Effects of apomorphine, a dopamine receptor agonist, on ocular refraction and axial elongation in a primate model of myopia

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1991 Apr;32(5):1674-7.


The authors examined the effect of local administration of a dopamine receptor agonist on visual deprivation-induced excessive ocular growth and myopia. Eight rhesus monkeys were monocularly deprived of vision from birth with opaque contact lenses. Four of the monkeys received drops of 1% apomorphine HCl 2-3 times/day in the occluded eye; the four control monkeys received vehicle only. Axial lengths were determined by A-scan ultrasonography at birth and at 5-7 months of age. The authors assessed the axial elongation by comparing the postnatal growth in the axial dimension of the occluded eyes with the postnatal growth in nonoccluded eyes. In three of the four control monkeys, occlusion increased axial growth by an average of 1.3 mm. In contrast, they found that growth of the occluded and nonoccluded eyes of the apomorphine-treated monkeys was equivalent, except in one monkey whose nonoccluded eye did not develop normally and was anomalously small. At 6.5-9.5 months of age, three of four controls had myopic refractive errors (-3 to -7 diopters) in the occluded eyes; three of four of the apomorphine-treated monkeys had hyperopic refractive errors (+1-(+)3 diopters) in their occluded eyes. The occluded eye of the fourth monkey was only -0.5 diopters myopic. The findings suggest that apomorphine administration retards excessive axial elongation and the concomitant development of myopia associated with visual deprivation in primates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Anterior Chamber / anatomy & histology
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eye / drug effects
  • Eye / pathology
  • Eye / physiopathology*
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Myopia / pathology
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Myopia / prevention & control*
  • Refraction, Ocular*


  • Apomorphine