Saw palmetto extract can induce the apoptosis of prostate cancer cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of saw palmetto extract on the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling transduction pathway in human glioma U87 and U251 cell lines. Suspensions of U87 and U251 cells in a logarithmic growth phase were seeded into six-well plates at a density of 104 cells/well. In the experimental group, 1 μl/ml saw palmetto extract was added, while the control group was cultured without a drug for 24 h. The expression levels of PI3K, B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL) and p53 were evaluated through western blot analysis. In the experimental group, the U87 and U251 cells exhibited a lower expression level of PI3K protein as compared with the control group (t=6.849; P<0.001). In addition, the two cell lines had a higher expression level of p53 protein in the experimental group as compared with the control group (t=40.810; P<0.001). Protein expression levels of Bcl-xL decreased significantly in the experimental group as compared with the control group (t=19.640; P=0.000). Therefore, saw palmetto extract induces glioma cell growth arrest and apoptosis via decreasing PI3K/Akt signal transduction.
Keywords: human glioma; p53; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt; saw palmetto extract.