Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Physiol. 2016 Jan 1;594(1):149-67. doi: 10.1113/JP270981. Epub 2015 Nov 15.

Recovery of visual functions in amblyopic animals following brief exposure to total darkness.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
2
Department of Orthoptics, IWK Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Occlusion of one eye of kittens (monocular deprivation) results in a severe and permanent loss of visual acuity in that eye, which parallels closely the vision loss characteristic of human amblyopia. We extended earlier work to demonstrate that amblyopic vision loss can be either blocked or erased very fast by a 10 day period of total darkness following a period of monocular deprivation that begins near birth and extends to at least 8 weeks of age. The parameters of darkness were strict because no visual recovery was observed after 5 days of darkness. In addition, short periods of light introduced each day during an otherwise 10 day period of darkness obliterated the benefits. Despite recovery of normal visual acuity, only one-quarter of the animals showed evidence of having attained normal stereoscopic vision. A period of total darkness may catalyse and improve treatment outcomes in amblyopic children. A 10 day period of total darkness has been shown to either block or erase the severe effects on vision of a prior short period of monocular deprivation (MD) in kittens depending on whether darkness is contiguous or is delayed with respect to the period of MD. We have extended these earlier findings from kittens for which the period of MD began at 1 month and lasted for 1 week to more clinically relevant situations where MD began near birth and lasted for ≥ 6 weeks. Despite the far longer MD and the absence of prior binocular vision, all animals recovered normal visual acuity in the previously deprived eye. As before, when the period of darkness followed immediately after MD, the vision of both eyes was initially very poor but, subsequently, the acuity of each eye increased gradually and equally to attain normal levels in ∼ 7 weeks. By contrast, when darkness was introduced 8 weeks after MD, the visual acuity of the deprived eye recovered quickly to normal levels in just 1 week without any change in the vision of the fellow (non-deprived) eye. Short (15 or 30 min) periods of illumination each day during an otherwise 10 day period of darkness obliterated all the benefits for vision, and a 5 day period of darkness was also completely ineffective. Measurements of depth perception indicated that, despite possessing normal visual acuity in both eyes, only about one-quarter of the animals showed evidence of having attained normal stereoscopic vision.

PMID:
26449521
PMCID:
PMC4704512
DOI:
10.1113/JP270981
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center