Adaptive changes in visual cell transduction protein levels: effect of light

Exp Eye Res. 1991 Dec;53(6):773-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(91)90113-s.


Long-term environmental light-mediated changes in visual cell transduction proteins were studied to assess the influence of rearing environment on their levels and their potential effects on intense light-induced retinal damage. The levels of rhodopsin, S-antigen and the alpha subunit of transducin were measured in whole eye detergent extracts, retinal homogenates or rod outer segments isolated from rats reared in weak cyclic light or darkness, and following a change in rearing environment. Rats changed from weak cyclic light to darkness had 22% more rhodopsin per eye than cyclic-light rats after 12-14 days in the new environment. Western trans-blot analysis of retinal proteins from these dark-maintained animals contained 65% higher levels of immunologically detectable alpha transducin; S-antigen levels were approximately 45% lower than in cyclic-light rats. In rats changed from the dark environment to weak cyclic light, rhodopsin levels decreased by 18% during a comparable period; retinal alpha transducin was 35% lower, S-antigen was 30% higher. At various times after the change in rearing environment, some rats were exposed to intense visible light to determine their susceptibility to retinal damage. Two weeks after an 8-hr exposure, cyclic-light reared rats had rhodopsin levels only 10% lower than control (2.1 nmol per eye). However, rhodopsin was 75% lower when cyclic-light rats were maintained in darkness for 2 weeks before intense light. For animals originally reared in darkness, rhodopsin was 78% lower following 8 hr of intense light, whereas only 30% rhodopsin loss occurred in dark-reared rats after previous maintenance for 2 weeks in weak cyclic-light.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / radiation effects*
  • Animals
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Arrestin
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / radiation effects*
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / metabolism
  • Transducin / metabolism


  • Antigens
  • Arrestin
  • Eye Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Rhodopsin
  • Transducin