Light causes damage to the retina, which is one of the supposed factors for age-related macular degeneration inhuman. Some animal species show drastic retinal changes when exposed to intense light (e.g. albino rats). Althoughbirds have a pigmented retina, few reports indicated its susceptibility to light damage. To know how light influences acone-dominated retina (as is the case with human), we examined the effects of moderate light intensity on the retina ofwhite Leghorn chicks (Gallus g. domesticus). The newly hatched chicks were initially acclimatized at 500 lux for 7days in 12 h light: 12 h dark cycles (12L:12D). From posthatch day (PH) 8 until PH 30, they were exposed to 2000 luxat 12L:12D, 18L:6D (prolonged light) and 24L:0D (constant light) conditions. The retinas were processed fortransmission electron microscopy and the level of expressions of rhodopsin, S- and L/M cone opsins, and synapticproteins (Synaptophysin and PSD-95) were determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Rearing in24L:0D condition caused disorganization of photoreceptor outer segments. Consequently, there were significantlydecreased expressions of opsins and synaptic proteins, compared to those seen in 12L:12D and 18L:6D conditions.Also, there were ultrastructural changes in outer and inner plexiform layer (OPL, IPL) of the retinas exposed to24L:0D condition. Our data indicate that the cone-dominated chick retina is affected in constant light condition, withchanges (decreased) in opsin levels. Also, photoreceptor alterations lead to an overall decrease in synaptic proteinexpressions in OPL and IPL and death of degenerated axonal processes in IPL.
Volume 44 | Issue 3
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