Myopia (nearsightedness) is on the rise around the world and in the United States. It affects tens-of-millions of Americans and, in progressive forms, is a leading cause of blindness. Earlier research with humans and experimental animal models has shown that the postnatal development of the eye and its refractive state involves a combination of genetic and visual factors. The rising incidence of myopia in humans has been associated with increases in literacy and levels of education, although the nature of the relationship is unclear and predicting who will become myopic is difficult. Research using animal models has established that visual stimuli related to retinal defocus are used to regulate eye growth and refractive state. The principal aim of this proposal is to explore the spatial and temporal integration of the visual signal that drives eye growth. We will examine how eye shape, the optical quality of the eye, and accommodation interact and may affect that signal. An additional line of investigation will examine how visual acuity is affected by experimental manipulations that alter eye growth and refractive state.
The specific aims and questions being asked in this proposal are the following:
Aim 1. Characterize changes in eye shape, peripheral refraction, and off-axis optics during experimentally-induced refractive errors. Do differences in eye shape, and the peripheral refractive states associated with them, make the eye more susceptible to developing a refractive error? How, in turn, is eye shape affected by the development of refractive errors? Aim 2. Examine the spatial integration of peripheral retinal defocus for the regulation of eye size and refractive state. Is refractive state in the retinal periphery important for the visual control of eye growth and the development of refractive error? Is there local eye growth in the primate, and can it influence axial length and refractive state on-axis? Aim 3. Examine the effects of brief periods of controlled focus on the regulation of eye size and refractive state. How does the primate eye temporally integrate visual defocus signals that affect eye growth? How does emmetropization function given that accommodation alters retinal defocus from moment-to-moment and potentially removes hyperopic defocus cues? Aim 4. Correlate changes in visual acuity with induced changes in eye growth and refractive state. Do lens-induced refractive changes affect visual acuity in marmosets? Can compensation for visually induced defocus take place without changes in visual acuity?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Central Visual Processing Study Section (CVP)
Program Officer
Wujek, Jerome R
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State College of Optometry
Schools of Optometry/Ophthalmol
New York
United States
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Benavente-PĂ©rez, Alexandra; Nour, Ann; Troilo, David (2014) Axial eye growth and refractive error development can be modified by exposing the peripheral retina to relative myopic or hyperopic defocus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:6765-73
Zhu, Xiaoying; McBrien, Neville A; Smith 3rd, Earl L et al. (2013) Eyes in various species can shorten to compensate for myopic defocus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:2634-44
Benavente-Perez, Alexandra; Nour, Ann; Troilo, David (2012) The effect of simultaneous negative and positive defocus on eye growth and development of refractive state in marmosets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:6479-87
Coletta, Nancy J; Marcos, Susana; Troilo, David (2010) Ocular wavefront aberrations in the common marmoset Callithrix jacchus: effects of age and refractive error. Vision Res 50:2515-29
Ivanova, Elena; Hwang, Grace-Soon; Pan, Zhuo-Hua et al. (2010) Evaluation of AAV-mediated expression of Chop2-GFP in the marmoset retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 51:5288-96
Troilo, David; Totonelly, Kristen; Harb, Elise (2009) Imposed anisometropia, accommodation, and regulation of refractive state. Optom Vis Sci 86:E31-9
Hendrickson, Anita; Troilo, David; Djajadi, Hidayat et al. (2009) Expression of synaptic and phototransduction markers during photoreceptor development in the marmoset monkey Callithrix jacchus. J Comp Neurol 512:218-31
Shelton, Lilian; Troilo, David; Lerner, Megan R et al. (2008) Microarray analysis of choroid/RPE gene expression in marmoset eyes undergoing changes in ocular growth and refraction. Mol Vis 14:1465-79
Troilo, David; Quinn, Nicole; Baker, Kayla (2007) Accommodation and induced myopia in marmosets. Vision Res 47:1228-44
Troilo, David; Nickla, Debora L; Mertz, James R et al. (2006) Change in the synthesis rates of ocular retinoic acid and scleral glycosaminoglycan during experimentally altered eye growth in marmosets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 47:1768-77

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