Effects of glucocorticoids on glioma cells in culture. Minireview on cancer research

Exp Cell Biol. 1984;52(5):286-92. doi: 10.1159/000163272.


In vitro studies have shown that glucocorticoids have a cytostatic effect on glioma cells at high cell densities but enhance cell survival and proliferation at low cell densities. The cytostatic effect is not cytotoxic and may be mediated via a membrane modification altering cell-cell interaction. Cell interaction is also implicated in differentiation in glial cells and the inducing effect of glucocorticoids may be mediated in part by their effect on cell interaction. Induction of differentiation by glucocorticoids is accompanied by a reduction in malignancy-associated properties and the possibility has emerged that glucocorticoids may be an essential component in attempts to modify the malignant behaviour of glioma cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / drug effects
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Plasminogen Activators / metabolism


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone
  • Plasminogen Activators