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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2011 Dec 2;105(3):207-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

Effect of laser phototherapy on wound healing following cerebral ischemia by cryogenic injury.

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School of Dentistry, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-000, Brazil.


Laser phototherapy emerges as an alternative or auxiliary therapy for acute ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury, degenerative brain disease, spinal cord injury, and peripheral nerve regeneration, but its effects are still controversial. We have previously found that laser phototherapy immunomodulates the response to focal brain damage. Following direct cortical cryogenic injury the effects of laser phototherapy on inflammation and repair was assessed after cryogenic injury (CI) to the central nervous system (CNS) of rats. The laser phototherapy was carried out with a 780 nm AlGaAs diode laser. The irradiation parameters were: power of 40 mW, beam area of 0.04 cm(2), energy density of 3 J/cm(2) (3s) in two points (0.12 J per point). Two irradiations were performed at 3 h-intervals, in contact mode. Rats (20 non-irradiated - controls and 20 irradiated) were used. The wound healing in the CNS was followed in 6 h, 1, 7 and 14 days after the last irradiation. The size of the lesions, the neuron cell viability percentages and the amount of positive GFAP labeling were statistically compared by ANOVA complemented by Tukey's test (p<0.05). The distribution of lymphocytes, leukocytes and macrophages were also analyzed. CI created focal lesions in the cortex represented by necrosis, edema, hemorrhage and inflammatory infiltrate. The most striking findings were: lased lesions showed smaller tissue loss than control lesions in 6 h. During the first 24 h the amount of viable neurons was significantly higher in the lased group. There was a remarkable increase in the amount of GFAP in the control group by 14 days. Moreover, the lesions of irradiated animals had fewer leukocytes and lymphocytes in the first 24 h than controls. Considering the experimental conditions of this study it was concluded that laser phototherapy exerts its effect in wound healing following CI by controlling the brain damage, preventing neuron death and severe astrogliosis that could indicate the possibility of a better clinical outcome.

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