Actual Isothermal Effects of Water-Filtered Infrared A-Irradiation

Photochem Photobiol. 2015 Jul-Aug;91(4):887-94. doi: 10.1111/php.12439. Epub 2015 Mar 12.


In this study, the athermal effects of water-filtered infrared A (wIRA)-irradiation (780-1400 nm) on human dermal fibroblasts were investigated. For this purpose, cells were exposed to wIRA-irradiation (178 mW cm(-2) for 1 h), while a sophisticated experimental setup prevented warming of the samples exceeding 0.1°C. The investigated parameters were the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential and superoxide release, protein oxidation, proliferation rate, as well as intracellular Ca(2+) -release in single cells, most of them quantified via fluorescence microscopy and fluorimetric techniques. The existence of actual athermal wIRA-effects is still intensively discussed, since their detection requires a careful experimental setup and both efficient and powerful temperature regulation of the exposed samples. Here, we can definitively show that some of the supposed athermal wIRA-effects may be rather artifacts, since wIRA did not reveal any impact on the above mentioned parameters-as long as the temperature of the exposed cells was carefully maintained. Though, we were able to identify an athermal DNA-protective wIRA-effect, since the induced DNA damage (quantified via 8-Oxo-G-formation) was significantly decreased after a subsequent UVB-exposure. These results suggest that many of the supposed athermal wIRA-effects can be induced by pure warming of the samples, independent from any wIRA-irradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Filtration
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Water


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Water
  • Calcium