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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2014 Sep;13(9):1235-40. doi: 10.1039/c4pp00113c.

Singlet oxygen and ROS in a new light: low-dose subcellular photodynamic treatment enhances proliferation at the single cell level.

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  • 1Center for Oxygen Microscopy and Imaging, Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark.


Two-photon excitation of a sensitizer with a focused laser beam was used to create a spatially-localized subcellular population of reactive oxygen species, ROS, in single HeLa cells. The sensitizer used was protoporphyrin IX, PpIX, endogenously derived from 5-aminolevulinic acid delivered to the cells. Although we infer that singlet oxygen, O2(a(1)Δg), is one ROS produced upon irradiation of PpIX under these conditions, it is possible that the superoxide ion, O2(-˙), may also play a role in this system. With a "high" dose of PpIX-sensitized ROS, the expected death of the cell was observed. However, under "low dose" conditions, clear signs of cell proliferation were observed. The present results facilitate studies of ROS-mediated signalling in imaging-based single cell experiments.

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