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Heterochromia Iridum: Two Colors, Two Eyes

This is a presentation of the genetic mutation that causes a human or animal to have two different colored eyes.
by

Claire Parrish

on 16 November 2012

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Transcript of Heterochromia Iridum: Two Colors, Two Eyes

Heterochromia Iridum Two genes control eye color: EYCL3, found on chromosome 15, which codes for brown/blue eye color, and EYCL1, found on chromosome 19, which codes for green/blue eye color. When the eyes of an individual are different colors, the reason almost certainly has something to do with that person’s melanocytes, the cells that manufacture pigment. What can go wrong with melanocytes? They can get lost. Most of the melanocytes in our bodies are produced in one location in utero and have to journey to their individual destinations.
One example is Waardenburg syndrome, where genetic mutation results in wayward melanocytes that never find their way to the iris for which they were intended. In some cases, only some of an eye’s melanocytes get lost, resulting in patches of different colors in the same eye.
Heterochromia can also be the result of an individual’s receiving different eye color genes. This can happen if two fertilized eggs become fused in utero. Alexander the Great was rumored to have had a green eye and a hazel eye. I also had a friend named Deva who had one green eye and one blue eye.
Iris color develops during the first few months after birth, with the levels of the pigment melanin determining how dark eyes will become.
The less melanin expressed in the iris, the lighter a person's eyes look, and vice versa. Sometimes, though, the concentration and distribution of melanin isn't uniform, which leads to a condition known as heterochromia. Most obviously, the eye colors of the two eyes are different. There are no dangers known to be associated with heterochromia iridum. It is also not gender or race specific, as it is merely a mutation that can occur, in utero, in most any human.
It is, however found in other pre-existing disorders or diseases such as Fuchs dystrophy syndrome; Horner's syndrome; Marfan's syndrome. Having eyes that are two different colors, essentially. Some rather famous people affected by this:
Mila Kunis
Kiefer Sutherland
Jane Seymour
Kate Bosworth
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