Purinergic Signalling

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 499–504 | Cite as

Light-induced ATP release from the lens

  • Jesús PintorEmail author
Brief Communication


The recent discovery of the photoreceptor melanopsin in lens epithelial cells has opened the possibility of modulating this protein by light stimulation. Experiments carried out on New Zealand white rabbits have demonstrated that the release of ATP from the lens to the aqueous humor can be reduced either when a yellow filter or a melanopsin antagonist is used. Compared to control (1.10 ± 0.15 μM ATP), the application of a yellow filter (λ465–480) reduced ATP in the aqueous humor 70%, while the melanopsin antagonist AA92593 reduced the presence of ATP 63% (n = 5), an effect which was also obtained with the PLC inhibitor U73122. These results indicate that when melanopsin is blocked either by the lack of light, a filter, or an antagonist, the extracellular presence of ATP is significantly reduced. This discovery may be relevant, on the one hand, because many ocular physiological processes are controlled by ATP and, on the other hand, because it is possible to stimulate ATP release with just light and without using any added substance.


AA92593 ATP Eye Lens Light Melanopsin 


Funding information

This work was supported by research grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (SAF-2013-44416-R, SAF2016-77084R) and the Ministry of Health Social Services and Equality RETICS (Grant RETICS RD 16/0008/0017 and RD12/0034/0001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Jesús Pintor declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study followed the ARVO Statement for the Use of Animals in Opthalmic and Vision Research and the European Communities Council Directive (86/609/EEC).


  1. 1.
    Arbab I (2009) The length of the day: a cosmological perspective. Prog Phys 1:8–11Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Provencio I, Jiang G, De Grip WJ, Hayes WP, Rollag MD (1998) Melanopsin: an opsin in melanophores, brain, and eye. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 95(1):340–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Galano A (2014) Melatonin: exceeding expectations. Physiology 29(5):325–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alkozi HA, Wang X, Perez de Lara MJ, Pintor J (2017) Presence of melanopsin in human crystalline lens epithelial cells and its role in melatonin synthesis. Exp Eye Res 154:168–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pintor J (2018) Pharmacology without drugs. J Optometry: (18)30063–3.
  6. 6.
    Pintor J (2011) Commentary: why are such high concentrations of nucleotides in the lens? Purinergic Signalling 7(2):169–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pintor J, Peral A, Pelaez T, Martin S, Hoyle CH (2003) Presence of diadenosine polyphosphates in the aqueous humor: their effect on intraocular pressure. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 304(1):342–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mitchell CH, Carré DA, McGlinn AM, Stone RA, Civan MM (1998) A release mechanism for stored ATP in ocular ciliary epithelial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 95(12):7174–7178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Xue T, Do MT, Riccio A, Jiang Z, Hsieh J, Wang HC, Merbs SL, Welsbie DS, Yoshioka T, Weissgerber P, Stolz S, Flockerzi V, Freichel M, Simon I, Clapham DE, Yau KW (2011) Melanopsin signalling in mammalian iris and retina. Nature 479:67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ksendzovsky A, Pomeraniec IJ, Zaghloul KA, Provencio JJ, Provencio I (2017) Clinical implications of the melanopsin-based non-image-forming visual system. Neurology 88(13):1282–1290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sanderson J, Dartt DA, Trinkaus-Randall V, Pintor J, Civan MM, Delamere NA, Fletcher EL, Salt TE, Grosche A, Mitchell CH (2014) Purines in the eye: recent evidence for the physiological and pathological role of purines in the RPE, retinal neurons, astrocytes, Muller cells, lens, trabecular meshwork, cornea and lacrimal gland. Exp Eye Res 127:270–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pinheiro AR, Paramos-de-Carvalho D, Certal M, Costa C, Magalhães-Cardoso MT, Ferreirinha F, Costa MA, Correia-de-Sá P (2013) Bradykinin-induced Ca2+ signaling in human subcutaneous fibroblasts involves ATP release via hemichannels leading to P2Y12 receptors activation. Cell Commun Signal 11:70. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Peral A, Gallar J, Pintor J (2009) Adenine nucleotide effect on intraocular pressure: involvement of the parasympathetic nervous system. Exp Eye Res 89(1):63–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mitton KP, Dean PA, Dzialoszynski T, Xiong H, Sanford SE, Trevithick JR (1993) Modelling cortical cataractogenesis. 13. Early effects on lens ATP/ADP and glutathione in the streptozotocin rat model of the diabetic cataract. Exp Eye Res 56(2):187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Optics and OptometryComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations