Near infrared light amplifies endothelial progenitor cell accumulation after stroke

Cond Med. 2019 Aug;2(4):170-177.


Damage-associated molecular pattern signals may play key roles in mediating non-cell autonomous effects of pre and post-conditioning. Here, we show that near-infrared (NIR) light stimulation of astrocytes increases a calcium-dependent secretion of the prototypical DAMP, HMGB1, which may then accelerate endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) accumulation after stroke. Conditioned media from NIR-stimulated astrocytes increased EPC proliferation in vitro, and blockade of HMGB1 with siRNA diminished the effect. In vivo transcranial NIR treatment confirmed that approximately 40% of NIR could penetrate the scalp and skull. Concomitantly, NIR increased GFAP expression in normal mouse brain at 30 min after the irradiation. In a mouse model of focal ischemia, repeated irradiation of NIR at days 5, 9, and 13 successfully increased HMGB1 in peri-infarct cortex, leading to a higher accumulation of EPCs at 14 days post-stroke. Conditioning and tolerance are now known to involve cell-cell signaling between all cell types in the neurovascular unit. Taken together, our proof-of-concept study suggest that NIR light may be an effective conditioning tool to stimulate astrocytic signaling and promote EPC accumulation after stroke.

Keywords: Astrocytes; endothelial progenitor cells; near-infrared light; stroke.