PPARδ and its ligand erucic acid may act anti-tumoral, neuroprotective, and myelin protective in neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, and Parkinson's disease

Mol Aspects Med. 2021 Apr:78:100871. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2020.100871. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


In this review study, we focus on potential benefits of the transcription factor PPARδ and its ligand erucic acid (EA) in management of neuroectodermal tumors and Parkinson's Disease. PPARδ is a nuclear receptor and transcription factor that induces myelination, promotes oligodendroglial and neuronal differentiation, and possess anti-neuroinflammatory properties. While both pro-tumorigenic and anti-tumorigenic effects have been described for PPARδ, we propose that PPARδ may perform a predominantly anticancer role in tumors originating from the neuroectoderm. PPARδ ligand-activation via oleic acid and GW501516, or overexpression of PPARδ, elicits profound antitumor actions in neuroblastoma and melanoma. In glioblastomas, there is evidence indicating a differentiation failure of O2A (oligodendroglial-astrocytic biprogenitor) cells and it has been shown that EA reduced DNA synthesis in C6 rat glioblastoma spheroid cultures in clinically achievable concentrations. EA is a ω9 fatty acid which is being used in the treatment of adrenoleukodystrophy. EA is widely consumed in Asian countries via ingestion of cruciferous vegetables including mustard and rapeseed oil. EA also exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Recent studies of Parkinson's Disease (PD) have implicated demyelination, white matter pathology, oligodendroglial injury, and neural inflammation in the underlying pathophysiology. In the rotenone PD model in rats, PPARδ ligand GW501516 saves dopaminergic neurons during injury induced by chemical toxins and improves behavioral functioning in PD via alleviation of endoplasmic reticulum stress. PPARδ agonists also reduce the NLRP3 inflammasome-associated neural inflammation in the MPTP PD model in mice. Herein, we propose that PPARδ and its ligand EA highly deserve to be studied in animal models of neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, and PD.

Keywords: Erucic acid; Glioblastoma; Melanoma; Neuroblastoma; PPARδ; Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Erucic Acids
  • Glioblastoma*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Neuroblastoma*
  • PPAR delta*
  • Parkinson Disease*
  • Rats


  • Erucic Acids
  • Ligands
  • PPAR delta
  • erucic acid