Photobiomodulation inhibits inflammation in the temporomandibular joint of rats

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2021 Sep:222:112281. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2021.112281. Epub 2021 Aug 5.


Photobiomodulation (PBM) has been applied as a non-invasive technique for treating temporomandibular joint symptoms, especially on painful condition's relief, however the anti-inflammatory mechanism underlying the effect of PBM remains uncertain. This study aims to evaluate the mechanisms of action of PBM (808 nm) in a carrageenan-induced inflammation on temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of rats. In this study male Wistar rats were pre-treated with irradiation of a low-power diode laser for 15 s on TMJ (infra-red 808 nm, 100 mW, 50 J/cm2 and 1.5 J) 15 min prior an injection in the temporomandibular joint of carrageenan (100 μg/TMJ). 1 h after the TMJ treatments, the rats were terminally anesthetized for joint cavity wash and periarticular tissues collect. Samples analysis demonstrated that PBM inhibit leukocytes chemotaxis in the TMJ and significantly reduces amounts of TNF-α, IL-1β and CINC-1. In addition, Western blotting analysis demonstrated that PBM significantly decreased the protein levels of P2X3 and P2X7 receptors in the periarticular tissues. On the other hand, PBM was able to increase protein level of IL-10 (anti-inflammatory cytokine). In summary, it is possible to suggest that PBM inhibit inflammatory chemotaxis, modulation the balance of the pro- and anti-inflammatory characteristics of inflammatory cells.

Keywords: Inflammation; P2X3; P2X7; Photobiomodulation; Purinergic receptor; Temporomandibular join.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrageenan / toxicity
  • Cell Movement / radiation effects
  • Down-Regulation / radiation effects
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X3 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7 / metabolism
  • Temporomandibular Joint / metabolism
  • Temporomandibular Joint / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint / radiation effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X3
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Carrageenan