[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cataracts are a major cause of blindness. The most common forms of cataracts are age- and UV-related and develop mostly in the elderly, while congenital cataracts appear at birth or in early childhood. The Dahl salt-sensitive (SS/Jr) rat is an extensively used model of salt-sensitive hypertension that exhibits concomitant renal disease. In the mid-1980s, cataracts appeared in a few animals in the Dahl S colony, presumably the result of a spontaneous mutation. The mutation was fixed and bred to establish the SS/Jr-Ctr substrain. The SS/Jr-Ctr substrain has been used exclusively by a single investigator to study the role of steroids and hypertension. Using a classical positional cloning approach, we localized the cataract gene with high resolution to a less than 1-Mbp region on chromosome 9 using an F(1)(SS/Jr-Ctr × SHR) × SHR backcross population. The 1-Mbp region contained only 13 genes, including 4 genes from the γ-crystallins (Cryg) gene family, which are known to play a role in cataract formation. All of the γ-crystallins were sequenced and a novel point mutation in the start codon (ATG → GTG) of the Crygd gene was identified. This led to the complete absence of the CRYGD protein in the eyes of the SS/Jr-Ctr strain. In summary, the identification of the genetic cause in this novel cataract model may provide an opportunity to better understand the development of cataracts, particularly in the context of hypertension.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The small diameter of the carotid artery is not compatible with the evaluation of clinically available endovascular devices in the carotid balloon-injury (BI) model. We developed an endovascular BI model in the rat descending aorta, whose size is compatible with available endovascular instruments. We also tested the hypothesis that neointima formation is enhanced in the aorta of obese Zucker rats (OZR) compared with lean Zucker rats (LZR). Left external carotid arteriotomies and BI of the thoracic and abdominal aorta were performed by using a balloon catheter. Aortograms and aortic pathology were examined at 2, 4, and 10 wk after BI. At 10 wk after BI, the abdominal aorta in OZR had narrowed 8.3% ± 1.1% relative to baseline compared with an expansion of 2.4% ± 2.2% in LZR. Simultaneously, the thoracic aorta had expanded 9.5% ± 4.3% in LZR compared with stenosis of 2.8% ± 1.6% in OZR. Calculation of the intimal:medial thickness ratio revealed significantly increased neointimal formation in the OZR descending aorta compared with that in LNR. In conclusion, this minimally invasive BI model involving the rat descending aorta is compatible with available endovascular instruments. The descending aorta of OZR demonstrates enhanced neointimal formation and constrictive vascular remodeling after BI.
Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Comparative medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe an enzymatic technique that facilitates air separation of Descemet's membrane from the corneal stroma.
Fresh human corneoscleral tissue was mounted on an artificial anterior chamber. In a control group, air was injected into the stroma. A second group received a stromal injection of 2.5 mg/mL collagenase type 2 in balanced salt solution that was left in the stroma for 1 hour and 15 minutes. A third group received an injection of 2.5 mg/mL collagenase type 2 in balanced salt solution followed 1 hour and 15 minutes later by an injection of air into the stroma. All injections were performed with a 27-gauge needle into the deep stroma without penetrating Descemet's membrane. Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT), histologic examination, and electron microscopy of the junction between the stroma and Descemet's membrane were performed. The trypan blue exclusion and TUNEL assays were used to study endothelial cell viability after collagenase incubation.
Injection of air or collagenase into the deep corneal stroma did not result in a reproducible separation of the stroma-Descemet's junction. In contrast, the stroma was easily and reproducibly separated from Descemet's membrane with a combination of intrastromal collagenase and air injection. The separation was confirmed by using light and electron microscopy. The cleavage plane seemed to be located between the junction of the posterior stroma and the anterior banded layer of Descemet's membrane. Trypan blue staining demonstrated the viability of endothelial cells after collagenase incubation. TUNEL assay confirmed excellent viability after collagenase+air separation.
This technique facilitates the separation of Descemet's membrane from the stroma without affecting endothelial cell viability.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rat carotid balloon-injury (BI) model is a widely used model of intimal hyperplasia (IH) and vascular remodeling. A variable degree of IH after BI has been previously reported, and we have encountered technical challenges and suboptimal results with the original method.
To evaluate the original rat carotid artery BI method with the use of micro-angiography. We tested the hypothesis that in order to obtain an optimal arterial response, BI should be limited to the common carotid artery with preservation of blood flow.
The left common carotid artery (CCA) was injured by one of three different methods. Carotid angiograms and pathology were examined 14 days after BI. A 2F Fogarty balloon catheter inflated to 2 atm inside the aortic arch would not slide back into the common carotid artery until deflation to 0.5 to 0.7 atm. Four out of five (80%) vessels injured with this method developed excessive inflammation without discernible IH. Six out of nine (66%) arteries that underwent BI limited to the CCA at 2 atm developed the largest angiographic stenosis (p=0.003) and IH (0.20±0.03 mm(2), p=0.028). Ten out of eleven (91%) arteries injured with a variable pressure of 1.5 to 2.2 atm, based on the operator's feedback, developed considerable IH (0.12±0.02 mm(2)). All injured carotid arteries with preserved blood flow on angiography developed IH with intact histological boundaries.
Optimal IH with preservation of histological boundaries is achieved by graded BI limited to the CCA that preserves carotid blood flow.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Experimental and Molecular Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is the first report to our knowledge of the successful treatment of an asymptomatic mycotic aneurysm associated with Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis. A 27-year-old male with end-stage renal disease presented with generalized seizures following renal transplantation. MRI demonstrated multiple brain masses and an aneurysm of the cavernous and supraclinoid carotid artery. Autopsy of the donor's brain revealed Balamuthia encephalitis. The patient was placed on an anti-amebic regimen, his condition improved, and 126 days after the kidney transplant, MRI brain showed resolution of the aneurysm and improvement of the enhancing lesions. Balamuthia mandrillaris has been shown to cause a granulomatous encephalitis, with prominent vasculitis. This is the first report to demonstrate the risk of aneurysm formation associated with this infection. Prolonged anti-amebic treatment resulted in resolution of the aneurysm without clinical evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage.
No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors describe the unique presentation of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis in a kidney donor and two recipients. All three patients suffered acute clinical deterioration, with radiological or clinical evidence of intracranial hypertension. Brain autopsy in the donor and an urgent brain biopsy in a recipient established the diagnosis. First-tier therapy, with mannitol and CSF drainage, successfully treated the intracranial hypertension in both recipients, while administration of a combination of antiamebic drugs was associated with survival in the second recipient. For both recipients, neurosurgical management played a critical role in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Neurosurgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether Streptococcus pneumoniae capsule was necessary for pathogenesis of pneumococcal endophthalmitis.
An isogenic capsule-deficient strain was created using homologous recombination. New Zealand White rabbits were injected intravitreously with 10(2) colony-forming units (CFU) of the parent strain or the capsule mutant. Slit lamp examination (SLE), electroretinography, and myeloperoxidase activity were performed 24 and 48 hours postinfection (PI). Serial dilutions of vitreous were plated to quantitate CFU, eyes were extracted for histology, and host cytokine mRNA expression was determined.
Eyes infected with the parent strain had significantly higher SLE scores than eyes infected with the capsule-deficient strain 24 and 48 hours PI (P < 0.001). CFU recovered from eyes infected with the capsule mutant were significantly fewer than CFU recovered from eyes infected with the parent strain 24 and 48 hours PI (P < 0.001). The parent strain caused a significantly greater decrease in retinal function and more retinal destruction than the mutant strain 48 hours PI (P = 0.026). Vitreal IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were upregulated by both the parent and mutant strain 12 hours PI. By 48 hours PI, there was significantly more neutrophil infiltration in the vitreous infected with the parent strain.
Endophthalmitis caused by the encapsulated strain is more damaging to retinal function and structural integrity. These findings indicate that capsule is an important virulence factor of S. pneumoniae endophthalmitis, in contrast to keratitis, suggesting that the anatomic host site in pneumococcal ocular infections is important.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether immunization with pneumolysin (PLY) protects against pneumococcal endophthalmitis.
New Zealand white rabbits were immunized with a mutant form of PLY that retains only 1% of its cytolytic activity until serum IgG titers were ≥51,200. For a negative control, rabbits were immunized with phosphate-buffered saline (mock). Each vitreous was injected with 10(2) colony-forming units of a clinical endophthalmitis isolate of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Severity of endophthalmitis was graded by slit lamp examination at 24 and 48 h postinfection (PI). Serial dilutions of vitreous were plated for bacterial colony-forming units quantitation, eyes were extracted for histology, and a whole blood survival assay was performed.
Immunized rabbits had a significantly lower mean slit lamp examination score at 24 and 48 h PI when compared to mock immunized rabbits (P ≤ 0.002). There was not a significant difference in bacterial load in the vitreous at 24 or 48 h PI. Histological sections showed that retinas of mock immunized rabbits appeared to be destroyed, whereas those of PLY immunized rabbits remained largely intact. Damage spread to the aqueous humor, stroma, and conjunctiva of mock immunized rabbits by 48 h PI. Minimal damage was observed in the vitreous of PLY immunized rabbits and did not spread to other parts of the eye. Whole blood from immunized rabbits inhibited the growth of bacteria better than whole blood from mock immunized rabbits.
Immunization with PLY helps protect the eye from damage caused by pneumococcal endophthalmitis.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics: the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PGL) are rare neuroendocrine tumors in children. Apparently sporadic cases of PGL may harbor germline mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDHx) gene. SDHB mutations are associated with malignant disease. We report a 13-year-old African American boy with diffusely metastatic PGL and compound heterozygous mutation leading to a novel splice donor region DNA sequence variant in the SDHB gene. Family history was positive for non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia and pituitary adenoma. After surgical resection of the primary PGL and chemotherapy, he was treated with metaiodobenzy lguanidine (MIBG) combined with arsenic trioxide. At 3-year follow-up, he had stable disease.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Pediatric Blood & Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study determined the statewide incidence and prevalence of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and examined the course of three pediatric patients treated for tumefactive demyelination (TD) at the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital.
Analyses of ICD-9-CM code hospital records and clinical database were conducted.
From 2001 through 2007 the incidence in pediatric patients under 20 years was 0.4/100,000/year, with a prevalence of 8.6/100,000 during 2008. Three patients presented with TD. Case 1 had a 3-week history of ataxia and diplopia; case 2 presented with a sudden onset of coma, while the third child had a 4-month history of increasing lethargy and clumsiness in all extremities. Cerebrospinal fluid examinations were nondiagnostic. MRI examinations revealed asymmetric T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery hyperintensity within the pons (case 1), a large heterogenously enhancing temporal lobe mass, with extensive edema (case 2), and multiple small brain lesions with occasional ring enhancement (case 3). In case 1, intralesional MR spectroscopy demonstrated changes consistent with ADEM. Case 2 required intracranial monitoring, and medical treatment to control elevated ICP. Cases 2 and 3 underwent cortical biopsies that revealed ADEM. All three patients improved with corticosteroid therapy. At a minimum of 15 months follow-up, cases 1 and 2 showed resolution of deficits and MRI lesions, while the third patient demonstrated additional MRI lesions and increasing paraparesis.
These cases demonstrate that appropriate neuroradiological evaluation, treatment of acutely elevated ICP, and brain biopsy can play critical roles in the management of children with undiagnosed ADEM and TD.
No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Child s Nervous System
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common cause of bacterial keratitis, and models to examine the ocular pathogenesis of this bacterium would aid in efforts to treat pneumococcal keratitis. The aim of this study was to establish a murine model of pneumococcal keratitis.
The corneas of A/J, BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice were scratched and topically infected with a clinical strain of S. pneumoniae. Slitlamp examination (SLE), enumeration of bacteria in the corneas and histology were performed.
Bacteria were recovered from the eyes of A/J mice on postinfection (PI) days 1 [1.96 +/- 0.61 log(10) colony-forming units (CFU)] and 3 (1.41 +/- 0.71 log(10) CFU). SLE scores were significantly higher in the infected A/J mice as compared to the BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice on PI day 3 (p < 0.0001) and steadily increased over time, reaching a maximal value of 3.00 +/- 0.35 on PI day 10. Histopathology revealed stromal edema and the influx of polymorphonuclear leukocytes on PI days 7 and 10, and corneal disruption on PI day 7.
S. pneumoniae keratitis was established in A/J mice, but not BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Ophthalmic Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyze PASP in terms of its gene distribution and expression, its corneal pathologic effects, its enzymatic properties, and the protectiveness of the immune response to this protease.
Twenty-five strains of P. aeruginosa were analyzed for the PASP gene and secreted protein by PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. Active recombinant (r)PASP (10 microg/20 microL) or heat-inactivated rPASP was intrastromally injected into rabbit corneas. Pathologic changes were monitored by slit lamp examination (SLE) and histopathology. Purified rPASP was assayed for cleavage of collagens and susceptibility to TLCK. Rabbit antibody to rPASP was produced and tested for enzyme inactivation, and actively immunized rabbits were challenged by intrastromal injection of active rPASP (5 microg).
All 25 strains of P. aeruginosa analyzed were positive for the PASP gene and protein. SLE scores of eyes injected with active rPASP were significantly higher than control eyes at all postinjection times (PI; P <or= 0.004). Histopathologic studies documented the destruction of the corneal epithelial layer and portions of the corneal stroma at 9 hours PI, and polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte infiltration into the cornea by 24 hours after active rPASP injection. PASP cleaved type I and IV collagens and was susceptible to TLCK inhibition. PASP was present in the cytoplasm and periplasm, but only secreted PASP was enzymatically active. A high antibody titer (ELISA titer >or= 10,000) was produced, but this antibody did not protect against active rPASP challenge.
PASP is a commonly produced Pseudomonas protease that can cleave collagens and cause corneal erosions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the in vitro activity and concentration of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumolysin correlated to the pathogenesis of S. pneumoniae endophthalmitis. Five S. pneumoniae clinical endophthalmitis strains were grown in media to similar optical densities (OD), and extracellular milieu was tested for pneumolysin activity by hemolysis of rabbit red blood cells. Pneumolysin concentration was determined using a sandwich ELISA. Rabbit vitreous was injected with 10(2) colony-forming units (CFU) of 1 of 2 different strains with low hemolytic activity (n = 10 and 12 for strains 4 and 5, respectively) or 1 of 3 different strains with high hemolytic activity (n = 12 per strain). Pathogenesis of endophthalmitis infection was graded by slit lamp examination (SLE) at 24 hours post-infection. Bacteria were recovered from infected vitreous and quantitated. The SLE scores of eyes infected with strains having high hemolytic activity were significantly higher than the scores of those infected with strains having low hemolytic activity (P < 0.05). Pneumolysin concentration in vitro, however, did not correlate with hemolysis or severity of endophthalmitis. Bacterial concentrations from the vitreous infected with 4 of the strains were not significantly different (P > 0.05). These data suggest that pneumolysin hemolytic activity in vitro directly correlates to the pathogenesis of S. pneumoniae endophthalmitis. The protein concentration of pneumolysin, however, is not a reliable indicator of pneumolysin activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sodium orthovanadate (SOV), a competitive inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatases, is neuroprotective in adult animals following an ischemic event. The present study evaluated whether SOV might be protective in a rat pup hypoxic-ischemic (HI) model. Seven-day-old rat pups had the right carotid artery permanently ligated followed by 140 min of hypoxia (8% oxygen). SOV 1.15, 2.3, 4.6, 9.2 or 18.4 mg/kg and vehicle were administered by i.p. injection at 5 min after reoxygenation. Brain damage was evaluated by weight loss of the right hemisphere at 22 days after hypoxia and by gross and microscopic morphology. SOV lowered blood glucose at doses of 1.15, 2.3 and 4.6 mg/kg and induced toxic effects at 9.2mg/kg. The doses of 2.3 and 4.6 mg/kg of SOV significantly reduced brain weight loss (p<0.05), but treatment with 1.15 or 9.2mg/kg did not. SOV 4.6 mg/kg also improved the histopathologic score and diminished the HI induced reduction of Akt and ERK-1/2 phosphorylation in the cortex (p<0.05) and increased the density of BrdU-positive cells in the subventricular zone (p<0.01). In conclusion, SOV has neuroprotective effects in the neonatal rat HI model partially mediated by activating Akt and ERK-1/2 pathways.
No preview · Article · May 2008 · Brain research bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyze age-related changes in susceptibility to experimental Staphylococcus aureus keratitis and purified alpha-toxin in rabbits.
Intrastromal injection of S. aureus (100 colony-forming units [CFUs]) induced keratitis in young (6-8 weeks) and aged (approximately 30 months) New Zealand White rabbits. Bacteria and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) per cornea were quantified. Purified alpha-toxin at 1, 10, 25, or 50 hemolytic units (HU) or heat-inactivated alpha-toxin was intrastromally injected into corneas, and pathologic changes were determined by slit lamp examination (SLE) and histopathologic analysis. alpha-Toxin hemolysis assays were performed using erythrocytes from young and aged rabbits.
S. aureus keratitis produced significantly higher SLE scores in young rabbits than in aged rabbits at 15, 20, and 25 hours postinfection (PI; P < or = 0.001); aged rabbits essentially recovered from S. aureus keratitis by 7 days PI. At 25 hours PI, numbers of CFUs and PMNs in corneas of young and aged rabbits were equivalent (P > or = 0.6); the bacterial burden in aged rabbits declined by 5 logs per cornea from day 1 to day 7 PI. Intrastromal injection of > or =10 HU alpha-toxin also produced significantly more disease in young than in aged rabbit corneas (P < or = 0.05), whereas 1 HU or heat-inactivated toxin yielded negligible pathologic changes in either group. Hemolysis assays of erythrocytes from young rabbits demonstrated greater susceptibility to alpha-toxin compared with those from aged rabbits.
Corneas and erythrocytes of young rabbits, relative to aged rabbits, are significantly more susceptible to S. aureus keratitis and to alpha-toxin.