The photodynamic therapy (PDT) depends on the presence of molecular oxygen. Thus, the efficiency of PDT is limited in anoxic regions of tumor tissue and vascular shutdown. It is reported the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) may enhance the efficiency of PDT. However, there are rarely studies about utilizing HBO plus PDT for treatment with human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Therefore, this study aimed to investigate and compare the therapeutic effect of combined therapy and PDT alone treatment. Multiple cellular and molecular biology techniques were used in the current study such as CCK-8, western blotting, flow cytometry, MDC staining and immunofluorescence assay. The results of combination index indicated that HBO combination with PDT synergistically inhibited A431 cells proliferation in vitro. In addition, we found that HBO significantly enhanced PDT-induced cell apoptosis via increasing the active caspase-3, active caspase-9, Apaf-1 and Bax levels and down-regulating Bcl-2. Meanwhile, the result of MDC and immunofluorescence assay confirmed that HBO increased PDT-induced autophagosome formation in A431 cells. Interestingly, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) further increased combination-induced cell apoptosis by increasing the levels of active-caspase 9 and Apaf-1. Our results showed that HBO combined with PDT markedly induced A431 cells apoptosis and autophagy. Nevertheless, autophagy play a pro-survival role against apoptosis. Thus, HBO combination with PDT may constitute a promising approach to treat human squamous cell carcinoma in the future.

Mei, Yang, Fang (2018). Hyperbaric oxygen combined with 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy inhibited human squamous cell proliferation. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 2018 Dec;():. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30587670