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Adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, is a molecule that carries energy within cells. It is the main energy currency of the cell, and it is an end product of the processes of photophosphorylation (adding a phosphate group to a molecule using energy from light), cellular respiration, and fermentation. All living things use ATP. In addition to being used as an energy source, it is also used in signal transduction pathways for cell communication and is incorporated into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) during DNA synthesis.

ATP is formed from the process of cellular respiration in the mitochondria of a cell. This can be through aerobic respiration, which requires oxygen, or anaerobic respiration, which does not. Aerobic respiration produces ATP (along with carbon dioxide and water) from glucose and oxygen. Anaerobic respiration uses chemicals other than oxygen, and this process is primarily used by archaea and bacteria that live in anaerobic environments.[1]

Several reports have implicated the release of the neurotransmitter adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and subsequent activation of purinergic receptors in distinct pain aetiologies[2].

ATP functions as the energy currency for cells. It allows the cell to store energy briefly and transport it within the cell to support endergonic chemical reactions. As ATP is used for energy, a phosphate group or two are detached, and either ADP or AMP is produced.

Cells release energy from ATP molecules by subtracting a phosphate group. The energy provided by ATP is used in active transport, contracting muscles, making proteins, and in many other ways. Cells contain only a small amount of ATP at any one time. They regenerate it from ADP as they need it, using energy stored in food.

A 2015 study from the Gladstone Institutes demonstrated a link between impaired mitochondrial function, loss of ATP, and neuronal dysfunction.[3]

Light therapy is used to stimulate healing, reduce pain and inflammation, and preserve tissue from dying. It has been shown to protect cells in culture from dying after various cytotoxic insults and is known to increase the cellular ATP content.[4]

There is substantial evidence that various wavelengths of light, including R-NIR delivered by…LEDs are instrumental in upregulating mitochondrial ATP levels.[5]






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