Blue light differentially modulates cell survival and growth

J. C. Wataha, J. B. Lewis, P. E. Lockwood, Stephen Hsu, Regina L W Messer, Frederick Rueggeberg, S. Bouillaguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Previous studies have reported that blue light (400-500 nm) inhibits cell mitochondrial activity. We investigated the hypothesis that cells with high energy consumption are most susceptible to blue-light-induced mitochondrial inhibition. We estimated cell energy consumption by population doubling time, and cell survival and growth by succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity. Six cell types were exposed to 5 or 60 J/cm2 of blue light from quartz-tungsten-halogen (QTH), plasma-arc (PAC), or argon laser sources in monolayer culture. Post-light SDH activity correlated positively with population doubling time (R2 = 0.91 for PAC, 0.76 for QTH, 0.68 for laser); SDH activity increased for cell types with the longest doubling times and was suppressed for cell types with shorter doubling times. Thus, light-induced exposure differentially affects SDH activity, cell survival, and growth, depending on cell energy consumption. Blue light may be useful as a therapeutic modulator of cell growth and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Fibroblasts
  • Keratinocytes
  • MTT
  • Visible light
  • in vitro

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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