Fluorescent light (FL) exposure triggers chronic inflammation / immune overactivity

As Peat has discussed many times in this interviews and most people know first-hand, FL is really not pleasant to bask under. Unfortunately, this is the default lightning in most administrative buildings, including hospitals and daycare facilities. FL use in residential buildings is also widespread. Despite literally millions of people complaining of headaches, vision problems, disturbed sleep patterns, increased rate of diseases like diabetes and cancer, etc the official version is that this is all anecdotal and most likely hypochondriac evidence. FL is completely benign, they say.

Well, not so fast, the study below says, and shows that FL induces robust inflammatory response in a number of different and genetically distant species. As such, the study itself says, it is quite likely that this effect of FL is conserved in higher species like humans.


“… Herein, we extend previous observations of fish skin to investigation of FL-induced genetic effects within internal organs (i.e., brain and liver). We provide head-to-head comparisons of FL-induced modulation of gene expression among two fish species (i.e., zebrafish and medaka) with each other, and with the hairless mouse (Mus musculus). The fish species utilized (medaka and zebrafish) are diurnal vertebrates originally derived from Japan and India, respectively, with an estimated divergence of ≈115 My [31,32,33]. The mouse, a nocturnal rodent, has an estimated ≈450 My of divergence from the common ancestor that led to the fishes [34,35]. All animals were similarly exposed to FL (4100 K), and the transcriptional response in skin, brain, and liver organs compared after processing of RNA-Seq data. Our findings suggest the primary response to FL is extraordinarily well-conserved among these three highly divergent species. This suggests the gene expression changes that occur after light exposure may be due to ancient genetic circuitry that has remained embedded within the vertebrate genome.”

“…We present results that assessed changes in gene expression patterns due to FL exposure in zebrafish and medaka fishes, and in hairless mice. Following FL exposure, RNA from skin, brain, and liver was utilized for RNA-Seq, and gene expression was validated with NanoString nCounter assays. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs), due to the FL exposure, were utilized in functional analyses to identify FL-affected biological pathways for comparison.All organs, in all three animals, respond to FL by modulating pathways leading to inflammation and immune responses. These conserved genetic responses involved induction of the acute phase response (APR) in all organs of the fish species, and mouse skin and brain. The pathways affected by FL are regulated primarily by TNF and IL1B and are predicted to induce APR, leading to inflammation and immune responses. The only exception was the mouse liver, that showed suppression in the same APR pathways that were activated in the other organs examined. APR suppression in the mouse liver may be due to a nocturnal metabolism keeping the liver out of phase with FL exposure. Collectively, the conserved FL genetic response in both fishes and mice appear due to cellular perception of oxidative stress. These data suggest the primary response to FL is extraordinarily well-conserved among highly divergent species, representing both diurnal and nocturnal lifestyles, and; therefore, deeply embedded within the vertebrate genome.”

Author: haidut