July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Effect of colored “sunglasses” on L, M and S cone densities and opsin concentrations in the chicken
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra Gisbert Martinez
    University of T�bingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Frank Schaeffel
    University of T�bingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Sandra Gisbert Martinez, None; Frank Schaeffel, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  MSCA-ITN-2015-675137
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 3157. doi:
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      Sandra Gisbert Martinez, Frank Schaeffel; Effect of colored “sunglasses” on L, M and S cone densities and opsin concentrations in the chicken. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3157.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Previous studies have shown that the ratio of L to M cones determine axial eye growth in chickens (Gisbert & Schaeffel, 2018). Furthermore, it was described that light of different spectral composition affects the abundancy of individual photoreceptor types, as well as opsin concentrations (Hu et al.,2011; Zou et al.,2018). We have studied whether cone type abundancy and opsin expression may be under visual control by raising chicks with broad band colored filters (red and blue) in front of their eyes.

Methods : Ten chicks wore a blue filter over one eye (peak transmission between 450 to 530 nm) and ten a red filter (peak transmission around 580 nm). Filters were worn monocularly for a period of 14 days. Fellow eyes served as controls both for cone type counts and opsin measurements; however, they were covered with clear plastic foil to keep the same conditions in both eyes. Refractive development was followed by automated IR photoretinoscopy, and ocular dimensions were measured by A-scan ultrasonography. At the end of the treatment period, retinas were extracted for S and L/M opsin quantification by Western blot.

Results : After 14 days of treatment the average refraction in eyes covered by red filters was 0.6±2.75 and with blue filters 2.21±1.56. Variance was much higher than in the fellow eyes with the clear filters which did not restrict the spectral energy distribution (control eyes with red filters 2.76±0.3D, with blue filters 2.17 ± 0.55D). Due to the high variability, no significant differences were found with respect to the fellow eyes and no consistent changes were observed in vitreous chamber depths. The monochromatic filters had no effects on S and L/M opsin contents (p>0.05) if compared to controls. Also, S and L/M opsin levels were not correlated with vitreous chamber depth and no changes in M/L, M/S and L/S cone ratios between control and treated eyes were observed.

Conclusions : Two weeks of retinal exposure to spectrally restricted illumination had no effect on cone abundancies and opsin concentrations. However, the emmetropization mechanism seemed severely compromised by the colored filters as the variability in the refractions was much increased, compared to in control eyes. While it is possible that the treatment period was too short to elicit any changes in cone type abundancy and opsin concentrations, it seems that these factors are not under visual control in the chicken.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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