Effect of blue light-emitting diode light and antioxidant potential in a somatic cell

Cell Biol Int. 2019 Nov;43(11):1296-1306. doi: 10.1002/cbin.11131. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


Light is an indispensable part of routine laboratory work in which conventional light is generally used. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have come to replace conventional light, and thus could be a potent target in biomedical studies. Since blue light is a major component of visible light wavelength, in this study, using a somatic cell from the African green monkey kidney, we assessed the possible consequences of the blue spectra of LED light in future animal experiments and proposed a potent mitigation against light-induced damage. COS-7 cells were exposed to blue LED light (450 nm) and the growth and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage were assessed at different exposure times. A higher suppression in cell growth and viability was observed under a longer period of blue LED light exposure. The number of apoptotic cells increased as the light exposure time was prolonged. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was also elevated in accordance to the extension of light exposure time. A comparison with dark-maintained cells revealed that the upregulation of ROS by blue LED light plays a significant role in causing cellular dysfunction in DNA in a time-dependent manner. In turn, antioxidant treatment has been shown to improve cell growth and viability under blue LED light conditions. This indicates that antioxidants have potential against blue LED light-induced somatic cell damage. It is expected that this study will contribute to the understanding of the basic mechanism of somatic cell death under visible light and maximize the beneficial use of LED light in future animal experiments.

Keywords: COS-7; antioxidants; apoptosis; blue wavelength of light; light-emitting diode.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Growth Processes / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • Light
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species