Purpose: To investigate the effects of visible light on human corneal epithelial cells and the impact of natural antioxidants on oxidative stress produced by overexposure to light.
Methods: Light-emitting diodes with various wavelengths (410-830 nm) were used to irradiate human corneal epithelial cells, and cell viability was assessed. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was analyzed using 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA). Ethyl alcohol (EtOH) extracts were prepared from mixtures of medicinal plants. After application of the EtOH extracts, the free radical scavenging activity was measured using a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. The induction of antioxidant enzymes including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), peroxiredoxin-1 (Prx-1), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD-2) by the extracts was evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. The ability of the extracts to inhibit ROS was also analyzed using DCF-DA.
Results: The viability of corneal epithelial cells was diminished after irradiation of blue light (above 10 J at 410 nm and 50 J at 480 nm). Reactive oxygen species production was induced by irradiation at 410 and 480 nm at doses of 5 J/cm(2) and higher. Ethyl alcohol extracts had potent radical scavenging activity. Application of the extracts not only increased the expression of HO-1, Prx-1, CAT, and SOD-2, but it also attenuated the ROS production induced by blue light in a dose-dependent manner.
Conclusions: Overexposure to blue light (410-480 nm) may have a harmful effect on human corneal epithelial cells compared with other visible light wavelengths. Medicinal plant extracts can have potent protective effects on blue light-induced oxidative stress.
Keywords: corneal epithelial cells; light emitting diode; medicinal plants; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; visible light.
Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.