Exposure Stress Induces Reversible Corneal Graft Opacity in Recipients With Herpes Simplex Virus-1 Infections.
ABSTRACT: Most of the inflammation in murine herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-induced stromal keratitis (HSK) is due to exposure stress resulting from loss of corneal nerves and blink reflex. Corneal grafts often fail when placed on corneal beds with a history of HSK. We asked if corneal exposure contributes to the severe pathology of corneal grafts on HSV-1-infected corneal beds.Herpes simplex virus type 1-infected corneas were tested for blink reflex. Opacity and vascularization were monitored in allogeneic and syngeneic corneal grafts that were transplanted to corneal beds with no blink reflex or to those that retained blink reflex in at least one quadrant following infection.Retention of any level of blink reflex significantly reduced inflammation in HSV-1-infected corneas. Corneal allografts placed on HSV-1-infected beds lacking corneal blink reflex developed opacity faster and more frequently than those placed on infected beds that partially or completely retained blink reflex. Corneal grafts placed on infected corneal beds with no blink reflex rapidly became opaque to a level that would be considered rejection. However, protecting these grafts from exposure by tarsorrhaphy prevented or reversed the opacity in both syngeneic and allogenic grafts.Exposure due to HSV-1-engendered hypoesthesia causes rapid, severe, persistent, but reversible opacification of both allogeneic and syngeneic corneal grafts. This opacity should not be interpreted as immunologic rejection. Exposure stress may contribute to the high rate of corneal graft pathology in patients with recurrent HSK.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a neurotrophic virus that can cause herpes stromal keratitis (HSK), a severe corneal inflammation that can lead to corneal scarring and blindness. This study identified neurologic changes that occur in HSV-1-infected corneas and related them to HSV-1-induced immunopathology.Corneas of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were infected with HSV-1 strains that induce HSK. Changes in sensory nerves were identified by immunofluorescence staining of sensory and sympathetic nerves for substance P (SP) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), respectively, and confocal microscopic examination. Some mice received superior cervical ganglionectomy (SCGx) to eliminate sympathetic nerves from the cornea.Normal corneas exclusively expressed sensory nerves that entered the stroma as large nerve stalks, branched to form a plexus at the epithelial/stromal interface, and extended termini into the epithelium. These nerves completely retracted from the infected cornea and were replaced by sympathetic nerves that sprouted extensively to hyperinnervate the corneal stroma but failed to form a plexus or extend termini into the epithelium. The hyperinnervating nerves expressed the sympathetic nerve marker TH and their invasion was blocked by performing SCGx. Moreover, the corneal opacity and neovascularization that normally characterizes HSK in this mouse model were largely abrogated by SCGx. Sensory nerves reinnervated infected corneas following SCGx, reformed a nerve plexus, and extended termini into the epithelium resulting in recovery of corneal sensitivity.Sympathetic nerves have a central role in HSK in mice, preventing reinnervation by sensory nerves and promoting severe and persistent corneal inflammation.
Project description:Chronic inflammation in tissues often causes the development of hypoxia. Herpes stromal keratitis (HSK) is a corneal chronic inflammatory condition that develops in response to recurrent HSV-1 infection. In this study, we investigated the development of hypoxia, the expression of hypoxia-associated glycolytic genes in HSV-1 infected corneas, and the outcome of blocking hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) dimerization on the severity of HSK. Our results showed the development of hypoxia, an elevated expression of hypoxia-associated glycolytic genes, and an increased level of lactate in corneas with progressing HSK lesions. The magnitude of hypoxia correlated with the extent of neutrophils infiltrating the infected corneas, and the depletion of neutrophils reduced the development of hypoxia in infected corneas. Additionally, in progressing HSK lesions, nuclear localization of HIF-2? protein was detected in corneal epithelial cells, whereas HIF-1? protein stabilization was observed in infiltrating immune cells. Administration of acriflavine drug to HSV-1-infected mice inhibited nuclear accumulation of HIF-1? and HIF-2? protein in immune cell types and epithelial cells, respectively, in infected corneas. As a result, a decreased influx of CD4 T cells and nongranulocytic myeloid cells, but an increased influx of neutrophils, was noted in developing HSK lesions. Interestingly, acriflavine treatment given during the clinical disease period decreased neovascularization but increased the opacity in HSV-1-infected corneas. Taken together, the results of our study lay the foundation to dissect the role of inflammatory hypoxia and hypoxia-associated genes in the pathogenesis of HSK.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 1 replication initiates angiogenesis and inflammation in the cornea. This can result in herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK), which is a leading cause of infection-induced corneal blindness. Host cellular factors mediate the progression of HSK, but little is known about these cellular factors and their mechanisms of action. We show here that the expression of the cellular transcription factor early growth response 1 (Egr-1) in HSV-1-infected mouse corneas was enhanced. Enhanced Egr-1 expression aggravated HSK by increasing viral replication and subsequent neovascularization with high levels of potent angiogenic factors, fibroblast growth factor 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor. Furthermore, Egr-1 deficiency due to a targeted disruption of the gene or knockdown of Egr-1 expression topically using a DNA-based enzyme significantly reduced HSK by decreasing both viral replication and the angiogenic response. The present study provides the first evidence that endogenous Egr-1 aggravates HSK and that blocking Egr-1 reduces corneal damage.
Project description:Purpose:Corneal opacity and neovascularization (NV) are often described as outcomes of severe herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. The current study investigated the role of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R)+ cells and soluble factors in the progression of HSV-1-induced corneal NV and opacity. Methods:MaFIA mice were infected with 500 plaque-forming units of HSV-1 in the cornea following scarification. From day 10 to day 13 post-infection (pi), mice were treated with 40 µg/day of AP20187 (macrophage ablation) or vehicle intraperitoneally. For osteopontin (OPN) neutralization experiments, C57BL/6 mice were infected as above and treated with 2 µg of goat anti-mouse OPN or isotypic control IgG subconjunctivally every 2 days from day 4 to day 12 pi. Mice were euthanized on day 14 pi, and tissue was processed for immunohistochemistry to quantify NV and opacity by confocal microscopy and absorbance or detection of pro- and anti-angiogenic and inflammatory factors and cells by suspension array analysis and flow cytometry, respectively. Results:In the absence of CSF1R+ cells, HSV-1-induced blood and lymphatic vessel growth was muted. These results correlated with a loss in fibroblast growth factor type 2 (FGF-2) and an increase in OPN expression in the infected cornea. However, a reduction in OPN expression in mice did not alter corneal NV but significantly reduced opacity. Conclusions:Our data suggest that CSF1R+ cell depletion results in a significant reduction in HSV-1-induced corneal NV that correlates with the loss of FGF-2 expression. A reduction in OPN expression was aligned with a significant drop in opacity associated with reduced corneal collagen disruption.
Project description:To delineate and compare the kinetics of corneal angiogenesis after high-risk (HR) versus low-risk (LR) corneal transplantation.In mice, intrastromal sutures were placed in the recipient graft bed 2 weeks before allogeneic transplantation to induce angiogenesis and amplify the risk of graft rejection. Control (LR) graft recipients did not undergo suture placement, and thus the host bed remained avascular at the time of transplantation. Graft hemangiogenesis and opacity scores were evaluated for 8 weeks by slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Immunohistochemistry was used to measure CD31 (blood vessels) and LYVE-1 (lymphatic vessels) cells.Biphasic kinetics were observed for hemangiogenesis in both HR and LR transplant recipients using clinical and immunohistochemical assessments. The biphasic kinetics were composed of a rise-fall (phase 1) followed by a second rise (phase 2) in the degree of vessels. Compared with LR recipients, HR recipients showed higher hemangiogenesis (whole cornea and graft) throughout 8 weeks. Analyzing grafts revealed sustained presence of lymphatic vessels in HR recipients; however, lymphatic neovessels regressed in LR recipients 2 weeks posttransplantation. In contrast to HR host beds, the LR host bed microenvironment cannot sustain the growth of lymphatic neovessels in allografts, whereas it can sustain continued hemangiogenesis.The sustained presence of lymphatic vessels in HR host beds can facilitate host immunity against allografts and is likely associated with ongoing higher risk of rejection of these grafts in the long term, suggesting that therapeutic interventions targeting inflammation and lymphatic vessels need to be sustained long term in the HR corneal transplant setting.
Project description:Background and objectives: Recurrent herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) is the most common cause of corneal blindness in the developed world. A relationship between host gene polymorphisms and the recurrence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection has previously been proposed. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate a potential association between the IL28B host genotype and recurrent HSK. Materials and Methods: Eighty patients older than 18 years of age of both genders with a history of recurrent herpes simplex labialis (HSL) were considered for inclusion. Seventy-five of these patients were found to be seropositive for HSV-1 and were subsequently enrolled in the study. Twenty-four of the enrolled patients also had a history of recurrent HSK associated with severe corneal scarring and visual acuity deterioration. Total DNA was isolated from whole blood samples. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs12979860 near the IL28B gene on chromosome 19 was genotyped. Results: A significant association was observed between recurrent HSK and two SNPs of the IL28B genotype (CCrs12979860 and CTrs12979860, p < 0.01). The variation CCrs12979860 showed a significantly greater association with HSK (16 out of 26 patients) compared with CTrs12979860 (8 out of 34 patients). Conclusion: Seropositive individuals with a history of recurrent HSK are likely to have the CC IL28B genotype. This genotype may be related to incomplete control of the infection and more frequent periodical viral shedding along the first nerve branch of the trigeminal ganglion, which clinically manifests as recurrent herpes keratitis. The clinical manifestation of recurrent HSV-1 infection seems to be influenced by polymorphism of the IL28B genotype.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) causes herpes stromal keratitis (HSK), a sight-threatening disease of the cornea for which no vaccine exists. A replication-defective, HSV-1 prototype vaccine bearing deletions in the genes encoding ICP8 and the virion host shutoff (vhs) protein reduces HSV-1 replication and disease in a mouse model of HSK. Here we demonstrate that combining deletion of ICP8 and vhs with virus-based expression of B7 costimulation molecules created a vaccine strain that enhanced T cell responses to HSV-1 compared with the ICP8?vhs? parental strain, and reduced the incidence of keratitis and acute infection of the nervous system after corneal challenge. Post-challenge T cell infiltration of the trigeminal ganglia and antigen-specific recall responses in local lymph nodes correlated with protection. Thus, B7 costimulation molecules expressed from the genome of a replication-defective, ICP8?vhs? virus enhance vaccine efficacy by further reducing HSK.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus (HSV) necrotizing stromal keratitis is a common type of herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK). Antiviral medication alone cannot control the disease, and corticosteroid eye drops may aggravate the ulcer and result in corneal perforation. Amniotic membrane transplantation effectively treats superficial corneal ulcer resulting from necrotizing stromal HSK. However, the efficacy of this approach seems to be limited for more serious cases. This study presented the clinical treatment of severe HSV necrotizing stromal keratitis (ulcer depth greater than half of the corneal stroma) by conjunctival flap covering surgery in 25 patients (25 eyes) combined with antivirus and corticosteroid treatment at Shandong Eye Hospital from January 2007 to December 2013. Clinical results showed that the mean best spectacle-corrected visual acuity improved from preoperative 20/333 to postoperative 20/40 (P < 0.05). All patients recovered ocular surface stabilization. There was recurrence in two eyes, which was cured with antiviral medication. Conjunctival flap covering combined with antivirus and corticosteroid treatment is effective in treating severe HSV necrotizing stromal keratitis.
Project description:Ocular herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection leads to a potentially blinding immunoinflammatory syndrome, herpes stromal keratitis (HSK). Herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM), a widely expressed tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily member with diverse roles in immune signaling, facilitates viral entry through interactions with viral glycoprotein D (gD) and is important for HSV-1 pathogenesis. We subjected mice to corneal infection with an HSV-1 mutant in which HVEM-mediated entry was specifically abolished and found that the HVEM-entry mutant produced clinical disease comparable to that produced by the control virus. HVEM-mediated induction of corneal cytokines, which correlated with an HVEM-dependent increase in levels of corneal immune cell infiltrates, was also gD independent. Given the complexity of HVEM immune signaling, we used hematopoietic chimeric mice to determine which HVEM-expressing cells mediate HSV-1 pathogenesis in the eye. Regardless of whether the donor was a wild-type (WT) or HVEM knockout (KO) strain, HVEM KO recipients were protected from ocular HSV-1, suggesting that HVEM on radiation-resistant cell types, likely resident cells of the cornea, confers wild-type-like susceptibility to disease. Together, these data indicate that HVEM contributes to ocular pathogenesis independently of entry and point to an immunomodulatory role for this protein specifically on radiation-resistant cells.Immune privilege is maintained in the eye in order to protect specialized ocular tissues, such as the translucent cornea, from vision-reducing damage. Ocular herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection can disrupt this immune privilege, provoking a host response that ultimately brings about the majority of the damage seen with the immunoinflammatory syndrome herpes stromal keratitis (HSK). Our previous work has shown that HVEM, a host TNF receptor superfamily member that also serves as a viral entry receptor, is a critical component contributing to ocular HSV-1 pathogenesis, although its precise role in this process remains unclear. We hypothesized that HVEM promotes an inflammatory microenvironment in the eye through immunomodulatory actions, enhancing disease after ocular inoculation of HSV-1. Investigating the mechanisms responsible for orchestrating this aberrant immune response shed light on the initiation and maintenance of HSK, one of the leading causes of infectious blindness in the developed world.
Project description:Herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) is the most common cause of corneal blindness in developed nations, caused by primary or recurrent herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection of the cornea. Latent infection of HSV-1, especially in the trigeminal ganglion (TG), causes recurrence of HSV-1 infection. As antiviral treatment is not effective on latent HSV-1, to test the possibility of inhibiting HSV-1 by SpCas9 (Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9) or SaCas9 (Staphylococcus aureus Cas9), ICP0 and ICP4, two important genes required for HSV-1 replication and reactivation, were chosen as targets. In Vero cells, SpCas9 and SaCas9 targeting ICP0 or ICP4 can effectively inhibit the proliferation of HSV-1 without affecting cell viability. No significant guide RNA (gRNA)-dependent off-targets were observed in the human genome by digenome sequencing and deep sequencing verification. Adeno-associated virus 1 (AAV1)-mediated delivery of SaCas9 inhibits HSV-1 replication by targeting ICP4 in mouse primary TG neuronal cells. SpCas9 and SaCas9 are able to inhibit HSV-1 infection in Vero cells and mouse TG neuronal cultures with high efficiency and good biosafety. AAV1-mediated delivery of SaCas9 shows great potential in treating HSK and inhibiting HSV-1 in TG neurons. Further investigations may be needed to test the inhibition of latent infections, which may result in the development of novel methods for treating viral diseases.