J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2021 Sep;64(5):716-725. 10.3340/jkns.2021.0068.

Propranolol Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Glioblastoma Cell Lines through Notch1 and Hes1 Signaling System

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea
  • 3Department of Pathology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea


: The anti-tumor effect of the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol in breast cancer is well known; however, its activity in glioblastoma is not well-evaluated. The Notch-Hes pathway is known to regulate cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. We investigated the effect of propranolol to human glioblastoma cell lines, and the role of Notch and Hes signaling in this process.
: We performed immunohistochemical staining on 31 surgically resected primary human glioblastoma tissues. We also used glioblastoma cell lines of U87-MG, LN229, and neuroblastoma cell line of SH-SY5Y in this study. The effect of propranolol and isoproterenol on cell proliferation was evaluated using the MTT assay (absorbance 570 nm). The impact of propranolol on gene expression (Notch and Hes) was evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR, whereas protein levels of Notch1 and Hes1 were measured using Western blotting (WB), simultaneously. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to suppress the Notch gene to investigate its role in the proliferation of glioblastoma.
: Propranolol and isoproterenol caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell proliferation (MTT assay). RT-PCR showed an increase in Notch1 and Hes1 expression by propranolol, whereas WB demonstrated increase in Notch1 protein, but a decrease in Hes1 by propranolol. The proliferation of U87-MG and LN229 was not significantly suppressed after transfection with Notch siRNA.
: These results demonstrated that propranolol suppressed the proliferation of glioblastoma cell lines and neuroblastoma cell line, and Hes1 was more closely involved than Notch1 was in glioblastoma proliferation.


Glioblastoma; Neuroblastoma; Isoproterenol; Propranolol
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