Singlet oxygen stimulates mitochondrial bioenergetics in brain cells

Sergei G. Sokolovski, Edik U. Rafailov, Andrey Y. Abramov, Plamena R. Angelova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxygen, in form of reactive oxygen species (ROS), has been shown to participate in oxidative stress, one of the major triggers for pathology, but also is a main contributor to physiological processes. Recently, it was found that 1267 nm irradiation can produce singlet oxygen without photosensitizers. We used this phenomenon to study the effect of laser-generated singlet oxygen on one of the major oxygen-dependent processes, mitochondrial energy metabolism. We have found that laser-induced generation of 1O2 in neurons and astrocytes led to the increase of mitochondrial membrane potential, activation of NADH- and FADH-dependent respiration, and importantly, increased the rate of maximal respiration in isolated mitochondria. The activation of mitochondrial respiration stimulated production of ATP in these cells. Thus, we found that the singlet oxygen generated by 1267 nm laser pulse works as an activator of mitochondrial respiration and ATP production in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (Grant No. EP/R024898/1 ).


  • 1267 nm
  • Brain
  • Energy metabolism
  • Mitochondrial respiration
  • Singlet oxygen


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