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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 08

Int J Mol Sci



Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Arthritis in Children and Adults: New Perspectives on Applied Photobiomodulation.


Juvenile idiopathic arthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis are two major groups with chronic joint pain and inflammation, extra-articular manifestations, and high risk of comorbidities, which can cause physical and ocular disability, as well as create great socio-economic pressure worldwide. The pathogenesis of arthritis manifested in childhood and adulthood is multifactorial, unclear, and overly complex, in which immunity plays an important role. Although there are more and more biological agents with different mechanisms of action for the treatment of arthritis, the results are not as expected, because there are partial responses or non-responsive patients to these compounds, high therapeutic costs, side effects, and so on; therefore, we must turn our attention to other therapeutic modalities. Updating knowledge on molecular and cellular mechanisms in the comparative pathogenesis of chronic arthritis in both children and adults is necessary in the early and correct approach to treatment. Photobiomodulation (PBM) represents a good option, offering cost-effective advantages over drug therapy, with a quicker, more positive response to treatment and no side effects. The successful management of PBM in arthritis is based on the clinician's ability to evaluate correctly the inflammatory status of the patient, to seek the optimal solution, to choose the best technology with the best physical parameters, and to select the mode of action to target very precisely the immune system and the molecular signaling pathways at the molecular level with the exact amount of quantum light energy in order to obtain the desired immune modulation and the remission of the disease. Light is a very powerful tool in medicine because it can simultaneously target many cascades of immune system activation in comparison with drugs, so PBM can perform very delicate tasks inside our cells to modulate cellular dysfunctions, helping to initiate self-organization phenomena and finally, healing the disease. Interdisciplinary teams should work diligently to meet these needs by also using single-cell imaging devices for multispectral laser photobiomodulation on immune cells.