ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 13657

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Michal Zeman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Physiology and Ethology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: circadian biology; developmental programming; melatonin; cardiovascular rhythms; control of metabolism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Light can influence the physiology and behavior of animals and humans through several pathways, including entrainment of circadian rhythms, which are involved in the control of homeostasis and body functions. Disruption of circadian rhythmicity plays a role in the pathogenesis of various diseases of civilization, such as cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic, and malignant disorders. Mechanisms by which circadian rhythm disruption contributes to the development of these pathologies are not clear, and an elucidation of involved molecular mechanisms represents a basis for their effective prevention and treatment. Circadian disruption can occur as a result of (1) shift work, (2) frequent flights across time zones, (3) “modern lifestyle” with late eating and excessive exposure to blue light emitting devices, and (4) excessive exposure to artificial light at night. Light pollution is a new and prominent change of our environment and lifestyle, which was not experienced during evolution. Therefore potential consequences of chronodisruption on health and biodiversity are rather unpredictable. New results are urgently needed on synchronization of circadian rhythm by light in combination with other environmental cues and on molecular mechanisms through which chronodisruption can affect physiological and behavioral processes of wild animals and humans. The topics of this Special Issue include but are not limited to molecular mechanisms, how light and chronodisruption influence sleep, metabolic, neurobiolological, and behavioral processes, immune functions, and cancer.

Prof. Michal Zeman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circadian rhythms
  • clock genes
  • chronodisruption
  • light pollution
  • melatonin
  • cardiovascular rhythms
  • metabolism
  • insulin resistance
  • diabetes

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Impact of Dim Light at Night on Urinary 6-Sulphatoxymelatonin Concentrations and Sleep in Healthy Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207736 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
Artificial light at night can have negative effects on human wellbeing and health. It can disrupt circadian rhythms, interfere with sleep, and participate in the progress of civilisation diseases. The aim of the present study was to explore if dim artificial light during [...] Read more.
Artificial light at night can have negative effects on human wellbeing and health. It can disrupt circadian rhythms, interfere with sleep, and participate in the progress of civilisation diseases. The aim of the present study was to explore if dim artificial light during the entire night (ALAN) can affect melatonin production and sleep quality in young volunteers. We performed two experiments in real-life home-based conditions. Young volunteers (n = 33) were exposed to four nights of one lux ALAN or two nights of five lux ALAN. Melatonin production, based on 6-sulphatoxymelatonin/creatinine concentrations in urine, and sleep quality, based on actimetry, were evaluated. Exposure to ALAN one lux during the entire night did not suppress aMT6s/creatinine concentrations but did aggravate sleep quality by increasing sleep fragmentation and one-minute immobility. ALAN up to five lux reduced melatonin biosynthesis significantly and interfered with sleep quality, as evidenced by an increased percentage of one-minute immobility and a tendency of increased fragmentation index. Our results show that people are more sensitive to low illuminance during the entire night, as previously expected. ALAN can interfere with melatonin production and sleep quality in young, healthy individuals, and both processes have different sensitivities to light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dim Light at Night Disturbs Molecular Pathways of Lipid Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186919 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Dim light at night (dLAN) is associated with metabolic risk but the specific effects on lipid metabolism have only been evaluated to a limited extent. Therefore, to explore whether dLAN can compromise lipid metabolic homeostasis in healthy individuals, we exposed Wistar rats to [...] Read more.
Dim light at night (dLAN) is associated with metabolic risk but the specific effects on lipid metabolism have only been evaluated to a limited extent. Therefore, to explore whether dLAN can compromise lipid metabolic homeostasis in healthy individuals, we exposed Wistar rats to dLAN (~2 lx) for 2 and 5 weeks and analyzed the main lipogenic pathways in the liver and epididymal fat pad, including the control mechanisms at the hormonal and molecular level. We found that dLAN promoted hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation, upregulated hepatic genes involved in de novo synthesis of fatty acids, and elevated glucose and fatty acid uptake. These observations were paralleled with suppressed fatty acid synthesis in the adipose tissue and altered plasma adipokine levels, indicating disturbed adipocyte metabolic function with a potential negative impact on liver metabolism. Moreover, dLAN-exposed rats displayed an elevated expression of two peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor family members (Pparα and Pparγ) in the liver and adipose tissue, suggesting the deregulation of important metabolic transcription factors. Together, our results demonstrate that an impaired balance of lipid biosynthetic pathways caused by dLAN can increase lipid storage in the liver, thereby accounting for a potential linking mechanism between dLAN and metabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Artificial Light at Night Increases Recruitment of New Neurons and Differentially Affects Various Brain Regions in Female Zebra Finches
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176140 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1012
Abstract
Despite growing evidence that demonstrate adverse effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on many species, relatively little is known regarding its effects on brain plasticity in birds. We recently showed that although ALAN increases cell proliferation in brains of birds, neuronal densities [...] Read more.
Despite growing evidence that demonstrate adverse effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on many species, relatively little is known regarding its effects on brain plasticity in birds. We recently showed that although ALAN increases cell proliferation in brains of birds, neuronal densities in two brain regions decreased, indicating neuronal death, which might be due to mortality of newly produced neurons or of existing ones. Therefore, in the present study we studied the effect of long-term ALAN on the recruitment of newborn neurons into their target regions in the brain. Accordingly, we exposed zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to 5 lux ALAN, and analysed new neuronal recruitment and total neuronal densities in several brain regions. We found that ALAN increased neuronal recruitment, possibly as a compensatory response to ALAN-induced neuronal death, and/or due to increased nocturnal locomotor activity caused by sleep disruption. Moreover, ALAN also had a differential temporal effect on neuronal densities, because hippocampus was more sensitive to ALAN and its neuronal densities were more affected than in other brain regions. Nocturnal melatonin levels under ALAN were significantly lower compared to controls, indicating that very low ALAN intensities suppress melatonin not only in nocturnal, but also in diurnal species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Light Pollution and Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9360; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249360 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3198
Abstract
For many individuals in industrialized nations, the widespread adoption of electric lighting has dramatically affected the circadian organization of physiology and behavior. Although initially assumed to be innocuous, exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) is associated with several disorders, including increased incidence [...] Read more.
For many individuals in industrialized nations, the widespread adoption of electric lighting has dramatically affected the circadian organization of physiology and behavior. Although initially assumed to be innocuous, exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) is associated with several disorders, including increased incidence of cancer, metabolic disorders, and mood disorders. Within this review, we present a brief overview of the molecular circadian clock system and the importance of maintaining fidelity to bright days and dark nights. We describe the interrelation between core clock genes and the cell cycle, as well as the contribution of clock genes to oncogenesis. Next, we review the clinical implications of disrupted circadian rhythms on cancer, followed by a section on the foundational science literature on the effects of light at night and cancer. Finally, we provide some strategies for mitigation of disrupted circadian rhythms to improve health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Photobiomodulation of the Visual System and Human Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8020; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218020 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Humans express an expansive and detailed response to wavelength differences within the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. This is most clearly manifest, and most studied, with respect to a relatively small range of electromagnetic radiation that includes the visible wavelengths with abutting ultraviolet and infrared, [...] Read more.
Humans express an expansive and detailed response to wavelength differences within the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. This is most clearly manifest, and most studied, with respect to a relatively small range of electromagnetic radiation that includes the visible wavelengths with abutting ultraviolet and infrared, and mostly with respect to the visual system. Many aspects of our biology, however, respond to wavelength differences over a wide range of the EM spectrum. Further, humans are now exposed to a variety of modern lighting situations that has, effectively, increased our exposure to wavelengths that were once likely minimal (e.g., “blue” light from devices at night). This paper reviews some of those biological effects with a focus on visual function and to a lesser extent, other body systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Differential Effects of Constant Light and Dim Light at Night on the Circadian Control of Metabolism and Behavior
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155478 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
The disruption of circadian rhythms by environmental conditions can induce alterations in body homeostasis, from behavior to metabolism. The light:dark cycle is the most reliable environmental agent, which entrains circadian rhythms, although its credibility has decreased because of the extensive use of artificial [...] Read more.
The disruption of circadian rhythms by environmental conditions can induce alterations in body homeostasis, from behavior to metabolism. The light:dark cycle is the most reliable environmental agent, which entrains circadian rhythms, although its credibility has decreased because of the extensive use of artificial light at night. Light pollution can compromise performance and health, but underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The present review assesses the consequences induced by constant light (LL) in comparison with dim light at night (dLAN) on the circadian control of metabolism and behavior in rodents, since such an approach can identify the key mechanisms of chronodisruption. Data suggest that the effects of LL are more pronounced compared to dLAN and are directly related to the light level and duration of exposure. Dim LAN reduces nocturnal melatonin levels, similarly to LL, but the consequences on the rhythms of corticosterone and behavioral traits are not uniform and an improved quantification of the disrupted rhythms is needed. Metabolism is under strong circadian control and its disruption can lead to various pathologies. Moreover, metabolism is not only an output, but some metabolites and peripheral signal molecules can feedback on the circadian clockwork and either stabilize or amplify its desynchronization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Light and Circadian Signaling Pathway in Pregnancy: Programming of Adult Health and Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062232 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3013
Abstract
Light is a crucial environmental signal that affects elements of human health, including the entrainment of circadian rhythms. A suboptimal environment during pregnancy can increase the risk of offspring developing a wide range of chronic diseases in later life. Circadian rhythm disruption in [...] Read more.
Light is a crucial environmental signal that affects elements of human health, including the entrainment of circadian rhythms. A suboptimal environment during pregnancy can increase the risk of offspring developing a wide range of chronic diseases in later life. Circadian rhythm disruption in pregnant women may have deleterious consequences for their progeny. In the modern world, maternal chronodisruption can be caused by shift work, jet travel across time zones, mistimed eating, and excessive artificial light exposure at night. However, the impact of maternal chronodisruption on the developmental programming of various chronic diseases remains largely unknown. In this review, we outline the impact of light, the circadian clock, and circadian signaling pathways in pregnancy and fetal development. Additionally, we show how to induce maternal chronodisruption in animal models, examine emerging research demonstrating long-term negative implications for offspring health following maternal chronodisruption, and summarize current evidence related to light and circadian signaling pathway targeted therapies in pregnancy to prevent the development of chronic diseases in offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop