Licochalcone A (LA), an active ingredient of licorice, has multiple biological activities, including antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. Although LA exerts antitumor effects in various cancer cells, its role in gliomas remains unclear. Therefore, this study determined whether LA inhibits glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The present data revealed that LA effectively inhibited the growth of U87 glioma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 and G2/M phases; cell cycle arrest was attributed to the LA-mediated reduction of mRNA and protein levels of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases. Moreover, subcutaneous (flank) and orthotopic (brain) tumor models were used to determine the role of LA in gliomas. LA significantly alleviated tumor growth in both models. These findings indicate that LA exerts antitumor effects in gliomas in vitro and in vivo and that it is a potential agent for treating glioblastoma multiforme.
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