Irradiation of the mitotic (prophase and prometaphase) tissue culture PK (pig kidney embryo) cells using mercury arc lamp and band-pass filters postponed or inhibited anaphase onset. The biological responses observed after irradiation were: (i) normal cell division, (ii) delay in metaphase and then normal anaphase and incomplete cytokinesis, (iii) exit into interphase without separation of chromosomes, (iv) complete mitotic blockage. Cell sensitivity to the light at wavelengths from 423 and 488 nm was nearly the same; to the near UV light (wavelength 360 nm) it was 5–10 times more; to the green light (wavelength >500 nm) it was at least 10 times less. To elucidate the possible mechanism of the action of blue light we measured cell adsorption and examined cell autofluorescence. Autofluorescence of cytoplasmic granules was exited at wavelengths of 450–490 nm, but not at >500 nm. In mitotic cells fluorescent granules accumulated around the spindle. We suppose blue light irradiation induces formation of the free radicals and/or peroxide, and thus perturb the checkpoint system responsible for anaphase onset.

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