Low-power 808-nm laser irradiation inhibits cell proliferation of a human-derived glioblastoma cell line in vitro

Lasers Med Sci. 2012 Jan;27(1):87-93. doi: 10.1007/s10103-011-0924-z. Epub 2011 May 3.


It has been reported that low-power laser irradiation (LLI) can modulate various biological processes including cell proliferation. Some reports suggest that LLI interferes with the cell cycle and inhibits cell proliferation, while others suggest that LLI has a stimulatory effect. Mechanisms underlying the effects of LLI remain unclear. Since the effects of LLI on cancer cells are not well understood, with the aim of developing an LLI therapy for malignant glioblastoma, we investigated the effects of LLI on the cell proliferation of the human-derived glioblastoma cell line A-172. Glioblastoma cell cultures were irradiated with a diode laser at a wavelength of 808 nm and the effects on cell viability and proliferation were examined. Cell counting at 24 and 48 h after irradiation showed that LLI (at 18, 36 and 54 J/cm(2)) suppressed proliferation of A-172 cells in a fluence-dependent manner (irradiation for 20, 40 and 60 min). A reduction in the number of viable cells was also demonstrated by a fluorescent marker for viable cells, calcein acetoxymethylester (calcein-AM). The reduction in cell viability was not associated with morphological changes in the cells or with necrotic cell death as demonstrated by propidium iodide staining. LLI also had little effect on cell proliferation as shown by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine staining. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying the suppressive effect of 808-nm LLI on the viability of human-derived glioblastoma A-172 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bromodeoxyuridine / analysis
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / metabolism
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • Fluoresceins / analysis
  • Fluoresceins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / analysis
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioblastoma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*


  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • calcein AM
  • DNA
  • Bromodeoxyuridine