Photodynamic Synovectomy Using Benzoporphyrin Derivative in an Antigen-induced Arthritis Model for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Kenneth B. Trauner, Regina F Gandour-Edwards, Mike Bamberg, Sonya Shortkroff, Clement Sledge, Tayyaba Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Experimental photodynamic therapy (PDT) has recently been adapted for the treatment of inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis. The biodistribution of benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A (BPD-MA) and the effect of percutaneous light activation via intra-articular bare cleaved optical fibers was investigated using a rabbit-antigen-induced arthritis model. Qualitative evaluation of intra-articular photosensitizer clearance was performed with laser-induced fluorescence from 0 to 6 h following intravenous injection. The compound was rapidly taken up within the joint and then cleared steadily over the 6 h interval. Biodistribution was determined by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluoroscopic extraction techniques 3 h following intravenous injection of 2 mg/kg BPD-MA. The biodistribution study demonstrated elevated levels of BPD-MA in synovium (0.35 μg/g) and muscle (0.35μg/g). Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated presence of the compound within pathologic synovium but absence of the photosensitizer within meniscus, ligament, bone and articular cartilage. Tissue effects were evaluated histologically at 2 and 4 weeks posttreatment. BPD-MA-mediated PDT caused synovial necrosis in the region of light activation in 50% of treatment knees at 2 weeks and 43% at 4 weeks. No damage to nonpathologic tissues was observed. These studies indicate that selective destruction of synovium can be achieved by the light-activated photosensitizing agent BPD-MA without damage to articular cartilage or periarticular soft tissues. PDT needs to be further evaluated to optimize treatment parameters to provide for a new minimally invasive synovectomy technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics


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