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A Simple and Efficient Approach for the Synthesis of Fluorinated and Nonfluorinated Octaethylporphyrin-Based Benzochlorins with Variable Lipophilicity, Their in Vivo Tumor Uptake, and the Preliminary in Vitro Photosensitizing Efficacy

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journal contribution
posted on 30.01.2001, 00:00 by Guolin Li, Andrew Graham, William Potter, Zachary D. Grossman, Allan Oseroff, Thomas J. Dougherty, Ravindra K. Pandey
Starting from commercially available Ni(II)octaethylporphyrin (OEP), an efficient approach for the preparation of a series of fluorinated and nonfluorinated benzochlorins with variable lipophicity has been developed. Their spectroscopic properties, preliminary in vitro photosensitizing efficacy, and tumor selectivity were determined. Our methodology provides a facile approach for the preparation of the free-base and the related Zn(II) benzochlorins containing alkyl and alkyl ether side chains with variable carbon units. For the preparation of benzochlorins containing alkyl groups attached to the exocyclic phenyl ring, the Ni(II) meso-(2-formylvinyl)octaethyl porphyrin 2 was reacted with various reagents such as (trifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane (TMS-CF3) or the Grignard reagents of various fluorinated or nonfluorinated alkyl halides. The corresponding intermediates 3, 6a6e, and 8 obtained via intramolecular cyclization under acidic conditions afforded the related benzochlorins 5, 7ad, and 9 in good yields except for 7e which was obtained in poor yield (11.4%). The alcohol 10 obtained by reacting porphyrin 2 with ethynylmagnesium chloride did not produce the expected acetylenic benzochlorin; instead the corresponding acetyl derivative 11 was obtained as a major product, which under appropriate reaction conditions was converted into a series of alkyl ether derivatives 13a13d. To obtain a benzochlorin bearing an ester functionality (15), porphyrin 2 was first reacted with ethyl acetate/LDA and the intermediate alcohol 14 was then cyclized with sulfuric acid. Unlike most of the natural and synthetic chlorins, the Zn(II) complexes of the benzochlorin analogues exhibited a significant bathochromic shift (∼10 nm) in the electronic absorption spectra, and the long wavelength absorptions were observed in the range 671−677 nm (ε:  43270−50360). For investigating the in vitro efficacy of these analogues, Molt-4 cells were used. At a concentration of 2.5 μM, and a light dose of 4 J/cm2, all benzochlorins produced significant photosensitizing efficacy. The tumor (RIF) and muscle uptake in C3H mice of these photosensitizers was determined by in vivo reflectance spectroscopy. These results indicate that in this series increasing the length of the alkyl or alkyl ether carbon chains at the fused phenyl ring system produced a significant increase in tumor uptake.