Blue light-induced phototoxicity plays an important role in retinal degeneration and might cause damage as a consequence of smartphone dependency. Here, we investigated the effects of periodic exposure to blue light-emitting diode in a cell model and a rat retinal damage model. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells were subjected to blue light in vitro and the effects of blue light on activation of key apoptotic pathways were examined by measuring the levels of Bcl-2, Bax, Fas ligand (FasL), Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD), and caspase-3 protein. Blue light treatment of RPE cells increased Bax, cleaved caspase-3, FasL, and FADD expression, inhibited Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL accumulation, and inhibited Bcl-2/Bax association. A rat model of retinal damage was developed with or without continuous or periodic exposure to blue light for 28 days. In this rat model of retinal damage, periodic blue light exposure caused fundus damage, decreased total retinal thickness, caused atrophy of photoreceptors, and injured neuron transduction in the retina.
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