The gaseous messenger carbon monoxide is released from the eye into the ophthalmic venous blood depending on the intensity of sunlight

Department of Animal Physiology and Reproduction, University of Rzeszow, Poland.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents (Impact Factor: 2.04). 01/2012; 26(1):111-8.
Source: PubMed


Circadian and seasonal rhythms in daylight affect many physiological processes. In the eye, energy of intense visible light not only initiates a well-studied neural reaction in the retina that modulates the secretory function of the hypothalamus and pineal gland, but also activates the heme oxygenase (HO) to produce carbon monoxide (CO). This study was designed to determine whether the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in the ophthalmic venous blood changes depending on the phase of the day and differing extremely light intensity seasons: summer and winter. The concentration of CO in the venous blood flowing out from the nasal cavity, where heme oxygenase (HO) is expressed, but no photoreceptors, was used as a control. Sixteen mature males of a wild boar and pig crossbreed were used for this study. Samples of ophthalmic and nasal venous blood and systemic arterial and venous blood were collected repeatedly for two consecutive days during the longest days of the summer and the shortest days of the winter. The concentrations of CO in blood samples was measured using a standard addition method. During the longest days of the summer the concentration of CO in ophthalmic venous blood averaged 3.32±0.71 and 3.43±0.8 nmol/ml in the morning and afternoon, respectively, and was significantly higher than in the night averaging 0.89±0.12 nmol/ml (p<0.001). During the shortest day of the winter CO concentration in ophthalmic venous blood was 1.11±0.10 and 1.13±0.14 nmol/ml during the light and nocturnal phase, respectively, and did not differ between phases, but was lower than in the light phase of the summer (p<0.01). The CO concentration in the control nasal venous blood did not differ between seasons and day phases and was lower than in ophthalmic venous blood during the summer (p<0.01) and winter (p<0.05). The results indicate that the gaseous messenger carbon monoxide is released from the eye into the ophthalmic venous blood depending on the intensity of sunlight.

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Available from: Marian Kamiński, Jul 15, 2015
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