Induction of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow by low-level laser therapy has profound beneficial effects on the infarcted rat heart

Lasers Surg Med. 2011 Jul;43(5):401-9. doi: 10.1002/lsm.21063.


Background and objectives: The adult mammalian heart is known to have a very limited regenerative capacity following acute ischemia. In this study we investigated the hypothesis that photobiostimulation of autologous bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by low-level laser therapy (LLLT) applied to the bone marrow (BM), may migrate to the infarcted area and thus attenuate the scarring processes following myocardial infarction (MI).

Materials and methods: Sprague-Dawley rats underwent experimental MI. LLLT (Ga-Al-As diode laser, power density 10 mW/cm², for 100 seconds) was then applied to the BM of the exposed tibia at different time intervals post-MI (20 minutes and 4 hours). Sham-operated infarcted rats served as control.

Results: Infarct size and ventricular dilatation were significantly reduced (76% and 75%, respectively) in the laser-treated rats 20 minutes post-MI as compared to the control-non-treated rats at 3 weeks post-MI. There was also a significant 25-fold increase in cell density of c-kit+ cells in the infarcted area of the laser-treated rats (20 minutes post-MI) as compared to the non-laser-treated controls.

Conclusion: The application of LLLT to autologous BM of rats post-MI offers a novel approach to induce BM-derived MSCs, which are consequently recruited from the circulation to the infarcted heart and markedly attenuate the scarring process post-MI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / radiotherapy*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tibia / pathology