Temporal sequence of changes in rat retina after UV-A and blue light exposure.Vision Res 1999; 39(7):1233-47VR
Two spectral types of retinal light damage were induced in pigmented rats by irradiating small retinal patches at either 380 or 470 nm. The temporal sequence of changes in the retina was followed for up to 2 months by funduscopy and histology. For both damage types, fundus changes were best visible after 3 days. Histology showed that 380 nm specifically damaged photoreceptor cells, particularly the rods. All cell compartments of the rods, including the nucleus were affected already after 3 h. In the next days, damaged rods degenerated. At high doses (2.5 x the funduscopic threshold dose) all rods in the irradiated area were lost, resulting in a local photoreceptor lesion, which was still present at 2 months after the irradiation. At 470 nm, damage occurred both in the photoreceptor layer and in the pigment epithelium. Acute changes, at 1 h after irradiation, consisted mainly of damaged mitochondria in these layers. Next, the pigment epithelium showed swelling, an altered melanin distribution and, at high doses (2.5 x threshold), interruptions of the monolayer. Degeneration of photoreceptor cells was initially limited to a few scattered cells, but 3 days after high doses focal areas of massive degeneration were seen. At late stages, the cells of the pigment epithelium recovered and the photoreceptor layer showed a loss of cells. The results show that the spectral damage types are distinct in the early phases, indicating that different mechanisms are involved. Yet, the end effect of both damage types after exposure at doses up to 2.5 x the funduscopic threshold is remarkably similar and consists of local photoreceptor lesions.