Lovastatin induces growth inhibition and apoptosis in human malignant glioma cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994 Dec 30;205(3):1681-7. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1994.2861.


The competitive HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin has been shown to suppress growth and induce morphological changes in a variety of non-glioma tumor cell lines. This study assesses the effects of this agent on the growth and survival of the human malignant glioma cell lines A172 and U87-MG. The response to the drug was investigated using a cell proliferation assay which revealed significant dose-dependent growth inhibition. Treatment with as little as 100 nM lovastatin over a period of 72 hours led to DNA degradation into nucleosome-sized fragments characteristic of apoptosis. Our data suggest that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as lovastatin merit further investigation as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of malignant gliomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lovastatin / administration & dosage
  • Lovastatin / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Prenylation / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Lovastatin