Effects of hypericin encapsulated on Pluronic F127 photodynamic therapy against triple negative breast cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, Clinical Cytology Laboratory, State University of Maringá (UEM), Paraná, Brazil.

2 Department of Chemistry, State University of Maringá, Av. Colombo, 5790, 87025-210, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.


Objective: Breast cancer (BC) currently has no effective treatment especially for the highly aggressive and metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Here, we investigated the antitumoral and antimigratory effects of hypericin (HYP) encapsulated on Pluronic F127 (F127/HYP) photodynamic therapy (PDT) against TNBC cell line MDA-MB-231 compared to a nontumorigenic human breast ductal cell line (MCF-10A). Methods: The phototoxicity/cytotoxicity was assessed by MTT assay, long-term cytotoxicity by clonogenic assay, cell uptake, subcellular distribution, and cellular oxidative stress by fluorescence microscopy, cell death with annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide, PDT mechanism using sodium azide and D-mannitol, and cell migration by wound-healing assay. Results: The treatment promoted phototoxic effect on tumor cell line in a dose-dependent and selective manner. Internalization of F127/HYP was efficient and accumulation occurred in the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, resulting in cellular oxidative stress mainly by the type II mechanism, induced by necrosis. Furthermore, F127/HYP decreased colony formation and reduced the cell migration ability in MDA-MB-231 cells. Conclusion: Our results suggest a potentially useful role of F127/HYP micelles as a platform for HYP delivery to more specifically and effectively treat TNBC.


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