Effect of photobiomodulation on cellular migration and survival in diabetic and hypoxic diabetic wounded fibroblast cells


A disrupted wound repair process often leads to the development of chronic wounds, and pose a major physical, social and economic inconvenience on patients and the public health sector. Chronic wounds are a common complication seen in diabetes mellitus (DM), and often the severity necessitates amputation of the lower limbs. Recently, there has been increasing evidence that photobiomodulation (PBM) initiates wound healing, including increased protein transcription for cell proliferation, viability, migration and tissue reepithelialisation. Here, the hypothesis that PBM at a wavelength of 660 nm and energy density of 5 J/cm2 regulates wound repair in diabetic wounded and hypoxic diabetic wounded fibroblasts by enhancing cell migration and survival was investigated. PBM increased migration and survival in diabetic wounded and hypoxic diabetic wounded fibroblasts. Our findings suggest that PBM enhances migration and survival in diabetic wounded and hypoxic diabetic wounded fibroblasts, indicating that this therapeutic method may be beneficial against chronic wounds in diabetic patients.

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This work was supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant No 98337), as well as grants received from the University of Johannesburg (URC), the African Laser Centre (ALC), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Laser Centre (NLC) Laser Rental Pool Program.

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Conceptualization, S.W.J. performed the experiments, analysed the data, and involved in writing the manuscript; N.H. involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for intellectual content, and is the postgraduate supervisor of first author; H.A. co-supervision of first author, and provided funding for the project. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nicolette N. Houreld.

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Jere, S.W., Houreld, N.N. & Abrahamse, H. Effect of photobiomodulation on cellular migration and survival in diabetic and hypoxic diabetic wounded fibroblast cells. Lasers Med Sci 36, 365–374 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-020-03041-y

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  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypoxic
  • Photobiomodulation
  • Wound healing
  • Fibroblasts
  • Signalling pathways