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Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 May;89:1320-1330. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.03.024. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) therapy improves occipital cortex damage by decreasing apoptosis and increasing BDNF-expressing cells in methanol-induced toxicity in rats.

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Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.
ER045, Laboratory of Stem Cells, DSST, Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran. Electronic address:


Methanol-induced retinal toxicity, frequently associated with elevated free radicals and cell edema, is characterized by progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death and vision loss. Previous studies investigated the effect of photomodulation on RGCs, but not the visual cortex. In this study, the effect of 670nm Light-Emitting Diode (LED) therapy on RGCs and visual cortex recovery was investigated in a seven-day methanol-induced retinal toxicity protocol in rats. Methanol administration showed a reduction in the number of RGCs, loss of neurons (neuronal nuclear antigen, NeuN+), activation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP+) expressing cells, suppression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF+) positive cells, increase in apoptosis (caspase 3+) and enhancement of nitric oxide (NO) release in serum and brain. On the other hand, LED therapy significantly reduced RGC death, in comparison to the methanol group. In addition, the number of BDNF positive cells was significantly higher in the visual cortex of LED-treated group, in comparison to methanol-intoxicated and control groups. Moreover, LED therapy caused a significant decrease in cell death (caspase 3+ cells) and a significant reduction in the NO levels, both in serum and brain tissue, in comparison to methanol-intoxicated rats. Overall, LED therapy demonstrated a number of beneficial effects in decreasing oxidative stress and in functional recovery of RGCs and visual cortex. Our data suggest that LED therapy could be a potential condidate as a non-invasive approach for treatment of retinal damage, which needs further clinicl studies.


Apoptosis; Light-emitting diode; Methanol-induced toxicity; Occipital cortex

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