Exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of myopia in Rhesus monkeys. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of myopia in rhesus monkeys.
PLoS One. 2015 ;10(6):e0127863. Epub 2015 Jun 1. PMID: 26030845
Exposure to sunlight has recently been postulated as responsible for the effect that more time spent outdoors protects children from myopia, while early life exposure to natural light was reported to be possibly related to onset of myopia during childhood. In this study, we had two aims: to determine whether increasing natural light exposure has a protective effect on hyperopic defocus-induced myopia, and to observe whether early postnatal exposure to natural light causes increased risk of refractive error in adolescence. Eight rhesus monkeys (aged 20-30 days) were treated monocularly with hyperopic-defocus (-3.0D lens) and divided randomly into two groups: AL group (n=4), reared under Artificial (indoor) Lighting (08:00-20:00); and NL group (n=4), exposed to Natural (outdoor) Light for 3 hours per day (11:00-14:00), and to indoor lighting for the rest of the light phase. After being reared with lenses for ca. 190 days, all monkeys were returned to unrestricted vision until the age of 3 years. Another eight age-matched monkeys, reared with unrestricted vision under artificial lighting since birth, were employed as controls. The ocular refraction, corneal curvature and axial dimensions were measured before lens-wearing (at 23±3 days of age), monthly during the light phase, and at the age of puberty (at 1185+3 days of age). During the lens-wearing treatment, infant monkeys in the NL group were more hyperopic than those in the AL group (F=5.726, P=0.032). Furthermore, the two eyes of most NL monkeys remained isometropic,whereas 3 of 4 AL monkeys developed myopic anisometropia more than -2.0D. At adolescence, eyes of AL monkeys showed significant myopic anisometropia compared with eyes of NL monkeys (AL vs NL: -1.66±0.87D vs -0.22±0.44D; P=0.002) and controls (AL vs Control: -1.66±0.87D vs -0.05±0.85D; P<0.0001). All differences in refraction were associated with parallel changes in axial dimensions. Our results suggest that exposure to natural outdoor light might have an effect to reduced hyperopic defocus-induced myopia. Also, the data imply that early life exposure to sunlight may help to maintain normal development of emmetropization later in life, and thus lower the risk of myopic anisometropia in adolescent monkey.