We previously developed a fluorescence adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (FAOSLO) that can simultaneously resolve the cone and RPE mosaics in the living eye. Using this device, we have discovered two unexpected changes in RPE cell images following long duration exposure to visible light. The first is an immediate reduction in lipofuscin autofluorescence (AF) that recovers in several hours. This RPE AF photobleaching can be observed with exposures 2 orders of magnitude below the ANSI maximum permissible exposure (MPE). At irradiances at or even slightly below the ANSI MPE, we observed a second phenomenon characterized by a disruption in the RPE cell mosaic, which we call RPE photodamage. The mechanisms underlying these two phenomena are unknown, as are their consequences for vision. The importance of understanding the impact of these effects on vision is underscored by the proliferation of new retinal imaging technologies that use lights levels capable of producing them. During the next funding period, Janet Sparrow and her group at Columbia University will characterize the molecular changes associated with AF photobleaching and recovery, as well as RPE photodamage. David Williams and his colleagues at the University of Rochester will use in vivo imaging to determine whether RPE photodamage is linked to the visual cycle or a direct effect on lipofuscin in RPE cells. They also will determine whether AF photobleaching and RPE photodamage compromise receptor function or visual sensitivity. Not only will our joint effort advance understanding of interactions between light and the photoreceptor/RPE complex, it will also guide the ANSI committee in modifying the existing light safety standard.

Public Health Relevance

Investigators at the University of Rochester and Columbia University will collaborate to discover the cause of a previously unknown form of light damage to the retina. This research could lead to improvements in the safety of ophthalmic devices for imaging the back of the eye and retinal surgery.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY004367-29
Application #
8658069
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Neuhold, Lisa
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
29
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Rochester
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
City
Rochester
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
14627
Masella, Benjamin D; Hunter, Jennifer J; Williams, David R (2014) New wrinkles in retinal densitometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:7525-34
Wu, Li; Ueda, Keiko; Nagasaki, Taka et al. (2014) Light damage in Abca4 and Rpe65rd12 mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:1910-8
Masella, Benjamin D; Hunter, Jennifer J; Williams, David R (2014) Rod photopigment kinetics after photodisruption of the retinal pigment epithelium. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:7535-44
Masella, Benjamin D; Williams, David R; Fischer, William S et al. (2014) Long-term reduction in infrared autofluorescence caused by infrared light below the maximum permissible exposure. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:3929-38
Strazzeri, Jennifer M; Hunter, Jennifer J; Masella, Benjamin D et al. (2014) Focal damage to macaque photoreceptors produces persistent visual loss. Exp Eye Res 119:88-96
Yin, Lu; Geng, Ying; Osakada, Fumitaka et al. (2013) Imaging light responses of retinal ganglion cells in the living mouse eye. J Neurophysiol 109:2415-21
Hunter, Jennifer J; Morgan, Jessica I W; Merigan, William H et al. (2012) The susceptibility of the retina to photochemical damage from visible light. Prog Retin Eye Res 31:28-42
Rossi, E A; Chung, M; Dubra, A et al. (2011) Imaging retinal mosaics in the living eye. Eye (Lond) 25:301-8
Williams, David R (2011) Imaging single cells in the living retina. Vision Res 51:1379-96
Doble, Nathan; Choi, Stacey S; Codona, Johanan L et al. (2011) In vivo imaging of the human rod photoreceptor mosaic. Opt Lett 36:31-3

Showing the most recent 10 out of 61 publications