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Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 5;6(1):9. doi: 10.1038/s41598-016-0002-7.

Nitric Oxide (NO) Mediates the Inhibition of Form-Deprivation Myopia by Atropine in Chicks.

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Neuroscience Graduate Program, Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Department of Surgery; Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Myopia is the most common childhood refractive disorder. Atropine inhibits myopia progression, but its mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that myopia-prevention by atropine requires production of nitric oxide (NO). Form-deprivation myopia (FDM) was induced in week-old chicks by diffusers over the right eye (OD); the left eye (OS) remained ungoggled. On post-goggling days 1, 3, and 5, OD received intravitreally 20 µL of phosphate-buffered saline (vehicle), or vehicle plus: NO source: L-arginine (L-Arg, 60-6,000 nmol) or sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 10-1,000 nmol); atropine (240 nmol); NO inhibitors: L-NIO or L-NMMA (6 nmol); negative controls: D-Arg (10 µmol) or D-NMMA (6 nmol); or atropine plus L-NIO, L-NMMA, or D-NMMA; OS received vehicle. On day 6 post-goggling, refractive error, axial length, equatorial diameter, and wet weight were measured. Vehicle-injected goggled eyes developed significant FDM. This was inhibited by L-Arg (ED50 = 400 nmol) or SNP (ED50 = 20 nmol), but not D-Arg. Higher-dose SNP, but not L-Arg, was toxic to retina/RPE. Atropine inhibited FDM as expected; adding NOS-inhibitors (L-NIO, L-NMMA) to atropine inhibited this effect dose-dependently, but adding D-NMMA did not. Equatorial diameter, wet weight, and metrics of control eyes were not affected by any treatment. In summary, intraocular NO inhibits myopia dose-dependently and is obligatory for inhibition of myopia by atropine.

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