Exosomes released from U87 glioma cells treated with curcumin and/or temozolomide produce apoptosis in naive U87 cells

Seyed Mojtaba Mousavi, Saereh Hosseindoost, Seyed Mohammad Amin Mahdian, Nasim Vousooghi, Ali Rajabi, Ameneh Jafari, Amirreza Ostadian, Michael R. Hamblin, Mahmoud Reza Hadjighassem, Hamed Mirzaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma (GBM) remains the most lethal brain tumor without any curative treatment. Exosomes can mediate cell-to-cell communication, and may function as a new type of targeted therapy. In this study, the therapeutic benefits of exosomes generated by U87 cells treated with curcumin and/or temozolomide were investigated. The cells were cultured and treated with temozolomide (TMZ), curcumin (Cur), or their combination (TMZ+Cur). Exosomes were isolated with a centrifugation kit and characterized using DLS, SEM, TEM, and Western blotting. The levels of exosomal BDNF and TNF-α were measured. Naïve U87 cells were treated with the isolated exosomes, and the effects on apoptosis-related proteins HSP27, HSP70, HSP90, and P53 were assessed. All exosomes, Cur-Exo, TMZ-Exo, and TMZ+Cur-Exo increased cleaved caspase 3, Bax, and P53 proteins, while reducing HSP27, HSP70, HSP90, and Bcl2 proteins. Moreover all treatment groups increased apoptosis in naïve U87 recipient cells. Exosomes released from treated U87 cells had less BDNF and more TNF-α compared to exosomes released from naive U87 cells. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that exosomes released from drug-treated U87 cells could be a new therapeutic approach in glioblastoma, and could reduce the side effects produced by drugs alone. This concept needs to be further examined in animal models before clinical trials could be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154427
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Cell-cell communication
  • Curcumin
  • Exosomes
  • Glioblastoma
  • Temozolomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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