Photobiomodulation at Multiple Wavelengths Differentially Modulates Oxidative Stress In Vitro and In Vivo

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Nov 11:2018:6510159. doi: 10.1155/2018/6510159. eCollection 2018.


Photobiomodulation (PBM) is emerging as an effective strategy for the management of multiple inflammatory conditions, including oral mucositis (OM) in cancer patients who receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Still, the poor understanding of the mechanisms by which the light interacts with biological tissues and the heterogeneity of light sources and protocols employed worldwide significantly limits its applicability. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are massively generated during the early phases of OM and play a major role in the pathogenesis of inflammation in general. Here, we report the results of a clinical and experimental study, aimed at evaluating the effect of laser light at different wavelengths on oxidative stress in vivo in oncologic patients suffering from OM and in vitro in two cell types abundantly present within the inflamed oral mucosa, neutrophil polymorphonuclear (PMN) granulocytes, and keratinocytes. In addition to standard ROS detection methods, we exploited a roGFP2-Orp1 genetically encoded sensor, allowing specific, quantitative, and dynamic imaging of redox events in living cells in response to oxidative stress and PBM. We found that the various wavelengths differentially modulate ROS production. In particular, the 660 nm laser light increases ROS production when applied either before or after an oxidative stimulus. In contrast, the 970 nm laser light exerted a moderate antioxidant activity both in the saliva of OM patients and in both cell types. The most marked reduction in the levels of ROS was detected in cells exposed either to the 800 nm laser light or to the combination of the three wavelengths. Overall, our study demonstrates that PBM exerts different effects on the redox state of both PMNs and keratinocytes depending on the used wavelength and prompts the validation of a multiwavelength protocol in the clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / radiation effects*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / radiation effects
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Stomatitis / radiotherapy*