Low level light therapy (LLLT) has numerous therapeutic benefits, including improving wound healing, but the precise mechanisms involved are not well established; in particular, the underlying role of cytochrome C oxidase (C-ox) as the primary photoacceptor and the associated biochemical mechanisms still require further investigation. We previously showed the nitric oxide (NO) donating drug nitrosyl-cobinamide (NO-Cbi) enhances wound healing through a cGMP/cGMP-dependent protein kinase/ERK1/2 mechanism. Here, we show that the combination of LLLT and NO-Cbi markedly improves wound healing compared to either treatment alone. LLLT-enhanced wound healing proceeded through an electron transport chain-C-ox-dependent mechanism with a reduction of reactive oxygen species and increased adenosine triphosphate production. C-ox was validated as the primary photoacceptor by three observations: increased oxygen consumption, reduced wound healing in the presence of sodium azide, and disassociation of cyanide, a known C-ox ligand, following LLLT. We conclude that LLLT and NO-Cbi accelerate wound healing through two independent mechanisms, the electron transport chain-C-ox pathway and cGMP signaling, respectively, with both resulting in ERK1/2 activation.
Low-level light therapy has been shown to improve in vitro wound healing. However, well-defined parameters of different light sources for this therapy are lacking. The goal of this study was (1) to determine if the wavelengths tested are effective for in vitro wound healing and (2) to compare a laser and a light-emitting diode (LED) source at similar wavelengths. We show four wavelengths, delivered by either a laser or LED array, improved in vitro wound healing in A549, U2OS, and PtK2 cells. Improved wound healing occurred through increased cell migration demonstrated through scratch wound and transwell assays. Cell proliferation was tested by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-car-boxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) (MTS) assay and was found generally not to be involved in the wound healing process. The laser and LED sources were found to be comparable when equal doses of light were applied. The biological response measured was similar in most cases. We conclude that the laser at 652 (5.57 mW/cm 2 , 10.02 J/cm 2 ) and 806 nm (1.30 mW/cm 2 , 2.334 J/cm 2 ) (full bandwidth 5 nm), and LED at 637 (5.57 mW/cm 2 , 10.02 J/cm 2 ) and 901 nm (1.30 mW/cm 2 , 2.334 J/cm 2 ) (full bandwidth 17 and 69 nm respectively) induce comparable levels of cell migration and wound closure.