Female-limited early-onset high myopia, also called Myopia-26 is a rare monogenic disorder characterized by severe short sightedness starting in early childhood and progressing to blindness potentially by the middle ages. Despite the X-linked locus of the mutated ARR3 gene, the disease paradoxically affects females only, with males being asymptomatic carriers. Previously, this disease has only been observed in Asian families and has not gone through detailed investigation concerning collateral symptoms or pathogenesis.
We found a large Hungarian family displaying female-limited early-onset high myopia. Whole exome sequencing of two individuals identified a novel nonsense mutation (c.214C>T, p.Arg72*) in the ARR3 gene. We carried out basic ophthalmological testing for 18 family members, as well as detailed ophthalmological examination (intraocular pressure, axial length, fundus appearance, optical coherence tomography, visual field- testing) as well as colour vision- and electrophysiology tests (standard and multifocal electroretinography, pattern electroretinography and visual evoked potentials) for eight individuals. Ophthalmological examinations did not reveal any signs of cone dystrophy as opposed to animal models. Electrophysiology and colour vision tests similarly did not evidence a general cone system alteration, rather a central macular dysfunction affecting both the inner and outer (postreceptoral and receptoral) retinal structures in all patients with ARR3 mutation.
This is the first description of a Caucasian family displaying Myopia-26. We present two hypotheses that could potentially explain the pathomechanism of this disease.