Mechanism of photofrin-enhanced ultrasound-induced human glioma cell death

Shuji Hayashi, Masaki Yamamoto, Katsuhiro Tachibana, Yushi Ueno, Guojun Bu, Takeo Fukushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Low-intensity ultrasound showed tumor cell killing by a non-thermal effect in human leukemia cells. The aim of our study was to investigate the efficacy of low-intensity ultrasound on malignant astrocytic tumor cells with the photosensitizer, Photofrin, which is taken up by the cell surface receptor, low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein/α2- macro globulin receptor(LRP/α2MR). Materials and Methods: Cells were sonicated with continuous wave ultrasound with or without the presence of Photofrin(75 mg/ml)at an intensity of 0.3 W/cm2 for a duration of 5, 15, or 30 s. Results: Ultrasound alone induced instant cell killing immediately after sonication in both U251MG and U105MG malignant gliomas cells. In U251MG cells, which expressed LRP/α2MR, significant enhancement of cell killing was observed following Photofrin pretreatment, 52.7±17.5%, 13.0±4.6% and 3.9±0.9% for 5, 15, and 30 s respectively(p>0.05) . This enhancement of cell killing was abolished by preincubation with receptor-associated protein(RAP)which binds specifically to LRP/α2MR. This enhancement by Photofrin was not achieved in U105MG which did not express LRP/α2MR. U251MG cells accumulated 2.43±0.25 Photofrin mg/mg protein, which significantly decreased with RAP pretreatment(1.38±0.22 Photofrin mg/mg protein)(p>0.05). U105MG cells accumulated 1.31 ±0.16 Photofrin mg/mg protein, which was significantly less than in U251MG cells. Photofrin uptake was not altered by RAP pretreatment in U105MG cells. U251MG cells exposed to ultrasound in the presence of Photofrin showed multiple surface pores and dimple-like craters.Conclusion:This is the report to demonstrate the usefulness of low intensity ultrasound for the cell killing of malignant glioma cells. Antitumor activity might be enhanced by combination with photosensitizer, which is transported by cell surface LRP/α2-MR to some degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-906
Number of pages10
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Glioma
  • LRP/a2MR
  • Photofrin
  • U105MG
  • U251MG
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism of photofrin-enhanced ultrasound-induced human glioma cell death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this