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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1990 Jun;31(6):1035-46.

Postnatal axial eye elongation in normal and visually deprived rhesus monkeys.

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Department of Anatomy, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.


The influence of anomalous visual experience on the postnatal regulation of axial eye elongation was explored by raising newborn rhesus monkeys under different types of monocular and binocular deprivation and comparing their eye growth pattern with that of age-matched normal monkeys. Monocular manipulations included eyelid suture to eliminate pattern vision; continuous occlusion with an opaque lens to prevent visual experience; surgical removal of the natural lens to induce continuous blur; and correction of surgically induced aphakia with extended-wear contact lenses (EWCLs) to provide a focused image of near objects. Binocular manipulations involved correction of aphakia with an EWCL in one eye and continuous or partial occlusion of the phakic fellow eye. After monocular eyelid suture or occlusion, the deprived eyes were longer than the unmanipulated fellow eyes. Aphakic eyes, however, were shorter than their unmanipulated fellow eyes. The unmanipulated eyes followed the eye elongation pattern of age-matched normal monkeys. Binocular manipulations also resulted in differences in axial length between the two eyes. Aphakic eyes were shorter, and continuously occluded eyes were longer, than eyes of age-matched controls. After partial occlusion, however, the axial length of occluded eyes was similar to that of normal eyes. The finding that lid-sutured and occluded eyes become longer while aphakic eyes remain shorter than normal eyes suggests that additional factors besides retinal image quality control postnatal eye growth.

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