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Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes

Zouache, MA; Eames, I; Samsudin, A; (2016) Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes. PLOS One , 11 (3) , Article e0151490. 10.1371/journal.pone.0151490. Green open access

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Abstract

In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as [Formula: see text], where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma.

Type: Article
Title: Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151490
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151490
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Zouache et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476841
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