Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the most lethal brain tumor arised from glial cells. The chemotherapy is important to improve the prognosis of GBM. Although temozolomide has been used as a first line drug for GBM, some patients could not prolong their survivals. Thus, it is required to develop new drugs which have effectiveness on GBM. Astaxanthin was reported to have anti-tumor effects on lung cancer, liver cancer and so on. This study was performed to clarify whether both astaxanthin and its intermediate compound adonixanthin have anti-tumor effects on GBM cells.
We evaluated the ability of cell proliferation and migration by WST-8 and scratch assay. Moreover, we evaluated the expression of some proteins which were related to tumor progression by immunoblot. Furthermore, we performed ROS assay of astaxanthin and adonixanthin. Astaxanthin and adonixanthin inhibited the cell proliferation and migration of GBM cells. Moreover, the phosphorylation of ERK and Akt were decreased. The suppression of ROS by astaxanthin and adonixanthin may be related to the reductions of phospho-ERK and Akt.
In conclusion, these results indicate that astaxanthin and adonixanthin inhibit the cell proliferation and migration of GBM cells via suppression of ERK and Akt signaling pathways.

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