Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Retinal dopamine (DA) and the DA D2-receptor have been implicated in the development of “deprivation myopia”, induced by frosted eye occluders. We have studied the changes in D2-mediated dopaminergic transmission in the retina, their possible relations to eye growth rhythms and myopia, and their control by the pineal gland. (1) We found that the sensitivity of eye growth to retinal image degradation varied over the day. Intermittent periods of normal vision inhibited deprivation myopia more if they occurred in the evening than in the morning. (2) Diurnal growth rhythms in both eyes interacted even though it was previously shown that both deprivation myopia and the accompanying changes in retinal DA release can be monocularly induced. (3) The D2-receptor mRNA concentration in the retina showed no systemic diurnal changes and was not affected by deprivation myopia, but was increased after 2 days in darkness. Since DA release varies over the day, the gain of dopaminergic transmission may also vary, which could explain the observation described in (1) above. (4) Depletion of retinal DA by intravitreal application of reserpine, which lowers DA content severely, had little effect on D2-receptor mRNA concentration. (5) Selective illumination of the pineal gland reduced the D2-receptor mRNA content in the retina to a similar level to full illumination, indicating that the pineal gland controls the D2-receptor mRNA content in the retina. The pineal also controlled DA release in the retina. These results show that the pineal has a surprisingly large influence on both the retinal DA receptor gene transcription and DA release. It can probably control the gain of dopaminergic transmission in the retina and deprivation myopia and mediate the interactions of the growth rhythms in both eyes.
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