Effects of low-level laser therapy on expression of TNF-α and TGF-β in skeletal muscle during the repair process

Lasers Med Sci. 2011 May;26(3):335-40. doi: 10.1007/s10103-010-0850-5. Epub 2010 Nov 4.


The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the expression of TNF-α and TGF-β in the tibialis anterior muscle of rats following cryoinjury. Muscle regeneration involves cell proliferation, migration and differentiation and is regulated by growth factors and cytokines. A growing body of evidence suggests that LLLT promotes skeletal muscle regeneration by reducing the duration of acute inflammation and accelerating tissue repair. Adult male Wistar rats (n = 35) were randomly divided into three groups: control group (no lesion, untreated, n = 5), cryoinjury without LLLT group (n = 15), and cryoinjury with LLLT group (n = 15). The injured region was irradiated three times a week using an AlGaInP laser (660 nm; beam spot 0.04 cm(2), output power 20 mW, power density 500 mW/cm(2), energy density 5 J/cm(2), exposure time 10 s). Muscle remodeling was evaluated at 1, 7 and 14 days (long-term) following injury. The muscles were removed and total RNA was isolated using TRIzol reagent and cDNA synthesis. Real-time polymerase chain reactions were performed using TNF-α and TGF-β primers; GAPDH was used to normalize the data. LLLT caused a decrease in TNF-α mRNA expression at 1 and 7 days following injury and in TGF-β mRNA expression at 7 days following cryoinjury in comparison to the control group. LLLT modulated cytokine expression during short-term muscle remodeling, inducing a decrease in TNF-α and TGF-β.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / radiation effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Regeneration / radiation effects
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics*
  • Wound Healing / genetics
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha