Phase transitions in hydrophobe/phospholipid mixtures: hints at connections between pheromones and anaesthetic activity†
The phase behavior of a mixture of a typical insect pheromone (olean) and a phospholipid (DOPC)/water dispersion is extensively explored through SAXS, NMR and DSC experiments. The results mimic those obtained with anaesthetics in phospholipid/water systems. They also mimic the behavior and microstructure of ternary mixtures of a membrane mimetic, bilayer-forming double chained surfactants, oils and water. Taken together with recent models for conduction of the nervous impulse, all hint at lipid involvement and the underlying unity in mechanisms of pheromone, anaesthetic and hydrophobic drugs, where a local phase change in the lipid membrane architecture may be at least partly involved in the transmission of the signal.