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The circadian rhythm in intraocular pressure and its relation to diurnal ocular growth changes in chicks.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental eye research
Publication Date
Volume
66
Issue
2
Pages
183–193
Identifiers
PMID: 9533844
Source
Medline

Abstract

Recent investigations have shown that growing chicken eyes elongate during the day and shorten during the night. We asked whether the chick, like a number of other animals, exhibits a rhythm in intraocular pressure (IOP) and whether this rhythm might be associated with this rhythm in elongation. We find that the intraocular pressure in normal eyes is high during the day and low in the middle of the night, similar to the rhythm in ocular elongation. The amplitude of this rhythm in IOP is approximately 8 mm Hg; it persists in constant darkness, albeit with a reduced amplitude, implying that the rhythm has a circadian component. Form deprivation by translucent diffusers does not affect the amplitude of the rhythm in IOP, but makes the phase of the rhythm more variable, such that the trough no longer consistently occurs at night. We find that the magnitude of the ocular compliance (the change in length induced by change in intraocular pressure) is consistent with the possibility that the diurnal changes in IOP might, through mechanical stretch, account for much of the diurnal changes in length. However, in individual eyes, we find consistent phase differences between the rhythms in IOP and ocular elongation. Therefore, we propose that the rhythm in IOP influences ocular elongation in ways other than by simply inflating the eye, for example, by influencing underlying rhythms in scleral extracellular matrix production. We conclude that the rhythm in IOP plays a role in the regulation of the growth of the eye.

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