Protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) is an intermediate in the heme biosynthesis pathway. Abnormal accumulation of PPIX due to certain pathological conditions such as erythropoietic protoporphyria and X-linked protoporphyria causes painful phototoxic reactions of the skin, which can significantly impact daily life. Endothelial cells in the skin have been proposed as the primary target for PPIX-induced phototoxicity through light-triggered generation of reactive oxygen species. Current approaches for the management of PPIX-induced phototoxicity include opaque clothing, sunscreens, phototherapy, blood therapy, antioxidants, bone marrow transplantation, and drugs that increase skin pigmentation. In this review, we discuss the present understanding of PPIX-induced phototoxicity including PPIX production and disposition, conditions that lead to PPIX accumulation, symptoms and individual differences, mechanisms, and therapeutics.
- Erythropoietic protoporphyria
- Protoporphyrin IX
- X-linked protoporphyria
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)