Research Article

Differentiation-inducing effects of betamethasone on human glioma cell line U251

Published: July 14, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (3) : 7841-7849 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.July.14.10
Cite this Article:
(2015). Differentiation-inducing effects of betamethasone on human glioma cell line U251. Genet. Mol. Res. 14(3): gmr5771. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.July.14.10
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Abstract

We studied the differentiation-inducing effect of beta­methasone on human glioma cell line U251 cultured in vitro, and the underlying mechanism. U251 cells were divided into two groups: con­trol group cells, cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s medium con­taining 10% fetal bovine serum; and medication group cells, treated with 15 μM betamethasone. Morphological cell changes were observed by inverted microscope, cell cycle changes were ascertained by flow cytometry, and vimentin expression was checked by immunocytochem­istry. The expression levels of extracellular signal-regulated protein ki­nase (ERK), phosphorylated ERK (pERK), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were assessed by western blot. Compared with the con­trol group, U251 cell processes increased significantly, but declined 96 h after betamethasone took effect. After 48 h, the percentage of S-phase cells decreased significantly (28.77 to 20.42%; P = 0.014); the percent­age of strongly positive vimentin cells decreased significantly (91 to 51%; P = 0.0092); and the ratio of expression of GFAP protein to the internal control β-actin increased significantly (0.24 to 0.53; P = 0.1). The level of ERK protein did not change significantly 48 and 96 h after the action of betamethasone, and the pERK/ERK ratios were 0.37 and 0.23, respectively, which were significantly reduced compared with the control group (P = 0.028 and 0.006). Betamethasone has a significant effect on the induction and differentiation of U251 cells, and its mecha­nism may be related to the inhibition of the abnormal activation of the ERK signal pathway.

We studied the differentiation-inducing effect of beta­methasone on human glioma cell line U251 cultured in vitro, and the underlying mechanism. U251 cells were divided into two groups: con­trol group cells, cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s medium con­taining 10% fetal bovine serum; and medication group cells, treated with 15 μM betamethasone. Morphological cell changes were observed by inverted microscope, cell cycle changes were ascertained by flow cytometry, and vimentin expression was checked by immunocytochem­istry. The expression levels of extracellular signal-regulated protein ki­nase (ERK), phosphorylated ERK (pERK), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were assessed by western blot. Compared with the con­trol group, U251 cell processes increased significantly, but declined 96 h after betamethasone took effect. After 48 h, the percentage of S-phase cells decreased significantly (28.77 to 20.42%; P = 0.014); the percent­age of strongly positive vimentin cells decreased significantly (91 to 51%; P = 0.0092); and the ratio of expression of GFAP protein to the internal control β-actin increased significantly (0.24 to 0.53; P = 0.1). The level of ERK protein did not change significantly 48 and 96 h after the action of betamethasone, and the pERK/ERK ratios were 0.37 and 0.23, respectively, which were significantly reduced compared with the control group (P = 0.028 and 0.006). Betamethasone has a significant effect on the induction and differentiation of U251 cells, and its mecha­nism may be related to the inhibition of the abnormal activation of the ERK signal pathway.