Artesunate Enhances the Cytotoxicity of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid-Based Sonodynamic Therapy against Mouse Mammary Tumor Cells In Vitro.
Molecules. 2017 Mar 27 ;22(4). Epub 2017 Mar 27. PMID: 28346389
Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) kills tumor cells through the synergistic effects of ultrasound (US) and a sonosensitizer agent. 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has been used as a sonodynamic sensitizer for cancer treatment. However, studies have shown that 5-ALA-based SDT has limited efficacy against malignant tumors. In this study, we examined whether artesunate (ART) could enhance the cytotoxicity of 5-ALA-based SDT against mouse mammary tumor (EMT-6) cells in vitro. In the ART, ART + US, ART + 5-ALA, and ART + 5-ALA + US groups, the cell survival rate correlated with ART concentration, and decreased with increasing concentrations of ART. Morphologically, many apoptotic and necrotic cells were observed in the ART + 5-ALA + US group. The percentage of reactive oxygen species-positive cells in the ART + 5-ALA + US group was also significantly higher than that in the 5-ALA group (p = 0.0228), and the cell death induced by ART + 5-ALA + US could be inhibited by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. These results show that ART offers great potential in enhancing the efficacy of 5-ALA-based SDT for the treatment of cancer. However, these results are only based on in vitro studies, and further in vivo studies are required.