Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Forskningsartikel2017Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

The refractive state of the eye in Icelandic horses with the Silver mutation

Johansson, Maria K.; Fegraeus, Kim Jaderkvist; Lindgren, Gabriella; Ekesten, Bjorn


Background: The syndrome Multiple Congenital Ocular Anomalies (MCOA) is a congenital eye disorder in horses. Both the MCOA syndrome and the Silver coat colour in horses are caused by the same missense mutation in the premelanosome protein (PMEL) gene. Horses homozygous for the Silver mutation (TT) are affected by multiple ocular defects causing visual impairment or blindness. Horses heterozygous for the Silver mutation (CT) have less severe clinical signs, usually cysts arising from the ciliary body iris or retina temporally. It is still unknown if the vision is impaired in horses heterozygous for the Silver mutation. A recent study reported that Comtois horses carrying the Silver mutation had significantly deeper anterior chambers of the eye compared to wild-type horses. This could potentially cause refractive errors. The purpose of the present study was to investigate if Icelandic horses with the Silver mutation have refractive errors compared to wild-type horses. One hundred and fifty-two Icelandic horses were included in the study, 71 CT horses and five TT horses. All horses were genotyped for the missense mutation in PMEL. Each CT and TT horse was matched by a wild-type (CC) horse of the same age +/- 1 year. Skiascopy and a brief ophthalmic examination were performed in all horses. Association between refraction and age, eye, genotype and sex was tested by linear mixed-effect model analysis. TT horses with controls were not included in the statistical analyses as they were too few.Results: The interaction between age and genotype had a significant impact on the refractive state (P = 0.0001). CT horses older than 16 years were on average more myopic than wild-type horses of the same age. No difference in the refractive state could be observed between genotypes (CT and CC) in horses younger than 16 years. TT horses were myopic (-2 D or more) in one or both eyes regardless of age.Conclusion: Our results indicate that an elderly Icelandic horse (older than 16 years) carrying the Silver mutation is more likely to be myopic than a wild-type horse of the same age.


Multiple Congenital Ocular Anomalies; MCOA; Refraction; Myopia; Skiascopy; Horse -Icelandic horses

Publicerad i

BMC Veterinary Research
2017, Volym: 13, artikelnummer: 153