Low power laser irradiation stimulates the proliferation of adult human retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture

Qing Song, Basak Uygun, Ipsita Banerjee, Yaakov Nahmias, Quan Zhang, François Berthiaume, Mark Latina, Martin L. Yarmush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of low power laser irradiation on the proliferation of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Adult human RPE cells were artificially pigmented by preincubation with sepia melanin, and exposed to a single sublethal laser pulse (590 nm, 1 μs, <200 mJ/cm2). DNA synthesis, cell number, and growth factor activity in irradiated RPE cells were subsequently monitored. The effect of sublethal laser irradiation on the "wound" healing response of an RPE monolayer in an in vitro scratch assay was also investigated. Single pulsed laser irradiation increased DNA synthesis in pigmented RPE cells measured 6 h post-treatment. In the scratch assay, laser irradiation increased the rates of cell proliferation and wound closure. Conditioned medium, collected 48 h following laser treatment, increased cell proliferation of unirradiated cells. Irradiation increased RPE cell secretion of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-B chain, and increased mRNA levels of several growth factors and their receptors, including PDGF, transforming growth factor-β1, basic fibroblast growth factor, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, as well as heat shock proteins. This demonstrates, for the first time, that low power single pulsed laser irradiation stimulates the proliferation of RPE cells, and upregulates growth factors that are mitogenic for RPE cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalCellular and Molecular Bioengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Lumenis Ltd. (Santa Clara, CA), and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. We thank Dr. Rongjun Zuo for helpful discussion and experimental support. Authors do not have any financial or other conflict of interest with Lumenis Ltd.


  • Heat shock
  • Macular degeneration
  • Photothermolysis
  • Wound healing


Dive into the research topics of 'Low power laser irradiation stimulates the proliferation of adult human retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this