Low-level laser therapy modulates demyelination in mice

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2018 Dec;189:55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2018.09.024. Epub 2018 Oct 3.


There are no effective therapies for remyelination. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been found advantageous in neurogenesis promotion, cell death prevention, and modulation of inflammation in central and peripheral nervous system models. The purpose of this study was to analyse LLLT effects on cuprizone-induced demyelination. Mice were randomly distributed into three groups: Control Laser (CTL), Cuprizone (CPZ), and Cuprizone Laser (CPZL). Mice from CPZ and CPZL groups were exposed to a 0.2% cuprizone oral diet for four complete weeks. Six sessions of transcranial laser irradiation were applied on three consecutive days, during the third and fourth weeks, with parameters of 36 J/cm2, 50 mW, 0.028 cm2 spot area, continuous wave, 1 J, 20 s, 1.78 W/cm2 in a single point equidistant between the eyes and ears of CTL and CPZL mice. Motor coordination was assessed by the rotarod test. Twenty-four hours after the last laser session, all animals were euthanized, and brains were extracted. Serum was obtained for lactate dehydrogenase toxicity testing. Histomorphological analyses consisted of Luxol Fast Blue staining and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that laser-treated animals presented motor performance improvement, attenuation of demyelination, increased number of oligodendrocyte precursor cells, modulated microglial and astrocytes activation, and a milder toxicity by cuprizone. Although further studies are required, it is suggested that LLLT represents a feasible therapy for demyelinating diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cuprizone / administration & dosage
  • Cuprizone / adverse effects
  • Demyelinating Diseases / chemically induced
  • Demyelinating Diseases / prevention & control
  • Demyelinating Diseases / therapy*
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity
  • Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells / cytology


  • Cuprizone
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase