BMC Ophthalmol 2017 Nov 2;17(1):198. Epub 2017 Nov 2.
Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory, Pathology Department, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Background: Light exposure and more specifically the spectrum of blue light contribute to the oxidative stress in Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The purpose of the study was to establish whether blue light filtering could modify proangiogenic signaling produced by retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells under different conditions simulating risk factors for AMD.
Methods: Three experiments were carried out in order to expose ARPE-19 cells to white light for 48 h with and without blue light-blocking filters (BLF) in different conditions. In each experiment one group was exposed to light with no BLF protection, a second group was exposed to light with BLF protection, and a control group was not exposed to light. The ARPE-19 cells used in each experiment prior to light exposure were cultured for 24 h as follows: Experiment 1) Normoxia, Experiment 2) Hypoxia, and Experiment 3) Lutein supplemented media in normoxia. The media of all groups was harvested after light exposure for sandwich ELISA-based assays to quantify 10 pro-angiogenic cytokines.
Results: A significant decrease in angiogenin secretion levels and a significant increase in bFGF were observed following light exposure, compared to dark conditions, in both normoxia and hypoxia conditions. With the addition of a blue light-blocking filter in normoxia, a significant increase in angiogenin levels was observed. Although statistical significance was not achieved, blue light filters reduce light-induced secretion of bFGF and VEGF to near normal levels. This trend is also observed when ARPE-19 cells are grown under hypoxic conditions and when pre-treated with lutein prior to exposure to experimental conditions.
Conclusions: Following light exposure, there is a decrease in angiogenin secretion by ARPE-19 cells, which was abrogated with a blue light - blocking filter. Our findings support the position that blue light filtering affects the secretion of angiogenic factors by retinal pigmented epithelial cells under normoxic, hypoxic, and lutein-pretreated conditions in a similar manner.