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Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Netherlands

Ramdas W.D.,Erasmus Medical Center | Wolfs R.C.W.,Erasmus Medical Center | Hofman A.,Erasmus Medical Center | de Jong Paulus T.V.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2011

Purpose. To determine the association between the ocular perfusion pressure (OPP; essentially the difference between the blood pressure and the intraocular pressure [IOP]) and incident open-angle glaucoma (OAG). Methods. A subset of 3882 participants of the population-based Rotterdam Study for whom data from ophthalmic examinations at baseline and follow-up and blood pressure measurements at baseline were available, and who did not have OAG at baseline, were included. Associations between the mean, systolic and diastolic OPP, and incident OAG were assessed using Cox regression models adjusted for age and sex, with and without adjustment for IOP. Results. During a mean follow-up of 9.8 years, 103 participants (2.7%) developed OAG. The association between the mean OPP and incident OAG was not significant (hazard ratio 0.995 per mm Hg increase in mean OPP; 95% confidence interval 0.971-1.019) when adjusted for IOP, but became significant if not adjusted for IOP (0.968; 0.945-0.992). The systolic and diastolic OPP showed a pattern similar to that of the mean OPP, though less significant. Conclusions. The OPP appears to be associated with incident OAG but this association seems to be due to the fact that the IOP, a strong risk factor for OAG, is part of the OPP, rather than that OPP is an independent OAG risk factor itself. © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Source

Sabbah S.,Queens University | Zhu C.,Queens University | Hornsby M.A.W.,Queens University | Kamermans M.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Color vision is most beneficial when the visual system is color constant and can correct the excitations of photoreceptors for differences in environmental irradiance. A phenomenon related to color constancy is color induction, where the color of an object shifts away from the color of its surroundings. These two phenomena depend on chromatic spatial integration, which was suggested to originate at the feedback synapse from horizontal cells (HC) to cones. However, the exact retinal site was never determined. Using the electroretinogram and compound action potential recordings, we estimated the spectral sensitivity of the photoresponse of cones, the output of cones, and the optic nerve in rainbow trout. Recordings were performed before and following pharmacological inhibition of HC-cone feedback, and were repeated under two colored backgrounds to estimate the efficiency of color induction. No color induction could be detected in the photoresponse of cones. However, the efficiency of color induction in the cone output and optic nerve was substantial, with the efficiency in the optic nerve being significantly higher than in the cone output. We found that the efficiency of color induction in the cone output and optic nerve decreased significantly with the inhibition of HC-cone feedback. Therefore, our findings suggest not only that color induction originates as a result of HC-cone feedback, but also that this effect of HC-cone feedback is further amplified at downstream retinal elements, possibly through feedback mechanisms at the inner plexiform layer. This study provides evidence for an important role of HC-cone feedback in mediating color induction, and therefore, likely also in mediating color constancy. © 2013 Sabbah et al. Source

Mckay G.J.,Queens University of Belfast | Patterson C.C.,Queens University of Belfast | Chakravarthy U.,Queens University of Belfast | Dasari S.,Queens University of Belfast | And 52 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2011

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of incurable visual impairment in high-income countries. Previous studies report inconsistent associations between AMD and apolipoprotein E (APOE), a lipid transport protein involved in low-density cholesterol modulation. Potential interaction between APOE and sex, and smoking status has been reported. We present a pooled analysis (n = 21,160) demonstrating associations between late AMD and APOε4 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.72 per haplotype; confidence interval [CI]: 0.65-0.74; P = 4.41×10 -11) and APOε2 (OR = 1.83 for homozygote carriers; CI: 1.04-3.23; P = 0.04), following adjustment for age group and sex within each study and smoking status. No evidence of interaction between APOE and sex or smoking was found. Ever smokers had significant increased risk relative to never smokers for both neovascular (OR = 1.54; CI: 1.38-1.72; P = 2.8×10 -15) and atrophic (OR = 1.38; CI: 1.18-1.61; P = 3.37×10 -5) AMD but not early AMD (OR = 0.94; CI: 0.86-1.03; P = 0.16), implicating smoking as a major contributing factor to disease progression from early signs to the visually disabling late forms. Extended haplotype analysis incorporating rs405509 did not identify additional risks beyond ε2 and ε4 haplotypes. Our expanded analysis substantially improves our understanding of the association between the APOE locus and AMD. It further provides evidence supporting the role of cholesterol modulation, and low-density cholesterol specifically, in AMD disease etiology. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Hukema R.K.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Buijsen R.A.M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Schonewille M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Raske C.,University of California at Davis | And 11 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2015

Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder affecting carriers of the fragile X-premutation, who have an expanded CGG repeat in the 5'-UTR of the FMR1 gene. FXTAS is characterized by progressive development of intention tremor, ataxia, parkinsonismand neuropsychological problems. The disease is thought to be caused by a toxic RNA gain-of-function mechanism, and the major hallmark of the disease is ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions in neurons and astrocytes. We have developed a new transgenic mouse model in which we can induce expression of an expanded repeat in the brain upon doxycycline (dox) exposure (i.e. Tet-On mice). This Tet-On model makes use of the PrP-rtTA driver and allows us to study disease progression and possibilities of reversibility. In these mice, 8 weeks of dox exposure was sufficient to induce the formation of ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions, which also stain positive for the RAN translation product FMRpolyG. Formation of these inclusions is reversible after stopping expression of the expanded CGG RNA at an early developmental stage. Furthermore, we observed a deficit in the compensatory eye movements of mice with inclusions, a functional phenotype that could be reduced by stopping expression of the expanded CGG RNA early in the disease development. Taken together, this study shows, for the first time, the potential of disease reversibility and suggests that early intervention might be beneficial for FXTAS patients. © The Author 2015. Source

Klaassen L.J.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Sun Z.,Vanderbilt University | Steijaert M.N.,TU Eindhoven | Bolte P.,University of Oldenburg | And 11 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2011

In the vertebrate retina, horizontal cells generate the inhibitory surround of bipolar cells, an essential step in contrast enhancement. For the last decades, the mechanism involved in this inhibitory synaptic pathway has been a major controversy in retinal research. One hypothesis suggests that connexin hemichannels mediate this negative feedback signal; another suggests that feedback is mediated by protons. Mutant zebrafish were generated that lack connexin 55.5 hemichannels in horizontal cells. Whole cell voltage clamp recordings were made from isolated horizontal cells and cones in flat mount retinas. Light-induced feedback from horizontal cells to cones was reduced in mutants. A reduction of feedback was also found when horizontal cells were pharmacologically hyperpolarized but was absent when they were pharmacologically depolarized. Hemichannel currents in isolated horizontal cells showed a similar behavior. The hyperpolarization-induced hemichannel current was strongly reduced in the mutants while the depolarization-induced hemichannel current was not. Intracellular recordings were made from horizontal cells. Consistent with impaired feedback in the mutant, spectral opponent responses in horizontal cells were diminished in these animals. A behavioral assay revealed a lower contrast-sensitivity, illustrating the role of the horizontal cell to cone feedback pathway in contrast enhancement. Model simulations showed that the observed modifications of feedback can be accounted for by an ephaptic mechanism. A model for feedback, in which the number of connexin hemichannels is reduced to about 40%, fully predicts the specific asymmetric modification of feedback. To our knowledge, this is the first successful genetic interference in the feedback pathway from horizontal cells to cones. It provides direct evidence for an unconventional role of connexin hemichannels in the inhibitory synapse between horizontal cells and cones. This is an important step in resolving a long-standing debate about the unusual form of (ephaptic) synaptic transmission between horizontal cells and cones in the vertebrate retina. Source

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