-phalloidin and propidium iodide to visualize cell boundaries and nuclei, respectively.
RESULTS - Morphometric analysis using transverse plastic sections revealed a 96% increase in nuclear density and a 12% increase in thickness (apical to basal) for mutant vs. normal epithelia at postnatal day 35 (P35). These changes were not restricted to central or peripheral regions, and were uncorrelated with focal areas of dysplasia seen in the mutant neural retina. When similar tissues were viewed as flat-mounts, an observed 100% increase in nuclear density was accompanied by only a 46% enhancement in cellular density. This resulted in a larger proportion of multinucleated cells in the nullizygous RPE as compared with the wild-type epithelium (91 versus 47%). Such a pattern was achieved relatively early in development since, at P7 when the increase in RPE nuclear density was essentially complete, cellular density was augmented by only 39%. In addition to these proliferative changes, individual epithelial cells sometimes exhibited structural abnormalities, including an altered cortical actin cytoskeleton and displacement of nuclei from their normal central position. Surprisingly, while the RPE cells of null animals were similar ultrastructurally to those of the wild-type, interdigitation of their microvillous processes with outer segments was incomplete. Quantitative analysis revealed that such areas of detachment characterize, on average, 42% of the nullizygous retina, and that there is little correlation between detachment and neural retina dysplasia from one eye to another. Together with parallel evidence demonstrating a substantial decline in the apparent adhesiveness of mutant retinas relative to the normal tissue, the data is strongly indicative of an altered epithelium-photoreceptor interaction following gene ablation.
CONCLUSIONS - The absence of a functional p27(Kip1) gene results in enhanced RPE nuclear division, without a commensurate increase in cell division. Although the mutant epithelium as a whole appears structurally normal, individual cells exhibit cytoskeletal changes and their interaction with the neural retina is compromised.
PURPOSE - The neural retinal degeneration in the aging Fischer 344 (F344) rat has been previously characterized. Here we describe the ultrastructural changes that occur in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), Bruch's membrane, and choriocapillaris in the periphery of the aged Fischer 344 rat.
METHODS - F344 eyes from 24-month-old animals (n = 4 animals, 8 eyes) were fixed and embedded for ultrastructural study. Serial mid-sagittal sections were taken from the superior peripheral retinas within 300 microm of the ora serrata. Pathology within the RPE, Bruch's membrane, and choriocapillaris was described.
RESULTS - Progressive changes were seen in the RPE/Bruch's/choriocapillaris complex, increasing anteriorly as the ora serrata was approached. Early pathology of the RPE included increased number of basal infoldings, increased number of phagolysosomes and lipofuscin deposits, attenuation, inclusion of vasculature, vesicle formation, and whirling extensions of the basement membrane into the cytoplasm. Bruch's membrane showed spots of considerable thinning, but most prominent was the nodular thickening. The choriocapillaris was found to have severe endothelial degeneration and transformation to fibrous tissue in the most severely affected regions. Lipofuscin was also found in areas of degenerated choriocapillaris.
CONCLUSIONS - Prior work focused on the neural retina, documented photoreceptor cell loss, and showed that Müller cell changes preceded that loss in the periphery of the F344 rat. It is now evident that the pathology in the RPE/Bruch's membrane/choriocapillaris complex may also be a critical component of the overall degenerative process. A possible mechanism for the extensive peripheral retinal degeneration in the F344 is presented.
PURPOSE - To determine (1) clinical features that distinguish maculopathy due to the R345W substitution in fibulin-3 from other forms of inherited or early-onset drusen, (2) the phenotypic variability, and (3) the extent of retinal disease in those with a positive molecular diagnosis.
METHODS - Affected individuals underwent ophthalmic examination, digital color fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence (AF) imaging, and psychophysical testing with automated photopic and dark-adapted perimetry and fine matrix mapping. Blood samples were taken for DNA extraction and screening for the R345W mutation in fibulin-3. Patients were subsequently divided into mutation-positive and -negative groups, to compare the identified phenotypic findings in these two sets of subjects.
RESULTS - Twenty-nine subjects from 19 families were ascertained with inherited or early-onset drusen. Twenty-four (83%) subjects from 15 families were found to harbor the R345W fibulin-3 mutation. Peripapillary deposition and a radial distribution of macular drusen were consistent, distinguishing signs in the mutation-positive group. Subretinal neovascular membrane (SRNVM) was a rare occurrence, affecting only 1 of 48 eyes, whereas hyperpigmentation and atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were common in older mutation-positive patients. Increased AF corresponding to the drusen was detected in both the mutation-positive and -negative groups. The phenotype in the group of patients positive for the R345W mutation was extremely variable, with evidence of interocular, intrafamilial, and interfamilial variability in visual loss, natural history, ophthalmoscopic findings, autofluorescence imaging, and psychophysical data. The novel finding of nonpenetrance was observed in a 62-year-old asymptomatic, mutation-positive man. The findings from detailed perimetry performed on a subset of subjects were consistent with the presence of widespread retinal dysfunction not isolated to the macula.
CONCLUSIONS - Marked inter- and intrafamilial variation associated with the fibulin-3 R345W mutation in terms of retinal appearance, severity, progression, and nonpenetrance were identified. It was noted that SRNVM is a rare occurrence in R345W fibulin-3 maculopathy. These findings are helpful for advice regarding prognosis and for genetic counseling. The findings established that the presence of peripapillary deposit is highly likely to indicate that a patient carries the R345W mutation.
PURPOSE - Mutation of the Chx10 homeobox gene in mice and humans causes congenital blindness and microphthalmia (small eyes). This study used Chx10-/- (ocular retardation) mice to investigate how lack of Chx10 affects progenitor/stem cell behavior in the retina and ciliary epithelium (CE).
METHODS - The distribution of mitotic retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) during embryonic development was analyzed using phosphohistone 3 (H3)-labeling. DNA flow cytometry was used to measure DNA content. The distribution and phenotype of dividing cells in the postnatal retina and CE was analyzed by incorporation of the thymidine analogue BrdU and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS - The Chx10-/- embryonic retina maintained a constantly sized population of mitotic RPCs during development, causing the mitotic index to increase markedly over time compared with the wild type. Also, the proportion of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle was increased compared with the wild type. Of interest, division of RPC-like cells with neurogenic properties persisted in the adult Chx10-/- retina. Colabeling for BrdU and the neural progenitor marker nestin or the neuronal markers beta3-tubulin, syntaxin, and VC1.1 showed that new amacrine-like neurons developed in the adult central retina. By contrast, cells with these characteristics were not observed in the mature wild-type retina. In the mature CE, BrdU-positive cells were observed in both wild-type and Chx10-/- mice. However, neurogenesis from this cell population was not evident.
CONCLUSIONS - Without Chx10, proliferative expansion of the embryonic RPC pool is markedly reduced. In the adult retina, lack of Chx10 results in a population of dividing neural progenitor cells that persist and produce new neurons in the central retina.
Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Overexpression of antioxidant enzymes by gene therapy may protect tissues from oxidative damage. Because the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide can diffuse across cell membranes, we hypothesized that overexpression of the antioxidant catalase within certain cells might protect neighboring cells. To test this hypothesis, we transduced retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in vitro and in vivo with adenovirus carrying the catalase gene (Ad.CMV.catalase). After transduction of only a subset of RPE cells in vitro, all cells in the culture were protected from exogenous hydrogen peroxide. Similarly, in vivo, eyes injected with Ad. CMV. catalase had high catalase levels in the RPE, which protected the adjacent photoreceptors from light damage and reduced photoreceptor oxidative stress as measured by the markers 4-hydroxynonenal and nitrotyrosine. Both in vitro and in vivo, gene therapy with Ad. CMV. catalase protected neighboring cells from oxidative stress-induced terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) positivity. The data provide a paradigm for antioxidant gene therapy with catalase, designed to protect not only transduced cells, but also neighboring cells.
The visual system adjusts its sensitivity to a wide range of light intensities. We report here that mutation of the zebrafish sdy gene, which encodes tyrosinase, slows down the onset of adaptation to bright light. When fish larvae were challenged with periods of darkness during the day, the sdy mutants required nearly an hour to recover optokinetic behavior after return to bright light, whereas wild types recovered within minutes. This behavioral deficit was phenocopied in fully pigmented fish by inhibiting tyrosinase and thus does not depend on the absence of melanin pigment in sdy. Electroretinograms showed that the dark-adapted retinal network recovers sensitivity to a pulse of light more slowly in sdy mutants than in wild types. This failure is localized in the retinal neural network, postsynaptic to photoreceptors. We propose that retinal pigment epithelium (which normally expresses tyrosinase) secretes a modulatory factor, possibly L-DOPA, which regulates light adaptation in the retinal circuitry.
The cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 contributes to the timing of cell cycle withdrawal during development and, consequently, in organogenesis. Within the retina, this effector protein is up-regulated during the birth of neuronal and glial cells [Dev. Biol. (2000) 299]. However, its expression within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a supporting cell layer that is essential for neural retina development and function, has not previously been reported. We show that p27Kip1 protein expression in the RPE occurs in two phases: an up-regulation during mid-to late embryonic stages and a down-regulation during the subsequent postnatal period. In the early phase of up-regulation, an inverse relationship is seen between expression of p27Kip1 and PCNA, an indicator of cycling cells. During both up-and down-regulation, the change in spatial pattern of expression proceeds in a central to peripheral manner, with p27Kip1 up-regulation paralleling retinal maturation. These data suggest that this cell cycle regulator may be an important factor controlling the timing of RPE cell cycle withdrawal.