The Transcriptional Response of Skin to Fluorescent Light Exposure in Viviparous (Xiphophorus) and Oviparous (Danio, Oryzias) Fishes
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Differences in light sources are common in animal facilities and potentially can impact experimental results. Here, the potential impact of lighting differences on skin transcriptomes has been tested in three aquatic animal models commonly utilized in biomedical research, (Xiphophorus maculatus (platyfish), Oryzias latipes (medaka) and Danio rerio (zebrafish). Analysis of replicate comparative RNA-Seq data showed the transcriptional response to commonly utilized 4100K or "cool white" fluorescent light (FL) is much greater in platyfish and medaka than in zebrafish. FL induces genes associated with inflammatory and immune responses in both medaka and zebrafish; however, the platyfish exhibit suppression of genes involved with immune/inflammation, as well as genes associated with cell cycle progression. Furthermore, comparative analyses of gene expression data from platyfish UVB exposures, with medaka and zebrafish after exposure to 4100K FL, show comparable effects on the same stress pathways. We suggest the response to light is conserved, but that long-term adaptation to species specific environmental niches has resulted in a shifting of the wavelengths required to incite similar "genetic" responses in skin. We forward the hypothesis that the "genetic perception" of light may have evolved differently than ocular perception and suggest that light type (i.e., wavelengths emitted) is an important parameter to consider in experimental design.