Influence of laser photobiomodulation upon connective tissue remodeling during wound healing

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2008 Sep 18;92(3):144-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2008.05.008. Epub 2008 Jul 7.


The modulation of collagen fibers during experimental skin wound healing was studied in 112 Wistar rats submitted to laser photobiomodulation treatment. A standardized 8mm-diameter wound was made on the dorsal skin of all animals. In half of them, 0.2ml of a silica suspension was injected along the border of the wound in order to enhance collagen deposition and facilitate observation. The others received saline as vehicle. The treatment was carried out by means of laser rays from an aluminum-gallium arsenide diode semiconductor with 9mW applied every other day (total dose=4J/cm2) on the borders of the wound. Tissue sections obtained from four experimental groups representing sham-irradiated animals, laser, silica and the association of both, were studied after 3, 7, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 60 days from the laser application. The wounded skin area was surgically removed and submitted to histological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and immunofluorescent studies. Besides the degree and arrangement of collagen fibers and of their isotypes, the degree of edema, the presence of several cell types especially pericytes and myofibroblasts, were described and measured. The observation of Sirius-red stained slides under polarized microscopy revealed to be of great help during the morphological analysis of the collagen tissue dynamic changes. It was demonstrated that laser application was responsible for edema regression and a diminution in the number of inflammatory cells (p<0.05). An evident increase in the number of actin-positive cells was observed in the laser-treated wounds. Collagen deposition was less than expected in silica-treated wounds, and laser treatment contributed to its better differentiation and modulation in all irradiated groups. Thus, laser photobiomodulation was able to induce several modifications during the cutaneous healing process, especially in favoring newly-formed collagen fibers to be better organized and compactedly disposed.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Connective Tissue / physiology
  • Connective Tissue / radiation effects*
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibrin / metabolism
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / radiotherapy*


  • Actins
  • Desmin
  • Fibrin
  • Collagen