Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astrocytes Appear to Play an Important Role in Brain Tumors

17.06.2011
A special group of glial cells which have the form of stars and are therefore called astroglial cells or astrocytes, seem to play a crucial role in brain tumor development and dissemination.

This was pointed out by Dr. Florian Siebzehnrubl (University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, USA) on Friday, June 17, 2011, at the Brain Tumor Meeting in the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany.

In his presentation, Dr. Florian Siebzehnrubl from Professor Dennis Steindler’s laboratory illuminated the interaction between tumor stem cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). The latter holds the tissue together and blocks the invasion of tumor cells. During the development of the nervous system, astrocytes form barriers mediated by the ECM. These immature astrocytes have similarities to neural stem cells.

“Cells that are similar to these immature astrocytes can also play a role in brain tumors,” Dr. Siebzehnrubl said. The reason is that these immature astrocytes are very similar to stem cells. Several years ago the Steindler lab was the first to discover cancer stem cells in glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumors. The scientific consensus is that such tumor stem-like cells can initiate cancer and are also to blame for the fact that tumors can recur despite treatment.

“The ECM plays a key role in the development and spread of brain tumors,” Dr. Siebzehnrubl said, and he also presented new findings on a brain tumor cell that possesses a unique molecular profile (ZEB1) and which is involved in resistance to many current chemotherapeutics and thus involved in brain tumor recurrence.

A few years ago, the laboratory of Professor Helmut Kettenmann of the MDC in collaboration with the neurosurgeon Dr. Darko S. Markovic (Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch) and Dr. Michael Synowitz (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin) showed that microglia degrade the ECM by means of specific proteases, thus enabling glioblastomas to infiltrate the brain.

In a current study using animal models, Professor Steindler and his colleagues Dr. Siebzehnrubl and Dan Silver demonstrated that tumor cells that rapidly infiltrate tissue influence the molecular composition of the ECM differently than those that are less invasive. The researchers suspect that the change in behavior of the ECM may be due to the influence of tumor stem cells.

Therefore first studies are ongoing to modulate the ECM and other cancer-associated molecules so that brain tumors are cordoned off and brain tumor-initiating cells are less migratory, thus keeping them from infiltrating healthy brain tissue.

Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

Further reports about: ECM Medicine Molecular Target astrocytes brain tumor stem cells tumor cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>