Iloperidone and Temozolomide Synergistically Inhibit Growth, Migration and Enhance Apoptosis in Glioblastoma Cells

Sahar Mubeen, Iffat Raza, Badaruddin Ujjan, Bushra Wasim, Lubna Khan, Nadia Naeem, Syed Ather Enam, Farina Hanif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fatal astrocytic glioma with poor prognosis and treatment resistance. Repurposing potential FDA-approved drugs like anti-psychotics can address the concerns in a timely and cost-effective manner. Epidemiological studies have shown that patients with schizophrenic using anti-psychotics have a low incidence of GBM. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of atypical anti-psychotic Iloperidone (ILO) alone and in combination with Temozolomide (TMZ) against GBM. The study assessed the growth inhibitory effect of ILO, TMZ, and their combination (ILO + TMZ) on U-87MG and T-98G cell lines using an MTT assay. The drug interaction coefficient (CDI) was determined, and doses with synergistic effects were used for subsequent experiments, including migratory, invasion, and TUNEL assays. The expressions of DRD2, β-catenin, Dvl2, Twist, and Slug were assessed by RTq-PCR, whereas the β-catenin protein expression was also determined by immunocytochemistry. ILO (p < 0.05) and TMZ (p < 0.01) significantly inhibited the growth of U-87MG cells at all tested doses. The combination of 60 µM of both drugs showed synergistic activity with CDI < 1. The inhibition of migration and apoptosis was more pronounced in the case of combination treatment (p < 0.001). Inhibition of the invading cells was also found to be significant in ILO- and combination-treated groups (p < 0.001). ILO and combination treatment also significantly downregulated the expression of DRD2, while TMZ upregulated the expression (p < 0.001). The expressions of β-catenin (p < 0.001), Dvl2 (p < 0.001), Twist (p < 0.001), and Slug (p < 0.001) were also significantly downregulated in all treatment groups as compared to the vehicle control. The data suggest that ILO possesses strong growth inhibitory activity, possibly due to its effect on DRD2 and β-catenin expression and has the potential to be repurposed against GBM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1134
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • atypical anti-psychotic
  • glioblastoma
  • iloperidone
  • temozolomide


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