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Patient-derived xenografts of different grade gliomas retain the heterogeneous histological and genetic features of human gliomas

  • Zeng, Wenxin1
  • Tang, Zhaohua2
  • Li, Yongguo3
  • Yin, Guangnian1
  • Liu, Zili2
  • Gao, Jie1
  • Chen, Yan4
  • Chen, Feilan1
  • 1 Chongqing Medical University, Yixueyuan Road 1, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, 400016, People’s Republic of China , Chongqing (China)
  • 2 The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China , Chongqing (China)
  • 3 Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China , Chongqing (China)
  • 4 Chongqing Medical and Pharmaceutical College, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China , Chongqing (China)
Published Article
Cancer Cell International
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 03, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12935-019-1086-5
Springer Nature


BackgroundGliomas account for the major part of primary brain tumors. Based on their histology and molecular alternations, adult gliomas have been classified into four grades, each with distinct biology and outcome. Previous studies have focused on cell-line-based models and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from patient-derived glioma cultures for grade IV glioblastoma. However, the PDX of lower grade diffuse gliomas, particularly those harboring the endogenous IDH mutation, are scarce due to the difficulty growing glioma cells in vitro and in vivo. The purpose of this study was to develop a panel of patient-derived subcutaneous xenografts of different grade gliomas that represented the heterogeneous histopathologic and genetic features of human gliomas.MethodsTumor pieces from surgical specimens were subcutaneously implanted into flanks of NOD-Prkdcscid ll2rgnull mice. Then, we analyzed the association between the success rate of implantation with clinical parameters using the Chi square test and resemblance to the patient’s original tumor using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, short tandem repeat analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and whole-exome sequencing.ResultsA total of 11 subcutaneous xenografts were successfully established from 16 surgical specimens. An increased success rate of implantation in gliomas with wild type isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and high Ki67 expression was observed compared to gliomas with mutant IDH and low Ki67 expression. Recurrent and distant aggressive xenografts were present near the primary implanted tumor fragments from WHO grades II to IV. The xenografts histologically represented the corresponding patient tumor and reconstituted the heterogeneity of different grade gliomas. However, increased Ki67 expression was found in propagated xenografts. Endothelial cells from mice in patient-derived xenografts over several generations replaced the corresponding human tumor blood vessels. Short tandem repeat and whole-exome sequencing analyses indicated that the glioma PDX tumors maintained their genomic features during engraftments over several generations.ConclusionsThe panel of patient-derived glioma xenografts in this study reproduced the diverse heterogeneity of different grade gliomas, thereby allowing the study of the growth characteristics of various glioma types and the identification of tumor-specific molecular markers, which has applications in drug discovery and patient-tailored therapy.

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