This paper describes the photodynamic characteristics of the new near-infrared photosensitizer 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(m-hydroxyphenyl)bacteriochlorin (mTHPBC or SQN400) in normal rat and mouse tissues. A rat liver model of photodynamic tissue necrosis was used to determine the in vivo action spectrum and the dose–response relationships of tissue destruction with drug and light doses. The effect of varying the light irradiance and the time interval between drug administration and light irradiation on the biological response was also measured in the rat liver model. Photobleaching of mTHPBC was measured and compared with that of its chlorin analog (mTHPC) in normal mouse skin and an implanted mouse colorectal tumor. The optimum wavelength for biological activation of mTHPBC in rat liver was 739 nm. mTHPBC was found to have a marked drug-dose threshold of around 0.6 mg kg−1 when liver tissue was irradiated 48 h after drug administration. Below this administered drug dose, irradiation, even at very high light doses, did not cause liver necrosis. At administered doses above the photodynamic threshold the effect of mTHPBC–PDT was directly proportional to the product of the drug and light doses. No difference in the extent of liver necrosis produced by mTHPBC was found on varying the light irradiance from 10 to 100 mW cm−2. The extent of liver necrosis was greatest when tissue was irradiated shortly after mTHPBC administration and necrosis was absent when irradiation was performed 72 h or later after drug administration, suggesting that the drug was rapidly cleared from the liver. In vivo photobleaching experiments in mice showed that the rate of bleaching of mTHPBC was approximately 20 times greater than that of mTHPC. It is argued that this greater rate of bleaching accounts for the higher photodynamic threshold and this could be exploited to enhance selective destruction of tissues which accumulate the photosensitizer.
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Vol. 72 • No. 3