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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2015;36(1):84-90.

Immediate effect of blue-enhanced light on reproductive hormones in women.

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Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine, Siberian Branch under the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.
Institute of Internal and Preventive Medicine, Siberian Branch under the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.



Light is known to stimulate reproductive function in women. We here investigated the immediate effect of light on reproductive hormones, addressing the role of blue-sensitive (~480 nm) melanopsin-based photoreception mediating the non-visual effects of light.


Sixteen healthy women attended the Institute at ~07:25 (shortly after waking; sunglasses worn) twice in 2-3 days in April-May, within days 4-10 of their menstrual cycle. During one session, a broad-spectrum white-appearing light with a superimposed peak at 469 nm was presented against 5-10 lux background; during the other session, short-spectrum red light peaked at 651 nm with similar irradiance level (~7.0 W/m², corresponds to ~1200 lux) was used. Venous blood was taken at 0, 22 and 44 minutes of light exposure to measure concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH), prolactin, estradiol, progesterone and cortisol, and saliva was sampled to measure melatonin as a recognised indicator of the spectral-specific action of light.


Melatonin values, as expected, were lower with white vs. red light (p=0.014), with the greatest difference at 22 minutes. Of the other hormones, only FSH concentrations differed significantly: they were mildly higher at white vs. red light (again, at 22 minutes; p=0.030; statistical analysis adjusted for menstrual cycle day and posture change [pre-sampling time seated]).


Moderately bright blue-enhanced white light, compared to matched-by-irradiance red light, transiently (within 22 minutes) and mildly stimulated morning secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone in women in mid-to-late follicular phase of their menstrual cycle suggesting a direct functional link between the light and reproductive system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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