Photochemistry and photobiology

An insight into the mechanisms of the phototoxic response induced by cyamemazine in cultured fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

PMID 15068029


The phototoxicity of cyamemazine (CMZ, Tercian), a neuroleptic of the phenothiazine family, has recently been reported in humans. CMZ has an absorbance maximum at 267 nm (molar absorptivity, 25,800 M(-1) cm(-1)) but a weaker molar absorptivity in the ultraviolet A (UV-A) region. CMZ exhibits a fluorescence with maximum emission at 535 nm and a quantum yield of 0.11. CMZ is a powerful photosensitizing agent toward HS 68 human skin fibroblasts and NCTC 2544 keratinocytes. At a UV-A radiation dose of 10 J/cm2, innocuous to cells in the absence of CMZ, the LD50 (lethal dose corresponding to 50% killing) are 0.5 and 1 microM for the fibroblasts and the keratinocytes, respectively, after overnight incubation with the drug. Short incubation times do not significantly alter the LD50. The CMZ-induced phototoxicity is accompanied by lipid membrane peroxidation consistent with the amphiphilic character of this photosensitizer. Keratinocytes are an order of magnitude less sensitive to the photosensitized lipid peroxidation than fibroblasts. Microspectrofluorometry reveals that lysosomal membranes are major sites of CMZ incorporation into the two cell lines because a Forster-type resonance energy transfer process occurs from CMZ to LysoTracker Red DND99 (LTR), a specific fluorescent probe of lysosomal membranes. The CMZ-photosensitized destruction of LTR demonstrates that CMZ retains its photosensitizing capacity after its lysosomal uptake.

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Cyamemazine, ≥98% (HPLC)