A new photosensitizer, presently designated QLT0074, may be useful for the treatment of skin conditions, particularly those mediated by T lymphocytes, with photodynamic therapy (PDT). QLT0074 was tested against human peripheral blood T cells and Jurkat T lymphoma cells. Low concentrations of QLT0074 and blue light were sufficient to induce apoptosis in peripheral blood T cells or Jurkat T lymphoma cells as indicated by expression of the apoptosis-associated mitochondrial 7A6 marker, annexin-V labeling or activation of capsase-3 and cleavage of the capsase substrate poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP). Flow cytometry studies performed following PDT showed that peripheral blood T cells with high expression of the interleukin-2 receptor (CD25) took up greater amounts of QLT0074 and were eliminated to a greater degree than T cells with low CD25 levels. This effect of PDT was also shown by the reduction in the percentage of T cells that expressed other activation-associated markers such as very late activation antigen-4 (CD49d), human leukocyte antigen DR (HLA-DR), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (CD54) and Fas (CD95). In the case of T cells that remained viable following PDT, CD25 expression was lower while CD54, CD95 and HLA-DR levels were unchanged. Thus, PDT with QLT0074 has selective, dose-dependent effects on T cells in vitro.