Blue light exposure-dependent improvement in robustness of circadian rest-activity rhythm in aged rats

Eryck Holmes Alves da Silva, Nelyane Nayara M. Santana, Narita Renata de Melo Seixas, Lyzandro Lucas F. Bezerra, Maria Milena O. Silva, Sâmarah F. Santos, Jeferson S Cavalcante, Mário Andre Leocadio-Miguel, Rovena Clara Engelberth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aging effects on circadian rhythms have diverse implications including changes in the pattern of rhythmic expressions, such as a wide fragmentation of the rhythm of rest-activity and decrease in amplitude of activity regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The study of blue light on biological aspects has received great current interest due, among some aspects, to its positive effects on psychiatric disorders in humans. This study aims to evaluate the effect of blue light therapy on the SCN functional aspects, through the evaluation of the rest-activity rhythm, in aging rats. For this, 33 sixteen-months-old male Wistar rats underwent continuous records of locomotor activity and were exposed to periods of 6 hours of blue light during the first half of the light phase (Zeitgeber times 0-6) for 14 days. After this, the rats were maintained at 12h:12h light:dark cycle to check the long-term effect of blue light for 14 days. Blue light repeated exposure showed positive effects on the rhythmic variables of locomotor activity in aged rats, particularly the increase in amplitude, elevation of rhythmic robustness, phase advance in acrophase, and greater consolidation of the resting phase. This effect depends on the presence of daily blue light exposure. In conclusion, our results indicate that blue light is a reliable therapy to reduce circadian dysfunctions in aged rats, but other studies assessing how blue light modulates the neural components to modulate this response are still needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292342
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2023

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