Refractive eye development is a tightly coordinated developmental process. The general layout of the eye and its various components are established during embryonic development, which involves a complex cross-tissue signaling. The eye then undergoes a refinement process during the postnatal emmetropization process, which relies heavily on the integration of environmental and genetic factors and is controlled by an elaborate genetic network. This genetic network encodes a multilayered signaling cascade, which converts visual stimuli into molecular signals that guide the postnatal growth of the eye. The signaling cascade underlying refractive eye development spans across all ocular tissues and comprises multiple signaling pathways. Notably, tissue-tissue interaction plays a key role in both embryonic eye development and postnatal eye emmetropization. Recent advances in eye biometry, physiological optics and systems genetics of refractive error have significantly advanced our understanding of the biological processes involved in refractive eye development and provided a framework for the development of new treatment options for myopia. In this review, we summarize the recent data on the mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying refractive eye development and discuss new evidence suggesting a wide-spread signal integration across different tissues and ocular components involved in visually guided eye growth.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.