Photobiomodulation therapy mitigates cardiovascular aging and improves survival

Author: Sunayana Begum Syed1, Ismayil Ahmet1, Khalid Chakir1, Christopher H Morrell1, Praveen R Arany2, Edward G Lakatta1
1 Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences, NIA, NIH, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
2 Oral Biology, Surgery, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.
Conference/Journal: Lasers Surg Med
Date published: 2023 Feb 23
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/lsm.23644. , Word Count: 320

Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, a form of low-dose light therapy, has been noted to be effective in several age-associated chronic diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Here, we examined the effects of PBM therapy on age-associated cardiovascular changes in a mouse model of accelerated cardiac aging.

Fourteen months old Adenylyl cyclase type VIII (AC8) overexpressing transgenic mice (n = 8) and their wild-type (WT) littermates (n = 8) were treated with daily exposure to Near-Infrared Light (850 nm) at 25 mW/cm2 for 2 min each weekday for a total dose of 1 Einstein (4.5 p.J/cm2 or fluence 3 J/cm2 ) and compared to untreated controls over an 8-month period. PBM therapy was administered for 3.5 months (Early Treatment period), paused, due to Covid-19 restrictions for the following 3 months, and restarted again for 1.5 months. Serial echocardiography and gait analyses were performed at monthly intervals, and serum TGF-β1 levels were assessed following sacrifice.

During the Early Treatment period PBM treatments: reduced the age-associated increases in left ventricular (LV) mass in both genotypes (p = 0.0003), reduced the LV end-diastolic volume (EDV) in AC8 (p = 0.04); and reduced the left atrial dimension in both genotypes (p = 0.02). PBM treatments substantially increased the LV ejection fraction (p = 0.03), reduced the aortic wall stiffness (p = 0.001), and improved gait symmetry, an index of neuro-muscular coordination (p = 0.005). The effects of PBM treatments, measured following the pause, persisted. Total TGF-β1 levels were significantly increased in circulation (serum) in AC8 following PBM treatments (p = 0.01). We observed a striking increase in cumulative survival in PBM-treated AC8 mice (100%; p = 0.01) compared to untreated AC8 mice (43%).

PBM treatment mitigated age-associated cardiovascular remodeling and reduced cardiac function, improved neuromuscular coordination, and increased longevity in an experimental animal model. These responses correlate with increased TGF-β1 in circulation. Future mechanistic and dose optimization studies are necessary to assess these anti-aging effects of PBM, and validation in future controlled human studies is required for effective clinical translation.

Keywords: AC8; TGF-β1; aging; heart; mice; photobiomodulation.

PMID: 36821717 DOI: 10.1002/lsm.23644