The kinetics of accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) after topical application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and its methylester (5-aminolevulinic acid methylester [ALA-Me]) was studied on rat oral mucosa. The accumulation of PpIX in mucosa and skin after intravenous injection of ALA and ALA-Me was also studied. The elimination rate of PpIX was dependent on drug and dose as well as on administration route. Application of ALA on rat oral mucosa and skin caused a systemic effect with PpIX building up in remote skin sites not exposed to the drugs. No such systemic effect was seen after application of ALA-Me either in mucosa or on skin. Intravenous injection of the drugs (0.2 g/kg) leads to more fluorescence in the skin than topical application of the drug (20%). For mucosa, the opposite is true. Maximal PpIX fluorescence appeared later after application of high concentrations of the drugs (around 8 h for 5% and 20% wt/wt) than after application of low concentrations (around 3–5 h for 1% and 2% wt/wt).
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Vol. 81 • No. 2