Gliomas are a common type of primary brain tumor with glioblastoma multiforme accounting for the majority of human brain tumors. In this paper, high grade human malignant glioblastomas (MGs) including U87 MG and GBM 8401 were used to evaluate the antitumor effects of γ-mangostin, a xanthone derivative isolated and purified from the hull of the tropical fruit Garcinia mangostana. The γ-mangostin showed potent antiproliferative activity toward MGs in dose- and time-dependent manners. In addition, flow cytometric analysis of cell morphology in the apoptotic cells revealed an increase in hypodiploid cells in γ-mangostin treated U87 MG and GBM 8401 cells, while significant enhancement of intracellular peroxide production was detected in the same γ-mangostin treated cells by DCHDA assay and DiOC6(3) stain. γ-Mangostin induced apoptosis, which in turn mediates cytotoxicity in human MG cells was prevented by the addition of catalase. Naturally derived medicines and herbal therapies are drawing increasing attention in regard to the treatment of many health issues, and this includes the testing of new phytochemicals or nutrients for brain tumor patients. This has led to γ-mangostin being identified as a potential leading compound for the development of an anti-brain tumor agent.
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