Preclinical Evaluation of Radiation and Perifosine in a Genetically and Histologically Accurate Model of Brainstem Glioma

Departments of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Brain Tumor Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.33). 03/2010; 70(6):2548-57. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2503
Source: PubMed


Brainstem gliomas (BSG) are a rare group of central nervous system tumors that arise mostly in children and usually portend a particularly poor prognosis. We report the development of a genetically engineered mouse model of BSG using the RCAS/tv-a system and its implementation in preclinical trials. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor alpha is overexpressed in 67% of pediatric BSGs. Based on this observation, we induced low-grade BSGs by overexpressing PDGF-B in the posterior fossa of neonatal nestin tv-a mice. To generate high-grade BSGs, we overexpressed PDGF-B in combination with Ink4a-ARF loss, given that this locus is commonly lost in high-grade pediatric BSGs. We show that the likely cells of origin for these mouse BSGs exist on the floor of the fourth ventricle and cerebral aqueduct. Irradiation of these high-grade BSGs shows that although single doses of 2, 6, and 10 Gy significantly increased the percent of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive nuclei, only 6 and 10 Gy significantly induce cell cycle arrest. Perifosine, an inhibitor of AKT signaling, significantly induced TUNEL-positive nuclei in this high-grade BSG model, but in combination with 10 Gy, it did not significantly increase the percent of TUNEL-positive nuclei relative to 10 Gy alone at 6, 24, and 72 hours. Survival analysis showed that a single dose of 10 Gy significantly prolonged survival by 27% (P = 0.0002) but perifosine did not (P = 0.92). Perifosine + 10 Gy did not result in a significantly increased survival relative to 10 Gy alone (P = 0.23). This PDGF-induced BSG model can serve as a preclinical tool for the testing of novel agents.

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Available from: Oren Becher, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "We have previously shown that targeting Nestin progenitor cells in the neonatal mouse brainstem with PDGF-B overexpression induces high-grade glioma formation in conjunction with Ink4aARF-loss or p53-loss and H3.3K27M overexpression21222324. Although a small percentage of the Nestin progenitors in the neonatal brainstem also express Pax3 and we may be infecting some of these double-positive cells in the Nestin-derived mouse model[24], we were interested in determining whether Pax3-expresing cells could serve as a cell of origin for BSG regardless of their Nestin expression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a rare and incurable brain tumor that arises predominately in children and involves the pons, a structure that along with the midbrain and medulla makes up the brainstem. We have previously developed genetically engineered mouse models of brainstem glioma using the RCAS/Tv-a system by targeting PDGF-B overexpression, p53 loss, and H3.3K27M mutation to Nestin-expressing brainstem progenitor cells of the neonatal mouse. Here we describe a novel mouse model targeting these same genetic alterations to Pax3-expressing cells, which in the neonatal mouse pons consist of a Pax3 +/Nestin +/Sox2 + population lining the fourth ventricle and a Pax3 +/NeuN + parenchymal population. Injection of RCAS-PDGF-B into the brainstem of Pax3-Tv-a mice at postnatal day 3 results in 40% of mice developing asymptomatic low-grade glioma. A mixture of low- and high-grade glioma results from injection of Pax3-Tv-a;p53fl/fl mice with RCAS-PDGF-B and RCAS-Cre, with or without RCAS-H3.3K27M. These tumors are Ki67 +, Nestin +, Olig2 +, and largely GFAP − and can arise anywhere within the brainstem, including the classic DIPG location of the ventral pons. Expression of the H3.3K27M mutation reduces overall H3K27me3 as compared with tumors without the mutation, similar to what has been previously shown in human and mouse tumors. Thus, we have generated a novel genetically engineered mouse model of DIPG, which faithfully recapitulates the human disease and represents a novel platform with which to study the biology and treatment of this deadly disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
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    • "In this study we used two distinct genetically engineered mouse models of BSGs generated with the RCAS/tv-a mouse modeling system. PDGF-B overexpression in nestin expressing cells of the neonatal brainstem, along with Ink4a-ARF deletion, leads to highly aggressive BSGs [9]. As a significant fraction of BSGs harbor p53 mutations we also generated a PDGF-B driven; p53 deficient BSG mouse model. "
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable tumor that arises in the brainstem of children. To date there is not a single approved drug to effectively treat these tumors and thus novel therapies are desperately needed. Recent studies suggest that a significant fraction of these tumors contain alterations in cell cycle regulatory genes including amplification of the D-type cyclins and CDK4/6, and less commonly, loss of Ink4a-ARF leading to aberrant cell proliferation. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic approach of targeting the cyclin-CDK-Retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway in a genetically engineered PDGF-B-driven brainstem glioma (BSG) mouse model. We found that PD-0332991 (PD), a CDK4/6 inhibitor, induces cell-cycle arrest in our PDGF-B; Ink4a-ARF deficient model both in vitro and in vivo. By contrast, the PDGF-B; p53 deficient model was mostly resistant to treatment with PD. We noted that a 7-day treatment course with PD significantly prolonged survival by 12% in the PDGF-B; Ink4a-ARF deficient BSG model. Furthermore, a single dose of 10 Gy radiation therapy (RT) followed by 7 days of treatment with PD increased the survival by 19% in comparison to RT alone. These findings provide the rationale for evaluating PD in children with Ink4a-ARF deficient gliomas.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The majority of studies on BSG in animal models focus on pathology and survival (20–22). In the present study, MRI was used to evaluate tumor growth for the first time. "
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical studies have shown that gliomas of the brainstem behave differently in children and adults. The aim of the present study was to compare and analyze the differences between these gliomas in juvenile and adult rats with regard to tumor growth, survival, pathology and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A total of 25 juvenile and 25 adult Wistar rats were divided into groups A (15 juvenile rats), B (10 juvenile rats), C (15 adult rats) and D (10 adult rats). The rats of groups A and C (experimental) were injected with glioma cells, while groups B and D (control) were injected with a physiological saline solution. Rat neurological signs, survival time, tumor size, hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and immunohistochemical staining for MMP-2, MMP-9 and β-catenin were compared. The survival time of group A was 19.47±2.232 days, whereas that of group C was 21.47±2.232 days (P<0.05). The tumor sizes were 4.55 and 4.62 mm (P>0.05) in groups A and C, respectively. HE and immunohistochemical staining revealed no differences between the groups. The results suggest that the growth patterns and invasiveness of brainstem gliomas may vary in children compared with adults due to the varied biological behaviors of the tumor cells.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Oncology letters
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