[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our goal was to develop strategies to quantify the accumulation of model therapeutics in small brain metastases using multimodal imaging, in order to enhance the potential for successful treatment. Human melanoma cells were injected into the left cardiac ventricle of immunodeficient mice. Bioluminescent, MR and PET imaging were applied to evaluate the limits of detection and potential for contrast agent extravasation in small brain metastases. A pharmacokinetic model was applied to estimate vascular permeability. Bioluminescent imaging after injecting D-Luciferin (molecular weight (MW) 320D) suggested tumor cell extravasation had already occurred at week 1, which was confirmed by histology. 7T T1w MRI at week 4 was able to detect non-leaky 100 μm sized lesions and leaky tumors with diameters down to 200μm after contrast injection at week 5. PET imaging showed that (18)F-FLT (MW 244D) accumulated in the brain at week 4. Gadolinium-based MRI tracers (MW 559D and 2.066kD) extravasated after 5weeks (tumor diameter 600 μm), and the lower MW agent cleared more rapidly from the tumor (mean apparent permeabilities 2.27x10(-5)cm/s versus 1.12x10(-5)cm/s). PET imaging further demonstrated tumor permeability to (64)Cu-BSA (MW 65.55kD) at week 6 (tumor diameter 700 μm). In conclusion, high field T1w MRI without contrast may improve the detection limit of small brain metastases, allowing for earlier diagnosis of patients, although the smallest lesions detected with T1w MRI were permeable only to D-Luciferin and the amphipathic small molecule (18)F-FLT. Different-sized MR and PET contrast agents demonstrated the gradual increase in leakiness of the blood tumor barrier during metastatic progression, which could guide clinicians in choosing tailored treatment strategies.
Journal of Controlled Release 10/2013; · 7.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor where patients' survival is only 14.6 months, despite multimodal therapy with debulking surgery, concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There is an urgent, unmet need for novel, effective therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease. Although several immunotherapies are under development for the treatment of GBM patients, the use of natural killer (NK) cells is still marginal despite this being a promising approach to treat cancer. In regard of our knowledge on the role of NG2/CSPG4 in promoting GBM aggressiveness we investigated the potential of an innovative immunotherapeutic strategy combining mAb9.2.27 against NG2/CSPG4 and NK cells in preclinical animal models of GBM. Multiple immune escape mechanisms maintain the tumor microenvironment in an anti-inflammatory state to promote tumor growth, however, the distinct roles of resident microglia versus recruited macrophages is not elucidated. We hypothesized that exploiting the cytokine release capabilities of activated (NK) cells to reverse the anti-inflammatory axis combined with mAb9.2.27 targeting the NG2/CSPG4 may favor tumor destruction by editing pro-GBM immune responses. Combination treatment with NK+mAb9.2.27 diminished tumor growth that was associated with reduced tumor proliferation, increased cellular apoptosis and prolonged survival compared to vehicle and monotherapy controls. The therapeutic efficacy was mediated by recruitment of CCR2low macrophages into the tumor microenvironment, increased ED1 and MHC class II expression on microglia that might render them competent for GBM antigen presentation, as well as elevated IFN-γ and TNF-α levels in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to controls. Depletion of systemic macrophages by liposome-encapsulated clodronate decreased the CCR2low macrophages recruited to the brain and abolished the beneficial outcomes. Moreover, mAb9.2.27 reversed tumor-promoting effects of patient-derived tumor-associated macrophage/microglia(TAM) ex vivo.Taken together, these findings indicate thatNK+mAb9.2.27 treatment may be an amenable therapeutic strategy to treat NG2/CSPG4 expressing GBMs. We provide a novel conceptual approach of combination immunotherapy for glioblastoma. The results traverse beyond the elucidation of NG2/CSPG4 as a therapeutic target, but demonstrate a proof of concept that this antibody may hold potential for the treatment of GBM by activation of tumor infiltrated microglia/macrophages.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive brain malignancy, is characterized by extensive cellular proliferation, angiogenesis, and single-cell infiltration into the brain. We have previously shown that a xenograft model based on serial xenotransplantation of human biopsy spheroids in immunodeficient rodents maintains the genotype and phenotype of the original patient tumor. The present work further extends this model for optical assessment of tumor engraftment and growth using bioluminescence imaging (BLI). A method for successful lentiviral transduction of the firefly luciferase gene into multicellular spheroids was developed and implemented to generate optically active patient tumor cells. Luciferase-expressing spheroids were injected into the brains of immunodeficient mice. BLI photon counts and tumor volumes from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were correlated. Luciferase-expressing tumors recapitulated the histopathologic hallmarks of human GBMs and showed proliferation rates and microvessel density counts similar to those of wild-type xenografts. Moreover, we detected widespread invasion of luciferase-positive tumor cells in the mouse brains. Herein we describe a novel optically active model of GBM that closely mimics human pathology with respect to invasion, angiogenesis, and proliferation indices. The model may thus be routinely used for the assessment of novel anti-GBM therapeutic approaches implementing well-established and cost-effective optical imaging strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is regarded as a hallmark of cancer progression and it has been postulated that solid tumor growth depends on angiogenesis. At present, however, it is clear that tumor cell invasion can occur without angiogenesis, a phenomenon that is particularly evident by the infiltrative growth of malignant brain tumors, such as glioblastomas (GBMs). In these tumors, amplification or overexpression of wild-type (wt) or truncated and constitutively activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are regarded as important events in GBM development, where the complex downstream signaling events have been implicated in tumor cell invasion, angiogenesis and proliferation. Here, we show that amplification and in particular activation of wild-type EGFR represents an underlying mechanism for non-angiogenic, invasive tumor growth. Using a clinically relevant human GBM xenograft model, we show that tumor cells with EGFR gene amplification and activation diffusely infiltrate normal brain tissue independent of angiogenesis and that transient inhibition of EGFR activity by cetuximab inhibits the invasive tumor growth. Moreover, stable, long-term expression of a dominant-negative EGFR leads to a mesenchymal to epithelial-like transition and induction of angiogenic tumor growth. Analysis of human GBM biopsies confirmed that EGFR activation correlated with invasive/non-angiogenic tumor growth. In conclusion, our results indicate that activation of wild-type EGFR promotes invasion and glioblastoma development independent of angiogenesis, whereas loss of its activity results in angiogenic tumor growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biological and therapeutic advances in melanoma brain metastasis are hampered by the paucity of reproducible and predictive animal models. In this work, we have developed a robust model of brain metastasis that empowers quantitative tracking of cellular dissemination and tumor progression. Human melanoma cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were injected into the left cardiac ventricle of mice and visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We show that SPION exposure did not affect viability, growth, or migration in multiple cell lines across several in vitro assays. Moreover, labeling did not impose changes in cell cycle distribution or apoptosis. In vivo, several SPION positive cell lines displayed similar cerebral imaging and histological features. MRI-based automated quantification of labeled cells in the brain showed a sigmoid association between metastasis frequency and doses of inoculated cells. Validation of this fully automated quantification demonstrated a strong correlation with manual signal registration (R2 = 0.921, p < 0.001) and incidence of brain metastases (R2 = 0.708, p < 0.001). Metastasis formation resembled the pattern seen in humans and was unaffected by SPION labeling (histology; tumor count, p = 0.686; survival, p = 0.547). In summary, we here present a highly reproducible animal model that can improve the predictive value of mechanistic and therapeutic studies of melanoma brain metastasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of activity-regulated cytoskeleton associated protein (Arc) is crucial for diverse types of experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and long-term memory in mammals. However, the mechanisms governing Arc-specific translation are little understood. Here, we asked whether Arc translation is regulated by microRNAs. Bioinformatic analysis predicted numerous candidate miRNA binding sites within the Arc 3'-untranslated region (UTR). Transfection of the corresponding microRNAs in human embryonic kidney cells inhibited expression of an Arc 3'UTR luciferase reporter from between 10 to 70% across 16 microRNAs tested. Point mutation and deletion of the microRNA-binding seed-region for miR-34a, miR-326, and miR-19a partially or fully rescued reporter expression. In addition, expression of specific microRNA pairs synergistically modulated Arc reporter expression. In primary rat hippocampal neuronal cultures, ectopic expression of miR-34a, miR-193a, or miR-326, downregulated endogenous Arc protein expression in response to BDNF treatment. Conversely, treatment of neurons with cell-penetrating, peptide nucleic acid (PNA) inhibitors of miR-326 enhanced Arc mRNA expression. BDNF dramatically upregulated neuronal expression of Arc mRNA and miR-132, a known BDNF-induced miRNA, without affecting expression of Arc-targeting miRNAs. Developmentally, miR-132 was upregulated at day 10 in vitro whereas Arc-targeting miRNAs were downregulated. In the adult brain, LTP induction in the dentate gyrus triggered massive upregulation of Arc and upregulation of miR-132 without affecting levels of mature Arc-targeting miRNAs. Turning to examine miRNA localization, qPCR analysis of dentate gyrus synaptoneurosome and total lysates fractions demonstrated synaptic enrichment relative to small nucleolar RNA. In conclusion, we find that Arc is regulated by multiple miRNAs and modulated by specific miRNA pairs in vitro. Furthermore, we show that, in contrast to miR-132, steady state levels of Arc-targeting miRNAs do not change in response to activity-dependent expression of Arc in hippocampal neurons in vitro or during LTP in vivo.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41688. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of neuronal elements has been identified in various glial tumors, and glioblastomas (GBMs) with neuronal differentiation patterns have reportedly been associated with longer survival. However, the neuronal class III β-tubulin has been linked to increasing malignancy in astrocytomas. Thus, the significance of neuronal markers in gliomas is not established.
The expressions of class III β-tubulin, neurofilament protein (NFP), microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were investigated in five GBM cell lines and two GBM biopsies with immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Moreover, the expression levels were quantified by real-time qPCR under different culture conditions. Following NSE siRNA treatment we used Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) to monitor cell growth and migration and MTS assays to study viability after irradiation and temozolomide treatment. Finally, we quantitated NSE expression in a series of human glioma biopsies with immunohistochemistry using a morphometry software, and collected survival data for the corresponding patients. The biopsies were then grouped according to expression in two halves which were compared by survival analysis.
Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting showed that all markers except NFP were expressed both in GBM cell lines and biopsies. Notably, qPCR demonstrated that NSE was upregulated in cellular stress conditions, such as serum-starvation and hypoxia, while we found no uniform pattern for the other markers. NSE knockdown reduced the migration of glioma cells, sensitized them to hypoxia, radio- and chemotherapy. Furthermore, we found that GBM patients in the group with the highest NSE expression lived significantly shorter than patients in the low-expression group.
Neuronal markers are aberrantly expressed in human GBMs, and NSE is consistently upregulated in different cellular stress conditions. Knockdown of NSE reduces the migration of GBM cells and sensitizes them to hypoxia, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, GBM patients with high NSE expression had significantly shorter survival than patients with low NSE expression. Collectively, these data suggest a role for NSE in the adaption to cellular stress, such as during treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression of the progenitor marker Neuron-glia 2 (NG2/CSPG4) or melanoma proteoglycan on cancer cells and angiogenic vasculature is associated with an aggressive disease course in several malignancies including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and melanoma. Thus, we investigated the mechanism of NG2 mediated malignant progression and its potential as a therapeutic target in clinically relevant GBM and melanoma animal models. Xenografting NG2 overexpressing GBM cell lines resulted in increased growth rate, angiogenesis and vascular permeability compared to control, NG2 negative tumours. The effect of abrogating NG2 function was investigated after intracerebral delivery of lentivirally encoded shRNAs targeting NG2 in patient GBM xenografts as well as in established subcutaneous A375 melanoma tumours. NG2 knockdown reduced melanoma proliferation and increased apoptosis and necrosis. Targeting NG2 in two heterogeneous GBM xenografts significantly reduced tumour growth and oedema levels, angiogenesis and normalised vascular function. Vascular normalisation resulted in increased tumour invasion and decreased apoptosis and necrosis. We conclude that NG2 promotes tumour progression by multiple mechanisms and represents an amenable target for cancer molecular therapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e23062. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously established two distinct glioma phenotypes by serial xenotransplantation of human glioblastoma (GBM) biopsies in nude rats. These tumors undergo a gradual transition from a highly invasive nonangiogenic to a less-invasive angiogenic phenotype. In a protein screen to identify molecular markers associated with the infiltrative phenotype, we identified α-basic-crystallin (αBc), a small heat-shock protein with cytoprotective properties. Its increased expression in the infiltrative phenotype was validated by immunohistochemistry and Western blots, confirming its identity to be tumor-derived and not from the host. Stereotactic human GBM biopsies taken from MRI-defined areas verified stronger αBc expression in the infiltrative edge compared to the tumor core. Cell migration assays and immunofluorescence staining showed αBc to be expressed by migrating cells in vitro. To determine αBc function, we altered its expression levels. αBc siRNA depletion caused a loss of migrating tumor cells from biopsy spheroids and delayed monolayer wound closure. In contrast, glioma cell migration in a Boyden chamber assay was unaffected by either αBc knockdown or overexpression, indicating that αBc is not functionally linked to the cell migration machinery. However, after siRNA αBc depletion, a significant sensitization of cells to various apoptotic inducers was observed (actinomycin, tumor necrosis factor α, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand [TRAIL]). In conclusion, αBc is overexpressed by highly migratory glioma cells where it plays a functional role in apoptosis resistance.
American Journal Of Pathology 10/2010; 177(4):1618-28. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although CD133 has been proposed as a marker for brain tumor-initiating cells, studies show that a tumorigenic potential exists among CD133(-) glioma cells as well. However, it is not established whether the ability of CD133(-) cells to form tumors is a property confined to a small subpopulation, rather than a common trait associated with most glioma cell types. Thus, we used lentiviral vectors expressing green fluorescent protein under lineage-specific promoters to identify CD133(-) glioma cells expressing Nestin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and neuron-specific enolase (NSE). Flow cytometry analysis showed the presence of CD133(-) subpopulations expressing these markers in glioma cell lines and in primary cultures from human glioblastoma (GBM) biopsies. Moreover, analysis of cell cycle distribution showed that subgroups expressing Nestin, GFAP, and NSE uniformly contained actively cycling cells, when cultured in serum-containing medium and stem cell medium. These subpopulations were fluorescence-activated cell sorted from CD133(-) U373 glioma cells and implanted intracerebrally in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Moreover, we implanted Nestin-, GFAP-, and NSE-positive glioma cells sorted from a human GBM biopsy, following removal of CD133-positive cells. All the CD133(-) subpopulations produced tumors, with no significant differences in survival or tumor take rates. However, there was a trend toward lower take rates for CD133(-) glioma subpopulations expressing GFAP and NSE. These findings suggest that the ability to form tumors may be a general trait associated with different glioma cell phenotypes, rather than a property limited to an exclusive subpopulation of glioma stem cells.
Cancer Research 06/2010; 70(11):4274-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: Cancer stem-like cells might have important functions in chemoresistance. We have developed a model where highly infiltrative brain tumours with a stem-like phenotype were established by orthotopic transplantation of human glioblastomas to immunodeficient rats. Serial passaging gradually transformed the tumours into a less invasive and more angiogenic phenotype (high-generation tumours). The invasive phenotype (low-generation tumours) was characterized by an increase in stem cell markers and increased phosphorylation of kinases in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway. These markers were reduced in the serially passaged vascular tumours. The present study was aimed at investigating how the two phenotypes responded in vitro to doxorubicin, a clinically potent cytotoxic drug for solid tumours. Methods: Biopsy spheroids were implanted and passaged intracranially in nude rats. Gene expression and protein analyses were performed, and drug sensitivity was assessed. Results: Microarray analysis revealed gene ontology categories connected to developmental aspects and negative regulators of differentiation, especially in the infiltrative stem cell-like tumours. The highly invasive stem-like phenotype was chemoresistant compared with the angiogenic phenotype. By interfering with the PI3K it was possible to sensitize tumour spheroids to chemotherapy. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed downregulation of the stem cell markers Nestin and Musashi-1 in low-generation biopsy spheroids following PI3K inhibition. Conclusions: Highly invasive tumours with a stem-like phenotype are more chemoresistant than angiogenic tumours derived from the same patients. We suggest that treatment resistance in glioblastomas can be related to PI3K/AKT activity in stem-like tumour cells, and that targeted interference with the PI3K/AKT pathway might differentiate and sensitize this subpopulation to chemotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most frequent and most malignant primary brain tumor with a poor prognosis. The translation of therapeutic strategies for glioblastoma from the experimental phase into the clinic has been limited by insufficient animal models, which lack important features of human tumors. Lentiviral gene therapy is an attractive therapeutic option for human glioblastoma, which we validated in a clinically relevant animal model.
We used a rodent xenograft model that recapitulates the invasive and angiogenic features of human glioblastoma to analyze the transduction pattern and therapeutic efficacy of lentiviral pseudotyped vectors. Both, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus glycoprotein (LCMV-GP) and vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) pseudotyped lentiviral vectors very efficiently transduced human glioblastoma cells in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, pseudotyped gammaretroviral vectors, similar to those evaluated for clinical therapy of glioblastoma, showed inefficient gene transfer in vitro and in vivo. Both pseudotyped lentiviral vectors transduced cancer stem-like cells characterized by their CD133-, nestin- and SOX2-expression, the ability to form spheroids in neural stem cell medium and to express astrocytic and neuronal differentiation markers under serum conditions. In a therapeutic approach using the suicide gene herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-1-tk) fused to eGFP, both lentiviral vectors mediated a complete remission of solid tumors as seen on MRI resulting in a highly significant survival benefit (p<0.001) compared to control groups. In all recurrent tumors, surviving eGFP-positive tumor cells were found, advocating prodrug application for several cycles to even enhance and prolong the therapeutic effect.
In conclusion, lentiviral pseudotyped vectors are promising candidates for gene therapy of glioma in patients. The inefficient gene delivery by gammaretroviral vectors is in line with the results obtained in clinical therapy for GBM and thus confirms the high reproducibility of the invasive glioma animal model for translational research.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(7):e6314. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests a class of non-coding RNAs termed microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in cancer. Since their original discovery in C. elegans in 1993 it has become evident that miRNAs are responsible for an entirely new mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation. miRNA expression is widespread in mammalian cells and notably altered in several cancer types. miRNA expression patterns correlate with several aspects of tumorigenesis and miRNA loci have been mapped to frequently altered cancer-associated genomic regions. Inhibition or augmentation of miRNA expression in cancer cells impacts gene expression and affects cell proliferation and survival. Hence, cancer-associated miRNAs may be regarded as a new class of non-coding tumour suppressors and oncogenes capable of regulating several key signalling pathways.
Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 01/2008; 8(6):320-5. · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumour spheroids initiated from glioma biopsy specimens provide a valuable three-dimensional cell culture system that share several biological features of malignant brain tumours in situ. Upon xenotransplantation in immunodeficient rats, tumours derived from such spheroids exhibit a highly infiltrative growth. Successful cryopreservation of spheroid specimens therefore represents an excellent tool for future comparative studies of tumour growth and progression. Thus, if frozen stocks of human glioma spheroids can be established, similar to those obtained from cancer cell lines, it would ease the planning of biopsy-based experiments. In this context, it is crucial that cryopreservation does not alter the biological behaviour of the tumour spheroids. The biopsy spheroids were frozen to -40 degrees Celsius, stored for 1 week at -196 degrees Celsius, thawed rapidly and cultured for 1 week. The viability of the spheroids was compared against controls using a two-colour fluorescence assay, which demonstrated that cryopreservation was well tolerated. Using an in vitro invasion assay, it is shown that the freezing procedures did not affect the spheroids ability to invade a collagen gel. Cryopreserved and control tumour spheroids were equally tumourogenic, and produced overlapping survival curves when transplanted into the brains of immunocompromised rats. Immunohistochemical analyses showed no significant changes regarding microvessel density or proliferation index. Furthermore, gene expression profiling using a macroarray system detected no significant changes following cryopreservation. The present data show that cryopreservation is well tolerated, and represent a methodologically reliable storage method for biopsy spheroids that can be used in experimental studies at later time points.
Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 09/2006; 32(4):419-27. · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conflicting results have been reported concerning the antitumor efficacy of the angiogenesis inhibitor endostatin. This may be due to differences in the biological distribution of endostatin between studies or to the varying biological efficacies of the different protein forms that were examined. To address this issue, the authors used a local delivery approach in which each tumor cell secreted endostatin, providing uniform endostatin levels throughout the tumors. This allowed a direct assessment of the biological efficacy of soluble endostatin in vivo.
The authors genetically engineered BT4C gliosarcoma cells so that they would stably express and secrete either the human or murine form of endostatin. Endostatin-producing cells or mock-infected cells were implanted intracerebrally in syngeneic BD-IX rats. The antitumor efficacy of endostatin was evaluated on the basis of survival data and tumor volume comparisons. In addition, microvascular parameters were assessed. The authors confirmed the continuous release of endostatin by the BT4C cells. A magnetic resonance imaging-assisted comparison of tumor volumes revealed that local production of murine endostatin significantly inhibited tumor growth. Notably, 40% of the animals in this treatment group experienced long-term survival without histologically verifiable tumors 7 months after cell implantation. After local treatment with murine endostatin, tumor blood plasma volumes were reduced by 71%, microvessel density counts by 84%, and vascular area fractions by 75%. In contrast, human endostatin did not inhibit tumor growth significantly in this model. Centrally located regions of necrosis were present in tumors secreting both the human and the murine species-specific form of endostatin.
The results suggest that endostatin inhibits tumor angiogenesis in vivo in a species-specific manner.
Journal of Neurosurgery 02/2006; 104(1):118-28. · 3.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work demonstrates the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in a highly infiltrative brain tumor model developed by simple inoculation of spheroids from five human glioma biopsy tissues directly into the brains of immunodeficient rats. Non-invasive tumors derived from one glioblastoma biopsy specimen and two glioma cell lines (D-54MG and U-251MG) were also included in this study. The extent of tumor cell infiltration was studied using a pan-human monoclonal anti-vimentin antibody. The cellular origin for several of these ECM components was identified using human-specific monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies detecting epitopes from both species. Immunostaining revealed a diffuse parenchymal staining of glioma-produced tenascin, whereas vitronectin was produced mainly by the invading glioma cells. ECM components such as laminin, fibronectin and collagen type IV were most probably produced by the host and were mainly associated with the blood vessels in the tumors. However, some parenchymal staining with regional variations was observed. The expression pattern of these components was different in cell lines tumors as compared to the biopsy specimen tumors. The alpha3 and beta1 integrin subunits were mainly observed in areas of tumor cell invasion in the invasive tumors. In conclusion, the observed staining patterns clarify the cellular origin and indicate the possible biological function of tenascin, vitronectin, laminin, fibronectin and collagen type IV in these highly invasive malignant tumors of glial origin.