Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 645–653 | Cite as

The effect of noncoherent red light irradiation on proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

  • Fei Peng
  • Hua WuEmail author
  • Yadong Zheng
  • Xiqiang Xu
  • Jizhe Yu
Original Article


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising for use in regenerative medicine. Low-level light irradiation (LLLI) has been shown to modulate various processes in different biological systems. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of red light emitted from a light-emitting diode (LED) on bone marrow MSCs with or without osteogenic supplements. MSCs both with and without osteogenic supplements were divided into four groups, and each group was irradiated at doses of 0, 1, 2 and 4 J/cm2. Cellular proliferation was evaluated using WST-8 and 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) fluorescence staining. The alkaline phosphatase activity, mineralization, and expression of osteoblast master genes (Col1α1, Alpl, Bglap and Runx2) were monitored as indicators of MSC differentiation towards osteoblasts. In groups without osteogenic supplements, red light at all doses significantly stimulated cellular proliferation, whereas the osteogenic phenotype of the MSCs was not enhanced. In groups with osteogenic supplements, red light increased alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralized nodule formation, and stimulated the expression of Bglap and Runx2, but decreased cellular proliferation. In conclusion, nonconherent red light can promote proliferation but cannot induce osteogenic differentiation of MSCs in normal media, while it enhances osteogenic differentiation and decreases proliferation of MSCs in media with osteogenic supplements.


Low-level light irradiation (LLLI) Noncoherent light Proliferation Osteogenic differentiation Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) 



The authors thank Chao Chen for his technical assistance. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (contract grant 50477043).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Peng
    • 1
  • Hua Wu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yadong Zheng
    • 3
  • Xiqiang Xu
    • 2
  • Jizhe Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsRenmin Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicsMinzu Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionNanningChina

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