Diosmin induces caspase-dependent apoptosis in human glioblastoma cells

Abstract: Diosmin is a flavone glycoside clinically used as the main component of Daflon for the treatment of venous diseases. Several studies demonstrated that this natural compound can induce apoptosis in different tumors. However, isolated diosmin has not been studied regarding its effects on glioblastoma so far. Since glioblastoma is a highly lethal and fast-growing brain tumor, new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. Herein, we evaluated the role of this flavonoid against glioblastoma cells using in vitro assays. Diosmin significantly reduced the viability of GBM95, GBM02, and U87MG glioblastoma cells, but not of healthy human astrocytes, as verified by MTT assay. Vimentin immunostaining showed that diosmin induced morphological changes in GBM95 and GBM02 cells, making them smaller and more polygonal. Diosmin did not inhibit GBM95 and GBM02 cell proliferation, but it caused DNA fragmentation, as verified by the TUNEL assay, and increased cleaved caspase-3 expression in these cells. In summary, diosmin is able to induce caspase-dependent apoptosis specifically in tumor cells and, therefore, could be considered a promising therapeutic compound against glioblastoma.