Infoscience

Journal article

Vascular regrowth following photodynamic therapy in the chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) induces damage to the endothelium, which can lead to increased vascular permeability and, under intensive PDT conditions, even to platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction, and blood flow stasis. Eventually, ischemia, hypoxia, and inflammation can occur, resulting in angiogenesis. We studied the sequence of the vascular events after Visudyne-PDT in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) at day 11 of development. Using epi-fluorescence microscopy, we monitored the regrowth of capillaries in the PDT treated area. Immediately after irradiation, the treatment resulted in blood flow arrest. And 24 h post PDT, sprouting of new blood vessels was observed at the edge of the PDT zone. Neovessels looping out from the edge of the PDT zone gave rise to specialized endothelial tip structures guiding the vessels towards the center of the treated area. At 48 h almost all of the treated area was repopulated with functional but morphologically altered vasculature. These observations also showed reperfusion of some of the vessels that had been closed by the PDT treatment. CAM samples were immunohistochemically stained for Ki-67 showing proliferation of endothelial cells in the PDT area. Also, several markers of immature and angiogenic blood vessels, such as αVβ3-integrin, vimentin and galectin-1, were found to be enhanced in the PDT area, while the endothelial maturation marker intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 was found to be suppressed. These results demonstrate that the new vascular bed is formed by both neo-angiogenesis and reperfusion of existing vessels. Both the quantitative real-time RT-PCR profile and the response to pharmacological treatment with Avastin, an inhibitor of angiogenesis, suggest that angiogenesis occurs after PDT. The observed molecular profiling results and the kinetics of gene regulation may enable optimizing combination therapies involving PDT for treatment of cancer and other diseases.

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