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Lasers Med Sci. 2005 Sep;20(2):62-7. Epub 2005 Jun 7.

Photodynamic inactivation of fibroblasts by a cationic porphyrin.

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Laser Center K01-225-5, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,


An important determinant of the clinical applicability and value of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is the cytotoxicity of the treatment to human cells. We evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity of PDI to human dermal fibroblasts using 5-phenyl-10,15,20-tris(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin chloride (TriP[4]) as the photosensitiser. The fibroblasts were exposed to a PDI regime that is known to be sufficient for the inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. The PDI experiments were carried out in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in 6.25%, 12.5%, 25% and 50% fetal calf serum (FCS)/PBS suspensions. Cell viability subsequent to exposure was evaluated after 0 h, 6 h and 18 h using the methylthiazoletetrazolium (MTT) assay and compared to pretreatment values. At a TriP[4] concentration previously demonstrated to induce a 5 log(10)-unit reduction in a viable count for S. aureus, 79% of the fibroblasts were photo-inactivated. Increasing the FCS concentration in the medium protected the fibroblasts against PDI. Based on our in vitro results, we propose that in vivo PDI of S. aureus holds potential; however, PDI of P. aeruginosa and C. albicans will probably require such a strong PDI regime that it will induce substantial damage to fibroblasts.

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