Blue Laser (405 nm) and Cartilage Regeneration

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 Mar 8;98(3):211-5. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Chondrogenic mRNA expression in prechondrogenic cells after blue laser irradiation.

Kushibiki T, Tajiri T, Ninomiya Y, Awazu K.

Frontier Research Center, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used as a method for biostimulation. Cartilage develops through the differentiation of mesenchymal cells into chondrocytes, and differentiated chondrocytes in articular cartilage maintain cartilage homeostasis by synthesizing cartilage-specific extracellular matrix. The aim of this study is to evaluate the enhancement of chondrocyte differentiation and the expression levels of chondrogenic mRNA in prechondrogenic ATDC5 cells after laser irradiation. For chondrogenic induction, ATDC5 cells were irradiated with a blue laser (405 nm, continuous wave) at 100 mW/cm(2) for 180 s following incubation in chondrogenic differentiation medium. Differentiation after laser irradiation was quantitatively evaluated by the measurement of total collagen contents and chondrogenesis-related mRNAs. The total amount of collagen and mRNA levels of aggrecan, collagen type II, SOX-9, and DEC-1 were increased relative to those of a non-laser irradiated group after 14 days of laser irradiation. On the other hand, Ap-2alpha mRNA, a negative transcription factor of chondrogenesis, was dramatically decreased after laser irradiation. In addition, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were generated after laser irradiation. These results, for the first time, provide functional evidence that mRNA expression relating to chondrogenesis is increased, and Ap-2alpha is decreased immediately after laser irradiation. As this technique could readily be applied in situ to control the differentiation of cells at an implanted site within the body, this approach may have therapeutic potential for the restoration of damaged or diseased tissue.