Effects of the helium-neon laser on rat kidney epithelial cells in culture

Peter Schneede, Wolfgang Jelkmann, Uda Schramm, Harald Fricke, Manfred Steinmetz, Alfons Hofstetter*

*Corresponding author for this work
26 Citations (Scopus)


The cellular mechanisms of action of low power lasers are only partially understood. Therefore, we have studied effects of helium-neon (He-Ne) laser irradiation in a cell culture model. The studies were performed with the permanent rat kidney cell line RK-L. By electron microscopy, significant ultrastructural changes of the cells were seen after He-Ne irradiation at 40 mW/cm2 for 4h (569 J/cm2), including detritus-like formations of the cell organelles close to the nucleus. While such changes were not observed after 1 h irradiation (142 J/cm2), the number of cells in mitosis increased under this condition. In addition, the rate of incorporation of3H-thymidine into DNA decreased transiently 6-9 h after 1 h He-Ne irradiation of the cells. The consumption of glucose was also lowered for 10 h after irradiation, while the production of lactate increased. Finally, the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 was reduced following irradiation. These results show that the He-Ne laser induces significant effects at the cellular level. In addition, our findings support the concept that the biological effects of low power laser treatment involve changes in the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLasers In Medical Science
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)249-257
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 03.1988

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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