Characterization of an established human, malignant, glioblastoma cell line (GBM) and its response to conventional drugs

Paola Perego, Amerigo Boiardi, Nives Carenini, Michelandrea De Cesare, Ersilia Dolfini, Roberto Giardini, Ivana Magnani, Stefania Martignone, Antonio Silvani, Carla Soranzo, Franco Zunino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cell line, GBM, was established from a human malignant glioblastoma and was characterized with particular reference to its response to conventional drugs. The GBM cell line exhibited a 73±7 h doubling time in monolayer cultures. Experssion of glial fibrillary acidic and S-100 proteins was observed. Karyotype analysis of GBM cells at early passages revealed the presence of two near-triploid clones (A and B) with multiple chromosome rearrangements; a 100% frequency for clone B was observed in the established cell line. GBM cells had tumorigenic properties, since the s.c. injection of cultured cells into nude mice gave rise to slowly growing tumors. The morphology of GBM cells was retained during in vitro and in vivo passages, as judged by light microscopy. GBM cells were relatively resistant to most conventional drugs; among the tested drugs, only taxol exhibited a marked cytotoxic effect comparable to that found in cells of a different tumor type. GBM cells were found positive for the epidermal growth factor receptor, HER2-neu and P-glycoprotein by flow cytometry of cells labelled with monoclonal antibodies. In spite of the expression of relatively high γ-glutamyltransferase activity, the intracellular glutathione level was comparable to that of other chemosensitive tumor cells. This glioblastoma cell line is a suitable model for the identification and preclinical studies of new agents and provides an additional system to explore the molecular basis of the intrinsic drug resistance of glioblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-592
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994


  • Cell line GBM
  • Drugs
  • Malignant glioblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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