Antifungal agent luliconazole inhibits the growth of mouse glioma-initiating cells in brain explants

Hideaki Nagashima, Naoyoshi Koike, Kazunari Yoshida, Hideyuki Saya, Oltea Sampetrean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Imidazole antifungal compounds exert their antipathogenic effects through inhibition of sterol biosyn-thesis. These drugs have also recently been identified as candidate anticancer agents for several solid tumors including glioblastoma. However, their effects on glioma-initiating cells (GICs), i.e., glioma cells with stemlike properties that are able to initiate tumors, remain unclear. Consequently, we examined the effects of the optically active imidazole compound luliconazole on mouse GICs and GIC-based tumors. Luliconazole impaired in a concentration-dependent manner the growth of spheres formed by GICs in vitro. In contrast to the inhibitory effects of ionizing radiation and temozolomide on sphere growth, that of luliconazole was attenuated by the addition of exogenous cholesterol. Exposure to luliconazole of brain slices derived from mice with orthotopic GIC implants for 4 days in culture resulted in a marked increase in the number of tumor cells positive for cleaved caspase-3, but without a similar effect on nor-mal cells. Furthermore, in brain slices, luliconazole inhibited the expansion of GIC-based tumors and the parenchymal infiltration of tumor cells. Our findings therefore indicate that luliconazole effectively targets GICs, thereby providing further support for the antitumorigenic effects of imidazole antifungal compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalKeio Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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