Bright Light Therapy Increases Blood Pressure and Changes the Structure of Circadian Rhythm of Melatonin Secretion in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

Phototherapy (therapy with bright light) is widely used to treat seasonal affective disorders, different types of depression, sleep disorders, and other diseases; it has no significant contraindications, but its effects on functional state and biological rhythms of the cardiovascular system in hypertension are poorly studied. In experiments on Wistar-Kyoto and SHR (spontaneously hypertensive rats) rats, the effect of bright light therapy on the daily profile of BP, HR, and production of epiphyseal melatonin was investigated. Phototherapy was simulated by exposure to 9000-lux cold light at the level animal eyes over 1 h (from 10.00 to 11.00 h) with LED lamps. In freely moving rats (free access to food), daily profiles of BP and HR were studied by 24-h continuous telemetry monitoring. The production of epiphyseal melatonin was assessed by measuring urinary concentration of its stable metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) during the day and night. During phototherapy, systolic BP significantly increased in in animals of both lines and diastolic BP increased in SHR rats. This effect persisted after the end of phototherapy session. Bright light had no effect on HR. In Wistar-Kyoto rats, phototherapy induced a significant decrease in daily concentration of aMT6s, but its nocturnal level did not change. In SHR rats, bright light therapy significantly decreased nighttime concentration of aMT6s in the urine and had no effect on daytime concentration of this metabolite. As a result, the difference between the night and day levels of aMT6s in the urine was leveled. Phototherapy produced more pronounced and less favorable effect on animals with primary arterial hypertension. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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  • 1 V. A. Frolov Department of General Pathology and Pathological Physiology, Medical Institute, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation
arterial hypertension; biological rhythms; bright light therapy; melatonin
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