Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is up-regulated in most high-grade gliomas, and high COX-2 expression is associated with aggressive character and poor prognosis. However, the effect of COX-2 in human glioma cell lines is not well known. This study examined the effect of several stimuli, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and carcinogens, on COX-2 induction in normal astrocyte cells and human glioma cell lines U87MG, A172, and T98G. IL-1β-induced COX-2 expression strongly at both protein and messenger ribonucleic acid levels in only the U87MG cells of the glioma cell lines. Furthermore, carcinogen induced COX-2 expression. Similar findings were also observed in normal human astrocyte cells. The U87MG glioma cell line is a good model for COX-2 induction in glioma cell lines.