Early detection of the initial stages of LED light-triggered non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by wax physisorption kinetics-Fourier transform infrared imaging†
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), particularly in the blue waveform range, are regarded as a major source of circadian rhythm dysregulation. A circadian rhythm dysregulation induced by blue LEDs is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Hepatocellular accumulation of lipids is a key event in the early stages of NAFLD. Kupffer cells (KCs) have been reported to be lost in the early onset of NAFLD followed by an inflammatory reaction that alters the liver response to lipid overload. This study focused on the detection of the initial stages (subpathological stages) of LED light-triggered NAFLD. Mice were exposed to either blue or white LED irradiation for 44 weeks. Synchrotron radiation-based Fourier-transform infrared microspectroscopy (SR-FTIRM) and wax physisorption kinetic-Fourier transform infrared (WPK-FTIR) imaging were used to evaluate the ratio of lipid to protein and the glycosylation of glycoprotein, respectively. Immunohistopathological studies on KCs and circadian-related proteins were performed. Although liver biopsy showed normal pathology, an SR-FTIRM study revealed a high hepatic lipid-to-protein ratio after receiving LED illumination. The results of WPK-FTIR demonstrated that a high inflammation index was found in the high irradiance of the blue LED illumnation group. These groups showed a decrease in KC number and an increase in Bmal1 and Reverbα circadian protein expression. These findings provide explanations for the reduction of KCs without subsequent inflammation. A significant reduction of Per2 and Cry1 expression is correlated with the findings of WPK-FTIR imaging. WPK-FTIR is a sensitive method for detecting initiative stages of NAFLD induced by long-term blue LED illumination.