Dauchy, R. T., Blask, D. E. 2023. Vivarium lighting as an important extrinsic factor influencing animal-based research. JAALAS 62(1), 3–25.

Light is an extrinsic factor that exerts widespread influence on the regulation of circadian, physiologic, hormonal, metabolic, and behavioral systems of all animals, including those used in research. These wide-ranging biologic effects of light are mediated by distinct photoreceptors, the melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells of the nonvisual system, which interact with the rods and cones of the conventional visual system. Here, we review the nature of light and circadian rhythms, current industry practices and standards, and our present understanding of the neurophysiology of the visual and nonvisual systems. We also consider the implications of this extrinsic factor for vivarium measurement, production, and technological application of light, and provide simple recommendations on artificial lighting for use by regulatory authorities, lighting manufacturers, designers, engineers, researchers, and research animal care staff that ensure best practices for optimizing animal health and wellbeing and, ultimately, improving scientific outcomes.

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