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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of dim and bright light exposure on some immunological parameters measured under thermal neutral conditions.

This study assesses the effects of ambient light conditions, under a thermoneutral environment, on selected immunological parameters of 7 healthy young women (aged 19 to 22 yrs). Subjects entered the bioclimatic chamber at 11: 00 h, controlled at 26 degrees C and 60% relative humidity, a "neutral climate". They lead a well-regulated life in the climatic chamber (pre-condition) while exposed to dim (200 lux) or, on the next day, bright (5000 lux) light between 06 : 00 to 12 : 00 h. Just before the end of each period of light exposure, a blood sample was taken for later immunological assay of white blood cell count (WBC), phagocytosis, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-4 (IL-4), CD69 T cells (CD69), CD4+CD25+ T cells (CD4+CD25+), and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta1). The results, when compared with the pre-condition, were as follows: 1) CD69 and IFN-gamma increased during normal conditions without thermal stress under dim light; 2) WBC increased and IL-4 decreased under bright light; 3) as shown by the highly significant decrease of TGF-beta1, the immune system was activated under bright light; 4) phagocytosis tended to increase under bright light exposure; 5) CD69 and IFN-gamma were significantly higher, and CD4+CD25+ tended to decrease under bright light; 6) phagocytosis tended to be lower and TGF-beta1 significantly higher under dim light, indicating a decline of immune system function. Taken together, this preliminary single time-point sampling study infers that some parameters are activated (CD69) while others are attenuated (phagocytosis, TGF-beta1) according to the environmental light intensity, dim vs. bright, in women adhering to a standardized routine in the absence of thermal stress. These findings are discussed in terms of inhibition of the sympathetic and excitation of the parasympathetic nervous system under the influence of life-style regularity and daytime bright light exposure.[1]


  1. Effect of dim and bright light exposure on some immunological parameters measured under thermal neutral conditions. Hyun, K.J., Kondo, M., Koh, T., Tokura, H., Tamotsu, S., Oishi, T. Chronobiol. Int. (2005) [Pubmed]
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