Blue light hazard in rat
Rats have been extensively used in light damage studies. Retinal damage threshold for white light were found at 1-10 J/cm2, and the action spectrum resembled the absorption spectrum of visual pigment. We wished to answer the question whether a different class of light damage, the "blue light hazard", with white light damage thresholds at about 300 J/cm2, and an action spectrum peaking in the ultra-violet, could also be demonstrated in rat. To that purpose 5 deg patches of retina were exposed to white xenon light with exposure times between 10 sec and 1 hr. We found that for funduscopic threshold damage the product of irradiance and exposure time was constant at a level of 315 J/cm2. Thereafter, the action spectrum was measured by exposing rat eyes to narrow band spectral lights. Threshold irradiant dose ranged from 4 J/cm2 at 379 nm to 2000 J/cm2 at 559 nm. Thus, susceptibility for damage sharply increased towards the ultra-violet, just like in earlier monkey studies. We conclude that in similar experimental conditions susceptibility to photic injury in rat is comparable to that in primates. Rat is the first species for which two different action spectra of photochemical damage have been established.
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