Brain tumors are highly aggressive, characterized by the secretion of high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 that degrade the extracellular matrix and basement membrane, allowing cancer cells to spread to distal organs. Various cytokines, mitogens, growth factors, inducers and inhibitors control MMP activity. We investigated the roles of these in the regulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in human glioblastoma T-98G cells. Human T-98G cells were grown in DME supplemented with 15% fetal bovine serum and antibiotics in 24-well tissue culture plates. At near confluence, cells were washed with phosphate-buffered saline and incubated in serum-free media with: phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) at 10, 25, 50 and 100 ng/ml; tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β at 0.1, 1, 10 and 25 ng/ml; lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 10, 25, 50 and 100 µg/ml; epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and doxycycline (Dox) at 10, 25, 50 and 100 µM without and with PMA; a nutrient mixture (NM) containing lysine, proline, ascorbic acid and green tea extract without and with PMA at 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 µg/ml; actinomycin D and cyclohexamide at 2 and 4 µM; retinoic acid and dexamethasone at 50 µM. After 24 h the media were removed and analyzed for MMP-2 and MMP-9 by zymography and densitometry. Glioblastoma T-98G cells expressed only one band corresponding to MMP-2. PMA treatment showed increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 secretions up to 25 ng/ml and decreased levels of secretions at 50 and 100 ng/ml, with no significant overall effect. TNF-α induced an up and down effect on MMP-2 and a slight induction of MMP-9. IL-1β demonstrated a slight dose-dependent increase in T-98G secretion of MMP-2, but no induction of MMP-9. LPS showed dose-dependent decreased inactive MMP-2 secretion, increased active MMP-2 secretion and no effect on MMP-9. EGCG, Dox and NM, without and with PMA, downregulated the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in a dose-dependent manner. Actinomycin D, cyclohexamide, retinoic acid and dexamethasone also had inhibitory effects on MMP-2. Our results showed that cytokines, mitogens and inhibitors modulated T-98G cell MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression, suggesting the clinical use of MMP inhibitors, particularly such potent and non-toxic ones as the nutrient mixture and its component EGCG in the management of glioblastoma cancers.