Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising method for treatment of brain tumors, the most of which are of glial origin. In the present work we studied PDT-mediated injury of glial cells in nerve tissue, specifically, in abdominal connectives in the crayfish ventral nerve cord. The preparation was photosensitized with alumophthalocyanine Photosens and irradiated 30 min with the diode laser (670 nm, 0.1 or 0.15 W/cm2). After following incubation in the darkness during 1- 10 hours it was fluorochromed with Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide to reveal nuclei of living, necrotic and apoptotic cells. The chain-like location of the glial nuclei allowed visualization of those enveloping giant axons and blood vessels. The level of glial necrosis in control preparations was about 2-5 %. Apoptosis was not observed in control preparations. PDT significantly increased necrosis of glial cells to 52 or 67 % just after irradiation with 0.1 or 0.15 W/cm2, respectively. Apoptosis of glial cells was observed only at 10 hours after light exposure. Upper layers of the glial envelope of the connectives were injured stronger comparing to deep ones: the level of glial necrosis decreased from 100 to 30 % upon moving from the connective surface to the plane of the giant axon inside the connective. Survival of glial cells was also high in the vicinity of blood vessels. One can suggest that giant axons and blood vessels protect neighboring glial cells from photodynamic damage. The mechanism of such protective action remains to be elucidated.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.