Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

Unaltered retinal dopamine levels in a C57BL/6 mouse model of form-deprivation myopia.

PMID 25604682


Retinal dopamine has been long implicated in the signaling pathway regulating eye growth, as evidenced by its reduced levels in myopic eyes in various species. We examined whether and how retinal dopamine levels were changed in a C57BL/6 mouse model of experimental myopia. Form-deprivation myopia (FDM) was induced in C57BL/6 mice by wearing monocular occluder for 4 weeks. Refractive errors were measured using an infrared photorefractor. Retinal dopamine/DOPAC and vitreal DOPAC levels were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Extracellular dopamine concentrations were examined by Western blot analysis of dopamine transporter (DAT) expression levels. The intactness of retinal dopaminergic system was evaluated by counting tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive cells, measuring the areas occupied by processes of these cells, and quantifying retinal TH expression at both protein and transcription levels. Form-deprivation myopia was successfully induced in C57BL/6 mice with the refractive status of deprived eyes being significantly different from fellow eyes. Unlike most of the previous results obtained in other myopic animal models, however, no significant changes in retinal dopamine, DOPAC, DAT, and vitreal DOPAC levels were detected in deprived eyes, either in the daytime or at night. Furthermore, neither the number of dopaminergic amacrine cells, the area size occupied by the processes of these cells, nor retinal TH expression, were altered in deprived eyes. The retinal dopamine system remains intact in C57BL/6 mice with FDM, and retinal dopamine levels are not associated with the development of FDM in this mouse strain.