PURPOSE Experimental manipulations of visual experience are known to affect the growth of the eye and the development of refractive state in a variety of species including human and nonhuman primates. For example, it is well established that visual form deprivation causes elongation of the eye and myopia. The effects of such manipulations have generally been examined in neonatal or juvenile animals. Whether adolescent common marmosets (a new world primate) are susceptible to form deprivation myopia was studied. METHODS Five adolescent marmosets were used in this study. Monocular form deprivation was induced by lid closure for 12 to 20 weeks, starting between 299 and 315 days of age. The effects of deprivation were assessed with keratometry, A-scan ultrasonography, and cycloplegic refractions. Both eyes (treated and fellow control) were measured before lid-closure, at the end of the deprivation period, and several times over the following 8 to 12 weeks. RESULTS Adolescent marmosets are susceptible to visual form deprivation myopia. The experimental eyes showed significant axial elongation and myopia relative to the fellow control eyes. These changes were smaller, however, than those observed in younger eyes deprived for comparable periods. Like juvenile animals, the adolescent marmosets did not show recovery from myopia over the period monitored. CONCLUSIONS The period for susceptibility to form deprivation myopia in the marmoset monkey extends beyond the early developmental period when ocular growth is rapid and emmetropization normally takes place. Visual form deprivation in adolescent marmosets with adult-sized eyes results in increased ocular growth and myopia. These data suggest that visual factors may influence the growth and refractive development of the human eye after puberty and may be involved in late-onset myopia.
D. Troilo, D. Nickla, C. Wildsoet
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science