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Lasers Med Sci. 2014 Jul;29(4):1397-403. doi: 10.1007/s10103-014-1543-2. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) reduces the COX-2 mRNA expression in both subplantar and total brain tissues in the model of peripheral inflammation induced by administration of carrageenan.

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Instituto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento-IP&D, Universidade do Vale do Paraíba-UNIVAP, Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, São José dos Campos, Urbanova, CEP: 12244-000, SP, Brazil.


In the classical model of edema formation and hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan administration in rat paw, the increase in prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in the central nervous system (CNS) contributes to the severity of the inflammatory and pain responses. Prostaglandins are generated by the cyclooxygenase (COX). There are two distinct COX isoforms, COX-1 and COX-2. In inflammatory tissues, COX-2 is greatly expressed producing proinflammatory prostaglandins (PGs). Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used in the treatment of inflammatory pathologies, reducing both pain and acute inflammatory process. Herein we studied the effect of LLLT on both COX-2 and COX-1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in either subplantar or brain tissues taken from rats treated with carrageenan. The experiment was designed as follows: A1 (saline), A2 (carrageenan-0.5 mg/paw), A3 (carrageenan-0.5 mg/paw + LLLT), A4 (carrageenan-1.0 mg/paw), and A5 (carrageenan-1.0 mg/paw + LLLT). Animals from the A3 and A5 groups were irradiated at 1 h after carrageenan administration, using a diode laser with an output power of 30 mW and a wavelength of 660 nm. The laser beam covered an area of 0.785 cm(2), resulting in an energy dosage of 7.5 J/cm(2). Both COX-2 and COX-1 mRNAs were measured by RT-PCR. Six hours after carrageenan administration, COX-2 mRNA expression was significantly increased both in the subplantar (2.2-4.1-fold) and total brain (8.65-13.79-fold) tissues. COX-1 mRNA expression was not changed. LLLT (7.5 J/cm(2)) reduced significantly the COX-2 mRNA expression both in the subplantar (~2.5-fold) and brain (4.84-9.67-fold) tissues. The results show that LLLT is able to reduce COX-2 mRNA expression. It is possible that the mechanism of LLLT decreasing hyperalgesia is also related to its effect in reducing the COX-2 expression in the CNS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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