Lasers Med Sci. 2022 Sep 6. doi: 10.1007/s10103-022-03624-x. Online ahead of print.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) also known as photobiomodulation is a treatment to change cellular biological activity. The exact effects of LLLT remain unclear due to the different irradiation protocols. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of LLLT by three different irradiation methods on the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in vitro. BMSCs were inoculated in 24-well plates and then irradiated or not (control) with a laser using three different irradiation methods. The irradiation methods were spot irradiation, covering irradiation, and scanning irradiation according to different spot areas (0.07 cm2 or 1.96 cm2) and irradiation areas (0.35 cm2 or 1.96 cm2), respectively. The laser was applied three times at energy densities of 4 J/cm2. The cell proliferation by CCK-8. ALP activity assay, alizarin red, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were performed to assess osteogenic differentiation and mineralization. Increases in cell proliferation was obvious following irradiation, especially for covering irradiation. The ALP activity was significantly increased in irradiated groups compared with non-irradiated control. The level of mineralization was obviously improved following irradiation, particularly for covering irradiation. RT-PCR detected significantly higher expression of ALP, OPN, OCN, and RUNX-2 in the group covering than in the others, and control is the lowest. The presented results indicate that the biostimulative effects of LLLT on BMSCs was influenced by t he irradiation method, and the covering irradiation is more favorable method to promote the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs.