Effects of low level laser therapy on proliferation and neurotrophic factor gene expression of human schwann cells in vitro

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2012 Feb 6:107:9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2011.11.001. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Previous studies have been proposed that proliferation and release of certain growth factors by different types of cells can be modulated by low level laser therapy. We aimed to demonstrate the effect of laser irradiation on human schwann cell proliferation and neurotrophic factor gene expression in vitro. Human schwann cells (SCs) were harvested from sural nerve that was obtained from organ donor followed by treatment with an 810 nm, 50 mW diode laser (two different energies: 1 J/cm(2) and 4 J/cm(2)) in three consecutive days. SC proliferation was measured, after first irradiation on days 1, 4 and 7 by the MTT assay. Real time PCR analysis was utilized on days 5 and 20 to evaluate the expression of key genes involved in nerve regeneration consist of NGF, BDNF and GDNF. Evaluation of cellular proliferation following one day after laser treatment revealed significant decrease in cell proliferation compared to control group. However on day 7, significant increase in proliferation was found in both the irradiated groups in comparison with the control group. No significant difference was found between the laser treated groups. Treatment of SCs with laser resulted in significant increase in NGF gene expression on day 20. Difference between two treated groups and control group was not significant for BDNF and GDNF gene expression. Our results demonstrate that low level laser therapy stimulate human schwann cell proliferation and NGF gene expression in vitro.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Gallium
  • Gene Expression Regulation / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Schwann Cells / cytology*
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism*
  • Schwann Cells / radiation effects
  • Young Adult


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Gallium
  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic