904 nm Low-Level Laser Irradiation Decreases Expression of Catabolism-Related Genes in White Adipose Tissue of Wistar Rats: Possible Roles of Laser on Metabolism

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2020 Jan;38(1):11-18. doi: 10.1089/photob.2018.4609. Epub 2019 Dec 17.


Background: Adipose tissue is the main energy storage tissue in the body. Its catabolic and anabolic responses depend on several factors, such as nutritional status, metabolic profile, and hormonal signaling. There are few studies addressing the effects of laser photobiomodulation (PBM) on adipose tissue and results are controversial. Objective: Our purpose was to investigate the metabolic effects of PBM on adipose tissue from Wistar rats supplemented or not with caffeine. Materials and methods: Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control (CTL), laser-treated [CTL (L)], caffeine (CAF), and caffeine+PBM [CAF (L)]. Blood was extracted for quantification of triglyceride and cholesterol levels and white adipose tissues were collected for analysis. We evaluated gene expression in the adipose tissue for the leptin receptor, lipase-sensitive hormone, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and beta adrenergic receptor. Results: We demonstrated that the low-level laser irradiation was able to increase the feed intake of the animals and the relative mass of the adipose tissue in the CTL (L) group compared with CTL. Laser treatment also increases serum triglycerides [CTL = 46.99 ± 5.87; CTL (L) = 57.46 ± 14.38; CAF = 43.98 ± 5.17; and CAF (L) = 56.9 ± 6.12; p = 0.007] and total cholesterol (CTL = 70.62 ± 6.80; CTL (L) = 79.41 ± 13.07; CAF = 71.01 ± 5.52; and CAF (L) = 79.23 ± 6.881; p = 0.003). Conclusions: Laser PBM decreased gene expression of the studied genes in the adipose tissue, indicating that PBM is able to block the catabolic responses of this tissue. Interestingly, the CAF (L) and CAF animals presented the same CLT (L) phenotype, however, without increasing the feed intake and the relative weight of the adipose tissue. The description of these phenomena opens a new perspective for the study of the action of low-level laser in adipose tissue.

Keywords: LLLT; adipose tissue; fat metabolism; hormone-sensitive lipase; photobiomodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Lipid Metabolism / radiation effects*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Caffeine