Effects of mitragynine on viability, proliferation, and migration of C6 rat glioma, SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma, and HT22 immortalized mouse hippocampal neuron cell lines

Biomed Pharmacother. 2023 Oct:166:115364. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2023.115364. Epub 2023 Aug 26.


Mitragynine (MG) is an indole alkaloid found in the extract of Mitragyna speciosa Korth native to Southeast Asia. Although MG is known for its pain-relieving and psychoactive effects, reports have suggested that it has therapeutic potential against neoplasms and psychiatric disorders. However, no evidence currently exists to support the effect of MG on brain tumors. This study aimed to investigate the antitumor effects of MG in C6 rat glioma and SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma tumor cell lines compared with those in the non-tumor HT22 mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line. MTT assay for cell viability, clonogenic and wound healing assays for cell migration, Hoechst 33342/propidium iodide staining for nuclear morphology, and cell cycle distribution using flow cytometry were performed. MG at 125.47 μM (50 μg/ml) significantly reduced the viability of all cell lines, and the clonogenicity of C6 glioma cells began decreasing at 75.28 μM (30 μg/ml) of MG. Cell migration was inhibited in C6 and HT22 cells treated with 75.28 μM (30 μg/ml) of MG. Apoptotic nuclear condensation and fragmentation were observed in all cell lines treated with 125.47 μM (50 μg/ml) MG, whereas late-phase apoptotic cells were predominant in the group treated with 250.94 μM (100 μg/ml) of MG. The cell cycle assay results suggest that MG arrested the S phase in the C6 cell line and the G2/M phase in the HT22 cell lines. This study showed that MG induces cell death and cell cycle arrest, disrupting cell migration and reducing the clonogenicity of brain tumor cells.

Keywords: Brain tumor; Glioma; Kratom; Mitragyna speciosa; Neuroblastoma.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Glioma* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neuroblastoma* / drug therapy
  • Neurons
  • Rats


  • mitragynine