Iris Malformation and Anterior Segment Dysgenesis in Mice and Humans With a Mutation in PI 3-Kinase

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Jun 1;58(7):3100-3106. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-21347.


Purpose: To determine the ocular consequences of a dominant-negative mutation in the p85α subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PIK3R1) using a knock-in mouse model of SHORT syndrome, a syndrome associated with short stature, lipodystrophy, diabetes, and Rieger anomaly in humans.

Methods: We investigated knock-in mice heterozygous for the SHORT syndrome mutation changing arginine 649 to tryptophan in p85α (PIK3R1) using physical examination, optical coherence tomography (OCT), tonometry, and histopathologic sections from paraffin-embedded eyes, and compared the findings to similar investigations in two human subjects with SHORT syndrome heterozygous for the same mutation.

Results: While overall eye development was normal with clear cornea and lens, normal anterior chamber volume, normal intraocular pressure, and no changes in the retinal structure, OCT images of the knock-in mouse eyes revealed a significant decrease in thickness and width of the iris resulting in increased pupil area and irregularity of shape. Both human subjects had Rieger anomaly with similar defects including thin irides and irregular pupils, as well as a prominent ring of Schwalbe, goniosynechiae, early cataract formation, and glaucoma. Although the two subjects had had diabetes for more than 30 years, there were no signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Conclusions: A dominant-negative mutation in the p85α regulatory subunit of PI3K affects development of the iris, and contributes to changes consistent with anterior segment dysgenesis in both humans and mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Eye Segment / abnormalities*
  • Anterior Eye Segment / diagnostic imaging
  • Anterior Eye Segment / enzymology
  • Class Ia Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eye Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Eye Abnormalities / enzymology
  • Eye Abnormalities / genetics*
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Iris / abnormalities*
  • Iris / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence


  • DNA
  • PIK3R1 protein, human
  • Class Ia Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase

Supplementary concepts

  • Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome