Astrocytes give rise to oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas after gene transfer of polyoma virus middle T antigen in vivo.

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Antigens-Polyomavirus-Transforming, Astrocytes, Astrocytoma, Brain-Neoplasms, Cell-Lineage, Cell-Transformation-Neoplastic, Gene-Transfer-Techniques, Glial-Fibrillary-Acidic-Protein, Immunoenzyme-Techniques, Mice-Inbred-BALB-C, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Transgenic, Oligodendroglioma, Signal-Transduction

JAX Source

Am J Pathol 2000 Sep; 157(3):1031-7.


The cells of origin for oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas are not known but are presumed to be oligodendrocyte and astrocyte precursors, respectively. In this paper we report the generation of mixed gliomas from in vivo transformation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells (differentiated astrocytes) with polyoma virus middle T antigen (MTA). MTA is a powerful oncogene that activates a number of signal transduction pathways, including those proposed to be involved in gliomagenesis, and has been shown to induce tumors in many cell types. We have achieved transfer of MTA expression specifically to GFAP(+) cells in vivo using somatic cell gene transfer, and find resultant formation of anaplastic gliomas with mixed astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma morphological features. We conclude that GFAP- expressing astrocytes, with appropriate signaling abnormalities, can serve as the cell of origin for oligodendrogliomas, astrocytomas, or mixed gliomas.