Mary E Pease

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (47)152.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The organization of scleral collagen helps to determine the eye's biomechanical response to intraocular pressure (IOP), and may therefore be important in glaucoma. This study provided a quantitative assessment of changes in scleral collagen fibril organization in bead-induced murine experimental glaucoma. Methods: Wide-angle x-ray scattering was used to study the effect of bead-induced glaucoma on posterior scleral collagen organization in one eye of 12 CD1 mice, with untreated fellow eyes serving as controls. Three collagen parameters were measured: (i) the local preferred fibril directions, (ii) the degree of collagen anisotropy and (iii) the total fibrillar collagen content. Results: The mouse sclera featured a largely circumferential orientation of fibrillar collagen with respect to the optic nerve head canal. Localized alteration to fibril orientations was evident in the inferior peripapillary sclera of bead-treated eyes. Collagen anisotropy was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in bead-treated eyes in the superior peripapillary (Treated: 43 ± 8%; Control: 49 ± 6%) and mid-posterior (Treated: 39 ± 4%; Control: 43 ± 4%) sclera, and in the peripapillary region overall (Treated: 43 ± 6%; Control: 47 ± 3%). No significant differences in total collagen content were found between groups. Conclusions: Spatial changes in collagen fibril anisotropy occur in the posterior sclera of mice with bead-induced chronic IOP elevation and axonal damage. These results support the idea that dynamic changes in scleral form and structure play a role in the development of experimental glaucoma in mice, and potentially in human glaucoma.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To determine differences in scleral permeability as measured by diffusion of macromolecules using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), with reference to differences by mouse strain, scleral region, and the effect of experimental glaucoma. Methods: In 3 mouse strains (B6, CD1, and B6 mice with mutation in collagen 8α2 (Aca23), we used FRAP to measure the diffusion of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, molecular weight 40kDa, into a photobleached zone of sclera. Scleral regions near the optic nerve head (peripapillary) and two successively more anterior regions were compared. Sclera from mouse eyes subjected to chronically elevated intraocular pressure after bead injection into the anterior chamber were compared to fellow eye controls. FRAP data were compared against estimated retinal ganglion cell axon loss in glaucoma eyes. Results: Diffusion rates of dextran molecules in the sclera were significantly greater in Aca23 and B6 mice than in CD1 mice in a multivariate model adjusted for region and axial length (p < 0.0001). Dextran diffusion significantly decreased in glaucoma eyes, and the decline increased with greater axon loss (p = 0.0003, multivariable model). Peripapillary scleral permeability was higher in CD1 compared to B6 and Aca23 mice (p < 0.05, multivariable model, adjusted by Bonferroni). Conclusions: Measurement of the diffusion rates of dextran molecules in the sclera shows that glaucoma leads to decreased sclera permeability in all three mouse strains tested. Among mouse strains tested, those that are more susceptible to glaucomatous loss of retinal ganglion cells have a lower scleral permeability at baseline.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 02/2014; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to study the effects of age and genetic alterations in key connective tissue proteins on susceptibility to experimental glaucoma in mice. We used mice haploinsufficient in the elastin gene (EH) and mice without both alleles of the fibromodulin gene (FM KO) and their wild type (WT) littermates of B6 and CD1 strains, respectively. FM KO mice were tested at two ages: 2 months and 12 months. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured by Tonolab tonometer, axial lengths and widths measured by digital caliper post-enucleation, and chronic glaucoma damage was measured using a bead injection model and optic nerve axon counts. IOP in EH mice was not significantly different from WT, but FM KO were slightly lower than their controls (p = 0.04). Loss of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons was somewhat, but not significantly greater in young EH and younger or older FM KO strains than in age-matched controls (p = 0.48, 0.34, 0.20, respectively, multivariable regression adjusting for IOP exposure). Older CD1 mice lost significantly more RGC axons than younger CD1 (p = 0.01, multivariable regression). The CD1 mouse strain showed age-dependence of experimental glaucoma damage to RGC in the opposite, and more expected, direction than in B6 mice in which older mice are more resistant to damage. Genetic alteration in two genes that are constituents of sclera, fibromodulin and elastin do not significantly affect RGC loss.
    Experimental Eye Research 12/2013; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To study anatomical changes and mechanical behavior of the sclera in mice with experimental glaucoma, comparing CD1 to B6 mice. Methods: Chronic experimental glaucoma for 6 weeks was produced in 2-4 month old CD1 (43 eyes) and B6 mice (42 eyes) using polystyrene bead injection into the anterior chamber with 126 control CD1 and 128 control B6 eyes. Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements were made with the TonoLab at baseline and after bead injection. Axial length and scleral thickness were measured after sacrifice, in the CD1 and B6 animals and compared to length data from 78 eyes of DBA/2J mice. Inflation testing of posterior sclera was conducted and circumferential and meridional strain components were determined from the displacement response. RESULTS: Experimental glaucoma led to increases in axial length and width by comparison to fellow eyes (6% in CD1 and 10% in B6; all p < 0.03). While the peripapillary sclera became thinner in both mouse types with glaucoma, the remainder of the sclera uniformly thinned in CD1, but thickened in B6. Peripapillary sclera in CD1 controls had significantly greater temporal meridional strain than B6 and had differences in the ratios of meridional to effective circumferential strain from B6 mice. In both CD1 and B6 mice, exposure to chronic IOP elevation resulted in stiffer pressure-strain responses for both the effective circumferential and meridional strains (multivariable regression model, p = 0.01-0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Longer eyes, greater scleral strain in some directions at baseline, and generalized scleral thinning after glaucoma were characteristic of CD1 mice that have greater tendency to RGC damage than B6 mice. Increased scleral stiffness after glaucoma exposure in mice mimics findings in monkey and human glaucoma eyes.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 02/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study changes in scleral structure induced by chronic experimental intraocular pressure elevation in mice. We studied the effect of chronic bead-induced glaucoma on scleral thickness, collagen lamellar structure, and collagen fibril diameter distribution in C57BL/6 (B6) and CD1 mice, and in collagen 8α2 mutant mice (Aca23) and their wild-type littermates (Aca23-WT) using electron and confocal microscopy. In unfixed tissue, the control B6 peripapillary sclera was thicker than in CD1 mice (p<0.001). After 6 weeks of glaucoma, the unfixed CD1 and B6 sclera thinned by 9% and 12%, respectively (p<0.001). The fixed sclera, measured by electron microscopy, was significantly thicker in control Aca23 than in B6 or CD1 mice (p<0.05). The difference between fresh and fixed scleral thickness was nearly 68% in untreated control B6 and CD1 mice, but differed by only 10% or less in fresh/fixed glaucoma scleral comparisons. There were 39.3±9.6 lamellae (mean, standard deviation) in control sclera, categorized as 41% cross-section, 24% cellular, 20% oblique, and 15% longitudinal. After glaucoma, mean peripapillary thickness significantly increased in fixed specimens of all mouse strains by 10.3 ±4.8 µm (p=0.001) and the total number of lamellae increased by 18% (p=0.01). The number of cellular and cross-section lamellae increased in glaucoma eyes. After glaucoma, there were more small and fewer large collagen fibrils (p<0.0001). Second harmonic generation imaging showed that the normal circumferential pattern of collagen fibrils in the peripapillary sclera was altered in significantly damaged glaucomatous eyes. Dynamic responses of the sclera to experimental mouse glaucoma may be more important than baseline anatomic features in explaining susceptibility to damage. These include decreases in nonfibrillar elements, alterations in lamellar orientation, an increased number of smaller collagen fibrils and fewer larger fibrils, and relative increase in the number of scleral fibroblast layers.
    Molecular vision 01/2013; 19:2023-39. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study sequential changes in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) morphology in mice after optic nerve crush and after induction of experimental glaucoma. Nerve crush or experimental glaucoma was induced in mice that selectively express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in RGCs. Mice were euthanized 1, 4, and 9 days after crush and 1, 3, and 6 weeks after induction of glaucoma by bead injection. All YFP-RGCs were identified in retinal whole mounts. Then confocal images of randomly selected RGCs were quantified for somal fluorescence brightness, soma size, neurite outgrowth, and dendritic complexity (Sholl analysis). By 9 days after crush, 98% of RGC axons died and YFP-RGCs decreased by 64%. After 6 weeks of glaucoma, 31% of axons died, but there was no loss of YFP-RGC bodies. All crush retinas combined had significant decreases in neurite outgrowth parameters (P ≤ 0.036, generalized estimating equation [GEE] model) and dendritic complexity was lower than controls (P = 0.017, GEE model). There was no change in RGC soma area after crush. In combined glaucoma data, the RGC soma area was larger than control (P = 0.04, GEE model). At 3 weeks, glaucoma RGCs had significantly larger values for dendritic structure and complexity than controls (P = 0.044, GEE model), but no statistical difference was found at 6 weeks. After nerve crush, RGCs and axons died rapidly, and dendritic structure decreased moderately in remaining RGCs. Glaucoma caused an increase in RGC dendrite structure and soma size at 3 weeks.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 05/2012; 53(7):3847-57. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to improve a mouse model of chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation utilizing microbead injection in two strains of mice and to assess the effect of age and anesthesia on measured IOP. We compared our previous model with two modified protocols for injecting polystyrene microbeads and viscoelastic material in CD1or C57BL/6 mice. The measured outcomes were degree of IOP elevation and production of axonal loss. The first new protocol was injection of 3 μL of equal volumes of 6 μm and 1 μm diameter beads, followed by 2 μL of viscoelastic (3+2). The second new protocol injected 4 μL of the two bead mixture, then 1 μL of viscoelastic (4+1). Both were compared to injection of 2 μL of 6 μm beads with 3 μL of viscoelastic (2+3). We also compared the effects of age and of two anesthetic regimens (intraperitoneal ketamine/xylazine/acepromazine versus isoflurane gas) on measured IOP in untreated eyes of both strains. IOP was 2mm Hg lower with intraperitoneal than with gas anesthesia in both strains (p=0.003, p<0.0001, t-test). IOP measurements were lower in untreated young (2 months) compared to older (10 months) C57BL/6 mice (p=0.001, t-test). In the experimental glaucoma mouse model, mean IOP and number of elevated IOP measurements were higher in newer protocols. Mean axon loss with the 4+1 protocol (all strains) was twice that of the 2+3 and 3+2 protocols (36% vs. 15% loss, p=0.0026, ANOVA), and mean axon loss in CD1 mice (21%) was greater than in C57BL/6 mice (13%) (p=0.047, ANOVA). Median axon loss in 4+1 protocol treated C57BL/6 mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein in 2% of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) had greater median axon loss than C57BL/6 4+1 protocol treated mice (26% vs. 10%, p=0.03). The 4+1 protocol provided higher, more consistent IOP elevation and greater axonal loss. The effects of age, strain, and anesthesia on induced IOP elevation and axon damage must be considered in mouse experimental glaucoma research.
    Experimental Eye Research 04/2012; 99:27-35. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study susceptibility to glaucoma injury as it may be affected by mutations in ocular connective tissue components. Mice homozygous for an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea induced G257D exchange (Gly to Asp) missense mutation (Aca23) in their collagen 8A2 gene were studied to measure intraocular pressure (IOP), axial length and width, number of retinal ganglion cells (RGC), and inflation responses. Three month old homozygous Aca23 mutant and wild type (WT) mice had 6 weeks exposure to elevated IOP induced by polystyrene microbead injection. Additional Aca23 and matched controls were studied at ages of 10 and 18 months. Aca23 mice had no significant difference from WT in IOP level, and in both strains IOP rose with age. In multivariable models, axial length and width were significantly larger in Aca23 than WT, became larger with age, and were larger after exposure to glaucoma (n=227 mice). From inflation test data, the estimates of scleral stress resultants in Aca23 mice were similar to age-matched and younger WT C57BL/6 (B6) mice, while the strain estimates for Aca23 were significantly less than those for either WT group in the mid-sclera and in some of the more anterior scleral measures (p<0.001; n=29, 22, 20 eyes in Aca23, older WT, younger WT, respectively). With chronic IOP elevation, Aca23 eyes increased 9% in length and 7% in width, compared to untreated fellow eyes (p<0.05, <0.01). With similar elevated IOP exposure, WT eyes enlarged proportionately twice as much as Aca23, increasing in length by 18% and in nasal-temporal width by 13% (both p<0.001, Mann-Whitney test). In 4 month old control optic nerves, mean RGC axon number was not different in Aca23 and WT (46,905±7,592, 43,628±11,162, respectively; p=0.43, Mann-Whitney test, n=37 and 29). With chronic glaucoma, Aca23 mice had a mean axon loss of only 0.57±17%, while WT mice lost 21±31% (median loss: 1% versus 10%, n=37, 29, respectively; p=0.001; multivariable model adjusting for positive integral IOP exposure). The Aca23 mutation in collagen 8α2 is the first gene defect found to alter susceptibility to experimental glaucoma, reducing RGC loss possibly due to differences in mechanical behavior of the sclera. Detailed study of the specific changes in scleral connective tissue composition and responses to chronic IOP elevation in this strain could produce new therapeutic targets for RGC neuroprotection.
    Molecular vision 01/2012; 18:1093-106. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of transgenic mouse lines that selectively label a subset of neurons provides unique opportunities to study detailed neuronal morphology and morphological changes under experimental conditions. In the present study, a mouse line in which a small number of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) under control of the Thy-1 promoter was used (Feng et al., 2000). We characterized the number, distribution by retinal region and eccentricity of YFP-labeled RGCs using fluorescence microscopy and Stereo Investigator software (MicroBrightField, VT, USA). Then, we captured images of 4-6 YFP-expressing RGCs from each of 8 retinal regions by confocal microscopy, producing 3-dimensional and flattened data sets. A new semi-automated method to quantify the soma size, dendritic length and dendritic arbor complexity was developed using MetaMorph software (Molecular Devices, PA, USA). Our results show that YFP is expressed in 0.2% of all RGCs. Expression of YFP was not significantly different in central versus peripheral retina, but there were higher number of YFP-expressing RGCs in the temporal quadrant than in the nasal. By confocal-based analysis, 58% of RGCs expressing YFP did so at a high level, with the remainder distributed in decreasing levels of brightness. Variability in detailed morphometric parameters was as great between two fellow retinas as in retinas from different mice. The analytic methods developed for this selective YFP-expressing RGC model permit quantitative comparisons of parameters relevant to neuronal injury.
    Experimental Eye Research 12/2011; 96(1):107-15. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To measure the accuracy of TonoLab (TioLat, Helsinki, Finland) tonometry in mice with spontaneous or induced experimental glaucoma. Chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation was induced in one eye of 32 mice by injection of polystyrene beads and viscoelastic material. Three to 6 weeks later, the eyes were cannulated and manometrically set to 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 mm Hg. The mice were 8-week and 8-month-old C57BL/6, 8-week-old DBA/2J, and 8-week-old CD1. The TonoLab calibration was also tested on five aged DBA/2J mice with spontaneous glaucoma. The relation of the TonoLab reading to manometric IOP was evaluated in multivariate linear regression models with axial length, IOP history, and mouse strain as independent variables. The slope of the relationship between TonoLab and manometric IOP in all the mice was 0.998, with an intercept of 2.3 mm Hg (adjusted R in univariate regression = 0.86). Neither the mice with bead-induced glaucoma nor those with spontaneous glaucoma (older DBA/2J mice) differed significantly from the control animals in having an excellent correlation between TonoLab and manometer IOP. Longer and wider mouse eyes had slightly higher tonometrically measured IOP, whether glaucomatous or control (multivariate regression, adjusted R(2) = 0.90, P < 0.0001). There was no difference in tonometric accuracy among the three mouse strains: CD1, C57BL/6, and DBA/2J, nor between 8-week and 8-month-old C57BL/6 mice (multivariate regression, P = 0.32). The TonoLab accurately reflects IOP in both normal mice and in eyes of mice with experimental or spontaneous glaucoma, with no detectable effect of age.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 02/2011; 52(2):858-64. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous analyses of the DBA/2J mouse glaucoma model show a sectorial degeneration pattern suggestive of an optic nerve head insult. In addition, there are large numbers of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that cannot be retrogradely labeled but maintain RGC gene expression, and many of these have somatic phosphorylated neurofilament labeling. Here the authors further elucidate these features of glaucomatous degeneration in a rat ocular hypertension model. IOP was elevated in Wistar rats by translimbal laser photocoagulation. Retina whole mounts were analyzed for Sncg mRNA in situ hybridization, fluorogold (FG) retrograde labeling, and immunohistochemistry for phosphorylated neurofilaments (pNF) at 10 and 29 days after IOP increase. A novel automatic method was used to estimate axon numbers in plastic sections of optic nerves. Sncg mRNA was confirmed as a specific marker for RGCs in rat. Loss of RGCs after IOP elevation occurred in sectorial patterns. Sectors amid degeneration contained RGCs that were likely disconnected because these had pNF in their somas and dendrites, were not labeled by FG, and were associated with reactive plasticity within the retina. Most of the axon loss within the optic nerve already occurred by 10 days after the onset of IOP elevation. These data demonstrate that the pattern of RGC loss after laser-induced ocular hypertension in rats is similar to that previously reported in DBA/2J mice. The results support the view that in glaucoma RGC axons are damaged at the optic nerve head and degenerate within the optic nerve before there is loss of RGC somas.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 01/2011; 52(1):434-41. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine if the absence of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3) in the mouse retina would reduce retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in mice with experimental glaucoma. C57BL/6 mice underwent experimental intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation with a bead/viscoelastic injection into one eye. One-half of the mice were Jnk3 homozygous knockouts (KO) and were compared to wild type (WT) mice. IOP was measured under anesthesia with the TonoLab, axial length was measured post-mortem with calipers after inflation to 15mmHg, and RGC layer counts were performed on retinal whole mount images stained with DAPI, imaged by confocal microscopy, and counted by masked observers in an image analysis system. Axon counts were performed in optic nerve cross-sections by semi-automated image analysis. Both WT and Jnk3(-/-) mice had mean elevations of IOP of more than 50% after bead injection. Both groups underwent the expected axial globe elongation due to chronic IOP elevation. The absence of JNK3 in KO retina was demonstrated by Western blots. RGC layer neuron counts showed modest loss in both WT and Jnk3(-/-) animals; local differences by retinal eccentricity were detected, in each case indicating greater loss in KO animals than in WT. The baseline number of RGC layer cells in KO animals was 10% higher than in WT, but the number of optic nerve axons was identical in KO and WT controls. A slightly greater loss of RGC in Jnk3(-/-) mice compared to controls was detected in experimental mouse glaucoma by RGC layer counting and there was no protective effect shown in axon counts. Counts of RGC layer cells and optic nerve axons indicate that Jnk3(-/-) mice have an increased number of amacrine cells compared to WT controls.
    Experimental Eye Research 01/2011; 92(4):299-305. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to develop a reliable and repeatable inflation protocol to measure the scleral inflation response of mouse eyes to elevations in intraocular pressure (IOP), comparing the inflation response exhibited by the sclera of younger and older C57BL/6 mice. Whole, enucleated eyes from younger (2 month) and older (11 month) C57BL/6 mice were mounted by the cornea on a custom fixture and inflated according to a load-unload, ramp-hold pressurization regimen via a cannula connected to a saline-filled programmable syringe pump. First, the tissue was submitted to three load-unload cycles from 6 mmHg to 15 mmHg at a rate of 0.25 mmHg/s with ten minutes of recovery between cycles. Next the tissue was submitted to a series of ramp-hold tests to measure the creep behavior at different pressure levels. For each ramp-hold test, the tissue was loaded from 6 mmHg to the set pressure at a rate of 0.25 mmHg/s and held for 30 min, and then the specimens were unloaded to 6 mmHg for 10 min. This sequence was repeated for set pressures of: 10.5, 15, 22.5, 30, 37.5, and 45 mmHg. Scleral displacement was measured using digital image correlation (DIC), and fresh scleral thickness was measured optically for each specimen after testing. For comparison, scleral thickness was measured on untested fresh tissue and epoxy-fixed tissue from age-matched animals. Comparing the apex displacement of the different aged specimens, the sclera of older animals had a statistically significant stiffer response to pressurization than the sclera of younger animals. The stiffness of the pressure-displacement response of the apex measured in the small-strain (6-15 mmHg) and the large-strain (37.5-45 mmHg) regime, respectively, were 287 ± 100 mmHg/mm and 2381 ± 191 mmHg/mm for the older tissue and 193 ± 40 mmHg/mm and 1454 ± 93 mmHg/mm for the younger tissue (Student t-test, p<0.05). The scleral thickness varied regionally, being thickest in the peripapillary region and thinnest at the equator. Fresh scleral thickness did not differ significantly by age in this group of animals. This study presents a reliable inflation test protocol to measure the mechanical properties of mouse sclera. The inflation methodology was sensitive enough to measure scleral response to changes in IOP elevations between younger and older C57BL/6 mice. Further, the specimen-specific scleral displacement profile and thickness measurements will enable future development of specimen-specific finite element models to analyze the inflation data for material properties.
    Experimental Eye Research 12/2010; 91(6):866-75. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this experiment was to test the susceptibility to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon loss and RGC layer cell loss from experimental glaucoma among 3 mouse strains, and between younger and older mice. We obstructed the mouse aqueous outflow channels by injecting 2 microL of 6 mum diameter, polystyrene beads followed by 3 microL of viscoelastic solution into the anterior chamber with a glass micropipette. We evaluated intraocular pressure (IOP) and damage to RGC as measured by optic nerve axon counts and RGC layer neuron counts in 3 strains of young mice (2 month old C57BL/6, DBA/2J, and CD1) and 10 month C57BL/6 mice. Bead and viscoelastic injection produced IOP elevation at >or=1 time point in 94.1% of eyes (112/119), with mean IOP difference from fellow eyes of 4.4 +/- 3.0 mmHg. By 6-12 weeks, injected eyes were 10.8% longer and 7.6% wider (p < 0.0001). Young DBA/2J and C57BL/6 eyes increased axial length significantly more than young CD1 or older C57BL/6 (all p <or= 0.02). RGC layer and axon loss was greatest in CD1 mice, significantly more than the other groups (p from 0.04 to <0.0001). Young C57BL/6 eyes elongated more and lost more RGC layer cells than older C57BL/6 mice (p = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively). With this mouse glaucoma model, there was differential susceptibility to ocular elongation and RGC layer and axon damage among mouse strains and by age. Factors that determine sensitivity to RGC injury can be studied using transgenic mouse strains with inducible models.
    Experimental Eye Research 09/2010; 91(3):415-24. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease affecting retinal ganglion cells (RGC), is a leading cause of blindness. Since gliosis is common in neurodegenerative disorders, it is important to describe the changes occurring in various glial populations in glaucoma animal models in relation to axon loss, as only changes that occur early are likely to be useful therapeutic targets. Here, we describe changes occurring in glia within the myelinated portion of the optic nerve (ON) in both DBA/2J mice and in a rat ocular hypertension model. In both glaucoma animal models, we found only a modest loss of oligodendrocytes that occurred after axons had already degenerated. In DBA/2J mice there was proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and new oligodendrocyte generation. Activation of microglia was detected only in highly degenerated DBA/2J ONs. In contrast, a large increase in astrocyte reactivity occurred early in both animal models. These results are consistent with astrocytes playing a prominent role in regulating axon loss in glaucoma.
    Glia 05/2010; 58(7):780-9. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Presence and distribution of elastin in the posterior and retrobulbar regions of the mouse eye was investigated. Mice of two strains (C57/BL6 and DBA/2J) were studied at 2 months and 8–12 months of age. Light, confocal, and transmission electron microscopy were used to identify elastin, using immunohistochemical techniques and ultrastructural evaluation. Elastin was found in the following ocular structures: conjunctiva, muscle tendons, sclera, choroid, and meninges. The elastin in the sclera was most dense in a ring surrounding the peripapillary optic nerve head, with its presence in the inner sclera declining with greater distance from the nerve head. Elastin fibers were oriented in the sclera along what would be expected to be the principal stress directions generated from the intraocular pressure, though actual biomechanical measurements have not yet been made in the mouse sclera. Elastin comprises a portion of the mouse sclera and its distribution in the peripapillary area is similar to that in human eyes.
    Experimental Eye Research 01/2010; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the neuroprotective effect of virally mediated overexpression of ciliary-derived neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in experimental rat glaucoma. Laser-induced glaucoma was produced in one eye of 224 Wistar rats after injection of adenoassociated viral vectors (type 2) containing either CNTF, BDNF, or both, with saline-injected eyes and noninjected glaucomatous eyes serving as the control. IOP was measured with a hand-held tonometer, and semiautomated optic nerve axon counts were performed by masked observers. IOP exposure over time was adjusted in multivariate regression analysis to calculate the effect of CNTF and BDNF. By multivariate regression, CNTF had a significant protective effect, with 15% less RGC axon death (P < 0.01). Both combined CNTF-BDNF and BDNF overexpression alone had no statistically significant improvement in RGC axon survival. By Western blot, there was a quantitative increase in CNTF and BDNF expression in retinas exposed to single viral vectors carrying each gene, but no increase with sequential injection of both vectors. These data confirm that CNTF can exert a protective effect in experimental glaucoma. The reason for the lack of observed effect in the BDNF overexpression groups is unclear, but it may be a function of the level of neurotrophin expression achieved.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 01/2009; 50(5):2194-200. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several ocular diseases complicated by neovascularization are being treated by repeated intraocular injections of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonists. While substantial benefits have been documented, there is concern that unrecognized damage may be occurring, because blockade of VEGF may damage the fenestrated vessels of the choroicapillaris and deprive retinal neurons of input from a survival factor. One report has suggested that even temporary blockade of all isoforms of VEGF-A results in significant loss of retinal ganglion cells. In this study, we utilized double transgenic mice with doxycycline-inducible expression of soluble VEGF receptor 1 coupled to an Fc fragment (sVEGFR1Fc), a potent antagonist of several VEGF family members, including VEGF-A, to test the effects of VEGF blockade in the retina. Expression of sVEGFR1Fc completely blocked VEGF-induced retinal vascular permeability and significantly suppressed the development of choroidal neovascularization at rupture sites in Bruch's membrane, but did not cause regression of established choroidal neovascularization. Mice with constant expression of sVEGFR1Fc in the retina for 7 months had normal electroretinograms and normal retinal and choroidal ultrastructure including normal fenestrations in the choroicapillaris. They also showed no significant difference from control mice in the number of ganglion cell axons in optic nerve cross sections and the retinal level of mRNA for 3 ganglion cell-specific genes. These data indicate that constant blockade of VEGF for up to 7 months has no identifiable deleterious effects on the retina or choroid and support the use of VEGF antagonists in the treatment of retinal diseases.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 07/2008; 217(1):13-22. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors studied retinal gene expression changes in rats after experimental intraocular pressure elevation and optic nerve transection to elucidate molecular mechanisms of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death. Translimbal laser photocoagulation was used to induce unilateral IOP elevation in 41 albino Wistar rats. In 38 additional animals, unilateral transection of the optic nerve was performed. Retinas were harvested 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks after each treatment, and total RNA was isolated. Pooled RNA from each time point was analyzed with rat genome arrays. Array results were confirmed by real-time PCR, and localization studies were performed using in situ hybridization for select genes. Genes that were upregulated in glaucoma, but not after transection, included Cyclin D2, Stat1, Stat3, c-Fos, Junb, Anxa1, Anxa 3, and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (Cebp-delta). In glaucoma and transection models, the upregulation of c-Jun, Activating transcription factor 3, Heat shock protein 27, and Timp1 were observed. Comparisons among microarray databases were performed between our data and reports of retinal and optic nerve injury models in mice, rats, and monkeys. Gene expression changes specific to experimental glaucoma injury were identified. The present analysis supports the importance of neuroinflammation and the participation of the tumor necrosis factor alpha signaling pathway in glaucoma injury. The alterations observed include processes that are both protective of and detrimental to the survival of RGCs.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 01/2008; 48(12):5539-48. · 3.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To isolate and characterize progenitor cells derived from adult mammalian ciliary body. The authors isolated progenitor cells from the ciliary body of adult mice, rats, and human cadaver eyes and determined quantitative growth characteristics of groups of progenitor cells called neurosphere (NS) cells, including individual cell diameter, NS diameter, percentage of NS-forming cells, and cell number per eye in mouse, rat, and human eyes. The immunolabeling and ultrastructure of NS cells were investigated by confocal and transmission electron microscopy. Average diameters of individual cells and neurospheres after 1 week in culture were similar in mice, rats, and humans (cell diameters: 22 +/- 1.1, 21 +/- 0.3, 25 +/- 0.4 mum; NS diameters: 139 +/- 22, 137 +/- 9, 141 +/- 11 mum, respectively). Mean numbers of cells per NS were estimated to be 1183 in mice, 5360 in rats, and 685 in humans. Molecules that were identified by immunolabeling in NS cells included nestin, Chx-10, vimentin, GFAP, and Pax-6. Thy-1 was expressed in some NS cells. Ultrastructurally, NS cells displayed abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum and many cellular processes but no characteristics of mature retinal neurons or glia. Progenitor cells from adult mammalian ciliary body have significant, but limited, proliferation potential and express markers characteristic of other progenitor cells and seen during early retinal development. The ciliary body could be a source of cells for transplantation in experimental rodent eyes and for autotransplantation in human eyes.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 04/2007; 48(4):1674-82. · 3.44 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
152.42 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2013
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Wilmer Eye Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Eastern Finland
      • School of Medicine
      Joensuu, Province of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • 2002
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 1992–1996
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 1993
    • Tel Aviv University
      • Goldschleger Eye Research Institute
      Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel