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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 15;325:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2017.03.026. Epub 2017 Apr 1.

The monoamine oxidase inhibition properties of selected structural analogues of methylene blue.

Author information

1
Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa; Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa.
2
Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa; Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa.
3
Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa; Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa. Electronic address: jacques.petzer@nwu.ac.za.

Abstract

The thionine dye, methylene blue (MB), is a potent inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO) A, a property that may, at least in part, mediate its antidepressant effects in humans and animals. The central inhibition of MAO-A by MB has also been linked to serotonin toxicity (ST) which may arise when MB is used in combination with serotonergic drugs. Structural analogues and the principal metabolite of MB, azure B, have also been reported to inhibit the MAO enzymes, with all compounds exhibiting specificity for the MAO-A isoform. To expand on the structure-activity relationships (SARs) of MAO inhibition by MB analogues, the present study investigates the human MAO inhibition properties of five MB analogues: neutral red, Nile blue, new methylene blue, cresyl violet and 1,9-dimethyl methylene blue. Similar to MB, these analogues also are specific MAO-A inhibitors with cresyl violet (IC50=0.0037μM), Nile blue (IC50=0.0077μM) and 1,9-dimethyl methylene blue (IC50=0.018μM) exhibiting higher potency inhibition compared to MB (IC50=0.07μM). Nile blue also represents a potent MAO-B inhibitor with an IC50 value of 0.012μM. From the results it may be concluded that non-thionine MB analogues (e.g. cresyl violet and Nile blue) also may exhibit potent MAO inhibition, a property which should be considered when using these compounds in pharmacological studies. Benzophenoxazines such as cresyl violet and Nile blue are, similar to phenothiazines (e.g. MB), representative of high potency MAO-A inhibitors with a potential risk of ST.

KEYWORDS:

Cresyl violet; Inhibition; MAO; Methylene blue; Monoamine oxidase; Nile blue

PMID:
28377303
DOI:
10.1016/j.taap.2017.03.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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