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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (7): 761-767.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110710

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of laser irradiation on arthritic histopathology and heat shock protein 70 expression in C57 black mice with osteoarthritis

Ling Zhao1, Xue-yong Shen1,2(), Yue-long Cao3, Li-zhen Wang1, Hai-ping Deng1,2, Hai-meng Zhang1   

  1. 1. College of Acumox and Tuina, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    2. Shanghai Research Center of Acupuncture and Meridian, Shanghai 201203, China
    3. Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2011-03-02 Accepted:2011-03-17 Online:2011-07-20 Published:2011-06-15

Objective: To study the effects of three different laser treatments (650 nm alone, 10.6 μm alone and combined laser of 650 nm and 10.6 μm) on experimental osteoarthritis of the knees in C57 black mice.
Methods: Sixty C57 black mice were divided randomly into 6 groups. Ten mice were assigned to a normal control group (no intervention) and the other 5 groups were subjected to a forced running regimen to induce osteoarthritis. One group was set as the model control group. The other 4 groups were given 90 s of a 650 nm laser, 90 s of a 10.6 μm laser, 90 s of a combined laser, or a sham treatment on acupoint Dubi (ST35) of the rear left leg 3 times per week for 4 weeks. The modified Mankin score was used to evaluate the degree of cartilage degradation. Immunohistochemical staining for heat shock protein (HSP) 70 was conducted.
Results: Mankin scores of the model control group and the sham control group were significantly higher than that of the normal control group (P<0.01). Mankin score of the combined laser group was significantly lower than that of the model control group (P<0.01). Compared with the normal control group, there was a significant induction of HSP70 in the arthritic chondrocytes of the combined laser group.
Conclusion: The arthritic cartilage induced in C57 black mice improved significantly after combined laser treatment of 650 nm and 10.6 μm lasers. This effect may be related to the induction of HSP70 in the arthritic chondrocytes. The two different lasers appear to have a synergistic effect.

Key words: osteoarthritis,knee, laser acupuncture, Mankin score, HSP70 heat-shock proteins, mice


Structure Score Cellularity Score Matrix staining Score Tidemark integrity Score
Smooth surface/normal 0 Normal arrangement 0 Normal staining 0 Normal and intact 0
Roughened surface/single
crack or area of delamination
1 Clustering in superficial layer or loss of cells up to 10 % 1 Slight loss of stain 1 Disrupted 1
Multiple cracks/moderate
2 Disorganisation or loss up to 25% 2 Moderate loss of stain 2
Fragmentation in cartilage
or severe delamination
3 Cell rows absent or loss up to 50% 3 Severe loss of stain 3
Loss of fragments 4 Very few cells present 4 No stain present 4
Complete erosion to tidemark 5
Erosion beyond tidemark 6

Figure 1

Histopathological changes of the knee joints of mice in the model control group and normal control group (Light microscopy, ×40) A: model control group; B: normal control group."


Group n Mankin score
Normal control 5 2.0 (1.0)
Model control 5 6.0 (2.0)**
Sham control 5 4.0 (2.3)**
Combined laser 5 3.0 (3.0)△△
650 nm laser 5 3.0 (2.3)
10.6 μm laser 5 3.5 (1.5)

Figure 2

HSP70 positive cells in the knee articular cartilage of mice in different groups (Light microscopy, ×40) Areas with red color which arrows point to indicate HSP70 positive staining. A: normal control group; B: model control group; C: sham control group; D: combined laser group; E: 650 nm laser group; F: 10.6 μm laser group. HSP70: heat shock protein 70."

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