Temporal parameters of low energy laser irradiation for optimal delay of post-traumatic degeneration of rat optic nerve

Brain Res. 1989 Jan 9;476(2):205-12. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(89)91240-7.


Compression injury of a central nerve results in its degeneration with irreversible loss of function due to the inability of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate. In contrast, the CNS of lower vertebrates has a high capacity to regenerate. Recently, low energy laser irradiation was shown to attenuate degeneration in injured CNS nerves. The optic nerves of rats were subjected to moderate crush, calibrated so that some electrophysiological activity was preserved. The nerves were then subjected to low energy laser irradiation (10.5 mW, 2 min daily) for various periods. The electrical activity of the nerves, distal to the site of injury, was determined by measuring the compound action potential at the termination of the experiment. Two weeks of irradiation begun immediately after injury and continued daily thereafter, resulted in a compound action potential which was significantly higher (mean +/- S.E.M. 1856 +/- 535 microV) than that of non-irradiated injured nerves (351 +/- 120 microV). The effect was temporary and subsided within a week. This two-week irradiation was slightly more effective than a treatment lasting one week (1406 +/- 225 microV) and was significantly more effective than 4 days of irradiation (960 +/- 133 microV). The number of treatments is therefore important. The time at which the treatment commences relative to the injury is also critical. Irradiation initiated two hours after the crush was about half as effective as immediate irradiation (810 +/- 42 microV). No apparent effect was evident when the laser was applied for the first time 5 h, or longer, after the crush.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Nerve Crush
  • Nerve Degeneration / radiation effects*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / radiotherapy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors