Oxidized low-density lipoprotein as a delivery system for photosensitizers: Implications for photodynamic therapy of atherosclerosis

Helga E. De Vries, Anne C.E. Moor, Tom M.A.R. Dubbelman, Theo J.C. Van Berkel, Johan Kuiper

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Abstract

Photodynamic therapy is a promising new strategy in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Photodynamic therapy for vascular diseases may be improved by the specific delivery of photosensitizers to the atherosclerotic lesion. In this study, we studied whether oxidatively modified low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) could be used as a specific carrier for photosensitizers, thereby using the scavenger receptor expressed on macrophages as a target. The photosensitizer aluminum phthalocyanine chloride (AlPc) was incorporated into OxLDL, and its photodynamic effects were studied. Macrophages (RAW 264.7) were incubated with various concentrations of OxLDL-AlPc for different periods. After illumination of the cells with red light, cytotoxicity was observed that was dependent on the time of illumination and incubation. Macrophages incubated with OxLDL-AlPc that were not illuminated revealed no cytotoxicity. The uptake of the OxLDL-AlPc complexes was mediated by scavenger receptors expressed on macrophages. In the presence of the polyanion polyinosinic acid, a specific ligand for scavenger receptors, no cytotoxicity could be observed. Serum incubations of the OxLDL-AlPc complexes revealed that these complexes stay intact after incubation. No redistribution of AlPc to other plasma (lipo-) proteins could be detected, and 80-90% of the AlPc remained associated with the OxLDL particle. These results indicate that OxLDL may function as a specific delivery system for photosensitizers to the scavenger receptors expressed on the macrophages in the atherosclerotic lesion, increasing the beneficial effects of photodynamic therapy for cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume289
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999

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