Demonstration of additivity failure in human circadian phototransduction.
ABSTRACT Published data, both on nocturnal melatonin suppression in humans and on widely accepted retinal structure and function, suggest that spectral opponency plays a role in human circadian phototransduction. We directly test subadditivity, implied by spectral opponency, in human circadian phototransduction in response to nearly monochromatic and to polychromatic light.
Adult male human subjects were exposed for 60 minutes to two intensities each of two lighting conditions, during nighttime experimental sessions. One condition consisted of light from mercury vapor lamps (450 and 1050 lx), and one condition consisted of light from these lamps filtered such that only the spectral line from this lamp at 436 nm was presented to subjects (7.5 and 15 lx).
Melatonin suppression from the filtered illumination at 436 nm alone was greater than mercury lamp illumination (containing energy at 436 nm in addition to other wavelengths), even when the sources exposed subjects' retinae to equal amounts of irradiance at 436 nm.
This direct test of subadditivity, together with evidence from neuroanatomy, supports the inference that spectral opponency is a fundamental characteristic of human circadian phototransduction.
- SourceAvailable from: Mark S Rea
Article: Circadian light.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The present paper reflects a work in progress toward a definition of circadian light, one that should be informed by the thoughtful, century-old evolution of our present definition of light as a stimulus for the human visual system. This work in progress is based upon the functional relationship between optical radiation and its effects on nocturnal melatonin suppression, in large part because the basic data are available in the literature. Discussed here are the fundamental differences between responses by the visual and circadian systems to optical radiation. Brief reviews of photometry, colorimetry, and brightness perception are presented as a foundation for the discussion of circadian light. Finally, circadian light (CLA) and circadian stimulus (CS) calculation procedures based on a published mathematical model of human circadian phototransduction are presented with an example.Journal of Circadian Rhythms 02/2010; 8(1):2.
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ABSTRACT: In humans, modulation of circadian rhythms by light is thought to be mediated primarily by melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells, not rods or cones. Melanopsin cells are intrinsically blue light-sensitive but also receive input from visual photoreceptors. We therefore tested in humans whether cone photoreceptors contribute to the regulation of circadian and neuroendocrine light responses. Dose-response curves for melatonin suppression and circadian phase resetting were constructed in subjects exposed to blue (460 nm) or green (555 nm) light near the onset of nocturnal melatonin secretion. At the beginning of the intervention, 555-nm light was equally effective as 460-nm light at suppressing melatonin, suggesting a significant contribution from the three-cone visual system (lambda(max) = 555 nm). During the light exposure, however, the spectral sensitivity to 555-nm light decayed exponentially relative to 460-nm light. For phase-resetting responses, the effects of exposure to low-irradiance 555-nm light were too large relative to 460-nm light to be explained solely by the activation of melanopsin. Our findings suggest that cone photoreceptors contribute substantially to nonvisual responses at the beginning of a light exposure and at low irradiances, whereas melanopsin appears to be the primary circadian photopigment in response to long-duration light exposure and at high irradiances. These results suggest that light therapy for sleep disorders and other indications might be optimized by stimulating both photoreceptor systems.Science translational medicine 05/2010; 2(31):31ra33. · 10.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The prediction method of melatonin suppression values was based on previous studies related to melatonin suppression and pupil constriction. Estimated values that considered pupil constriction were larger than the actual suppression values. We focused on the pupil constriction and its correction factor to interpret the action spectrum for the properties of the melatonin suppression model. When the correction factor was used to modify the model, actual suppression values were almost completely predictable. These factors suggest that it might be possible to explain the indescribable results.Journal of Light & Visual Environment 01/2011; 35(2):123-135.