The importance of iron chelation and iron availability during PpIX-induced photodynamic therapy
Photonics and Lasers in Medicine
Copyright © 2014, Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Background: Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)-induced photodynamic therapy (PDT) is being utilised as a topical method of localised ablation of certain non-melanoma skin cancers and precancers. Standardised protocols have been implemented to good effect when the disease remains superficial but improvement is required to treat thicker or acrally located conditions. Concurrent administration of an iron chelator during PpIX-PDT has been demonstrated to increase cellular accumulation of PpIX by reducing its bioconversion to haem (an iron dependent process) thus increasing cell kill on subsequent irradiation. Iron however, can also play a role in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and limiting its availability via chemical chelation could theoretically reduce the efficacy of PpIX-PDT, so that a response less than that maximally feasible is produced. Materials and methods: The effects of iron availability and chelation on PpIX-PDT have therefore been investigated via fluorescence quantification of PpIX accumulation, single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay) measurement of ROS-induced DNA damage and trypan blue exclusion assessment of cell viability. Cultured human cells were utilised and incubated in standardised iron conditions with the PpIX precursor's aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) or its methyl ester (MAL) in the presence or absence of either of the iron chelating agents desferrioxamine (DFO) or hydroxypyridinone (CP94), or alternatively iron sulphate as a source of iron. Results: ALA or MAL incubation was found to significantly increase cellular PpIX accumulation pre-irradiation as anticipated and this observation correlated with both significantly increased DNA damage and reduced cellular viability following irradiation. Co-incubation with either of the iron chelators investigated (DFO or CP94) significantly increased pre-irradiation PpIX accumulation as well as DNA damage and cell death on irradiation indicating the positive effect of iron chelation on the effectiveness of PpIX-induced PDT. The opposite effects were observed however, when the cells were co-incubated with iron sulphate, with significant reductions in pre-irradiation PpIX accumulation (ALA only) and DNA damage (ALA and MAL) being recorded indicating the negative effects excessive iron can have on PpIX-PDT effectiveness. Some dark toxicity produced by iron sulphate administration in non-irradiated control groups was also observed. Conclusion: Iron chelation and availability have therefore been observed to positively and adversely affect the PpIX-PDT process respectively and it is concluded that the effects of increased PpIX accumulation pre-irradiation produced via iron chelation outweigh any limitations reduced iron availability may have on the ability of iron to catalyse ROS generation/cascades following PpIX-induced PDT. Further investigation of iron chelation within dermatological applications where enhanced PpIX-PDT treatment effects would be beneficial is therefore warranted.
Duchy Health Charity Limited, Cornwall, UK
This is the accepted version of the article. Please cite the published version which is available via the DOI link in this record.
Photonics and Lasers in Medicine, 2015, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pp. 39 - 58