Comparison of the neuroinflammatory responses to selective retina therapy and continuous-wave laser photocoagulation in mouse eyes

  • Jung Woo Han
  • Juhye Choi
  • Young Shin Kim
  • Jina Kim
  • Ralf Brinkmann
  • Jungmook LyuEmail author
  • Tae Kwann ParkEmail author
Basic Science



This study investigated microglia and inflammatory cell responses after selective retina therapy (SRT) with microsecond-pulsed laser in comparison to continuous-wave laser photocoagulation (cwPC).


Healthy C57BL/6 J mice were treated with either a train of short pulses (SRT; 527-nm, Q-switched, 1.7-μs pulse) or a conventional thermal continuous-wave (532-nm, 100-ms pulse duration) laser. The mice were sacrificed and their eyes were enucleated 1, 3, 7, and 14 days after both laser treatments. Pattern of cell death on retinal section was evaluated by TUNEL assay, and the distribution of activated inflammatory cells and glial cells were observed under immunohistochemistry. Consecutive changes for the expression of cytokines such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and TGF-β were also examined using immunohistochemistry, and compared among each period after quantification by Western blotting.


The numbers of TUNEL-positive cells in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) layer did not differ in SRT and cwPC lesions, but TUNEL-positive cells in neural retinas were significantly less on SRT. Vague glial cell activation was observed in SRT-treated lesions. The population of inflammatory cells was also significantly decreased after SRT, and the cells were located in the RPE layer and subretinal space. Proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β and TNF-α, showed significantly lower levels after SRT; conversely, the level of TGF-β was similar to the cwPC-treated lesion.


SRT resulted in selective RPE damage without collateral thermal injury to the neural retina, and apparently produced negligible glial activation. In addition, SRT showed a markedly less inflammatory response than cwPC, which may have important therapeutic implications for several macular diseases.


Continuous-wave laser photocoagulation Inflammatory response Selective retina therapy Iba-1 CD11b F4/80 IL-1β TNF-α TGF-β 



This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (grant number: H I 17C0966, TK Park). This work was partially supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund. The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Animal experiments

All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution at which the studies were conducted.

Financial disclosure

None of the authors have any financial interests to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jung Woo Han
    • 1
  • Juhye Choi
    • 2
  • Young Shin Kim
    • 1
  • Jina Kim
    • 1
  • Ralf Brinkmann
    • 3
  • Jungmook Lyu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tae Kwann Park
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, College of MedicineSoonchunhyang UniversityBucheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Medical ScienceKonyang UniversityDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical OpticsUniversity of Lübeck and Medizinisches Laserzentrum Lübeck GmbHLübeckGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory for Translational Research on Retinal Macular Degeneration, College of MedicineSoonchunhyang UniversityBucheonSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of OphthalmologySoonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon HospitalBucheon-siSouth Korea

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