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Exp Brain Res. 2016 Nov;234(11):3225-3232. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Near-infrared light treatment reduces astrogliosis in MPTP-treated monkeys.

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Department of Anatomy F13, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia.
University Grenoble Alpes, CEA, LETI, CLINATEC, MINATEC Campus, 38000, Grenoble, France.
Department of Physiology F13, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia.
Department of Anatomy F13, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia.


We have reported previously that intracranial application of near-infrared light (NIr) reduces clinical signs and offers neuroprotection in a subacute MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) monkey model of Parkinson's disease. In this study, we explored whether NIr reduces the gliosis in this animal model. Sections of midbrain (containing the substantia nigra pars compacta; SNc) and striatum were processed for glial fibrillary acidic protein (to label astrocytes; GFAP) and ionised calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (to label microglia; IBA1) immunohistochemistry. Cell counts were undertaken using stereology, and cell body sizes were measured using ImageJ. Our results showed that NIr treatment reduced dramatically (~75 %) MPTP-induced astrogliosis in both the SNc and striatum. Among microglia, however, NIr had a more limited impact in both nuclei; although there was a reduction in overall cell size, there were no changes in the number of microglia in the MPTP-treated monkeys after NIr treatment. In summary, we showed that NIr treatment influenced the glial response, particularly that of the astrocytes, in our monkey MPTP model of Parkinson's disease. Our findings raise the possibility of glial cells as a future therapeutic target using NIr.


670 nm; Parkinson’s disease; Photobiomodulation; Striatum; Substantia nigra

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