A2E-laden ARPE-19 cells were exposed to a blue light to induce cytotoxicity, in order to investigate the protective effects of various tinted ophthalmic lenses against photo-induced cytotoxicity in human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells laden with A2E, known to be among the etiologies of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Different-colored tinted lenses with varying levels of tint and different filtering characteristics, such as polarized, blue-cut, and photochromatic lenses, were placed over the cells, and the protective efficacies thereof were evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase assay. When tinted lenses were placed over ARPE-19 cells, there were different reductions in cytotoxicity according to the colors and tint levels. The level of protection afforded by brown-tinted lenses was 6.9, 36.1, and 49% with a tint level of 15, 50, and 80%, respectively. For gray-tinted lenses, the protective effect was 16.3, 35, and 43.4% for the corresponding degree of tint, respectively. In the case of blue-tinted lenses, a protective effect of 20% was observed with 80% tinted lenses, but 15 and 50% tinted lenses provided no significant protection. In addition, photochromic lenses showed a protective effect but blue-cut lenses and polarized lenses provided no significant protection. Tinted lenses significantly reduced cytotoxicity in RPE cells irradiated with blue light. The protection was more efficient in lenses with a brown or gray tint than in blue-tinted lenses. Tinted glasses may provide significant protection against potential blue-light-induced photochemical and photo-oxidative damage in RPE cells.

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