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The effect of optic nerve section on form deprivation myopia in the guinea pig

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Myopia is induced when a growing eye wears a diffuser that deprives it of detailed spatial vision (form deprivation, FD). In chickens with optic nerve section (ONS), FD myopia still occurs, suggesting that the signals underlying myopia reside within the eye. As avian eyes differ from mammals, we asked whether local mechanisms also underlie FD myopia in a mammalian model. Young guinea pigs underwent either sham surgery followed by FD (SHAM + FD, n = 7); or ONS followed by FD (ONS + FD, n = 7); or ONS without FD (ONS, n = 9). FD was initiated 3 days after surgery with a diffuser that was worn on the surgically treated eye for 14 days. Animals with ONS + FD developed -8.9 D of relative myopia and elongated by 135 μm more than in their untreated eyes after 2 weeks of FD. These changes were significantly greater than those in SHAM + FD animals (-5.5 D and 40 μm of elongation after 14 days of FD), and reflected exaggerated elongation of the posterior vitreous chamber. The myopia reversed when FD was discontinued, despite ONS, but eyes did not recover back to normal (30 days after surgery, ONS + FD eyes still retained -3 D of relative myopia when SHAM+FD animals had returned to normal). No long-term residual myopia was present after ONS alone, ruling out a surgical artifact. Although the gross mechanism signaling myopic ocular growth and its recovery in the young mammalian eye does not require an intact optic nerve, its fine-tuning is disrupted by ONS.

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