Cells. 2023 Oct 27;12(21):2533. doi: 10.3390/cells12212533.
In this study, we tested the idea that photobiomodulation-the application of red to near infrared light (~λ = 600-1300 nm) to body tissues-is more effective in influencing cell metabolism when glucose is readily available. To this end, we used a mouse fibroblast (L-929) cell culture model and had two sets of conditions: non-stressed (10% FBS (foetal bovine serum)) and stressed (1% FBS), both either with or without glucose. We treated (or not) cells with photobiomodulation using an 810 nm laser at 15 mW/cm2 (~7.2 J/cm2). Our results showed that photobiomodulation was neither cytotoxic nor effective in enhancing measures of cell viability and proliferation, together with protein levels in any of the cell cultures. Photobiomodulation was, however, effective in increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and this was-most importantly-only in conditions where glucose was present; corresponding cultures that did not contain glucose did not show these changes. In summary, we found that the benefits of photobiomodulation, in particular in changing ATP and ROS levels, were induced only when there was glucose available. Our findings lay a template for further explorations into the mechanisms of photobiomodulation, together with having considerable experimental and clinical implications.