Differential expression between pilocytic and anaplastic astrocytomas: Identification of apolipoprotein D as a marker for low-grade, non-infiltrating primary CNS neoplasms

Stephen Hunter*, Andrew Young, Jeffrey Olson, Daniel J. Brat, Geoffrey Bowers, Josiah N. Wilcox, David Jaye, Savvas Mendrinos, Andrew Neish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fibrillary astrocytoma, the most common primary central nervous system neoplasm, is infiltrating, rapidly proliferating, and almost invariably fatal. This contrasts with the biologically distinct pilocytic astrocytoma, which is circumscribed, often cystic, slowly proliferating, and associated with a favorable long-term outcome. Diagnostic markers for distinguishing pilocytic astrocytomas from infiltrating anaplastic astrocytomas are currently not available. To identify genes that might either serve as markers or explain these distinct biologic behaviors, cDNA microarray analysis was used to compare the expression of 7,073 genes (nearly one quarter of the human genome) between these 2 types of astrocytoma. Messenger RNAs pooled from 3 pilocytic astrocytomas and from 4 infiltrating anaplastic astrocytomas were compared. Apolipoprotein D (apoD), which expressed 8.5-fold higher in pilocytic astrocytomas, showed the greatest level of differential expression and emerged as a potential marker for pilocytic tumors. By immunohistochemistry, 10 of 13 pilocytic astrocytomas stained positively for apoD, while none of 21 infiltrating astrocytomas showed similar staining. ApoD immunostaining was also seen in 9 of 14 of gangliogliomas, 4 of 5 subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs), and a single pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas (PXAs). By in situ hybridization, pilocytic astrocytomas, in contrast with infiltrating astrocytomas, showed widespread increased apoD expression. SAGE analysis using the NCBI database showed a higher level of expression of apoD RNA in pilocytic astrocytoma than in any of the other 94 neoplastic and non-neoplastic tissues in the database. ApoD is associated with decreased proliferation in some cell lines, and is the protein found in highest concentration in cyst fluid from benign cystic disease of the breast. ApoD might play a role in either decreased proliferation or cyst formation in pilocytic astrocytomas, gangliogliomas. SEGAs, and PXAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Apolipoprotein D
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain tumor
  • Microarray analysis
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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