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Neural Regen Res. 2014 Nov 1;9(21):1863-9. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.145337.

Effects of low level laser treatment on the survival of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in adult Hamsters.

Author information

1
GHM Institute of CNS Regeneration, and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China ; Department of Anatomy, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China ; Department of Ophthalmology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.
2
Department of Anatomy, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China ; Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.
3
GHM Institute of CNS Regeneration, and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Abstract

Injury to axons close to the neuronal bodies in the mammalian central nervous system causes a large proportion of parenting neurons to degenerate. It is known that optic nerve transection close to the eye in rodents leads to a loss of about half of retinal ganglion cells in 1 week and about 90% in 2 weeks. Using low level laser treatment in the present study, we demonstrated that treatment with helium-neon (660 nm) laser with 15 mW power could delay retinal ganglion cell death after optic nerve axotomy in adult hamsters. The effect was most apparent in the first week with a short period of treatment time (5 minutes) in which 65-66% of retinal ganglion cells survived the optic nerve axotomy whereas 45-47% of retinal ganglion cells did so in optic nerve axotomy controls. We also found that single dose and early commencement of laser irradiation were important in protecting retinal ganglion cells following optic nerve axotomy. These findings thus convincingly show that appropriate laser treatment may be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells.

KEYWORDS:

low level laser treatment; microglial proliferation; neuroprotection; optic nerve axotomy; optic nerve injury; retinal ganglion cells

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