Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10029, USA
Evidence has pointed to brain tumor stem cells (BTSC) as culprits behind human high-grade glioma (hHGG) resistance to standard therapy. Pre-clinical rodent models are the mainstay for testing of new therapeutic strategies. The typical model involves the intracranial injection of human glioma cells into immunocompromised hosts, hindering the evaluation of tumor-host responses and resulting in non-infiltrative tumors. The CT-2A model is an immunocompetent mouse model with potential to overcome these disadvantages. In this study, we confirmed the highly infiltrative nature of intracranial CT-2A tumors and optimized reproducible injection parameters. We then generated neurospheres and established, for the first time, the stemness of this model. CT-2A expression of the BTSC marker, CD133, increased from 2% in monolayer cells to 31% in fully-formed neurospheres. Investigation of three stem cell markers (Oct4, Nanog and Nestin) revealed a distinct stemness signature with monolayer cells expressing Oct4 and Nestin (no Nanog), and neurospheres expressing all three. Additionally, CT-2A cells were more proliferative and invasive than U87 cells, while CT-2A neurospheres were significantly more proliferative and invasive than either monolayer cells in vitro. Taken together, our results show that this model is a valuable tool for pre-clinical testing of novel therapeutics against hHGG and also affords the opportunity for investigation of BTSC in an immunocompetent setting.
Keywords: immunocompetent mouse model, glioma, stem cells