To study the effect of light stimulation on the eye, the
team used 380-nanometer violet colored light to activate the opsin 5 protein in
the retinal light receptor cells.
What is the Opsin 5-Dopamine Pathway?
"Our study indicates opsin 5-dopamine
pathway is probably part of a light-dependent disease process for conditions
like myopia, which is now a worldwide epidemic,"
- The opsin
5-dopamine pathway is a molecular process occurring in the developing eyes
of the baby
- This process
depends on specific responses in the retina controlled by opsin 5, a protein
that is normally expressed in specialized light receptor cells in the
- The opsin 5
protein normally becomes activated by light exposure at the right time to
ensure normal vision
- The activated
opsin 5 along with the neurotransmitter dopamine (which causes blood
vessel loss) work together to ensure optimal and balanced blood vessel
development in the eye of the newborn
said Richard A. Lang, PhD, director of the Visual Systems
Group at Cincinnati Children's and study senior author. "It raises
the interesting possibility that we might be able to use light exposure to
treat conditions like retinopathy of prematurity after a premature infant is
born or in people with myopia."
Scope of the Study
- In fact, earlier studies have suggested that dopamine together with
violet light may be critical to the normal development of the eye
- Although, additional research is needed for the findings to be applied
to humans, the current study confirms that opsin 5-dopamine pathway is key
for normal vision development in mice and perhaps human babies as well
- According to one
of the authors, opsin 5 is protein highly conserved across species during
the process of evolution, and increases the likelihood of its presence and
importance in humans as well
The findings of the study show that the opsin 5-dopamine
pathway is necessary for balanced blood vessel formation in the newborn and
phototherapy may be useful to prevent eye problems in preterm infants.
- An opsin 5-dopamine pathway mediates light-dependent vascular development in the eye - (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41556-019-0301-x)