Exposure to excessive blue LED light damages retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors of pigmented mice.
Exp Eye Res. 2018 Jul 21 ;177:1-11. Epub 2018 Jul 21. PMID: 30040948
To determine the characteristics of the damages of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors of pigmented mice induced by exposure to blue light emitting diode (LED) light, and to determine the mechanisms causing the damages. Exposure to blue LED light for 3 days induced retinal damage, and the characteristics of the damage differed from that induced by white fluorescent light exposure. Ophthalmoscopy showed that blue LED exposure for 3 days induced white spots on the retina, and histological examinations showed materials accumulated at the IS/OS junction of the photoreceptors. The accumulated materials were stained by ionized calcium binding adapter molecule-1 (Iba-1), a marker for macrophages. The debris was also positive for periodic acid-Schiff (PAS). An enlarging the area of RPE was detected just after the blue LED exposure especially around the optic nerve, and this led to a secondary degeneration of the photoreceptors. Exposure of pigmented mice to 3 consecutive days of blue LED light will cause RPE and photoreceptor damage. The damage led to an accumulation of macrophages and drusen-like materials around the outer segments of the photoreceptors. This blue light exposed model may be useful for investigating the pathogenesis of non-exudative age-related macular degeneration.