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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424587, 7 pages
Research Article

Effects of Laser Acupuncture on Longitudinal Bone Growth in Adolescent Rats

1Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Science in Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 27 June 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jaung-Geng Lin

Copyright © 2013 Mijung Yeom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Longitudinal bone growth is the results of chondrocyte proliferation and hypertrophy and subsequent endochondral ossification in the growth plate. Recently, laser acupuncture (LA), an intervention to stimulate acupoint with low-level laser irradiation, has been suggested as an intervention to improve the longitudinal bone growth. This study investigated the effects of laser acupuncture on growth, particularly longitudinal bone growth in adolescent male rats. Laser acupuncture was performed once every other day for a total of 9 treatments over 18 days to adolescent male rats. Morphometry of the growth plate, longitudinal bone growth rate, and the protein expression of BMP-2 and IGF-1 in growth plate were observed. The bone growth rate and the heights of growth plates were significantly increased by laser acupuncture. BMP-2 but not IGF-1 immunostaining in growth plate was increased as well. In conclusion, LA promotes longitudinal bone growth in adolescent rats, suggesting that laser acupuncture may be a promising intervention for improving the growth potential for children and adolescents.