Objective: This study was designed to assess the status of skeletal muscles after laser treatment during long-term denervation processes, by investigating changes in the level of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) and creatine kinase (CK) activity in the denervated gastrocnemius muscle of the rat. Background data: Progressive muscle atrophy is common in patients with severe peripheral nerve injury. Denervated muscles can account for significant differences in the extent of AChR and CK activity during the denervation period. Material and methods: The study was conducted on 96 rats: 48 that received laser treatment and 48 untreated controls. The gastrocnemius muscle was denervated by removing a 10 mm segment of the sciatic nerve. Low power laser irradiation was delivered transcutaneously to the right gastrocnemius muscle (HeNe continuous wave [CW] laser, 632.8 nm, 35 mW, 30 min) for 14 consecutive days. Under general anesthesia, the rats were euthanized at seven time points: day 7 (n=10), day 14 (n=10), day 21 (n=10), day 30 (n=5), day 60 (n=4), day 120 (n=5), and day 210 (n=4), with and without laser treatment, respectively. AChR was quantified by the 125I-α-bungarotoxin. CK activity was measured by a specific spectrophotometric method. Results: Laser treatment had a significant therapeutic effect on the denervated muscle during the first 21 days for AChR and the first 30 days for CK activity. Conclusions: In the early stages of muscle atrophy, laser phototherapy may preserve the denervated muscle by maintaining CK activity and the amount of AChR.