Electroretinography and gene expression measures implicate phototransduction and metabolic shifts in chick myopia and hyperopia models
The Retinal Ion-Driven Fluid Efflux (RIDE) model theorizes that phototransduction-driven changes in trans-retinal ion and fluid transport underlie the development of myopia (short-sightedness). In support of this model, previous functional studies have identified the attenuation of outer retinal contributions to the global flash electroretinogram (gfERG) following weeks of myopia induction in chicks, while discovery-driven transcriptome studies have identified changes to the expression of ATP-driven ion transport and mitochondrial metabolism genes in the retina/RPE/choroid at the mid-to late-induction time-points. Less is known about the early time-points despite biometric analyses demonstrating changes in eye growth by 3 h in the chick lens defocus model. Thus, the present study compared gfERG and transcriptome profiles between 3 h and 3 days of negative lens-induced myopia and positive lens-induced hyperopia in chicks. Photoreceptor (a-wave and d-wave) and bipolar (b-wave and late-stage d-wave) cell responses were suppressed following negative lens-wear, particularly at the 3–4 h and 3-day time-points when active shifts in the rate of ocular growth were expected. Transcriptome measures revealed the up-regulation of oxidative phosphorylation genes following 6 h of negative lens-wear, concordant with previous reports at 2 days in this model. Signal transduction pathways, with core genes involved in glutamate and G-protein coupled receptor signalling, were down-regulated at 6 h. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence for the dysregulation of phototransduction and mitochondrial metabolism in animal models of myopia.