Analysis of Hypericin-Mediated Effects and Implications for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Mühleisen L, Alev M, Unterweger H, Subatzus D, Poettler M, Friedrich RP, Alexiou C, Janko C
Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication year: 2017
Volume: 18
Journal issue: 7
ISSN: 1422-0067


The phototoxic effect of hypericin can be utilized for Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) of cancer. After intravenous application and systemic distribution of the drug in the patient's body, the tumor site is exposed to light. Subsequently, toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated, inducing tumor cell death. To prevent unwanted activation of the drug in other regions of the body, patients have to avoid light during and after the treatment cycles, consequently impairing quality of life. Here, we characterize toxicity and hypericin-mediated effects on cancer cells in vitro and confirm that its effect clearly depends on concentration and illumination time. To reduce side effects and to increase therapy success, selective accumulation of hypericin in the tumor region is a promising solution. Loading hypericin on superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and guiding them to the desired place using an external magnetic field might accomplish this task (referred to as Magnetic Drug Targeting (MDT)). Thus, using a double targeting strategy, namely magnetic accumulation and laser induced photoactivation, might improve treatment effectivity as well as specificity and reduce toxic side effects in future clinical applications.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Alev, Magdalena
Professur für Nanomedizin
Alexiou, Christoph Prof. Dr.
Professur für Nanomedizin
Janko, Christina Dr. rer. nat.
Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Klinik - Kopf- und Halschirurgie
Mühleisen, Laura
Professur für Nanomedizin
Unterweger, Harald Dr.-Ing.
Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Klinik - Kopf- und Halschirurgie

How to cite

Mühleisen, L., Alev, M., Unterweger, H., Subatzus, D., Poettler, M., Friedrich, R.P.,... Janko, C. (2017). Analysis of Hypericin-Mediated Effects and Implications for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(7).

Mühleisen, Laura, et al. "Analysis of Hypericin-Mediated Effects and Implications for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy." International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18.7 (2017).


Last updated on 2018-19-11 at 09:53