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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research