Oxygen consumption at the targeted site has a significant effect on dosimetry in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, oxygen consumption in PDT using a pulsed laser as a light source has not been clarified. We therefore investigated the dependence of cytotoxicity on the oxygen consumption and the photosensitizer photobleaching of PDT using a pulsed laser by comparing with that using a continuous wave (CW) laser. Mouse renal carcinoma cells (Renca) were incubated with a second-generation photosensitizer, PAD-S31. The cells were then irradiated with either a 670-nm nanosecond pulsed light from the 3rd harmonics of a Nd:YAG laser-pumped optical parametric oscillator with a peak fluence rate of ∼1 MW/cm2 at 30 Hz or a 670-nm CW diode laser with a total light dose of 40 J/cm2. Regardless of laser source, cytotoxic effects exhibited cumulative dose responses to the photosensitizer ranging from 12 to 96 μg/ml. However, cytotoxic effect of PDT using the pulsed light was significantly less than that using the CW light with the photosensitizer concentrations of 24 and 48 μg/ml under identical fluence rates. During PDT, the cells exposed to the pulsed light consumed oxygen more slowly, resulting in a lower amount of oxygen consumption when compared with PDT using CW light. In accordance with oxygen consumption, the pulsed light induced significantly less photobleaching of the photosensitizer than the CW light did. These results indicate that the efficiency of PDT using pulsed light is less when compared with CW light, probably being related to suppressed oxygen consumption during the pulsed light irradiation.
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