Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been demonstrated to modulate inflammatory processes and immunological responses. The aim of this work was to investigate the hypothesis that near infrared LLLT (830 nm) over lymph nodes may reduce paw edema and contribute to the modulation of inflammation. The edema was induced by carrageenan inoculation (CGN) into the plantar surface of 100 male mice left hind paw. Animals were divided into five groups: CGN (control), no treatment; Diclo, sodium diclofenac; Paw, LLLT on the paw; Ly, LLLT on the inguinal lymph nodes; and Paw+Ly, LLLT in both paw and lymph nodes, and subdivided according to moment of irradiation: A-1 h and 2 h before CGN, B-1 h and immediately before CGN, C-1 and 2 h after CGN, and D-3.5 and 4.5 h after CGN. The parameters used were: energy=1 J, fluence=35 J/cm(2), power=100 mW during 10 s. Paw volume was measured before and 1 to 6 h after CGN, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity was analyzed. Edema prevention was obtained by the irradiation of Paw+Ly at moment A and at Ly at moment B, inhibition of edema formation was achieved by either Paw or Ly at moment C, and edema treatment was obtained by Paw or Ly at moment D (p<0.05). MPO activity was significantly reduced on Paw at moment A, Paw and Ly on C, and in all irradiated groups on B and D. Our results suggest that LLLT was able to produce both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory effects depending on to the site and moment of irradiation.