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Apoptosis. 2014 Jun;19(6):922-32. doi: 10.1007/s10495-014-0983-2.

Long-term blue light exposure induces RGC-5 cell death in vitro: involvement of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, oxidative stress, and MAPK signaling pathways.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100191, China,


The mechanism of blue light-induced retinal ganglion cell (RGC) injury is poorly understood. In this study, we established a patented light-emitting diode-based system to study the effects of long-term blue light exposure under culture conditions on RGC-5 cells. Long-term blue light exposure significantly reduced cell viability in a time-dependent manner and induced apoptosis and necrosis in RGC-5 cells. Long-term blue light exposure marked an increase in the expression of Bax and active Caspase-3 (p17), which was accompanied by Bcl-2 down-regulation, and displayed features of the mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway. Blue light exposure also increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and was a strong inducer of ROS-sensitive protein nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression. Moreover, blue light exposure constitutively activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), as well as induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the early phase, in blue light-exposed RGC-5 cells. The protein expression of c-jun and c-fos was further enhanced after RGC-5 cells were exposed to blue light. Taken together, these findings indicated that blue light induced RGC-5 cell line death in dependence upon exposure duration. The potential mechanisms for this phenomenon might be via activated mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, increased ROS production and protein expressions of Nrf2 and HO-1, and activated JNK/p38 MAPK signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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