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Oksana Kutsyr, Xavier Sánchez-Sáez, Natalia Martínez-Gil, Emilio de Juan, Pedro Lax, Victoria Maneu, Nicolás Cuenca; Gradual Increase in Environmental Light Intensity Induces Oxidative Stress and Inflammation and Accelerates Retinal Neurodegeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(10):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.10.1.
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Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a blinding neurodegenerative disease of the retina that can be affected by many factors. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of different environmental light intensities in rd10 mice retina.
C57BL/6J and rd10 mice were bred and housed under three different environmental light intensities: scotopic (5 lux), mesopic (50 lux), and photopic (300 lux). Visual function was studied using electroretinography and optomotor testing. The structural and morphological integrity of the retinas was evaluated by optical coherence tomography imaging and immunohistochemistry. Additionally, inflammatory processes and oxidative stress markers were analyzed by flow cytometry and western blotting.
When the environmental light intensity was higher, retinal function decreased in rd10 mice and was accompanied by light-dependent photoreceptor loss, followed by morphological alterations, and synaptic connectivity loss. Moreover, light-dependent retinal degeneration was accompanied by an increased number of inflammatory cells, which became more activated and phagocytic, and by an exacerbated reactive gliosis. Furthermore, light-dependent increment in oxidative stress markers in rd10 mice retina pointed to a possible mechanism for light-induced photoreceptor degeneration.
An increase in rd10 mice housing light intensity accelerates retinal degeneration, activating cell death, oxidative stress pathways, and inflammatory cells. Lighting intensity is a key factor in the progression of retinal degeneration, and standardized lighting conditions are advisable for proper analysis and interpretation of experimental results from RP animal models, and specifically from rd10 mice. Also, it can be hypothesized that light protection could be an option to slow down retinal degeneration in some cases of RP.
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