Background: Glioblastoma multiforme is the most lethal brain tumor with limited therapeutic options. Antigens expressed on the surface of malignant cells are potential targets for antibody-mediated gene/drug delivery. Principal Findings: In this study, we investigated the ability of genetically modified human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) expressing a single-chain antibody (scFv) on their surface against a tumor specific antigen, EGFRvIII, to enhance the therapy of EGFRvIII expressing glioma cells in vivo. The growth of U87-EGFRvIII was specifically delayed in co-culture with hMSCscFvEGFRvIII. A significant down-regulation was observed in the expression of pAkt in EGFRvIII expressing glioma cells upon culture with hMSC-scFvEGFRvIII vs. controls as well as in EGFRvIII expressing glioma cells from brain tumors co-injected with hMSC-scFvEGFRvIII in vivo. hMSC expressing scFvEGFRvIII also demonstrated several fold enhanced retention in EGFRvIII expressing flank and intracranial glioma xenografts vs. control hMSCs. The growth of U87-EGFRvIII flank xenografts was inhibited by 50% in the presence of hMSC-scFvEGFRvIII (p<0.05). Moreover, animals co-injected with U87-EGFRvIII and hMSC-scFvEGFRvIII intracranially showed significantly improved survival compared to animals injected with U87-EGFRvIII glioma cells alone or with control hMSCs. This survival was further improved when the same animals received an additional dosage of hMSC-scFvEGFRvIII two weeks after initial tumor implantation. Of note, EGFRvIII expressing brain tumors coinjected with hMSCs had a lower density of CD31 expressing blood vessels in comparison with control tumors, suggesting a possible role in tumor angiogenesis. Conclusions/Significance: The results presented in this study illustrate that genetically modified MSCs may function as a novel therapeutic vehicle for malignant brain tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)