Elizabeth Richter

Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA, United States

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Publications (5)53.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The distribution of the neurotropic alphaherpesviruses-herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) and varicella zoster virus (VZV)-was determined in autonomic and sensory ganglia of the head and neck obtained from formalin-fixed human cadavers. HSV-1 and VZV DNA were found in 18 of 58 and 16 of 58 trigeminal, 23 of 58 and 11 of 58 pterygopalatine, 25 of 60 and 14 of 60 ciliary, 25 of 48 and 11 of 48 geniculate, 15 of 50 and 8 of 50 otic, 14 of 47 and 4 of 47 submandibular, 18 of 58 and 10 of 58 superior cervical, and 12 of 36 and 1 of 36 nodose ganglia, respectively. HSV-2 was not detected at any site. Viral DNA positivity and location were independently distributed among autonomic and sensory ganglia of the human head and neck.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 12/2009; 200(12):1901-6. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether infiltrating polymorphonuclear leukocytes PMNs play a role in preventing early direct anterior-to-posterior spread of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and/or in preventing the spread of HSV-1 from the brain back to the retina of the injected eye after anterior chamber (AC) inoculation. BALB/c mice were treated with monoclonal antibody RB6-8C5 (Gr-1) against PMNs or control IgG and inoculated with HSV-1. In Gr-1-treated mice, PMNs were depleted in the peripheral blood and in the HSV-1-infected eye. More virus (2-3 logs) was recovered from the inoculated eye of Gr-1 antibody-treated mice than from control mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed disseminated virus-infected cells in the junction between the anterior and the posterior segment and also in the posterior segment of the HSV-1-inoculated eye in Gr-1-treated mice. In control IgG-treated mice, virus-infected cells were observed only within the AC. More virus (3 logs) was recovered from the contralateral suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and increased virus staining was observed in the ipsilateral optic nerve of Gr-1-treated mice compared with control mice. In Gr-1-treated mice, the central retina was virus-infected in a patchy fashion beginning on day 7 post infection (pi), and the infection progressed to involve the entire retina. Since both direct anterior-to-posterior spread of virus and spread via the optic nerve occurred in PMN-depleted mice, these results suggest that PMNs play an important role both in limiting intraocular spread of virus in the injected eye and in controlling spread of the virus from the brain into the optic nerve and retina of the injected eye.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 06/2008; 49(9):4018-25. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether RNA interference (RNAi) could block hypoxia-induced upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human corneal epithelial cells in vitro and inhibit and regress injury-induced murine corneal neovascularization in vivo. siRNA selected on the basis of target sequence homology between mouse and human VEGF was placed into expression cassettes and transfected into human corneal epithelial cells. Hypoxia-induced VEGF synthesis was assayed. Also, the effect of a plasmid capable of directing the expression of an siRNA against VEGF when injected into mouse corneas 8 hours before alkali-mechanical trauma was studied. Leukocyte count, VEGF protein levels, and degree of neovascularization in corneas were compared with that of a control siRNA plasmid. Plasmids were injected 1 week after injury to assess the ability of RNAi to regress corneal neovascularization. Hypoxia-induced VEGF mRNA synthesis and protein secretion by human corneal epithelial cells was efficiently suppressed by an siRNA targeted against a sequence uniquely identical for the mouse and human VEGF genes. Intrastromal delivery of a plasmid expressing this siRNA before murine corneal injury suppressed corneal VEGF by 55.7% versus control (P = 0.014), leukocyte infiltration by 69.5% (P < 0.001), and neovascularization 1 week after injury by 72.3% (P = 0.001). At the regression time point, treated corneas had 72.8% less neovascularization (P < 0.001). RNAi significantly suppresses expression of VEGF induced by hypoxia in human corneal epithelial cells in vitro. In vivo, intrastromal delivery of a plasmid expressing siRNA against VEGF suppresses injury-induced VEGF expression, leukocyte infiltration, and angiogenesis and was able to regress corneal neovascularization.
    Cornea 02/2007; 26(1):65-72. · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corneal avascularity-the absence of blood vessels in the cornea-is required for optical clarity and optimal vision, and has led to the cornea being widely used for validating pro- and anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies for many disorders. But the molecular underpinnings of the avascular phenotype have until now remained obscure and are all the more remarkable given the presence in the cornea of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, a potent stimulator of angiogenesis, and the proximity of the cornea to vascularized tissues. Here we show that the cornea expresses soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1; also known as sflt-1) and that suppression of this endogenous VEGF-A trap by neutralizing antibodies, RNA interference or Cre-lox-mediated gene disruption abolishes corneal avascularity in mice. The spontaneously vascularized corneas of corn1 and Pax6+/- mice and Pax6+/- patients with aniridia are deficient in sflt-1, and recombinant sflt-1 administration restores corneal avascularity in corn1 and Pax6+/- mice. Manatees, the only known creatures uniformly to have vascularized corneas, do not express sflt-1, whereas the avascular corneas of dugongs, also members of the order Sirenia, elephants, the closest extant terrestrial phylogenetic relatives of manatees, and other marine mammals (dolphins and whales) contain sflt-1, indicating that it has a crucial, evolutionarily conserved role. The recognition that sflt-1 is essential for preserving the avascular ambit of the cornea can rationally guide its use as a platform for angiogenic modulators, supports its use in treating neovascular diseases, and might provide insight into the immunological privilege of the cornea.
    Nature 11/2006; 443(7114):993-7. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether subunits of VEGF receptor-1 coupled with an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal can block hypoxia-induced upregulation of VEGF secretion in corneal epithelial cells and block murine corneal angiogenesis induced by corneal injury. Human corneal epithelial cells, transfected with plasmids encoding Flt23K or Flt24K (the VEGF-binding domains of the Flt-1 receptor coupled with the endoplasmic reticulum retention peptide KDEL), were subjected 2 days after transfection to 5% hypoxia for 24 hours. Supernatant was sampled at 24 hours and assayed for VEGF by ELISA. For in vivo models, mouse corneas underwent intrastromal injections of plasmids encoding Flt23K or Flt24K, and 2 days later, sustained injury induced by topical NaOH and mechanical scraping. Corneas were assessed 2 days later for VEGF ELISA and leukocyte counting or 1 week later for quantification of neovascularization. Hypoxia induced VEGF by human corneal epithelial cells was sequestered by both Flt23K and Flt24K; Flt-1 23K suppressed VEGF secretion as well. Intrastromal delivery of plasmid Flt23K suppressed VEGF by 40.4% (P = 0.009), leukocytes by 49.4% (P < 0.001), and neovascularization by 66.8% (P = 0.001). Flt24K suppressed VEGF expression by 30.8% (P = 0.042), leukocytes by 25.8% (P < 0.001), and neovascularization by 49.5% (P = 0.015). Flt-1 intraceptors, which are endoplasmic reticulum retention signal-coupled VEGF receptors, significantly suppress hypoxia-induced VEGF secretion by corneal epithelial cells in vitro. In vivo, delivery of naked plasmids expressing these intraceptors inhibits injury-induced upregulation of VEGF, leukocyte infiltration, and corneal neovascularization.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 06/2005; 46(5):1647-52. · 3.44 Impact Factor