Protection from methanol toxicity

Photomed Laser Surg. 2006 Apr;24(2):121-8.

Clinical and experimental applications of NIR-LED photobiomodulation.

Desmet KD, Paz DA, Corry JJ, Eells JT, Wong-Riley MT, Henry MM, Buchmann EV, Connelly MP, Dovi JV, Liang HL, Henshel DS, Yeager RL, Millsap DS, Lim J, Gould LJ, Das R, Jett M, Hodgson BD, Margolis D, Whelan HT.

Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 53226, USA.

This review presents current research on the use of far-red to near-infrared (NIR) light treatment in various in vitro and in vivo models. Low-intensity light therapy, commonly referred to as “photobiomodulation,” uses light in the far-red to near-infrared region of the spectrum (630-1000 nm) and modulates numerous cellular functions. Positive effects of NIR-light-emitting diode (LED) light treatment include acceleration of wound healing, improved recovery from ischemic injury of the heart, and attenuated degeneration of injured optic nerves by improving mitochondrial energy metabolism and production. Various in vitro and in vivo models of mitochondrial dysfunction were treated with a variety of wavelengths of NIR-LED light. These studies were performed to determine the effect of NIR-LED light treatment on physiologic and pathologic processes. NIRLED light treatment stimulates the photoacceptor cytochrome c oxidase, resulting in increased energy metabolism and production. NIR-LED light treatment accelerates wound healing in ischemic rat and murine diabetic wound healing models, attenuates the retinotoxic effects of methanol-derived formic acid in rat models, and attenuates the developmental toxicity of dioxin in chicken embryos. Furthermore, NIR-LED light treatment prevents the development of oral mucositis in pediatric bone marrow transplant patients. The experimental results demonstrate that NIR-LED light treatment stimulates mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in vitro, and accelerates cell and tissue repair in vivo. NIR-LED light represents a novel, noninvasive, therapeutic intervention for the treatment of numerous diseases linked to mitochondrial dysfunction.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Mar 18;100(6):3439-44. Epub 2003 Mar 7.

Therapeutic photobiomodulation for methanol-induced retinal toxicity.

Eells JT, Henry MM, Summerfelt P, Wong-Riley MT, Buchmann EV, Kane M, Whelan NT, Whelan HT.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. jeells@mcw.edu

Methanol intoxication produces toxic injury to the retina and optic nerve, resulting in blindness. The toxic metabolite in methanol intoxication is formic acid, a mitochondrial toxin known to inhibit the essential mitochondrial enzyme, cytochrome oxidase. Photobiomodulation by red to near-IR radiation has been demonstrated to enhance mitochondrial activity and promote cell survival in vitro by stimulation of cytochrome oxidase activity. The present studies were undertaken to test the hypothesis that exposure to monochromatic red radiation from light-emitting diode (LED) arrays would protect the retina against the toxic actions of methanol-derived formic acid in a rodent model of methanol toxicity. Using the electroretinogram as a sensitive indicator of retinal function, we demonstrated that three brief (2 min, 24 s) 670-nm LED treatments (4 J/cm(2)), delivered at 5, 25, and 50 h of methanol intoxication, attenuated the retinotoxic effects of methanol-derived formate. Our studies document a significant recovery of rod- and cone-mediated function in LED-treated, methanol-intoxicated rats. We further show that LED treatment protected the retina from the histopathologic changes induced by methanol-derived formate. These findings provide a link between the actions of monochromatic red to near-IR light on mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in vitro and retinoprotection in vivo. They also suggest that photobiomodulation may enhance recovery from retinal injury and other ocular diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction is postulated to play a role.