Juvenile tree shrews do not maintain emmetropia in narrow-band blue light

Academic Article


  • SIGNIFICANCE In spectrally broad-band light, an emmetropization mechanism in post-natal eyes uses visual cues to modulate the growth of the eye to achieve and maintain near emmetropia. When we restricted available wavelengths to narrow-band blue light, juvenile tree shrews (diurnal dichromatic mammals closely related to primates) developed substantial refractive errors, suggesting that feedback from defocus-related changes in the relative activation of long- A nd short-wavelength-sensitive cones is essential to maintain emmetropia. PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of narrow-band ambient blue light on refractive state in juvenile tree shrews that had completed initial emmetropization (decrease from hyperopia toward emmetropia). METHODS Animals were raised in fluorescent colony lighting until they began blue-light treatment at 24 days of visual experience, at which age they had achieved age-normal low hyperopia (mean ± SEM refractive error, 1.2 ± 0.5 diopters). Arrays of light-emitting diodes placed atop the cage produced wavelengths of 457 (five animals) or 464 nm (five animals), flickered in a pseudo-random pattern (temporally broad band). A third group of five animals was exposed to steady 464-nm blue light. Illuminance on the floor of the cage was 300 to 500 human lux. Noncycloplegic autorefractor measures were made daily for a minimum of 11 days and up to 32 days. Seven age-matched animals were raised in colony light. RESULTS The refractive state of all blue-treated animals moved outside the 95% confidence limits of the colony-light animals' refractions. Most refractions first moved toward hyperopia. Then the refractive state decreased monotonically and, in some animals, passed through emmetropia, becoming myopic. CONCLUSIONS From the tree shrew cone absorbance spectra, the narrow-band blue light stimulated both long-wavelength-sensitive and short-wavelength-sensitive cones, but the relative activation would not change with the refractive state. This removed feedback from longitudinal chromatic aberration that may be essential to maintain emmetropia.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gawne TJ; Ward AH; Norton TT
  • Start Page

  • 911
  • End Page

  • 920
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • 10