Low-level laser therapy associated to a resistance training protocol on bone tissue in diabetic rats

ABSTRACT Objective The present study aimed to evaluate the in vivo response of a resistance training and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on tibias and femurs of rats with diabetes mellitus (DM). Materials and methods Forty male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into four experimental groups: control group (CG), diabetic group (DG), diabetic trained group (TG) and diabetic trained and laser irradiated group (TLG). DM was induced by streptozotocin (STZ) and after two weeks laser and resistance training started, performed for 24 sessions, during eight weeks. At the end of the experiment, animals were euthanized and tibias and femurs were removed for analysis. Histological, histomorphometrical, immunohistochemistry and mechanical analyses were performed. Results Trained groups, with or without laser irradiation, showed increased cortical area, bone density and biomechanical properties. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed that TG and TLG demonstrated an increased RUNX2 expression. RANK-L immunoexpression was similar for all experimental groups. Conclusion In conclusion, it can be suggested that the resistance exercise program stimulated bone metabolism, culminating in increased cortical tibial area, bone mineral content, bone mineral density and biomechanical properties. Furthermore, the association of physical exercises and LLLT produced higher values for bone mineral content and stiffness. Consequently, these data highlight the potential of physical exercise in the management of bone loss due to DM and the possible extra osteogenic stimulus offered by lasertherapy. Further long-term studies should be carried out to provide additional information.