Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology vol:55 issue:1 pages:27-36
The present work has been carried out to explore the potential application of cyanines in photodynamic therapy. After photosensitization, the in vitro cytotoxic and antiproliferative activity on HeLa cells of a total of 35 cyanines belonging to several chemical subgroups is explored. Most of these cyanines have never been used before in similar experimental work. From a first set of experiments, it is found that none of the krypto-, oxa- and imidacyanines is photobiologically active on HeLa cells. Conversely, five thiacyanines (Thiacl-5), one rhodacyanine (Rhodac) and four indocyanines (Indoc2, Indoc4, Indoc5, Indoc7) show photodependent cytotoxicity or antiproliferative effects. A more detailed study shows that out of the ten selected compounds, eight cyanines feature significant photodependent cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects. All possess maximum absorption ranges between 545 and 824 nm. In particular, Rhodac, a tetramethinemeromonomethine rhodacyanine dye with an absorption maximum of 655 nm (ethanol) and a molar absorption coefficient epsilon = 108000 shows very promising photo-dependent biological activity. In general, the measured singlet oxygen quantum yield of the selected cyanines is low (< 0.08) and does not correlate with the degree of photosensitization. Furthermore, the present study shows that cyanines with a partition coefficient close to 1.5 accumulate to the highest extent in HeLa cells, while the more hydrophobic compounds (e.g., indocyanines) concentrate less intracellularly.