[en] Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for cancer and several noncancerous proliferating cell diseases that depends on the uptake of a photosensitizing compound followed by selective irradiation with visible light. In the presence of oxygen, irradiation leads to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A large production of ROS induces the death of cancer cells by apoptosis or necrosis. A small ROS production can activate various cellular pathways. Here, we show that PDT by pyropheophorbide-a methyl ester (PPME) induces the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) in HMEC-1 cells. NF-kappaB is active since it binds to the NF-kappaB sites of both ICAM-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) promoters and induces the transcription of several NF-kappaB target genes such as those of IL-6, ICAM-1, VCAM-1. In contrast, expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 at the protein level was not observed, although we measured an IL-6 secretion. Using specific chemical inhibitors, we showed that the lack of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression is the consequence of their degradation by lysosomal proteases. The proteasome and calpain pathways were not involved. All these observations were consistent with the fact that no adhesion of granulocytes was observed in these conditions.