Perillyl alcohol: Dynamic interactions with the lipid bilayer and implications for long-term inhalational chemotherapy for gliomas.Surg Neurol Int 2016; 7:1SN
Gliomas display a high degree of intratumor heterogeneity, including changes in physiological parameters and lipid composition of the plasma membrane, which may contribute to the development of drug resistance. Biophysical interactions between therapeutic agents and the lipid components at the outer plasma membrane interface are critical for effective drug uptake. Amphipathic molecules such as perillyl alcohol (POH) have a high partition coefficient and generally lead to altered lipid acyl tail dynamics near the lipid-water interface, impacting the lipid bilayer structure and transport dynamics. We therefore hypothesized that glioma cells may display enhanced sensitivity to POH-induced apoptosis due to plasma membrane alterations, while in non-transformed cells, POH may be expelled through thermal agitation.
Interactions between POH and the plasma membrane was studied using molecular dynamics simulations. In this phase I/II trial, we set up to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of long-term (up to 5 years) daily intranasal administration of POH in a cohort of 19 patients with low-grade glioma (LGG). Importantly, in a series of clinical studies previously published by our group, we have successfully established that intranasal delivery of POH to patients with malignant gliomas is a viable and effective therapeutic strategy.
POH altered the plasma membrane potential of the lipid bilayer of gliomas and prolonged intranasal administration of POH in a cohort of patients with LGG halted disease progression with virtually no toxicity.
Altogether, the results suggest that POH-induced alterations of the plasma membrane might be contributing to its therapeutic efficacy in preventing LGG progression.