Augmentation of scleral glycolysis promotes myopia through histone lactylation

Cell Metab. 2024 Mar 5;36(3):511-525.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2023.12.023. Epub 2024 Jan 16.


Myopia is characterized of maladaptive increases in scleral fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (FMT). Scleral hypoxia is a significant factor contributing to myopia, but how hypoxia induces myopia is poorly understood. Here, we showed that myopia in mice and guinea pigs was associated with hypoxia-induced increases in key glycolytic enzymes expression and lactate levels in the sclera. Promotion of scleral glycolysis or lactate production induced FMT and myopia; conversely, suppression of glycolysis or lactate production eliminated or inhibited FMT and myopia. Mechanistically, increasing scleral glycolysis-lactate levels promoted FMT and myopia via H3K18la, and this promoted Notch1 expression. Genetic analyses identified a significant enrichment of two genes encoding glycolytic enzymes, ENO2 and TPI1. Moreover, increasing sugar intake in guinea pigs not only induced myopia but also enhanced the response to myopia induction via the scleral glycolysis-lactate-histone lactylation pathway. Collectively, we suggest that scleral glycolysis contributes to myopia by promoting FMT via lactate-induced histone lactylation.

Keywords: H3K18la; NOTCH1; glycolysis; high-sugar diet; histone lactylation; hypoxia; insulin; lactate; myofibroblast; myopia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glycolysis
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histones* / metabolism
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myopia* / genetics
  • Myopia* / metabolism
  • Sclera / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Lactic Acid