Navigation Links
Neural stem cells attack glioblastoma cells

In their latest research, scientists of the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have demonstrated how the brain's own stem cells and precursor cells control the growth of glioblastomas. Of all brain tumors, glioblastomas are among the most common and most aggressive. Dr. Sridhar Reddy Chirasani, Professor Helmut Kettenmann and Dr. Rainer Glass (all MDC) and Dr. Michael Synowitz (Charit Universittsmedizin Berlin) have now shown in cell culture and mouse model experiments just how the body's own protective mechanism they identified in an earlier study, actually works (Brain, July 6, 2010, doi:10.1093/brain/awq128)*.

Glioblastomas are brain tumors that are most common in adults in their mid-fifties or early sixties. The causes for developing the disease are not yet known. Researchers assume that misdirected neural stem cells / precursor cells mutate into cancer cells and can form glioblastomas.

Several years ago the MDC and Charit researchers were able to show that normal stem cell/ precursor cells of the brain attack the tumor. Apparently, the tumor itself entices these stem cells to migrate over relatively long distances from the stem cell niches of the brain. Why this is so is unclear. Moreover, the researchers still do not know which substance attract the stem cells to the tumor. However, now they have discovered how the stem cells keep the tumor in check.

Stem cell protein induces signaling in glioblastoma cells

The scientists showed that the neural stem cells and neural precursor cells release a protein that belongs to the family of the BMP proteins (bone morphogenetic protein). This protein received its name for its ability to induce bone and cartilage tissue formation, the first characteristic that was known about it. However, BMP is active in the entire organism even in the brain.

Neural stem cells release BMP-7 in the brain in the vicinity of the glioblastoma cells. The protein influences a small population of cancer cells, the so-called tumor stem cells. The current consensus of researchers is that these tumor stem cells are the actual cause for the continuous tumor self-renewal in the brain. A small quantity of these cells is sufficient to form new tumors again even after surgery. BMP-7 induces signaling in the tumor stem cells, causing them to differentiate. This means that they are no longer tumor stem cells.

However, the activity of stem cells in the brain and thus of the body's own protective mechanism against glioblastomas diminishes with increasing age. This could explain why the tumors usually develop in older adults and not in children and young people.

Aim the destruction of tumor stem cells

The discovery of the tumor stem cells has led to new concepts in the therapy of glioblastomas. "Normal cancer cells" can be destroyed using conventional therapies (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy), which are seldom successful in tumor stem cells. The aim is therefore to develop therapy concepts to destroy these tumor stem cells. The findings from the mouse experiments of the researchers in Berlin could point to a new approach: reprogramming tumor stem cells into less harmful cells, which could then be destroyed with a therapy.


Contact: Barbara Bachtler
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related biology news :

1. Searching for causes of neural disconnection in schizophrenia
2. Neural tissue contains imbalanced levels of proteins, U-M study finds
3. Induced neural stem cells: Not quite ready for prime time
4. Brain-controlled cursor doubles as a neural workout
5. Case Western Reserve University discovers Merkel cell originates from skin, not the neural crest
6. Mouse brain rewires its neural circuits to recuperate from damaged neural function after stroke
7. Essential nutrient found in eggs may help lower risk of neural tube defects
8. Neural stem cell differentiation factor discovered
9. Identification of a key molecular pathway required for brain neural circuit formation
10. Early brain activity sheds new light on the neural basis of reading
11. Creating ideal neural cells for clinical use
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design and ... in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors and ... brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of one ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... 2016;12(1):22-8 Published recently ... peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz ... of cancer care is placing an increasing burden ... expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on many ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: