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mTHPC-mediated Photodynamic Treatment Up-regulates the Cytokines VEGF and IL-1alpha


Corresponding author email: (Vida Kirveliene)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer induces oxidative stress, which intervenes in the expression of cytokines by tumor cells. The cytokines might have either a positive or a negative impact on tumor eradication. Here, we studied the expression of cytokines vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) in the human epidermoid carcinoma A-431 cells following m-tetra(3-hydroxyphenyl)-chlorin (mTHPC)-mediated PDT in vitro and assessed the IL-1alpha effect on VEGF expression. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed the enhanced production of VEGF and IL-1alpha both on mRNA and protein levels by mTHPC-loaded cells after light exposure. The silencing of IL1A by small interfering RNA resulted in decreased production of IL-1alpha and a reduced amount of VEGF. Furthermore, exogenous recombinant IL-1alpha stimulated the VEGF expression after PDT. Thus, in addition to the cytotoxic action on the A-431 cells, mTHPC-mediated PDT stimulated the production of VEGF and IL-1alpha, and IL-1alpha contributed to the VEGF overexpression. These data establish IL-1alpha as a possible target of combined cancer treatment.