The effect of low-level laser therapy on oxidative stress and functional fitness in aged rats subjected to swimming: an aerobic exercise

Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Jul;31(5):833-40. doi: 10.1007/s10103-016-1882-2. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in conjunction with aerobic training interferes with oxidative stress, thereby influencing the performance of old rats participating in swimming. Thirty Wistar rats (Norvegicus albinus) (24 aged and six young) were tested. The older animals were randomly divided into aged-control, aged-exercise, aged-LLLT, aged-LLLT/exercise, and young-control. Aerobic capacity (VO2max(0.75)) was analyzed before and after the training period. The exercise groups were trained for 6 weeks, and the LLLT was applied at 808 nm and 4 J energy. The rats were euthanized, and muscle tissue was collected to analyze the index of lipid peroxidation thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) activities. VO2 (0.75)max values in the aged-LLLT/exercise group were significantly higher from those in the baseline older group (p <0.01) and the LLLT and exercise group (p <0.05). The results indicate that the activities of CAT, SOD, and GPx were higher and statistically significant (p <0.05) in the LLLT/exercise group than those in the LLLT and exercise groups. Young animals presented lesser and statistically significant activities of antioxidant enzymes compared to the aged group. The LLLT/exercise group and the LLLT and exercise group could also mitigate the concentration of TBARS (p > 0.05). Laser therapy in conjunction with aerobic training may reduce oxidative stress, as well as increase VO2 (0.75)max, indicating that an aerobic exercise such as swimming increases speed and improves performance in aged animals treated with LLLT.

Keywords: Aerobic exercise; Aged; Low-level laser; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / radiation effects*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Swimming / physiology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Superoxide Dismutase