★ PpIX displayed different spectral patterns in different solutions. ★ PpIX was decomposed by ultrasound exposure as measured by the decreased absorption and fluorescence peak values in 1640. ★ PpIX at 1 μg/ml significantly enhanced the ultrasound induced cavitation. ★ The extracellular PpIX played an important role in the enhanced cell killing of PpIX–SDT. ★ ROS scavengers partially prevented SDT induced cell viability loss of S180 cells.
Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) has been used as a sensitizer in photodynamic therapy (PDT) as well as in sonodynamic therapy (SDT). The photo-bleaching of PpIX has been well investigated in many experimental systems and some photo-products have also been identified in PDT. But until now, little information has been reported about the sono-damage of PpIX in SDT. So, the present study was to investigate changes of PpIX properties before and after different ultrasound treatment, and the potential interactions between PpIX, ultrasound and the irradiated cells. In cell-free system, the absorption and fluorescence spectra of PpIX in different solutions were measured by ultraviolet spectrometer and fluorescence spectrophotometer, respectively. The terephthalic acid dosimetry was applied to evaluate the efficiency of ultrasound cavitation by monitoring hydroxyl radical (·OH) production on the thermolysis of H2O in the ultrasound field. In in vitro study, confocal microscopy was applied to detect the sub-cellular localization of PpIX in S180 cells before and after ultrasound exposure. Flow cytometry was used to detect the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation during PpIX–SDT. MTT assay was performed to evaluate the cell viability of S180 cells after SDT treatment with or without ROS scavengers. The results show that PpIX displayed different spectral patterns in different solutions. PpIX was decomposed by ultrasound exposure as measured by the decreased absorption and fluorescence peak values in RPMI-1640 medium. In addition, the decomposition of PpIX was found to be simultaneously accompanied by ·OH production with increasing output power from ultrasound generator. PpIX at 1 μg/ml significantly enhanced the ultrasound induced cavitation as measured by ·OH generation, and which was greatly eliminated by NaN3, histidine, mannitol, EDTA and catalase, but not by SOD. The in vitro study indicates more PpIX entered into S180 cells after ultrasound exposure. And, the extra-cellular PpIX play an important role in the enhanced cell killing of PpIX–SDT. SDT induced obvious ROS generation in S180 cells, which could be mostly inhibited by the general ROS scavenge NAC (N-acetylcysteine). Other scavengers such as NaN3, histidine, mannitol all partially prevented the SDT induced cell viability loss of S180 cells, suggesting ·OH, 1O2 might be involved during the process.