Low-Level Laser Therapy to the Bone Marrow Ameliorates Neurodegenerative Disease Progression in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease: A Minireview

Photomed Laser Surg. 2016 Dec;34(12):627-630. doi: 10.1089/pho.2015.4072. Epub 2016 Jun 13.


Objective: This communication reviews the ability of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to stimulate mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in autologous bone marrow (BM) to enhance the capacity of MSCs to infiltrate the brain, clear β-amyloid, and improve cognition.

Background: We recently reported that LLLT applied to the BM enhanced the proliferation of MSCs and their mobilization toward the ischemic heart region, suggesting a possible application of this approach in regenerative medicine and neurodegenerative diseases. It was also shown that circulating monocytes can infiltrate the brain and reduce brain amyloid load in an Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse model.

Methods and results: MSCs from wild-type mice stimulated with LLLT demonstrated an increased ability to maturate toward a monocyte lineage and to increase phagocytosis of soluble Aβ in vitro. Furthermore, weekly LLLT for 2 months to the BM, starting at 4 months of age (progressive stage of the disease in these 5XFAD transgenic male mice), improved memory and spatial learning, compared to a sham-treated AD mouse model. Histology revealed a significant reduction in Aβ brain burden in the laser-treated mice compared to the nonlaser-treated ones.

Conclusions: The application of LLLT to the BM is suggested as a therapeutic approach in progressive stages of AD, and its potential role in mediating MSC therapy in brain amyloidogenic disease is implied.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease (AD); amyloid beta (Aβ); bone marrow (BM); exosomes; low-level laser therapy (LLLT); mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / radiotherapy*
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / radiation effects*
  • Disease Progression
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Mice
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / radiotherapy*