Glioblastoma is the most malignant form of primary brain tumor in adults, with no effective therapy and a low survival rate. TRAIL is a member of the TNF family, which selectively induces apoptosis in certain neoplastic cells, but not normal cells. In this study, we investigated the sensitivity of 7 human glioblastoma cell lines to TRAIL and the expression in them of TRAIL receptors. TRAIL exhibited significant cytotoxicity in 5 of 7 glioma cell lines. These glioblastoma cell lines expressed TRAIL-R2, but not TRAIL-R1, R3, or R4. However, no correlation was observed between the TRAIL sensitivity and the TRAIL-R2 expression level, suggesting that there is an additional determinant of TRAIL sensitivity. Treatments with NF-kappaB inhibitors, such as LLnL, MG132, and SN50, significantly increased the sensitivity of glioma cells to TRAIL. These results suggested that activation of NF-kappaB is a protective mechanism against TRAIL-induced cell death in some glioma cells, and thus NF-kappaB inhibitors may be useful to improve the clinical treatment of glioblastoma with TRAIL.