Dopamine Induces Optical Changes in the Cichlid Fish Lens
The crystalline lens in the cichlid fish Aequidens pulcher undergoes a transformation of its optical properties every dawn and dusk as the eye adapts to changes in light conditions. During dusk the transformation result in an increase of the refractive power in the lens cortex, the outermost 40 percent. The change is thought to match the optical properties of the lens to the requirements of the retina. Using a short term in vitro lens culturing system together with optical measurements we here present data that confirm that the optical properties of the lens can change within hours and that dopamine influences the optical properties of the lens. Dopamine yields dose-dependent decrease of the refractive power in the lens cortex. The D1-agonist SKF-38393 induces a similar decrease of the refractive power in the cortex, while the D2-agonist quinpirole has no effect. The effect of dopamine can be blocked by using the D1-antagonist SCH 23390. Our results suggest that dopamine alone could be responsible for the light/dark adaptive optical changes in the lens, but the involvement of other signaling substances cannot be ruled out.
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