Efficacy of femtosecond lasers for application of acupuncture therapy

Mika Ohta, Yoichiroh Hosokawa, Naoya Hatano, Aki Sugano, Akihiko Ito, Yutaka Takaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Acupuncture treatment utilizes the stimulation of metal acupuncture needles that are manually inserted into a living body. In the last decades, laser light has been used as an alternative to needles to stimulate acupuncture points. We previously reported suppression of myostatin (Mstn) gene expression in skeletal muscle by means of femtosecond laser (FL) irradiation, after electroacupuncture, in which acupuncture needles are stimulated with a low-frequency microcurrent. The purpose of the study here was to investigate the efficacy of FL irradiation in mouse skeletal muscle with regard to protein synthesis. After irradiation of the hindlimbs, we first analyzed Mstn gene expression and Mstn protein level in the skeletal muscle. We then evaluated phosphorylation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its downstream target 70-kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K). The results showed that FL irradiation significantly reduced the amount of Mstn protein and enhanced the phosphorylation of p70S6K in of the mTOR/S6K signaling pathway. We suggest that FL irradiation activated the protein synthetic pathway in the skeletal muscle. In conclusion, we determined that FL irradiation can serve as an alternative for acupuncture needles and has the potential of being a new non-invasive acupuncture treatment of skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2167-2171
Number of pages5
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture therapy
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Myostatin
  • Skeletal muscle
  • mTOR
  • p70S6K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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