Red (660 nm) or near-infrared (810 nm) photobiomodulation stimulates, while blue (415 nm), green (540 nm) light inhibits proliferation in human adipose-derived stem cells

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 10;7(1):7781. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07525-w.


We previously showed that blue (415 nm) and green (540 nm) wavelengths were more effective in stimulating osteoblast differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC), compared to red (660 nm) and near-infrared (NIR, 810 nm). Intracellular calcium was higher after blue/green, and could be inhibited by the ion channel blocker, capsazepine. In the present study we asked what was the effect of these four wavelengths on proliferation of the hASC? When cultured in proliferation medium there was a clear difference between blue/green which inhibited proliferation and red/NIR which stimulated proliferation, all at 3 J/cm2. Blue/green reduced cellular ATP, while red/NIR increased ATP in a biphasic manner. Blue/green produced a bigger increase in intracellular calcium and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Blue/green reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and lowered intracellular pH, while red/NIR had the opposite effect. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel was expressed in hADSC, and the TRPV1 ligand capsaicin (5uM) stimulated proliferation, which could be abrogated by capsazepine. The inhibition of proliferation caused by blue/green could also be abrogated by capsazepine, and by the antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine. The data suggest that blue/green light inhibits proliferation by activating TRPV1, and increasing calcium and ROS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • TRPV Cation Channels / agonists
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 protein, human
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Capsaicin
  • Calcium