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Abstract

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive therapeutic modality approved for palliative and curative treatment of some forms of local cancers, precancerous lesions and nononcological disorders. As a prerequisite for future studies in animal models aiming at an intraoperative application of PDT in osteosarcoma (OS), in the present study, we investigated the uptake and the dark- and photo-toxicity of the photosensitizer mTHPC in the metastatic human OS cell line 143B, which, intratibially injected into SCID mice, reproduces spontaneous, aggressive lung metastasis, the main cause of death in OS patients. The uptake of mTHPC by 143B cells was time- and dose-dependent. mTHPC accumulated to higher levels in the 143B than in the parental low-metastatic HOS cell line. A significant decrease in viability of 143B cells, reflecting mTHPC dark-toxicity, occurred upon incubation in the dark at mTHPC concentrations ≥2.5 μg mL−1. In phototoxicity experiments with illumination by 652 nm laser light (2.5–10 J cm−2), the half-maximal lethal doses of mTHPC ranged from 0.012 to 0.047 μg mL−1. This treatment activated caspase-3, -7 and -9 and Z-VAD-FMK-inhibitable PARP cleavage, indicating caspase-dependent apoptosis. In conclusion, PDT with mTHPC is effective in the metastatic 143B human osteosarcoma cell line in vitro.