Effects of photobiomodulation therapy in chondrocyte response by in vitro experiments and experimental model of osteoarthritis in the knee of rats

Lasers Med Sci. 2022 Apr;37(3):1677-1686. doi: 10.1007/s10103-021-03417-8. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy in chondrocyte response by in vitro experiments and cartilage repair using an experimental model of osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee of rats. The in vitro experiment was performed with chondrocyte cells, and they were divided into two groups: non-irradiated and irradiated with PBM (808 nm; 0.8 J or 1.4 J). Then, cell proliferation was evaluated after 1, 3, and 5 days. The experimental model of osteoarthritis (OA) was performed in the knee of 64 Wistar rats, and they were assorted into control group (CG), PBM (808 nm; 1.4 J). The results of in vitro showed that PBM 1.4 J increased cell proliferation, on days 1 and 5. However, after 3 days was demonstrated a significant increase in cell proliferation in PBM 0.8 J. The in vivo experiment results demonstrated, on histological analysis, that PBM presented less intense signs of tissue degradation with an initial surface discontinuity at the superficial zone and disorganization of the chondrocytes in the cartilage region when compared to CG, after 4 and 8 weeks. These findings were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR analysis which showed that PBM increased IL-4, IL-10, COL-2, Aggrecan, and TGF-β which are anabolic factors and acts on extracellular matrix. Also, PBM reduces the IL1-β, an inflammatory marker that operates as a catabolic factor on articular cartilage. In conclusion, these results suggest that PBM may have led to a return to tissue homeostasis, promoting chondroprotective effects and stimulating the components of the articular tissue.

Keywords: Articular cartilage; Knee osteoarthritis; Laser; Photobiomodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular* / pathology
  • Chondrocytes / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis* / genetics
  • Osteoarthritis* / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis* / radiotherapy
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / genetics
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / radiotherapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar