Phototherapy with low-level laser affects the remodeling of types I and III collagen in skeletal muscle repair

Lasers Med Sci. 2011 Nov;26(6):803-14. doi: 10.1007/s10103-011-0951-9. Epub 2011 Jul 15.


The purpose of this article was to analyze the photobiomodulator role of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the skeletal muscle remodeling following cryoinjury in rats, focusing the types I and III collagen proteins. Laser phototherapy has been employed to stimulate repair in different tissues. However, its role in skeletal muscle remodeling is not yet well clarified, especially its effect on the collagen component of the extracellular matrix. Fifty adult Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control, sham, cryoinjury, and laser-treated cryoinjury. Laser irradiation was performed three times a week on the injured region using the InGaAlP (indium-gallium-aluminum-phosphorous) laser (660 nm; beam spot of 0.04 cm(2), output power of 20 mW, power density of 0.5 mW/cm(2), energy density of 5 J/cm(2), 10-s exposure time, with a total energy dose of 0.2 J). Five animals were killed after short-term (days 1 and 7) and long-term (14 and 21) durations following injury. The muscles were processed and submitted to hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemical staining. The histological slices were analyzed qualitatively, semi-quantitatively, and quantitatively. The data were submitted to statistical analysis using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The qualitative analysis of morphological aspects revealed that the muscle repair were very similar in cryoinjury and laser groups on days 1, 14 and 21. However, at 7 days, differences could be observed because there was a reduction in myonecrosis associated to formation of new vessels (angiogenesis) in the laser-treated group. The analysis of the distribution of types I and III collagen, on day 7, revealed a significant increase in the depositing of these proteins in the laser-treated group when compared to the cryoinjury group. InGaAlP diode laser within the power parameters and conditions tested had a biostimulatory effect at the regenerative and fibrotic phases of the skeletal muscle repairs, by promoting angiogenesis, reducing myonecrosis, and inducing types I and III collagen synthesis, following cryoinjury in rat.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism*
  • Collagen Type III / metabolism*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / radiation effects*
  • Necrosis / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects


  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type III