The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in the expression of different genes in chick retinal tissues after induction of experimental myopia and to evaluate the roles of these genes in the regulation of postnatal eye growth and myopia. Form-deprivation using occlusive goggles and hyperopic defocus by negative spectacle lenses were used to induce myopia in hatched chicks. Expression levels of Sonic hedgehog, its receptor complex, and other retinal cell genes were evaluated by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Levels of Sonic hedgehog protein were further evaluated by Western blot analysis. The induction of myopia caused significant increase in expression of Sonic hedgehog mRNA and protein and increased expression of blue and red opsin mRNA. In contrast, the expression of mRNA for Sonic hedgehog receptor complex (Patched-Smoothened), rhodopsin, vimentin, green opsin, violet opsin, and HPC-1 were unaffected by the induction of myopia. The increase in expression of Sonic hedgehog in chick retinas in experimentally-induced myopia suggests involvement in the retina control of postnatal eye growth. Furthermore, Sonic hedgehog may influence the expression of blue and red opsins under myopic conditions.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.