Effect of NIR Laser Therapy by MLS‐MiS Source on Fibroblast Activation by Inflammatory Cytokines in Relation to Wound Healing

S. Genah, F. Cialdai, V. Ciccone, E. Sereni, L. Morbidelli, M. Monici
Biomedicines 9, 307, 2021

The fine control of inflammation following injury avoids fibrotic scars or impaired wounds. Due to side effects by anti‐inflammatory drugs, the research is continuously active to define alternative therapies. Among them, physical countermeasures such as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) are considered effective and safe. To study the cellular and molecular events associated with the anti‐inflammatory activity of PBMT by a dual‐wavelength NIR laser source, human dermal fibroblasts were exposed to a mix of inflammatory cytokines (IL‐1β and TNF‐α) followed by laser treatment once a day for three days. Inducible inflammatory key enzymatic pathways, as iNOS and COX‐2/mPGES‐1/PGE2, were upregulated by the cytokine mix while PBMT reverted their levels and activities. The same behavior was observed with the proangiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), involved in neovascularization of granulation tissue.
From a molecular point of view, PBMT retained NF‐kB cytoplasmatic localization. According to a change in cell morphology, differences in expression and distribution of fundamental cytoskeletal proteins were observed following treatments. Tubulin, F‐actin, and α‐SMA changed their organization upon cytokine stimulation, while PBMT reestablished the basal localization.
Cytoskeletal rearrangements occurring after inflammatory stimuli were correlated with reorganization of membrane α5β1 and fibronectin network as well as with their upregulation, while PBMT induced significant downregulation. Similar changes were observed for collagen I and the gelatinolytic enzyme MMP‐1. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that the proposed NIR laser therapy is effective in controlling fibroblast activation induced by IL‐1β and TNF‐α, likely responsible for a deleterious effect of persistent inflammation.