Specific retinal cells linked with myopia may offer potential therapy: study-Xinhua

Specific retinal cells linked with myopia may offer potential therapy: study

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-06-10 18:54:15

BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have identified a specific kind of retinal cells and found the removal of the cell can cause myopia in developing mice.

The findings inspire potential novel strategies for myopia intervention, according to the scientists.

Myopia is a pathological ocular refractive condition, caused by abnormal eye growth or the refractive power of the ocular media that renders visual images formed in front of the retina, thus resulting in blurred vision.

In 2002, a novel kind of photosensitive cell was identified among conventional ganglion cells. Those cells, named intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), can express melanopsin, a protein that was previously known to regulate circadian rhythms, light reflex in the pupil, and other non-visual responses to light.

The study published this week in the journal Science Advances revealed that the targeted ablation of those cells induces myopic refractive shifts.

Scientists from Fudan University in Shanghai used an immunotoxin to selectively remove ipRGCs in a cohort of mice and they found among them the near-sighted or myopic refractive shifts along with steeper corneas.

Then, they injected a chemical to selectively activate those cells in mice on ocular growth. Those rodents were significantly more far-sighted or hyperopic compared to their fellow mice, according to the study.

The researchers said that the melanopsin signals are a major factor in ipRGC-mediated myopia progression.