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Photobiomodulation with 630-nm LED radiation inhibits the proliferation of human synoviocyte MH7A cells possibly via TRPV4/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway

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Phototherapy has been used to treat postoperative pain and inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis. Confidence in this approach, however, is impaired by lack of understanding of the light-triggered cellular and molecular mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to characterize the response of human synoviocyte MH7A cells to visible LED red light in an attempt to elucidate the associated action mechanism. Human synoviocyte MH7A cells were treated with 630-nm LED light after stimulation of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The effects of light radiation on cell proliferation and migration were detected by MTT assay and scratch test. The expressions of inflammatory cytokines were measured using RT-qPCR. This was followed by detection of the levels of extracellular proteins IL-6 and IL-8 after differential radiation. Furthermore, the expression levels and activation of proteins on PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway were examined with Western blot. In terms of the proliferation and migration, repeated radiation with LED red light (630 nm, 26 and 39 J/cm2) exerted an inhibitory effect on synoviocyte MH7A cells. Expression of inflammatory factors (IL-6, IL-1β, IL-8, and MMP-3) was reduced; meanwhile, the expression of anti-inflammatory factor IL-10 was promoted. At the protein level, treatment with 39 J/cm2 of LED red light could decrease the level of extracellular protein (IL-6 and IL-8) and affect the expression and phosphorylation of proteins on TRPV4/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway induced by TNF-α. These results demonstrated that LED red light (630 nm) inhibits proliferation and migration of MH7A cells. The growth-inhibiting effects of LED red light on human synoviocyte MH7A cells appear to be associated with regulation of the TRPV4/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

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We thank Truwin Optoelectronic Medical (Beijing, China) for building the LED device according to our design.


This work was supported by the National Major Project for the research task (no. 2017YFB040380).

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Correspondence to Wuqi Song.

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Meng, C., Xia, Q., Wu, H. et al. Photobiomodulation with 630-nm LED radiation inhibits the proliferation of human synoviocyte MH7A cells possibly via TRPV4/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Lasers Med Sci 35, 1927–1936 (2020).

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