Background and objective Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) is a promising new approach for cancer therapy. The purpose of this study is to detect the effects of SDT on the cell proliferation of human lung adenocarcinoma cell SPCA-1, using Chlorin e6 as a sonosensitizing agent activated by ultrasound. Methods SPCA-1 and normal peripheral mononuclear cell (PMNC) were treated with ultrasound or Chlorin e6 alone and combined. Cell proliferation was determined by MTT assay, and cell morphology was studied by inverted microscope after 6 h treated. Results 1.0 MHz ultrasound (1.0 W/cm2-2.0 W/cm2×60 s) and Chlorin e6 (0.4 mg/mL-3.2 mg/mL) inhibited the cell proliferation of both SPCA-1 and PMNC cells in a intensity- and a dose-dependent manner respectively. Compared with the ultrasound (1.0 W/cm2×60 s) or Chlorin e6 (0.05 mg/mL-0.2 mg/mL) alone, the inhibitory effect on the cell proliferation was remarkably increased by the combination of ultrasound and chlorin e6 in SPCA-1 cells (P<0.05), but no same effect was observed in PMNC cells (P>0.05). Compared with the ultrasound (1.0 W/cm2×60 s) or chlorin e6 (0.2 mg/mL) alone, the combination treatment of ultrasound with Chlorin e6 induced more necrotic cells in SPCA-1 cells (P<0.05). Conclusion There was a significant selectively inhibitory effect of sonodynamic effect with Chlorin e6 on the SPCA-1 cell growth. Chlorin e6 may be a promising sonosensitizing agent for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer
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