Dopamine and visually regulated eye growth in chick

Peng, Chien-Chun (2009) Dopamine and visually regulated eye growth in chick. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Retinal image properties such as contrast and spatial frequency play important roles in the development of normal vision. For example, visual environments comprised solely of low contrast and/or low spatial frequencies induce myopia. The visual image is processed by the retina and it then locally controls eye growth. In terms of the retinal neurotransmitters that link visual stimuli to eye growth, there is strong evidence to suggest involvement of the retinal dopamine (DA) system. For example, effectively increasing retinal DA levels by using DA agonists can suppress the development of form-deprivation myopia (FDM). However, whether visual feedback controls eye growth by modulating retinal DA release, and/or some other factors, is still being elucidated. This thesis is chiefly concerned with the relationship between the dopaminergic system and retinal image properties in eye growth control. More specifically, whether the amount of retinal DA release reduces as the complexity of the image degrades was determined. For example, we investigated whether the level of retinal DA release decreased as image contrast decreased. In addition, the effects of spatial frequency, spatial energy distribution slope, and spatial phase on retinal DA release and eye growth were examined. When chicks were 8-days-old, a cone-lens imaging system was applied monocularly (+30 D, 3.3 cm cone). A short-term treatment period (6 hr) and a longer-term treatment period (4.5 days) were used. The short-term treatment tests for the acute reduction in DA release by the visual stimulus, as is seen with diffusers and lenses, whereas the 4.5 day point tests for reduction in DA release after more prolonged exposure to the visual stimulus. In the contrast study, 1.35 cyc/deg square wave grating targets of 95%, 67%, 45%, 12% or 4.2% contrast were used. Blank (0% contrast) targets were included for comparison. In the spatial frequency study, both sine and square wave grating targets with either 0.017 cyc/deg and 0.13 cyc/deg fundamental spatial frequencies and 95% contrast were used. In the spectral slope study, 30% root-mean-squared (RMS) contrast fractal noise targets with spectral fall-off of 1/f0.5, 1/f and 1/f2 were used. In the spatial alignment study, a structured Maltese cross (MX) target, a structured circular patterned (C) target and the scrambled versions of these two targets (SMX and SC) were used. Each treatment group comprised 6 chicks for ocular biometry (refraction and ocular dimension measurement) and 4 for analysis of retinal DA release. Vitreal dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) was analysed through ion-paired reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED), as a measure of retinal DA release. For the comparison between retinal DA release and eye growth, large reductions in retinal DA release possibly due to the decreased light level inside the cone-lens imaging system were observed across all treated eyes while only those exposed to low contrast, low spatial frequency sine wave grating, 1/f2, C and SC targets had myopic shifts in refraction. Amongst these treatment groups, no acute effect was observed and longer-term effects were only found in the low contrast and 1/f2 groups. These findings suggest that retinal DA release does not causally link visual stimuli properties to eye growth, and these target induced changes in refractive development are not dependent on the level of retinal DA release. Retinal dopaminergic cells might be affected indirectly via other retinal cells that immediately respond to changes in the image contrast of the retinal image.

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ID Code: 28556
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Schmid, Katrina & Hartfield, Perry
Keywords: dopamine, eye growth, chick
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 10 Nov 2009 23:18
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:41

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