Abstract Title:

Exposure to Blue Light Reduces Melanopsin Expression in Intrinsically Photoreceptive Retinal Ganglion Cells and Damages the Inner Retina in Rats.

Abstract Source:

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2022 Jan 3 ;63(1):26. PMID: 35060997

Abstract Author(s):

Natalia Ziólkowska, Malgorzata Chmielewska-Krzesinska, Alla Vyniarska, Waldemar Sienkiewicz

Article Affiliation:

Natalia Ziólkowska


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigative the effects of blue light on intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs).

Methods: Brown Norway rats were used. Nine rats were continuously exposed to blue light (light emitting diodes [LEDs]: 463 nm; 1000 lx) for 2 days (acute exposure [AE]); 9 rats were exposed to 12 hours of blue light and 12 hours of darkness for 10 days (long-term exposure [LTE]); 6 control rats were exposed to 12 hours of white fluorescent light (1000 lx) and 12 hours of darkness for 10 days. Whole-mount retinas were immunolabelled with melanopsin antibodies; melanopsin-positive (MP) ipRGC somas and processes were counted and measured with Neuron J. To detect apoptosis, retinal cryo-sections were stained with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling. Ultra-thin sections were visualized with transmission electron microscopy.

Results: The number of MP ipRGC somas was significantly lower in retinas from AE and LTE rats than in those from control rats (P<0.001 and = 0.002, respectively). The mean length of MP areas of processes was significantly lower in AE rats (P<0.001). AE rats had severe retinal damage and massive apoptosis in the outer nuclear layer; their mitochondria were damaged in the axons and dendrites of the nerve fiber layer and the inner plexiform layer. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in AE rats appeared to have reduced amounts of free ribosomes and rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Conclusions: AE to blue light reduces melanopsin expression and damages RGCs, likely including ipRGCs. Changes in the axons and dendrites of RGCs suggest possible disruption of intraretinal and extraretinal signal transmission.

Study Type : Animal Study

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