European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V vol:59 issue:3 pages:469-74
In the present study, the systemic absorption of hypericin was investigated after intravesical instillation of the compound in nine patients with superficial transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) bladder tumors. Hypericin (8 microM) was instilled in the bladder for 2-3 h before photodynamic diagnosis of bladder tumors. Blood was then collected from a peripheral vein 1 h after termination of the instillation. Solid phase extraction with ammonium acetate buffer and methanol was used to extract hypericin from the plasma. A reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatographic method with fluorescence detection was used to identify and quantify hypericin in the extracts from plasma samples. Analysis of standard plasma samples, which were spiked with known amounts of hypericin, indicated that the pH of the buffer was a determining factor in the extraction yield. The results obtained using ammonium buffer (pH 3.5) and methanol showed the mean extraction recovery of hypericin to be 64% (RSD=12%, n=6). The limits of detection and quantification were 6 and 20 nM, respectively. Extraction and analysis of the plasma of patients after intravesical administration showed hypericin concentrations below the detection limit (<6 nM). In addition, photodynamic treatment of in vitro cultured HeLa cells incubated with 1-100 nM hypericin concentrations showed that lower concentrations (1-20 nM) of hypericin do not induce significant photocytotoxic effects. Taken together, these results imply that photosensitization or other systemic side effects in patients are not to be expected after photodynamic diagnosis of TCC bladder tumors with hypericin.