Brain tumors: Tissue stem cell turning into tumor stem cell

Posted: April 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

Story Summary: Brain tumors: Tissue stem cell turning into tumor stem cellApril 1, 2010 Mice overexpressing Tlx develop glioma initiating lesions. Overproduction of the protein Tlx in mice stimulates the development of malignant brain tumors from brain stem cells. The cradle of new neurons in the adult brainis well known. For many years now, the subventricular zone has been suspected to be the origin of specific malignant brain tumorscalled gliomas, the most deadly type of which is glioblastoma. When the scientists switched off Tlx, there were no more detectable stem cells in the brain and the formation of new neurons ceased. Using a molecular-biological trick, the investigators induced an overproduction of Tlx by the brain stem cells of mice. As a result, cell division activity in the subventricular zone increased, the cells left their habitual environment called stem cell niche, and started forming glioblastoma-like tissue lesions. In another experiment in which the researchers additionally switched off the p53 protein as an important cancer brake, invasively growing glioblastomas arose from the cancer precursors. Moreover, the scientists discovered that stem cells with increased Tlx production stimulate the formation of new vessels. This enables the cells to migrate into distant brain regions and, thus, to generate the typical coral-like growth of glioblastoma. If we boost it, the tissue stem cell turns into a cancer stem cell from which malignant glioblastomas arise. Tlx seems to play its fatal role not only in mouse brains. Studying tumor tissue from glioblastoma patients, Lichter and Reifenberger discovered that the Tlx gene is often present in multiple copies and, thus, more Tlx protein is produced. The mice whose brain stem cellsoverproduce Tlx are an ideal model system for such investigations. 12 minutes ago | / 5 (1) | 0 | A new study of brain activity in depressed and anxious people indicates that some of the ill effects of depression are modified – for better or for worse – by anxiety….Read the Full Story

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