Genome-wide analysis of retinal transcriptome reveals common genetic network underlying perception of contrast and optical defocus detection

Tkatchenko, Tatiana V.; Tkatchenko, Andrei V.

Refractive eye development is regulated by optical defocus in a process of emmetropization. Excessive exposure to negative optical defocus often leads to the development of myopia. However, it is still largely unknown how optical defocus is detected by the retina.

Here, we used genome-wide RNA-sequencing to conduct analysis of the retinal gene expression network underlying contrast perception and refractive eye development.

We report that the genetic network subserving contrast perception plays an important role in optical defocus detection and emmetropization. Our results demonstrate an interaction between contrast perception, the retinal circadian clock pathway and the signaling pathway underlying optical defocus detection. We also observe that the relative majority of genes causing human myopia are involved in the processing of optical defocus.

Together, our results support the hypothesis that optical defocus is perceived by the retina using contrast as a proxy and provide new insights into molecular signaling underlying refractive eye development.


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Also Published In

BMC Medical Genomics

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Published Here
December 20, 2022


Refractive eye development, Myopia, Contrast perception, Optical defocus, Circadian rhythms, Signaling pathways, Gene expression profiling, Genetic network, RNA-seq