Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Possible birthplace of malignant brain tumors identified

Researchers have found that abnormal stimulation of a cellular trigger that normally regulates replenishment of brain cells in adults causes invasive tumor-like growths in mice. Removing the abnormal stimulation causes the growths to regress--a finding the researchers said suggests a possible treatment for the lethal, aggressive brain tumors called malignant gliomas.

Arturo Alvarez-Buylla and Erica L. Jackson, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues reported their findings in a paper in the July 20, 2006, Neuron, published by Cell Press. In their studies, they sought to discover whether neural stem cells in the brain called B cells carry a receptor--known as platelet-derived growth factor receptor á (PDGFRá)--for the signaling molecule PDGF.

Neural stem cells are immature cells that serve as the continual source of new brain cells in adults, and PDGF is known as an important regulator of such cells. Also, PDGF has been implicated as a key signaling molecule underlying the formation of brain tumors. PDGF triggers such cell response by plugging into the target receptor on the stem cell, like a key inserting into a lock.

There had been indirect evidence that neural stem cells give rise to brain tumors. "However, it has not been shown in vivo that tumor stem cells are derived from normal stem cells or that a specific population of cells with demonstrated stem cell properties is capable of initiating tumor formation," wrote the researchers.

Using tracers, the researchers discovered that PDGFRá is, indeed, found on the stem cells in both mouse and human brain tissue. They also found that the receptor is triggered by PDGF in the stem cells to regulate their production of mature brain cells. The researchers located the PDGFRá-containing cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain, which is the center for production of new brain cells in adults.

The researchers also found that infusing PDGF into mouse brain caused abnormal growth--called hyperplasia--of tumor-like nodules that invaded surrounding brain tissue. Their analysis indicated that the PDGF infusion caused the stem cells to halt their normal production of mature brain cells and launch into the abnormal proliferation pathway. Importantly, the researchers found that stopping the PDGF infusion caused a complete regression of the nodules.

The researchers wrote that "these findings are significant due to our limited knowledge of surface markers for neural stem cells. Our data also provide evidence of a link between these PDGFRá B cells and the early changes associated with tumor initiation, suggesting they may be targets of neoplastic transformation. The regression of atypical hyperplasia after PDGF removal described here suggests that inhibition of PDGF signaling could provide a useful therapy for those gliomas in which the pathway is upregulated, especially given the recovery of the normal architecture after regression of the hyperplasia."

In a preview of the paper in the same issue of Neuron, Santosh Kesari and Charles D. Stiles wrote that the new findings "lend weight" to the argument that the stem cells identified by Alvarez-Buylla and his colleagues are the cells or origin for malignant gliomas. They wrote that such work offers "therapeutic opportunities," emphasizing that "the people that matter the most do not have the luxury of time to watch this work unfold. The median interval from diagnosis to death for patients with malignant glioma is currently only 14 months."

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>