Background: Essential oils are considered as promising sources of novel anticancer
compounds. Carvacrol (CVC), the major constituent of many aromatic plants including oregano
and thymus, is endowed with curative properties on different cancers, including liver, colon, and
lung. Little information is available regarding the potential of CVC for the treatment of brain cancers,
notably glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Objective: In this work, we investigated the in vitro effect of CVC codrugs (CVC1-8), synthesized
by direct-coupled co-drug strategies, on human glioblastoma cell line (U87-MG) for the first time.
Method: Cell viability was detected by MTT and LDH assays while expression levels of important
genes (such as EGFR, NFKB1A, AKT1, AKT2, and others) associated with GBM and inflammatory
pathway were detected by PCR array.
Results: Results showed that CVC1-8 codrugs induced cytotoxicity and positive alterations in
molecular responses on U87MG cells. Particularly, important pathways (such as PI3K/PTEN/AKT)
involved in the onset and progression of GBM resulted in modulation by CVC3 and CVC8.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that CVC3 and CVC8 could be suitable candidates for further investigation
to develop new strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of GBM.