Effects of Glycogen Synthase Kinase Inhibitor on Glioblastoma Multiforme Cell Line via Apoptosis and Cell Signaling Pathways

Turk Neurosurg. 2019;29(4):513-521. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.23987-18.2.


Aim: To investigate the apoptotic and molecular effects of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Material and methods: Human primary glioblastoma cell line (U-87 MG) and the human fetal glial cell line (SVGp12) were used. The cells were exposed to the different doses of GSK inhibitor for 24, 48 and 72 hours. Induction of apoptosis was assessed by DNA fragmentation (TUNEL) assay. EGFR and NF-kB expression was evaluated by immunofluorescence analyses.

Results: GSK-3 inhibitor IX induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in dose-dependent manner in GBM cells. Our results indicated that GSK-3 inhibitor IX induces apoptosis, resulting in a significant decrease in the expression of NF-kB and EGF.

Conclusion: Inhibition through GSK-3 has been found promising in creating therapeutic management of GBM cells. Proliferation, differentiation, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis are mechanisms that must be interpreted as a whole. Components associated with EGFR, NF-kB, and apoptosis affect the mechanism solely and collectively. Our collective data suggest that GSK-3 inhibitor IX inhibited cellular proliferation and induced apoptotic events by modulating EGFR and NF-kB expression in GBM cells. GSK-3 inhibition holds promise for the development of new approaches for the therapeutic management of GBM cells.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3