Evaluation of muscle regeneration in aged animals after treatment with low-level laser therapy

Rev Bras Fisioter. Nov-Dec 2012;16(6):495-501. doi: 10.1590/s1413-35552012005000053. Epub 2012 Oct 9.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background: The aging process and its associated morphophysiological changes trigger a reduction in the regenerative ability of the satellite cells, a reduction of vascular tissue and an increase in the production of fibroblasts, developing a cellular environment unfavorable for muscle regeneration.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of low-level laser therapy on the muscle regeneration of old experimental rat models after contusion.

Method: A total of 25 old rats,18 months old, were divided into three groups: control group (CT) without treatment; injury group (IN) with muscle contusion and without treatment and laser group (LA) with contusion and low-level laser therapy, 830 nm, 30 mW e 4 J/cm². The no invasive contusion was induced in the Tibialis Anterior muscle and the samples were collected after 7 and 21 treatment sessions. The muscle was evaluated by Light Microscopy and Immunoblotting.

Results: After 21 days of treatment there was a significant reduction in the areas of inflammation/regeneration of the LA 21 group compared to IN 21 group. The cross-sectional area of the fibers in regeneration was not statistically different between the groups. Molecular analysis showed that the content of MyoD was statistically reduced in the IN 21 group compared to the CT group. The Myogenin content was increased in the IN 21 group compared to the CT group. Ultimately, the content of TGF-β1 on the IN 21 group was higher when compared to the CT group.

Conclusion: Considering the parameters used, the laser therapy demonstrated to be effective for muscle regeneration in old rats, however only through its anti-inflammatory effect.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Contusions
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regeneration*