Dual Effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the acute lung inflammation induced by intestinal ischemia and reperfusion: Action on anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines

Lasers Surg Med. 2011 Jul;43(5):410-20. doi: 10.1002/lsm.21053.


Background and objective: It is unknown if pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators in acute lung inflammation induced by intestinal ischemia and reperfusion (i-I/R) can be modulated by low-level laser therapy (LLLT).

Study design/material and methods: A controlled ex vivo study was developed in which rats were irradiated (660 nm, 30 mW, 0.08 cm² of spot size) on the skin over the right upper bronchus 1 hour post-mesenteric artery occlusion and euthanized 4 hours later. For pretreatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or IL-10 antibodies, the rats received either one of the agents 15 minutes before the beginning of reperfusion.

Methods: Lung edema was measured by the Evans blue extravasation and pulmonary neutrophils influx was determined by myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Both TNF and IL-10 expression and protein in lung were evaluated by RT-PCR and ELISA, respectively.

Results: LLLT reduced the edema (80.1 ± 41.8 µg g⁻¹ dry weight), neutrophils influx (0.83 ± 0.02 × 10⁶ cells ml⁻¹), MPO activity (2.91 ± 0.60), and TNF (153.0 ± 21.0 pg mg⁻¹ tissue) in lung when compared with respective control groups. Surprisingly, the LLLT increased the IL-10 (0.65 ± 0.13) in lung from animals subjected to i-I/R. Moreover, LLLT (0.32 ± 0.07 pg ml⁻¹) reduced the TNF-α level in RPAECs when compared with i-I/R group. The presence of anti-TNF or IL-10 antibodies did not alter the LLLT effect on IL-10 (465.1 ± 21.0 pg mg⁻¹ tissue) or TNF (223.5 ± 21.0 pg mg⁻¹ tissue) in lung from animals submitted to i-I/R.

Conclusion: The results indicate that the LLLT attenuates the i-I/R-induced acute lung inflammation which favor the IL-10 production and reduce TNF generation.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Edema
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis*
  • Intestines / blood supply*
  • Ischemia / complications*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / radiation effects
  • Peroxidase / biosynthesis
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / metabolism
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Pneumonia / radiotherapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Peroxidase