gms | German Medical Science

71. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC)
9. Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) e. V.

21.06. - 24.06.2020

Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition enhances the anti-neoplastic activity of photodynamic therapy with 5-aminolevulinic acid against glioblastoma cells in vitro

Verstärkung der anti-neoplastischen Aktivität von photodynamischer Therapie mit 5-Aminolävulinsäure gegen Glioblastomzellen durch Hemmung von Bcl-2/Bcl-xL in vitro

Meeting Abstract

  • Carolin Golla - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Jenson Anthonymuthu - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Annika Dwucet - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Maximilian Pruss - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Nicolas Bader - Universität Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Michal Hlavac - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Markus David Siegelin - Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
  • Mike-Andrew Westhoff - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Tim Heiland - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Richard Eric Kast - IIAIGC Study Center, Burlington, VT, United States
  • Christian Rainer Wirtz - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Felix Capanni - Universität Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • Marc-Eric Halatsch - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland
  • presenting/speaker Georg Karpel-Massler - Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 71. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), 9. Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. sine loco [digital], 21.-24.06.2020. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2020. DocV217

doi: 10.3205/20dgnc214, urn:nbn:de:0183-20dgnc2140

Published: June 26, 2020
Published with erratum: September 14, 2020

© 2020 Golla et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: In this study, we examined whether inhibition of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL enhances the biological effects of photodynamic therapy with 5-aminolevulinic acid in an in vitro setting of glioblastoma.

Methods: Pre-clinical testing of microcontroller-based devices emitting light of 405 or 635 nm wavelengths in combination with exposure to 5-aminolevulinic acid and the Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor ABT-263 was performed in human established, primary cultured glioblastoma cells and glioma stem-like cells. We applied cell count analyses to assess cellular proliferation, annexin V/PI and TMRE staining to examine apoptosis, and Western blotting and specific knockdown experiments using siRNA to examine molecular mechanisms of action.

Results: Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition had enhanced anti-proliferative effects in various types of glioblastoma cells when combined with photodynamic therapy. The combination treatment induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. On the molecular level, Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition led to an upregulation of Mcl-1 which, however, was counteracted by an increased expression of NOXA when combined with photodynamic therapy.

Conclusion: These data suggest that Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition enhances the susceptibility of glioblastoma cells towards photodynamic therapy. This observation is at least in part due to a cytotoxic effect of the combination treatment and likely linked to a shift of the cellular phenotype pro apoptosis in response to an increased NOXA/Mcl-1 ratio.


The name of author Anthonymuthu was corrected.