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Geoffrey B. Arden, Janet E. Wolf; The Human Electro-oculogram: Interaction of Light and Alcohol. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(9):2722-2729.
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purpose. To investigate the production of the voltage changes evoked in the
retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) by light and alcohol and the
interaction of these agents.
methods. The eye movement potential in humans was intermittently recorded to
standard horizontal excursions for long periods during which either
retinal illumination was altered or ethyl alcohol was administered by
the oral, intragastric, or intravenous route. In other experiments,
both light and alcohol were administered.
results. Alcohol and light produced near identical corneofundal voltage changes
(positive and then negative) over more than 40 minutes. Differences in
timing between alcohol and light increases are explicable by the delays
in alcohol absorption. Weak background light suppressed the effect of
light steps, and low levels of background alcohol suppressed the
response to subsequent doses. Backgrounds of one agent did not affect
the voltage changes caused by the other. Minimal alcohol effects were
seen after administration of 1 g orally or 270 mg
intravenously—that is, doses that produced undetectable changes in
breath alcohol. The semisaturating oral dose was approximately 20
conclusions. Alcohol and light act through separate pathways to form a final common
pathway inside the RPE cell that is responsible for triggering the
timing of the slow oscillatory changes of EOG voltage. The sensitivity
and duration with which alcohol affects the RPE are comparable with the
effect of melatonin or dopamine, although only the former interacts
with light similarly to alcohol. Transient modulation of the
acetylcholine (Ach) neuronal receptor occurs at similar sensitivity,
but all other known actions of alcohol require higher concentrations
than this RPE action.
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