Ultraviolet and green light cause different types of damage in rat retina.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1995; 36(5):851-63IO
To assess the influence of wavelength on retinal light damage in rat with funduscopy and histology and to determine a detailed action spectrum.
Adult Long Evans rats were anesthetized, and small patches of retina were exposed to narrow-band irradiations in the range of 320 to 600 nm using a Xenon arc and Maxwellian view conditions. After 3 days, the retina was examined with funduscopy and prepared for light microscopy.
The dose that produced a change just visible in fundo was determined for each wavelength. This threshold dose for funduscopic damage increased monotonically from 0.35 J/cm2 at 320 nm to 1600 J/cm2 at 550 nm. At 600 nm, exposure of more than 3000 J/cm2 did not cause funduscopic damage. Morphologic changes in retinas exposed to threshold doses at wavelengths from 320 to 440 nm were similar and consisted of pyknosis of photoreceptors. Retinas exposed to threshold doses of 470 to 550 nm had different morphologic appearances. Retinal pigment epithelial cells were swollen, and their melanin had lost the characteristic apical distribution. Some pyknosis was found in photoreceptors.
Damage sensitivity in rat increases enormously from visible to ultraviolet wavelengths. Compelling evidence is presented that two morphologically distinct types of damage occur in the rat retina, depending on the wavelength. Because two types also have been described in monkey, a remarkable similarity seems to exist across species.