Vascular responses to photodynamic therapy (PDT) may influence the availability of oxygen during PDT and the extent of tumor destruction after PDT. However, for topical PDT vascular effects are largely unknown. Arteriole and venule diameters were measured before and after hexylaminolevulinate (HAL) and aminolevulinic acid (ALA) PDT and related to the protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) concentration in the vessel wall. A mouse skin fold chamber model and an intravital confocal microscope allowed direct imaging of the subcutaneous vessels underlying the treated area. In both HAL and ALA groups over 60% of arteri-oles constricted completely, while venules generally did not respond, except for two larger veins that constricted partially. Arteriole vasoconstriction strongly correlated with PpIX fluorescence intensity in the arteriole wall. Total PpIX fluorescence intensity was significantly higher for HAL than ALA for the whole area that was imaged but not for the arteriole walls. In conclusion, complete arteriole vasoconstriction occurs frequently in both HAL and ALA based topical PDT, especially when relatively high PpIX concentrations in arteriole walls are reached. Vasoconstriction will likely influence PDT effect and should be considered in studies on topical HAL and ALA-PDT. Also, our results may redefine the vasculature as a potential secondary target for topical PDT.

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Keywords ALA, HAL, PDT, PpIX distribution, Vascular effect, Vasoconstriction
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Journal Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, B: Biology
Middelburg, T.A, de Bruijn, H.S, Tettero, L, van der Ploeg-van den Heuvel, A, Neumann, H.A.M, de Haas, E.R.M, & Robinson, D.J. (2013). Topical hexylaminolevulinate and aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy: Complete arteriole vasoconstriction occurs frequently and depends on protoporphyrin IX concentration in vessel wall. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, B: Biology, 126, 26–32. doi:10.1016/jjphotobiol.2013.06.014