Low intensity near-infrared light promotes bone regeneration via circadian clock protein cryptochrome 1

Jinfeng Peng, Jiajia Zhao, Qingming Tang, Jinyu Wang, Wencheng Song, Xiaofeng Lu, Xiaofei Huang, Guangjin Chen, Wenhao Zheng, Luoying Zhang, Yunyun Han, Chunze Yan, Qian Wan, Lili Chen

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12 Scopus citations


Bone regeneration remains a great clinical challenge. Low intensity near-infrared (NIR) light showed strong potential to promote tissue regeneration, offering a promising strategy for bone defect regeneration. However, the effect and underlying mechanism of NIR on bone regeneration remain unclear. We demonstrated that bone regeneration in the rat skull defect model was significantly accelerated with low-intensity NIR stimulation. In vitro studies showed that NIR stimulation could promote the osteoblast differentiation in bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and MC3T3-E1 cells, which was associated with increased ubiquitination of the core circadian clock protein Cryptochrome 1 (CRY1) in the nucleus. We found that the reduction of CRY1 induced by NIR light activated the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathways, promoting SMAD1/5/9 phosphorylation and increasing the expression levels of Runx2 and Osterix. NIR light treatment may act through sodium voltage-gated channel Scn4a, which may be a potential responder of NIR light to accelerate bone regeneration. Together, these findings suggest that low-intensity NIR light may promote in situ bone regeneration in a CRY1-dependent manner, providing a novel, efficient and non-invasive strategy to promote bone regeneration for clinical bone defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalInternational journal of oral science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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