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Photochem Photobiol. 2002 Mar;75(3):282-8.

In vivo mTHPC photobleaching in normal rat skin exhibits unique irradiance-dependent features.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


We report measurements performed on the normal skin of rats in vivo, which provide information on the photobleaching kinetics and mechanisms of the photosensitizer meso-tetrahydroxyphenyl chlorin (mTHPC). Loss of mTHPC fluorescence was monitored using in vivo fluorescence spectroscopy during photodynamic therapy (PDT) performed using 650 nm laser irradiation. The bleaching was evaluated for irradiances of 5, 20 and 50 mW cm(-2). Two distinct phases of mTHPC photobleaching were observed. In the first phase there was no obvious irradiance dependence in the loss of fluorescence vs fluence. The second phase was initiated by an irradiance-dependent discontinuity in the slope of the bleaching curve, after which the photobleaching rates showed an irradiance dependence consistent with an oxygen-dependent reaction process. To investigate the unusual shape of the in vivo bleaching curves, we measured the PDT-induced changes in O2 concentrations in mTHPC-sensitized spheroids irradiated with 2, 5 and 20 mW cm(-2) of 650 nm light. The oxygen concentration data indicated no unusual features within the range of fluences where the discontinuities in fluorescence were observed during in vivo spectroscopy. The fluorescence from the in vivo bleaching experiments thus reports a phenomenon that is not reported by measurements of the photochemical oxygen consumption in the spheroids.

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