Ocular development and visual deprivation myopia in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

Vision Res. 1993 Jul;33(10):1311-24. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(93)90039-y.


The normal postnatal ocular development of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and the effects of visual deprivation on eye growth and refractive state are described. The marmoset normally undergoes a developmental process of emmetropization from high hyperopia at birth. This emmetropization is easily disrupted by visual deprivation produced by lid-suture. Myopia and axial elongation of the vitreous chamber are induced by visual deprivations of 12, 5, and 3 weeks duration. The development of axial myopia after 3 weeks of visual deprivation differs from longer duration deprivations in that the experimental eyes are initially shorter than normal and hyperopic at the end of the visual deprivation period, but subsequently become longer than normal and myopic. Visual deprivation myopia in the marmoset persists even after the deprivation is discontinued and a visual signal is restored. In all experimental groups, the development of the eye in response to the cessation of visual deprivation shows no slowing of vitreous chamber enlargement; the axial enlargement relative to the control eye is either maintained or increases and produces significantly greater myopia. These results suggest that the visual control of postnatal eye growth in the marmoset may be unidirectional in its response to visual experience and able only to increase the growth rate of the vitreous chamber, possibly after an initial delay.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development*
  • Callithrix / growth & development*
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Myopia / etiology*
  • Myopia / pathology
  • Refractometry
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vitreous Body / growth & development
  • Vitreous Body / pathology