ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2023 Oct 9. doi: 10.1021/acsami.3c11053. Online ahead of print.
Photosensitizers have emerged as cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) activators in photodynamic therapy (PDT), which induced cell apoptosis. As the major contributors to ROS and oxidative stress, mitochondria play an important role in cell apoptosis. Although there are many reports about near-infrared 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) as photosensitizers (PSs) for PDT, this kind of PS has rarely been used for treating mitochondrial function and choroidal neovascularization application at the same time. Herein, a novel near-infrared PS (BDP2) characterized by good water solubility, long wavelength excitation, and high ROS quantum yield has been made. Under near-infrared light irradiation, BDP2 would generate ROS with high yield, induce a mitochondrial morphology change, and trigger cell apoptosis by changing the fusion protein level. Deep investigation revealed that BDP2 can cause oxidative stress, break the balance between fusion and fission of mitochondrial dynamics protein through decreasing fusion protein MFN2 and OPA1 expression, and finally cause cell apoptosis. Due to these characteristics, the BDP2 PS was used to treat choroidal neovascularization in animal models and can inhibit neovascularization.