Blinded by the Light
How blue light can induce retinal cell death
Phoebe Harkin |
As a child, you may have been told, “Don’t spend so long in front of the TV… your eyes will go square!” – but what if the truth was more serious? A team at the University of Toledo, OH, USA, has found that blue light emitted by digital devices – and the sun – could permanently affect eyesight.
The research, led by Ajith Karunarathne, found that, when exposed to photoexcitation by blue light, the photoreceptor chromophore 11-cis retinal (11CR) and its photoproduct, all-trans-retinal (ATR), could irreversibly distort PIP2 (a plasma membrane-bound phospholipid), disrupting downstream signaling and inducing oxidative damage, ultimately leading to cell death (Figure 1)(1).
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