Ferula gummosa gum exerts cytotoxic effects against human malignant glioblastoma multiforme in vitro

Amir R. Afshari , Seyed Hadi Mousavi, Golrokh Mousavi, Sanam Daneshpour Moghadam, Abolfazl Maghrouni, Hossein Javid, Zahra Tayarani-Najaran, Bahram Bibak, Hamid Mollazadeh, Azar Hosseini


Background and purpose: Ferula gummosa (F. gummosa), a potent medicinal herb, has been shown to possess anticancer activities in vitro. The present examination evaluated the cytotoxic and apoptogenic impacts of F. gummosa gum on the U87 glioblastoma cells.

Experimental approach: MTT assay to determine the cell viability, flow cytometry by annexin                              V/FITC-PI to apoptosis evaluation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay, and quantitative RT-PCR were performed.

Findings / Results: The results revealed that F. gummosa inhibited the growth of U87 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner with IC50 values of 115, 82, and 52 μg/mL obtained for 24, 48, and 72 h post-treatment, respectively. It was also identified that ROS levels significantly decreased following 4, 12,                          and 24 h after treatment. The outcomes of flow cytometry analysis suggested that F. gummosa induced                             a sub-G1 peak which translated to apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Further examination revealed that F. gummosa upregulated Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and p53 genes at mRNA levels.

Conclusion and implications: Collectively, these findings indicate that sub-G1 apoptosis and its related genes may participate in the cytotoxicity of F. gummosa gum in U87 cells.


Apoptosis; Bax; Bcl-2; Ferula gummosa; Glioblastoma.

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