Glioma initiating cells contribute to malignant transformation of host glial cells during tumor tissue remodeling via PDGF signaling

Yanming Chen, Zhongyong Wang, Xingliang Dai, Xifeng Fei, Yuntian Shen, Mingxia Zhang, Aidong Wang, Xiaonan Li, Zhimin Wang, Qiang Huang*, Jun Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Introduction: Glioma initiating cells (GICs) play important roles in tumor initiation and progression. However, interactions between tumor cells and host cells of local tumor microenvironment are kept largely unknown. Besides GICs and their progeny cells, whether adjacent normal glial cells contribute to tumorigenesis during glioma tissue remodeling deserves further investigation. Methods: Red fluorescence protein (RFP) gene was stably transfected into human GIC cells lines SU3 and U87, then were transplanted intracerebrally into athymic nude mice with whole-body green fluorescence protein (GFP) expression. The interactions between GICs and host cells in vivo were observed during tissue remodeling processes initiated by hGICs. The biological characteristics of host glial cells with high proliferation capability cloned from the xenograft were further assayed. Results: In a SU3 initiated dual-fluorescence xenograft glioma model, part of host cells cloned from the intracerebral tumors were found acquiring the capability of unlimited proliferation. PCR and FISH results indicated that malignant transformed cells were derived from host cells; cell surface marker analysis showed these cells expressed murine oligodendrocyte specific marker CNP, and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) specific markers PDGFR-α and NG2. Chromosomal analysis showed these cells were super tetraploid. In vivo studies showed they behaved with high invasiveness activity and nearly 100% tumorigenic ratio. Compared with SU3 cells with higher PDGF-B expression, GICs derived from U87 cells with low level of PDGF-B expression failed to induce host cell transformation. Conclusions: Primary high invasive GICs SU3 contribute to transformation of adjacent normal host glial cells in local tumor microenvironment possibly via PDGF/PDGFR signaling activation, which deserved further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Dual-fluorescence tumor model
  • Glioma initiating cells
  • Malignant transformation
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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