Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 559–571 | Cite as

Infrared photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy improves glucose metabolism and intracellular insulin pathway in adipose tissue of high-fat fed mice

  • Gabriela Silva
  • Cleber Ferraresi
  • Rodrigo Teixeira de Almeida
  • Mariana Lopes Motta
  • Thiago Paixão
  • Vinicius Oliveira Ottone
  • Ivana Alice Fonseca
  • Murilo Xavier Oliveira
  • Etel Rocha-Vieira
  • Marco Fabrício Dias-Peixoto
  • Elizabethe Adriana Esteves
  • Cândido Celso Coimbra
  • Fabiano Trigueiro Amorim
  • Flávio de Castro Magalhães
Original Article


Obesity represents a continuously growing global epidemic and is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The etiology of type 2 diabetes is related to the resistance of insulin-sensitive tissues to its action leading to impaired blood glucose regulation. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy might be a non-pharmacological, non-invasive strategy to improve insulin resistance. It has been reported that PBM therapy in combination with physical exercise reduces insulin resistance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PBM therapy on insulin resistance in obese mice. Male Swiss albino mice received low-fat control diet (n = 16, LFC) or high-fat diet (n = 18, HFD) for 12 weeks. From 9th to 12th week, the mice received PBM therapy (LASER) or Sham (light off) treatment and were allocated into four groups: LFC Sham (n = 8), LFC PBM (n = 8), HFD Sham (n = 9), and HFD PBM (n = 9). The PBM therapy was applied in five locations: to the left and right quadriceps muscle, upper limbs and center of the abdomen, during 40 s at each point, once a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks (780 nm, 250 mW/cm2, 10 J/cm2, 0.4 J per site; 2 J total dose per day). Insulin signaling pathway was evaluated in the epididymal adipose tissue. PBM therapy improved glucose tolerance and phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473) and reversed the HFD-induced reduction of GLUT4 content and phosphorylation of AS160 (Ser588). Also, PBM therapy reversed the increased area of epididymal and mesenteric adipocytes. The results showed that chronic PBM therapy improved parameters related to obesity and insulin resistance in HFD-induced obesity in mice.


Low-level laser therapy Insulin resistance Glucose intolerance Type 2 diabetes mellitus Insulin signaling 



The authors disclose receipt of financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: CAPES (PNPD-2455/2011), FAPEMIG (APQ-01915-13 and APQ-03058-16), and CNPq (447007/2014-9) grants. The authors wish to acknowledge Kurt A. Escobar for reviewing the manuscript. The authors would like to acknowledge the Centro Integrado de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Saúde at the Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, for providing equipments and technical support for experiments.

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures followed the National Council of Animal Experimentation (Brazil) and were approved by the local Ethics Committee on Animal Use under the number 028/2014.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Silva
    • 1
  • Cleber Ferraresi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rodrigo Teixeira de Almeida
    • 1
  • Mariana Lopes Motta
    • 1
  • Thiago Paixão
    • 1
  • Vinicius Oliveira Ottone
    • 1
  • Ivana Alice Fonseca
    • 1
  • Murilo Xavier Oliveira
    • 4
  • Etel Rocha-Vieira
    • 1
  • Marco Fabrício Dias-Peixoto
    • 1
  • Elizabethe Adriana Esteves
    • 1
  • Cândido Celso Coimbra
    • 1
    • 5
  • Fabiano Trigueiro Amorim
    • 1
    • 6
  • Flávio de Castro Magalhães
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa Multicêntrico de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Fisiológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Básicas e da SaúdeUniversidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e MucuriDiamantinaBrazil
  2. 2.Post-graduation Program in Physical Therapy in Functional Health, Physical Therapy DepartmentUniversidade do Sagrado CoraçãoSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Post-Graduation Program in Biomedical EngineeringUniversidade BrasilSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Reabilitação e Desempenho Funcional, Physiotherapy Department, Faculdade de Ciências Básicas e da SaúdeUniversidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e MucuriDiamantinaBrazil
  5. 5.Endocrinology Laboratory, Biological Sciences InstituteFederal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  6. 6.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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