A model for light toxicity of cultured human retinal pigment epithelium

Timothy W. Olsen, Paul Sternberg, Robyn L. Reed, Dean P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The effect of visible light on human retinal pigment epithelial (HRPE) cells has not been characterized under conditions that provide strict thermal control. Methods: HRPE cells were isolated and grown to confluence. Cells were exposed to light in an incubator in which the cell temperature was controlled in response to a temperature sensor maintained in the tissue culture medium. Cells were exposed: (A) for 24, 36, and 48 h; and using a 24-h exposure followed by 24 h darkness; (B) at varying intensities of light using neutral density filters; (C) under a yellow filter; and (D) with a 12-h on-off cyclic light. Results: (A) Light exposure of 36 and 48 h resulted in significant cytotoxicity, while the initial 24-h exposure did not induce subsequent cytotoxicity. (B) Light irradiance levels from 43 to 54 mW/cm2 were required to demonstrate cytotoxicity. (C) Use of a yellow filter did not eliminate the observed cytotoxicity. (D) Cyclic exposure did not result in significant cytotoxicity. Conclusion: This study establishes a model and basic parameters of light toxicity to HRPE cells in vitro using strict temperature control that may be used to evaluate photochemical injury to HRPE cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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