Hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether-mediated photodynamic effects on THP-1 cell-derived macrophages

Jiali Cheng, Huijuan Liang, Qingsong Li, Chenghai Peng, Zhitao Li, Sa Shi, Liming Yang, Zhen Tian, Ye Tian, Zhiguo Zhang, Wenwu Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been shown to attenuate atherosclerotic plaque progression and decrease macrophage-infiltration. The effectiveness of PDT depends strongly on the type of photosensitizers. Hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether (HMME) is a promising second-generation porphyrin-related photosensitizer for PDT. This study is designed to characterize effects of HMME-based PDT on THP-1 cell-derived macrophages and define the cell-death pathway. HMME was identified to accumulate in the macrophages by fluorescence microscopy and confocal scanning laser microscope. Our data demonstrated that the intensity of laser-induced HMME fluorescence in macrophages steadily increased with the increasing incubation concentration of HMME. The survival rate of macrophages determined by MTT assay decreased with the increasing HMME concentration and irradiation time. HMME-based PDT induced macrophage apoptosis via caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation pathway detected by caspase fluorescent assay kit and flow cytometer. The PDT increased the number of apoptotic macrophages by 14-fold at 12h post irradiation by 9J/cm2 635nm diode laser. These results imply that photodynamic therapy with HMME may therefore be a useful clinical treatment for unstable atherosclerotic plaques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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