In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, scientists from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus discover that bright light activates proteins that have been shown to shield mice's lungs against harm. Their findings might help in the treatment of lung disorders and acute lung damage.
The fact that lung injury has a 40% mortality rate, according to one of the study’s primary authors, further highlights the lack of any specific or existing therapies and emphasises the need for novel therapeutic approaches.
Eckle’s group previously demonstrated that light can prevent cardiovascular disease by housing mice under strong light for seven days as opposed to ambient light.
The pulmonary circadian rhythm protein Period 2 or PER2 experienced a significant rise in both its trough and peak levels as a result. Acute lung injury proved lethal if the protein was eliminated in the alveolar type 2 cell, a particular type of lung cell. 85 percent of the mice lived if the protein was not eliminated. Although their significance in acute lung injury has long been acknowledged, alveolar type 2 cells and the light-regulated protein PER2 have never been connected.
The study’s findings led the researchers to conclude that bright light therapy decreased lung inflammation or enhanced the blood-air barrier’s performance in lung infections. Using the flavonoid nobiletin, which is present in orange peel, led to the similar effect, according to reports.
Additionally, the BPIFB1 protein, which is known to be anti-bacterial and released within the mucous membranes of the major airways, was discovered to be stimulated by strong light. They think that this probably also helps to safeguard the lungs.
Due to the dearth of effective treatments for the condition, the finding from this research that “intense light can protect against lung damage” is extremely important.
According to the study, bright light induced lung-protective systems that may one day result in new treatments even after acute lung injury has started.