Effects of DFMO on glioma cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro

A. Jorge A. Terzis*, Paal Henning Pedersen, Burt G. Feuerstein, Hans Arnold, Rolf Bjerkvig, Dennis F. Deen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The polyamine inhibitor DL-α-difluoromethylomithine (DFMO) is a specific irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase which is a rate-limiting enzyme in the polyamine bio-synthesis pathway. The present study describes the effects of DFMO on glioma cell proliferation, migration and invasion using multicellular spheroids from three glioma cell lines (GaMg, U-251 Mg and U-87 Mg). 10 mM DFMO reduced cell migration in the three cell lines by about 30-50%. 1 mM putrescine, added together with DFMO inhibited the DFMO effect. A stronger effect was observed in the growth assay where 10 mM DFMO reduced the spheroid growth, for all cell lines, by 90%. This effect was also reversed by adding 1 mM of putrescine. In vitro tumor cell invasion experiments indicated after 3 days of confrontation, an extensive invasion also after 10 mM DFMO treatment. The brain aggregate volumes were reduced to about the same extent as in the absence of drug, suggesting essentially no effects of DFMO on the invasive process. It is concluded that the tumor spheroids retained their ability to invade normal brain tissue even after DFMO exposure. However, DFMO inhibited spheroid growth and cell migration which supports the notion that cell growth, migration and invasion are biological properties that are not necessarily related to each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • DFMO
  • Glioma
  • Invasiveness
  • Polyamines
  • Three dimensional culture


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