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Motexafin lutetium (Lu-Tex, Antrin Injection) is a photosensitizer that selectively accumulates in atheromatous plaque where it can be activated by far-red light. The localization and retention of intra-arterially administered Lu-Tex and its efficacy following activation by endovascularly delivered light (photoangioplasty) was evaluated.Bilateral iliac artery lesions were induced in 17 rabbits by balloon denudation, followed by a high cholesterol diet. Lu-Tex distribution within the atheroma was examined (n=8) following local injection. Fluorescence spectral imaging and chemical extraction techniques were used to measure Lu-Tex levels within the atheroma and adjacent normal tissue. Photoactivation was performed 15 min following Lu-Tex administration (180 J/cm fiber at 200 mW/cm fiber). Two weeks post photoangioplasty, vessels were harvested and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and RAM11 (macrophages) staining was performed.Local delivery of Lu-Tex achieved immediate high concentrations within plaque (mean 40x control iliac atheroma). Mean percent plaque area in the treated segments was significantly lower than in the non-treated contralateral lesions (73 vs. 82%, P<0.01). No medial damage was observed. Quantitative analysis using RAM11 positive cells revealed significant reduction of macrophages in treated lesions in both the intima (5 vs. 22%, P<0.01) and in media (8 vs. 23%, P<0.01) compared to untreated contralateral segments.Local delivery provides high levels of Lu-Tex selectively within atheroma. Photoactivation results in a significant decrease in macrophage and a small decrease in atheroma burden without damage to the normal vessel wall.
View details for Web of Science ID 000166820000022
View details for PubMedID 11164855