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Activation of macrophages by Photofrin II during photodynamic therapy


In order to obtain information about the activation of macrophages (M phi s) during photodynamic therapy (PDT), the influence of Photofrin II (Pf II) on the viability of thioglycollate-elicited murine M phi s and the subsequent generation of superoxide anion was studied. Irradiations were performed at an energy density of 5 J cm-2, a power density of 150 mW cm-2 and a wavelength of 405 nm. Viability of M phi s was assessed using the acridine orange-ethidium bromide assay. Superoxide anion generation was determined using ferricytochrome c (cyt c) and nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction. Our results indicate that the M phi s are highly susceptible to PDT as their viability is decreased to approximately 30% by 1 microgram ml-1 Pf II at the energy density indicated above. Within the first 30 min of addition of the photosensitizer, a reducing agent is generated intracellularly by the stimulation of the M phi s. An extracellular release of superoxide anion does not occur, as measured by the cyt c assay. Preincubation of the cells for 1 or 24 h with Pf II and a second challenge with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) does not enhance the reduction of NBT. Thus, Pf II exerts an immediate effect on the M phi s which could be interpreted as a first step for subsequent reactions.

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