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Elias Andrawus, Gizi Veildbaum, Esther Zemel, Rina Leibu, Ido Perlman, Naim Shehadeh; Light Modulates Ocular Complications in an Albino Rat Model of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2017;6(4):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.6.4.1.
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The purpose of the study was to assess potential interactions of light exposure and hyperglycemia upon ocular complications in diabetic rats.
Streptozotocin-induced (STZ-induced) diabetic rats (N = 39) and non-diabetic rats (N = 9) were distributed into eight groups according to the irradiance and color of the light phase during the 12/12-hour light/dark regime. Follow-up lasted 90 days and included assessment of cataract development and electroretinogram (ERG) recordings. Stress to the retina was also assessed by glial fibrillary acidic protein immunocytochemistry.
Cataract development was fast in diabetic rats that were exposed to unattenuated white light or to bright colored lights during the light phase. Diabetic rats that were kept under attenuated brown or yellow light during the light phase exhibited slower rate of cataract development. Electroretinogram responses indicated very severe retinal damage in diabetic rats kept under bright colored lights in the blue-yellow range or bright white light during the light phase. Electroretinogram damage was milder in rats kept under bright red light or attenuated yellow or brown light during the light phase. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression in retinal Müller cells was consistent with ERG assessment of retinal damage.
Attenuating white light and filtering out short wavelengths have a protective effect on the eyes of diabetic rats as evident by slower rate of cataract formation and a smaller degree of retinal damage.
Our findings suggest that special glasses attenuating light exposure and filtering out short wavelengths (400–530 nm) may be beneficial for diabetic patients.
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