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Age differences in photodynamic therapy-mediated opening of the blood-brain barrier through the optical clearing skull window in mice

Chao Zhang, Wei Feng, Yusha Li, Jurgen Kürths, Tingting Yu, Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya, Dan Zhu
Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2019 February 27

BACKGROUND: Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a minimally invasive therapeutic tool, has been an important option for post-surgical treatment of malignant gliomas (MGs) in both adult and young patients. Recent studies have shown that PDT can also open the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, there are no optimized parameters of PDT for patients at different ages. To determine whether there are age differences in PDT effects on the BBB, we studied PDT-related BBB opening through the optical clearing skull window in healthy 4- and 8-week-old mice.

METHODS: In this work, we realized BBB opening by combining PDT with the optical clearing skull window by using different radiant exposures (635 nm, 10-20-30-40 J/cm2 ) and 5-aminole-vulinic acid (5-ALA, 20 mg/kg). Then, we evaluated BBB permeability by: (i) spectrofluorimetric measuring of Evans Blue dye (EBd) leakage; (ii) confocal imaging of 70 kDa FITC-dextran extravasation and the BBB integrity; and (iii) histological analysis of brain tissues.

RESULTS: Using the skull optical clearing method, we demonstrated PDT-induced BBB opening to EBd and FITC-dextran in a radiant exposure manner. The histological analysis revealed the different severities of vasogenic edema corresponding to radiant exposures. Besides, the PDT-related increase in the BBB permeability to high weight molecules (EBd and FITC-dextran) and solutes (vasogenic edema) was more pronounced in 4-week-old mice than in 8-week-old mice.

CONCLUSIONS: The more pronounced PDT-induced BBB disruption in juvenile mice compared with adult mice suggests age differences in PDT-related BBB opening. This might be an important informative platform for a new application of PDT as a method for brain drug delivery, especially for post-surgical treatment of MGs. Lasers Surg. Med. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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