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Fonken, L. K., Weil, Z. M., & Nelson, R. J. (2013). Mice exposed to dim light at night exaggerate inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 34, 159–163.
Abstract: The mammalian circadian system regulates many physiological functions including inflammatory responses. Appropriately timed light information is essential for maintaining circadian organization. Over the past ∼120 years, urbanization and the widespread adoption of electric lights have dramatically altered lighting environments. Exposure to light at night (LAN) is pervasive in modern society and disrupts core circadian clock mechanisms. Because microglia are the resident macrophages in the brain and macrophages contain intrinsic circadian clocks, we hypothesized that chronic exposure to LAN would alter microglia cytokine expression and sickness behavior following LPS administration. Exposure to 4 weeks of dim LAN elevated inflammatory responses in mice. Mice exposed to dimly lit, as compared to dark, nights exaggerated changes in body temperature and elevated microglia pro-inflammatory cytokine expression following LPS administration. Furthermore, dLAN mice had a prolonged sickness response following the LPS challenge. Mice exposed to dark or dimly lit nights had comparable sickness behavior directly following the LPS injection; however, dLAN mice showed greater reductions in locomotor activity, increased anorectic behavior, and increased weight loss than mice maintained in dark nights 24 h post-LPS injection. Overall, these data suggest that chronic exposure to even very low levels of light pollution may alter inflammatory responses. These results may have important implications for humans and other urban dwelling species that commonly experience nighttime light exposure.
Forbes, C., & Hammill, E. (2013). Fear in the dark? Community-level effects of non-lethal predators change with light regime. Oikos, 122(12), 1662–1668.
Franke, S., Brüning, A., Hölker, F., & Kloas, W. (2013). Study of biological action of light on fish. Journal of Light & Visual Environment, 37(4).
Fritschi, L., Erren, T. C., Glass, D. C., Girschik, J., Thomson, A. K., Saunders, C., et al. (2013). The association between different night shiftwork factors and breast cancer: a case-control study. Br J Cancer, 109(9), 2472–2480.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research on the possible association between shiftwork and breast cancer is complicated because there are many different shiftwork factors, which might be involved including: light at night, phase shift, sleep disruption and changes in lifestyle factors while on shiftwork (diet, physical activity, alcohol intake and low sun exposure). METHODS: We conducted a population-based case-control study in Western Australia from 2009 to 2011 with 1205 incident breast cancer cases and 1789 frequency age-matched controls. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect demographic, reproductive, and lifestyle factors and lifetime occupational history and a telephone interview was used to obtain further details about the shiftwork factors listed above. RESULTS: A small increase in risk was suggested for those ever doing the graveyard shift (work between midnight and 0500 hours) and breast cancer (odds ratio (OR)=1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.97-1.39). For phase shift, we found a 22% increase in breast cancer risk (OR=1.22, 95% CI=1.01-1.47) with a statistically significant dose-response relationship (P=0.04). For the other shiftwork factors, risks were marginally elevated and not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: We found some evidence that some of the factors involved in shiftwork may be associated with breast cancer but the ORs were low and there were inconsistencies in duration and dose-response relationships.
Fuller, G. (Ed.). (2013). The Night Shift: Lighting and Nocturnal Strepsirrhine Care in Zoos. Ph.D. thesis, , .
Abstract: Over billions of years of evolution, light from the sun, moon, and stars has provided
organisms with reliable information about the passage of time. Photic cues entrain
the circadian system, allowing animals to perform behaviors critical for survival and
reproduction at optimal times. Modern artificial lighting has drastically altered
environmental light cues. Evidence is accumulating that exposure to light at night
(particularly blue wavelengths) from computer screens, urban light pollution, or as
an occupational hazard of night-shift work has major implications for human health.
Nocturnal animals are the shift workers of zoos; they are generally housed on
reversed light cycles so that daytime visitors can observe their active behaviors. As a
result, they are exposed to artificial light throughout their subjective night. The goal
of this investigation was to examine critically the care of nocturnal strepsirrhine
primates in North American zoos, focusing on lorises (Loris and Nycticebus spp.) and pottos (Perodicticus potto). The general hypothesis was that exhibit lighting design affects activity patterns and circadian physiology in nocturnal strepsirrhines. The
first specific aim was to assess the status of these populations. A multi-institutional husbandry survey revealed little consensus among zoos in lighting design, with both red and blue light commonly used for nocturnal illumination. A review of medical records also revealed high rates of neonate mortality. The second aim was to
develop methods for measuring the effects of exhibit lighting on behavior and
health. The use of actigraphy for automated activity monitoring was explored.
Methods were also developed for measuring salivary melatonin and cortisol as
indicators of circadian disruption. Finally, a multi-institutional study was conducted
comparing behavioral and endocrine responses to red and blue dark phase lighting.
These results showed greater activity levels in strepsirrhines housed under red light than blue. Salivary melatonin concentrations in pottos suggested that blue light
suppressed nocturnal melatonin production at higher intensities, but evidence for
circadian disruption was equivocal. These results add to the growing body of
evidence on the detrimental effects of blue light at night and are a step towards
empirical recommendations for nocturnal lighting design in zoos.