The aim of this study was to examine the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells due to the low energy 632.8-nm He-Ne laser application. The results of previous studies supported the hypothesis that low level laser therapy (LLLT) might have an increasing effect on the proliferation of lymphocytes and production of cytokines. The effect of laser irradiation was investigated by comparing the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with a mitogenic stimulator, PHA (phytohemaglutinin) and laser irradiation. PBMCs of control samples, only laser irradiated samples, PHA included samples and both PHA included and laser irradiated samples were quantified and compared. Results of [H-3] Thymidine test, 20 s laser irradiated and 40 s laser irradiated samples' proliferation were found statistically higher than control samples. There was no significant difference between control and 60 s laser irradiated samples. PHA also showed its ability to proliferate cells. PHA included samples and both PHA included and laser irradiated samples' proliferation was higher than both control and only laser irradiated samples. Our results showed that He-Ne laser application enhanced the proliferation significantly. Moreover, laser dose was noted as a significant parameter. On the other hand, LLLT by itself was found less effective than PHA. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.