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J Invest Dermatol. 1990 Jun;94(6):822-6.

Low-energy helium-neon laser irradiation increases the motility of cultured human keratinocytes.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine and Physics, University of California, Davis 95616.


Helium-neon (HeNe) laser irradiation is known to stimulate wound healing. We investigated whether the biostimulatory effects of HeNe irradiation result from enhancement of keratinocyte proliferation or motility. HeNe effects on keratinocyte motility were evaluated by irradiating a "wounded" culture with 0.8 J/cm2 3 times over a 20-h period. At 20 h post-irradiation, videocinemicroscopy and sequential quantitative measurements of the leading edge were taken over a 6-h period. There was a significant difference in migration of the leading edge in irradiated "wounds" compared to non-irradiated "wounded" controls (12.0 microns/h vs 4.0 microns/h, p less than 0.0001). To determine if the increase in migration observed in irradiated cultures resulted from a proliferative effect of HeNe irradiation, subconfluent human keratinocyte cultures were irradiated with single or multiple doses of different fluences of HeNe irradiation (0.4 to 7.2 J/cm2) and evaluated 72 h post-irradiation. Irradiated and non-irradiated keratinocyte cultures grown on a microporous membrane surface were co-cultured with irradiated and non-irradiated fibroblasts to determine if HeNe irradiation induced a paracrine effect on keratinocyte proliferation. No significant increase in keratinocyte proliferation was demonstrated in any of these treatments. The biostimulatory effects of HeNe irradiation may now be extended to include enhancement of keratinocyte motility in vitro; this may contribute to the efficacy of HeNe irradiation in wound healing.

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