Background: Glioblastoma is the most common primary brain tumor in adults with a dismal prognosis.
To date, several anticancer agents have been isolated from plants. Helleborus odorus subsp. Cyclophyllus is
an endemic plant of the Balcan flora. Herewith, we investigated for the first time, the anti-glioma effect of deglucohellebrin
(DGH) extracted from the roots of Helleborus.
Methods: We investigated the effect of DGH in U251MG, T98G and U87G glioblastoma cell lines. We selected
the T98G cells because of their inherent temozolomide resistance.
Results: The IC50 value of reduced viability for DGH was 7x10-5M in U251MG cells, 5x10-5M for the T98G
cells and 4x10-5M in U87G cells during 72h treatment. DGH induced G2/M cell cycle arrest, caspace-8 activation
and significant mitochondrial membrane depolarization, suggesting the activation of the intrinsic, mitochondrial-
dependent apoptotic pathway. DGH and temozolomide induced changes in CDs’ expression in
U251MG and T98G cells. In zebrafish, DGH did not induce toxicity or behavioral alterations.
Conclusion: The present study is the first to determine the anti-glioma activity of DGH. DGH may be a potent
agent for glioblastoma treatment and further studies are needed.