Myopia is a substantial public health problem worldwide. Although it is known that defocused images alter eye growth and refraction, their effects on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) signaling that lead to either emmetropization or refractive errors have remained elusive. This study aimed to determine if defocused images had an effect on signaling of RGCs in the mouse retina. ON and OFF alpha RGCs and ON-OFF RGCs were recorded from adult C57BL/6J wild-type mice. A mono green organic light-emitting display presented images generated by PsychoPy. The defocused images were projected on the retina under a microscope. Dark-adapted mouse RGCs were recorded under different powers of projected defocused images on the retina. Compared with focused images, defocused images showed a significantly decreased probability of spikes. More than half of OFF transient RGCs and ON sustained RGCs showed disparity in responses to the magnitude of plus and minus optical defocus (although remained RGCs we tested exhibited similar response to both types of defocus). ON and OFF units of ON-OFF RGCs also responded differently in the probability of spikes to defocused images and spatial frequency images. After application of a gap junction blocker, the probability of spikes of RGCs decreased with the presence of optical defocused image. At the same time, the RGCs also showed increased background noise. Therefore, defocused images changed the signaling of some ON and OFF alpha RGCs and ON-OFF RGCs in the mouse retina. The process may be the first step in the induction of myopia development. It appears that gap junctions also play a key role in this process.
- ganglion cell
- gap junction