Calorie restriction increases light-dependent photoreceptor cell loss in the neural retina of fischer 344 rats.

Document Type


Publication Date



Albinism, Animal, Cell-Aging, Cell-Count, Cell-Death, Energy-Intake, Female, Lighting, Male, Photoreceptors-Vertebrate, Rats, Rats-Inbred-F344, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-NON-P-H-S, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

Neurobiol-Aging 2000 Sep-Oct; 21(5):639-45.


EY11703/EY/NEI, RO1AG07747/AG/NIA


We investigated the effect of > or = 8 months of 40% caloric restriction (CR) on photoreceptor cell loss in 12, 18, and 24 month-old Fischer 344 rats (N = 154). Rats were reared at the NIA Biomarkers Program, National Center for Toxicological Research. Photoreceptor cell density, assessed histologically, declined with age in both the CR-fed and ad lib (AL)-fed cohorts (P < 0.000), but declines were more pronounced in the CR cohort (P < 0.0005). The deleterious effect of CR was most pronounced in the central as opposed to the peripheral retina (P = 0.008), suggesting a light-dependent mechanism. Photoreceptor cell density was inversely associated with rearing under bright light (300-750 lux) as compared with rearing under lower illuminance (< or = 200 lux) (P < 0.0005). However, the deleterious effect of bright light on photoreceptor cell density was more pronounced in the CR cohort (P = 0.04). Effects of CR on circadian activity are likely to increase the actual light exposure of the CR cohort and may explain the apparent inability of CR to delay retinal aging in albino rats.

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