Potassium Cyanide

Neuroscience. 2006 May 12;139(2):639-49. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Photobiomodulation partially rescues visual cortical neurons from cyanide-induced apoptosis.

Liang HL, Whelan HT, Eells JT, Meng H, Buchmann E, Lerch-Gaggl A, Wong-Riley M.

Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.

Near-infrared light via light-emitting diode treatment has documented therapeutic effects on neurons functionally inactivated by tetrodotoxin or methanol intoxication. Light-emitting diode pretreatment also reduced potassium cyanide-induced cell death, but the mode of death via the apoptotic or necrotic pathway was unclear. The current study tested our hypothesis that light-emitting diode rescues neurons from apoptotic cell death. Primary neuronal cultures from postnatal rat visual cortex were pretreated with light-emitting diode for 10 min at a total energy density of 30 J/cm2 before exposing to potassium cyanide for 28 h. With 100 or 300 microM potassium cyanide, neurons died mainly via the apoptotic pathway, as confirmed by electron microscopy, Hoechst 33258, single-stranded DNA, Bax, and active caspase-3. In the presence of caspase inhibitor I, the percentage of apoptotic cells in 300microM potassium cyanide was significantly decreased. Light-emitting diode pretreatment reduced apoptosis from 36% to 17.9% (100 microM potassium cyanide) and from 58.9% to 39.6% (300 microM potassium cyanide), representing a 50.3% and 32.8% reduction, respectively. Light-emitting diode pretreatment significantly decreased the expression of caspase-3 elicited by potassium cyanide. It also reversed the potassium cyanide-induced increased expression of Bax and decreased expression of Bcl-2 to control levels. Moreover, light-emitting diode decreased the intensity of 5-(and -6) chloromethy-2?, 7-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate acetyl ester, a marker of reactive oxygen species, in neurons exposed to 300 microM potassium cyanide. These results indicate that light-emitting diode pretreatment partially protects neurons against cyanide-induced caspase-mediated apoptosis, most likely by decreasing reactive oxygen species production, down-regulating pro-apoptotic proteins and activating anti-apoptotic proteins, as well as increasing energy metabolism in neurons as reported previously.

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.

J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 11;280(6):4761-71. Epub 2004 Nov 22.

Photobiomodulation directly benefits primary neurons functionally inactivated by toxins: role of cytochrome c oxidase.

Wong-Riley MT, Liang HL, Eells JT, Chance B, Henry MM, Buchmann E, Kane M, Whelan HT.

Department of Cell Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. mwr@mcw.edu

Far red and near infrared (NIR) light promotes wound healing, but the mechanism is poorly understood. Our previous studies using 670 nm light-emitting diode (LED) arrays suggest that cytochrome c oxidase, a photoacceptor in the NIR range, plays an important role in therapeutic photobiomodulation. If this is true, then an irreversible inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase, potassium cyanide (KCN), should compete with LED and reduce its beneficial effects. This hypothesis was tested on primary cultured neurons. LED treatment partially restored enzyme activity blocked by 10-100 microm KCN. It significantly reduced neuronal cell death induced by 300 microm KCN from 83.6 to 43.5%. However, at 1-100 mm KCN, the protective effects of LED decreased, and neuronal deaths increased. LED significantly restored neuronal ATP content only at 10 microm KCN but not at higher concentrations of KCN tested. Pretreatment with LED enhanced efficacy of LED during exposure to 10 or 100 microm KCN but did not restore enzyme activity to control levels. In contrast, LED was able to completely reverse the detrimental effect of tetrodotoxin, which only indirectly down-regulated enzyme levels. Among the wavelengths tested (670, 728, 770, 830, and 880 nm), the most effective ones (830 nm, 670 nm) paralleled the NIR absorption spectrum of oxidized cytochrome c oxidase, whereas the least effective wavelength, 728 nm, did not. The results are consistent with our hypothesis that the mechanism of photobiomodulation involves the up-regulation of cytochrome c oxidase, leading to increased energy metabolism in neurons functionally inactivated by toxins.