Exposure to 4100K Fluorescent Light Elicits Sex Specific Transcriptional Responses in Xiphophorus maculatus Skin




Boswell, William T.
Boswell, Mikki
Walter, Dylan J.
Navarro, Kaela L.
Chang, Jordan
Lu, Yuan
Savage, Markita G.
Shen, Jianjun
Walter, Ronald B.

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It has been reported that exposure to artificial light may affect oxygen intake, heart rate, absorption of vitamins and minerals, and behavioral responses in humans. We have reported specific gene expression responses in the skin of Xiphophorus fish after exposure to ultraviolet light (UV), as well as, both broad spectrum and narrow waveband visible light. In regard to fluorescent light (FL), we have shown that male X. maculatus exposed to 4100K FL (i.e. "cool white") rapidly suppress transcription of many genes involved with DNA replication and repair, chromosomal segregation, and cell cycle progression in skin. We have also detailed sex specific transcriptional responses of Xiphophorus skin after exposure to UVB. However, investigation of gender differences in global gene expression response after exposure to 4100K FL has not been reported, despite common use of this FL source for residential, commercial, and animal facility illumination. Here, we compare RNA-Seq results analyzed to assess changes in the global transcription profiles of female and male X. maculatus skin in response to 4100K FL exposure. Our results suggest 4100K FL exposure incites a sex-biased genetic response including up-modulation of inflammation in females and down modulation of DNA repair/replication in males. In addition, we identify clusters of genes that become oppositely modulated in males and females after FL exposure that are principally involved in cell death and cell proliferation.



fluorescent light, RNA-Seq, skin, transcriptional regulation, xiphophorus, differential gene expression


Boswell, W. T., Boswell, M., Walter, D. J., Navarro, K. L., Chang, J., Lu, Y., Savage, M. G., Shen, J., & Walter, R. B. (2018). Exposure to 4100 K fluorescent light elicits sex specific transcriptional responses in Xiphophorus maculatus skin. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology, 208, pp. 96–104.


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