Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2021 Mar;25(2):167-175. 10.4196/kjpp.2021.25.2.167.

Far-infrared rays enhance mitochondrial biogenesis and GLUT3 expression under low glucose conditions in rat skeletal muscle cells

  • 1Departments of Physiology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea,
  • 2Departments of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea,
  • 3Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center, SMART Marine Therapeutics Center, Inje University, Busan 47392, Korea,
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul 06973, Korea,
  • 5Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557, USA


Far-infrared rays (FIR) are known to have various effects on atoms and molecular structures within cells owing to their radiation and vibration frequencies. The present study examined the effects of FIR on gene expression related to glucose transport through microarray analysis in rat skeletal muscle cells, as well as on mitochondrial biogenesis, at high and low glucose conditions. FIR were emitted from a bio-active material coated fabric (BMCF). L6 cells were treated with 30% BMCF for 24 h in medium containing 25 or 5.5 mM glucose, and changes in the expression of glucose transporter genes were determined. The expression of GLUT3 (Slc2a3) increased 2.0-fold (p < 0.05) under 5.5 mM glucose and 30% BMCF. In addition, mitochondrial oxygen consumption and membrane potential (ΔΨm) increased 1.5- and 3.4-fold (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001), respectively, but no significant change in expression of Pgc-1a, a regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, was observed in 24 h. To analyze the relationship between GLUT3 expression and mitochondrial biogenesis under FIR, GLUT3 was down-modulated by siRNA for 72 h. As a result, the ΔΨm of the GLUT3 siRNA-treated cells increased 3.0-fold (p < 0.001), whereas that of the control group increased 4.6-fold (p < 0.001). Moreover, Pgc-1a expression increased upon 30% BMCF treatment for 72 h; an effect that was more pronounced in the presence of GLUT3. These results suggest that FIR may hold therapeutic potential for improving glucose metabolism and mitochondrial function in metabolic diseases associated with insufficient glucose supply, such as type 2 diabetes.


Glucose; Glucose transporter type 3; Infrared rays; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Radiation
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