Homeostasis of eye growth and the question of myopia

Neuron. 2004 Aug 19;43(4):447-68. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.08.008.


As with other organs, the eye's growth is regulated by homeostatic control mechanisms. Unlike other organs, the eye relies on vision as a principal input to guide growth. In this review, we consider several implications of this visual guidance. First, we compare the regulation of eye growth to that of other organs. Second, we ask how the visual system derives signals that distinguish the blur of an eye too large from one too small. Third, we ask what cascade of chemical signals constitutes this growth control system. Finally, if the match between the length and optics of the eye is under homeostatic control, why do children so commonly develop myopia, and why does the myopia not limit itself? Long-neglected studies may provide an answer to this last question.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Fields / physiology