Infrared light therapy relieves TLR-4 dependent hyper-inflammation of the type induced by COVID-19
The leading cause of mortality from COVID-19 infection is respiratory distress due to an exaggerated host immune response, resulting in hyper-inflammation and ensuing cytokine storms in the lungs. Current drug-based therapies are of limited efficacy, costly, and have potential negative side effects. By contrast, photobiomodulation therapy, which involves periodic brief exposure to red or infrared light, is a noninvasive, safe, and affordable method that is currently being used to treat a wide range of diseases with underlying inflammatory conditions. Here, we show that exposure to two 10-min, high-intensity periods per day of infrared light causes a marked reduction in the TLR-4 dependent inflammatory response pathway, which has been implicated in the onset of cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients. Infrared light exposure resulted in a significant decline in NFkB and AP1 activity as measured by the reporter gene assay; decreased expression of inflammatory marker genes IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, INF-alpha, and INF-beta as determined by qPCR gene expression assay; and an 80% decline in secreted cytokine IL6 as measured by ELISA assay in cultured human cells. All of these changes occurred after only 48 hours of treatment. View more here.