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A novel assay of stem cells in pediatric brain tumours


, : A novel assay of stem cells in pediatric brain tumours. Society for Neuroscience Abstract Viewer & Itinerary Planner : Abstract No 7 12

Transformation of a stem cell that normally resides in the brain may be the cause of childhood brain tumors. The purpose of this study is to use techniques developed for the isolation of neural stem cells, and apply them to the characterization of stem cell populations in brain tumors. We apply a panel of neural stem cell markers (including CD-133) and flow cytometric cell sorting (FACS) to identify and isolate stem cell populations in 15 primary pediatric brain tumors. CD-133 expression was observed in all brain tumors. FACS-purified CD-133 positive populations of medulloblastoma cells demonstrate the ability to grow in culture in neurosphere-like clusters, whereas CD-133 negative cells do not. These primary tumor spheres show, by immunostaining, both CD-133 and Nestin expression. When cells from primary tumor spheres are placed at a limiting dilution, they generate secondary spheres, exhibiting self-renewal capacity. Finally, when these tumor stem cells are placed under culture conditions that promote differentiation, they are capable of multi-lineage differentiation. Based on our data, we show that brain tumors contain cells with stem cell properties, and that CD-133 may serve as a marker of brain tumor stem cells.

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