Vol. 1 No. 2 (2015)
Research Article

Melatonin Through DNA Methylation Constricts Breast Cancer Growth Accelerated By Blue LED Light-At-Night In 4T1 Tumor-Bearing Mice

Zubidat AE
Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Israel
Fares B
Department of Human Biology, University of Haifa, and Department of Molecular Genetics, Carmel Medical Cen-ter, Haifa, Israel
Fares F
Department of Human Biology, University of Haifa, and Department of Molecular Genetics, Carmel Medical Cen-ter, Haifa, Israel
Haim A
The Israeli Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Chronobiology, University of Haifa, Israe
Published August 11, 2015

Abstract

In an attempt to reduce Carbon Dioxide production, lighting technologies are aiming toward the developing of energetically efficient illumination sources as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LED lamps emit light at short-wavelengths close to the sensitivity peak of melatonin suppression and expected to further exacerbate circadian disruption and cancer risk from increasing exposure to artificial light-at-night (ALAN). We report the effect of ALAN (1x30 min per night) emitted from yellow incandescent or blue-white LED bulbs and melatonin on urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (6-SMT), tumor growth, and global DNA methylation in 4T1 inoculated Balb/c female mice. Blue ALAN significantly decreased 6-SMT, increased tumor growths, and promoted metastasis formation verses yellow exposure. In blue-treated mice, DNA methylation levels were decreased in tumor and liver cells but not in lung and spleen cells compared with yellow-treated mice. Melatonin treatment inhibited tumor growth, reduced metastasis formation, and equally induced hypermethylation under the two spectral compositions. 6-SMTshowed strong inverse and direct correlations with tumor volume and methylation level, respectively. Finally, melatonin treatment increased relative spleen mass with no spectral differences compared with controls.

We demonstrate for the first time that LED lighting can result in aggressive and rapid tumor growth compared with the counterpart incandescent technology, and our results strongly suggest that the mechanism of action by which this occurs is altering DNA methylation levels by ALAN-induced melatonin suppression. These findings further support evidence for the possible association between ALAN and hormone dependent cancer incidences and subsequently advance the need for developing more efficient and less harmful lighting solutions.