Red light as a 12-oxo-leukotriene B₄ antagonist: an explanation for the efficacy of intensive red light in the therapy of peripheral inflammatory diseases

Biomed Tech (Berl). 2014 Dec;59(6):487-93. doi: 10.1515/bmt-2014-0014.


To explain the successful treatment of various inflammatory diseases by using intensive red light, a non-linear theory is presented for the interaction of electric dipoles with light involving frequency doubling. It is applied to analyze the influence of light on organic molecules with permanent electric dipoles. The molecule 5-hydroxy-12-oxo-(5S,6Z,8E,10E,14Z)-6,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, 12-oxo-leukotriene B4 (12-Oxo-LTB4, an intermediate in the lipoxygenase-catalyzed path of arachidonic acid metabolism), is suspected to play a major role in the healing process, as, first, it plays a key role in the metabolism of leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which in many diseases acts as a source of inflammatory reactions; second, its dipole resonance is located at a wavelength of 316 nm, which can be excited by a 632 nm source through frequency doubling. From the structure of 12-Oxo-LTB4 and the knowledge of the partial charges of its 54 atoms, the equivalent values for dipole charges and dipole moment are derived. The power balance demonstrates that intensive red light with a power density of 0.4 W/cm2 transfers sufficient energy to 12-Oxo-LTB4 to render it biologically inactive. Hence, by generating a reactive high-energy leukotriene pathway intermediate, the law of mass action steers the chemical equilibrium to interrupt the inflammatory cascade.

MeSH terms

  • Color
  • Computer Simulation
  • Energy Transfer
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Leukotriene B4 / chemistry*
  • Leukotriene B4 / immunology*
  • Leukotriene B4 / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation / radiation effects
  • Phototherapy / methods
  • Radiation Dosage


  • Leukotriene B4