Effects of 5-aminolaevulinic acid on human ovarian cancer cells and human vascular endothelial cells in vitro

Stefan Spörri, Vimlarani Chopra, Norman Egger, Hal K. Hawkins, Massoud Motamedi, Ekkehard Dreher, Henning Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Results are reported on the cellular effects and the sensitivity of cultured tumor epithelial cells (TEC) derived from human ovarian cystadenocarcinoma and human umbilical vein-derived endothelial cells (HUVEC) to exogenous 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) and ALA-induced photodynamic therapy (PDT). Cellular alterations and PDT efficiency were evaluated using colorimetric thiazolyl blue (MTT) assay, trypan blue exclusion assay, electron microscopy, and gel electrophoresis. ALA-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) accumulation in TEC was associated with a concentration and time-dependent significant decrease in mitochondrial activity, increase in cell membrane permeability, and dark toxicity. Maximum PpIX loaded TEC demonstrated a high sensitivity to PDT. Neither cellular alterations nor PDT effects were observed in HUVEC under identical experimental conditions. These results indicate a potential clinical value for the use of ALA-mediated PDT to treat minimal residual disease in mucinous ovarian carcinoma. In addition, the ALA-induced PpIX cytotoxicity may be exported to a new chemotherapeutic regimen via a conventionally viewed photochemotherapeutic agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-20
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001


  • 5-aminolaevulinic acid
  • Dark toxicity
  • Human umbilical vein endothelial cells
  • Ovarian cancer cells
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Phototoxicity
  • Protoporphyrin IX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of 5-aminolaevulinic acid on human ovarian cancer cells and human vascular endothelial cells in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this