Changes in dopamine and ZENK during suppression of myopia in chicks by intense illuminance

Exp Eye Res. 2016 Apr:145:118-124. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.11.018. Epub 2015 Dec 1.


High ambient illuminances have been found to slow the development of deprivation myopia in several animal models. Almost complete inhibition of myopia was observed in chickens when intermittent episodes of high illuminance were alternated with standard office illuminance (50% duty cycle, alternate periods of 1 min 15,000 lux and 1 min 500 lux, continued for 10 h per day), or when illuminances were increased to 40,000 lux. Since the mechanisms by which bright light suppresses myopia are poorly understood, we have studied the roles of two well-established signaling molecules in myopia, dopamine and ZENK, in the chicken. In line with previous studies, we found that retinal dopamine release (as reflected by vitreal DOPAC content) was severely reduced during development of deprivation myopia. We found that illuminance of 15,000 lux, provided by quartz-halogen lamps, partially rescued the drop in retinal dopamine release. The finding is in line with the assumption that dopamine is involved in the light-induced inhibition of myopia. No differences in vitreal DOPAC were found when bright light was provided continuously or with 1:1 min alternating exposure with 500 lux. As previously described by others, wearing diffusers suppressed the expression of ZENK protein in glucagonergic amacrine cells (GACs) but neither continuous nor 1:1 min alternating bright to normal light could rescue the suppression of ZENK in GACs. While it is well known that light increases global retinal ZENK mRNA and protein levels, the changes of ZENK protein induced specifically in GACs by diffuser wear appear independent of light levels.

Keywords: Bright light; Dopamine; Mechanism; Myopia; ZENK.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Count
  • Chickens
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lighting*
  • Male
  • Myopia / metabolism*
  • Myopia / pathology
  • Myopia / radiotherapy
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / metabolism*
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / radiation effects


  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Egr1 protein, mouse
  • Dopamine