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In JoVE (6)
- Isolation and Expansion of the Adult Mouse Neural Stem Cells Using the Neurosphere Assay
- Establishing Embryonic Mouse Neural Stem Cell Culture Using the Neurosphere Assay
- Neural-Colony Forming Cell Assay: An Assay To Discriminate Bona Fide Neural Stem Cells from Neural Progenitor Cells
- Isolation and Expansion of Human Glioblastoma Multiforme Tumor Cells Using the Neurosphere Assay
- The Neuroblast Assay: An Assay for the Generation and Enrichment of Neuronal Progenitor Cells from Differentiating Neural Stem Cell Progeny Using Flow Cytometry
- Identification and Isolation of Slow-Dividing Cells in Human Glioblastoma Using Carboxy Fluorescein Succinimidyl Ester (CFSE)
Other Publications (28)
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Nature Methods
- Nature Reviews. Cancer
- Methods in Enzymology
- Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
- Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)
- Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)
- Breast Cancer Research : BCR
- Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
- Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)
- Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Progress in Brain Research
- Cell Stem Cell
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online)
- PloS One
- PloS One
- Brain : a Journal of Neurology
- PloS One
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Journal of Neuro-oncology
- PloS One
- Cancer Research
- Scientific Reports
Articles by Brent A. Reynolds in JoVE
Isolation and Expansion of the Adult Mouse Neural Stem Cells Using the Neurosphere Assay
Hassan Azari1,2, Maryam Rahman2, Sharareh Sharififar2, Brent A. Reynolds2
1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, 2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida
This video protocol demonstrates the neurosphere assay method to generate and expand neural stem cells from the adult mouse periventricular region, and provides technical insights to ensure one can achieve reproducible neurosphere cultures.
Establishing Embryonic Mouse Neural Stem Cell Culture Using the Neurosphere Assay
Hassan Azari1,2, Sharareh Sharififar2, Maryam Rahman2, Saeed Ansari2, Brent A. Reynolds2
1Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, 2Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Florida
This video protocol demonstrates the application of the neurosphere assay for the isolation and expansion of neural stem cells from the ganglionic eminences of embryonic day 14-mouse brain.
Neural-Colony Forming Cell Assay: An Assay To Discriminate Bona Fide Neural Stem Cells from Neural Progenitor Cells
Hassan Azari1,2, Sharon A. Louis3, Sharareh Sharififar1, Vinata Vedam-Mai1, Brent A. Reynolds1
1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, 2Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, 3STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.
This video protocol demonstrates how to discriminate and enumerate bona fide neural stem cells in a mixed population of neural precursor cells using the neural colony-forming cell assay.
Isolation and Expansion of Human Glioblastoma Multiforme Tumor Cells Using the Neurosphere Assay
Hassan Azari1,2, Sebastien Millette1, Saeed Ansari1, Maryam Rahman1, Loic P. Deleyrolle1, Brent A. Reynolds1
1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, 2Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
This video protocol demonstrates the isolation and expansion of stem like cells from surgically resected human glioblastoma mutliforme (GBM) tumor tissue using the neurosphere assay culture method.
The Neuroblast Assay: An Assay for the Generation and Enrichment of Neuronal Progenitor Cells from Differentiating Neural Stem Cell Progeny Using Flow Cytometry
Hassan Azari1,2, Sharareh Sharififar1, Jeff M. Fortin1, Brent A. Reynolds1
1Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Florida, 2Laboratory for Stem Cell Research, Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
This video protocol demonstrates a novel method for the generation and subsequent purification of neuronal progenitor cells from a renewable source of neural stem cells (NSCs) based on their physical (size and internal granularity) and fluorescent properties using flow cytometry technology.
Identification and Isolation of Slow-Dividing Cells in Human Glioblastoma Using Carboxy Fluorescein Succinimidyl Ester (CFSE)
Loic P. Deleyrolle1, Mark R. Rohaus1, Jeff M. Fortin1, Brent A. Reynolds1, Hassan Azari1,2
1Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Florida, 2Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
This video protocol demonstrates the application of the fluorescent dye carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) for the identification and separation of different sub-populations of cells in human glioblastoma based on frequency of cell division.
Other articles by Brent A. Reynolds on PubMed
Generation and Differentiation of Neurospheres from Murine Embryonic Day 14 Central Nervous System Tissue
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15361668
Murine embryonic day 14 or E14 neural stem cells (NSCs), first isolated and characterized as a stem cell in culture, are a unique population of cells capable of self-renewal. In addition, they produce a large number of progeny capable of differentiating into the three primary phenotypes-neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes-found in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS). A defined serum-free medium supplemented with epidermal growth factor (EGF) is used to maintain the NSCs in an undifferentiated state in the form of clusters of cells, called neurospheres, for several culture passages. When EGF is removed and serum added to the medium, the intact or dissociated neurospheres differentiate into the three primary CNS phenotypes. This chapter outlines the simple NSC culture methodology and provides some of the more important details of the assay to achieve reproducible cultures.
Nature Methods. May, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15846359
For most of the past century, the prospect of replacing lost or damaged cells in the central nervous system (CNS) was hampered by the opinion that the adult mammalian CNS was incapable of generating new nerve cells. This belief, like most dogmas, was essentially founded on a lack of experimental evidence to the contrary. The overturning of this 'no new neuron' hypothesis began midway through the twentieth century with a series of reports documenting neurogenesis in the postnatal and adult brain, continued with the isolation and in vitro culture of neurogenic cells from the adult mammalian brain, and culminated in the discovery of a population of multipotent, self-renewing cells in the adult CNS (that is, bona fide neural stem cells). Although a variety of techniques were initially used, the neurosphere assay (NSA) rapidly emerged as the assay of choice and has since become a valuable tool for isolating, and understanding the biology of, embryonic and adult CNS stem cells. Like all technologies, it is not without its limitations. In this article we will highlight several shortcomings of the assay related to its application and interpretation that we believe have led to a significant body of research whose conclusions may well be misleading.
Nature Reviews. Cancer. Jun, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16723989
The dogma that the genesis of new cells is a negligible event in the adult mammalian brain has long influenced our perception and understanding of the origin and development of CNS tumours. The discovery that new neurons and glia are produced throughout life from neural stem cells provides new possibilities for the candidate cells of origin of CNS neoplasias. The emerging hypothesis is that alterations in the cellular and genetic mechanisms that control adult neurogenesis might contribute to brain tumorigenesis, thereby allowing the identification of new therapeutic strategies.
Methods in Enzymology. 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17141049
Throughout the process of development and continuing into adulthood, stem cells function as a reservoir of undifferentiated cell types, whose role is to underpin cell genesis in a variety of tissues and organs. In the adult, they play an essential homeostatic role by replacing differentiated tissue cells "worn off" by physiological turnover or lost to injury or disease. As such, the discovery of such cells in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), an organ traditionally thought to have little or no regenerative capacity, was most unexpected. Nonetheless, by employing a novel serum-free culture system termed the neurosphere assay, Reynolds and Weiss demonstrated the presence of neural stem cells in both the adult (Reynolds and Weiss, 1992) and embryonic mouse brain (Reynolds et al., 1992). Here we describe how to generate, serially passage, and differentiate neurospheres derived from both the developing and adult brain, and provide more technical details that will enable one to achieve reproducible cultures, which can be passaged over an extended period of time.
Nature. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17507958
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17584087
Since their initial description in 1992, neurospheres have appeared in some aspect of more than a thousand published studies. Despite their ubiquitous presence in the scientific literature, there is little consensus regarding the fundamental defining characteristics of neurospheres; thus, there is little agreement about what, if anything, the neurosphere assay can tell us about the relative abundance or behavior of neural stem cells in vivo. In this review we will examine some of the common features of neurospheres, and ask if these features should be interpreted as a proxy for neural stem cells. In addition, we will discuss ways in which the neurosphere assay has been used to evaluate in vivo treatment/manipulation, and will suggest appropriate ways in which neurosphere data should be interpreted, vis-à-vis the neural stem cell. Finally, we will discuss a relatively new in vitro approach, the Neural-Colony Forming Cell Assay, which provides a more meaningful method of quantifying bona fide neural stem cells without conflating them with more growth-restricted progenitor cells.
Comparative Analysis of the Frequency and Distribution of Stem and Progenitor Cells in the Adult Mouse Brain
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio). Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18203672
The neurosphere assay can detect and expand neural stem cells (NSCs) and progenitor cells, but it cannot discriminate between these two populations. Given two assays have purported to overcome this shortfall, we performed a comparative analysis of the distribution and frequency of NSCs and progenitor cells detected in 400 mum coronal segments along the ventricular neuraxis of the adult mouse brain using the neurosphere assay, the neural colony forming cell assay (N-CFCA), and label-retaining cell (LRC) approach. We observed a large variation in the number of progenitor/stem cells detected in serial sections along the neuraxis, with the number of neurosphere-forming cells detected in individual 400 mum sections varying from a minimum of eight to a maximum of 891 depending upon the rostral-caudal coordinate assayed. Moreover, the greatest variability occurred in the rostral portion of the lateral ventricles, thereby explaining the large variation in neurosphere frequency previously reported. Whereas the overall number of neurospheres (3730 +/- 276) or colonies (4275 +/- 124) we detected along the neuraxis did not differ significantly, LRC numbers were significantly reduced (1186 +/- 188, 7 month chase) in comparison to both total colonies and neurospheres. Moreover, approximately two orders of magnitude fewer NSC-derived colonies (50 +/- 10) were detected using the N-CFCA as compared to LRCs. Given only 5% of the LRCs are cycling (BrdU+/Ki-67+) or competent to divide (BrdU+/Mcm-2+), and proliferate upon transfer to culture, it is unclear whether this technique selectively detects endogenous NSCs. Overall, caution should be taken with the interpretation and employment of all these techniques.
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio). Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18218818
Advancement in our understanding of the biology of adult stem cells and their therapeutic potential relies heavily on meaningful functional assays that can identify and measure stem cell activity in vivo and in vitro. In the mammalian nervous system, neural stem cells (NSCs) are often studied using a culture system referred to as the neurosphere assay. We previously challenged a central tenet of this assay, that all neurospheres are derived from a NSC, and provided evidence that it overestimates NSC frequency, rendering it inappropriate for quantitation of NSC frequency in relation to NSC regulation. Here we report the development and validation of the neural colony-forming cell assay (NCFCA), which discriminates stem from progenitor cells on the basis of their proliferative potential. We anticipate that the NCFCA will provide additional clarity in discerning the regulation of NSCs, thereby facilitating further advances in the promising application of NSCs for therapeutic use.
Breast Cancer Research : BCR. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18671830
The concept of cancer stem cells responsible for tumour origin, maintenance, and resistance to treatment has gained prominence in the field of breast cancer research. The therapeutic targeting of these cells has the potential to eliminate residual disease and may become an important component of a multimodality treatment. Recent improvements in immunotherapy targeting of tumour-associated antigens have advanced the prospect of targeting breast cancer stem cells, an approach that might lead to more meaningful clinical remissions. Here, we review the role of stem cells in the healthy breast, the role of breast cancer stem cells in disease, and the potential to target these cells.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.). Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18680882
The thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) is incorporated into newly synthesized DNA and has been shown to increase the susceptibility of incorporating cells to ionizing radiation. However, in the absence of secondary stressors, BrdU is thought to substitute relatively benignly for thymidine and is commonly used to "birth-date" proliferative cells. We report a novel antiproliferative effect of BrdU on cancer cells, which is independent of its role in radiosensitization. A single, brief in vitro exposure to BrdU induces a profound and sustained reduction in the proliferation rate of all cancer cells examined. Cells do not die but variably up-regulate some senescence-associated proteins as they accumulate in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Bromodeoxyuridine also impairs the proliferative capacity of primary tumor-initiating human glioma cells and may therefore represent a means of targeting cancer stem cells. Finally, conservative in vivo BrdU regimens--in the absence of any other treatment--significantly suppress the progression of gliomas in the highly aggressive, syngeneic RG2 model. These results suggest that BrdU may have an important role as an adjunctive therapeutic for a wide variety of cancers based on new insights into its effect as a negative regulator of cell cycle progression.
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio). Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18802036
Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) is a halogenated pyrimidine that incorporates into newly synthesized DNA during the S phase. BrdU is used ubiquitously in cell birthdating studies and as a means of measuring the proliferative index of various cell populations. In the absence of secondary stressors, BrdU is thought to incorporate relatively benignly into replicating DNA chains. However, we report here that a single, low-dose pulse of BrdU exerts a profound and sustained antiproliferative effect in cultured murine stem and progenitor cells. This is accompanied by altered terminal differentiation, cell morphology, and protein expression consistent with the induction of senescence. There is no evidence of a significant increase in spontaneous cell death; however, cells are rendered resistant to chemically induced apoptosis. Finally, we show that a brief in vivo BrdU regimen reduces the proliferative potential of subsequently isolated subependymal zone neurosphere-forming cells. We conclude, therefore, that BrdU treatment induces a senescence pathway that causes a progressive decline in the replication of rapidly dividing stem/progenitor cells, suggesting a novel and uncharacterized effect of BrdU. This finding is significant in that BrdU-incorporating neural stem/progenitor cells and their progeny should not be expected to behave normally with respect to proliferative potential and downstream functional parameters. This effect highlights the need for caution when results based on long-term BrdU tracking over multiple rounds of replication are interpreted. Conversely, the reliable induction of senescence in stem/progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo may yield a novel platform for molecular studies designed to address multiple aspects of aging and neurogenesis.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19123176
Tumour heterogeneity has several important consequences including: (i) making their classification by morphological and genetic analysis more difficult because of the diversity within single tumours and the common majority of cells as the bulk of a tumour will dominate this classification whether or not these cells are critical for diagnosis or treatment, (ii) treatments may fail to eradicate tumours simply by failing to eliminate one of the cell subtypes within the tumour and (iii) differing abilities of the cell subtypes for dissemination and metastasis. Recently, a rare subpopulation of cells within tumours has been described with the ability to initiate and sustain tumour growth, to resist traditional therapies and to allow for secondary tumour dissemination. These cells are termed tumour-initiating cells (TICs). Understanding tumour heterogeneity will be critical for advancing treatments for cancer that target TIC subpopulations of cells in a tumour able to resist traditional treatments and eliminate them before metastatic disease occurs. It follows that the TICs will be the most important cellular components in the tumour target. Therefore, knowledge of the molecular mechanism(s) of resistance of TICs to treatment and overcoming this problem will be essential in order to develop effective drug strategies for cancer therapy.
Isolation, Expansion, and Differentiation of Adult Mammalian Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells Using the Neurosphere Assay
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19378198
During development and continuing into adulthood, stem cells function as a reservoir of undifferentiated cell types, whose role is to support cell genesis in several tissues and organs. In the adult, they play an essential homeostatic role by replacing differentiated cells that are lost due to physiological turnover, injury, or disease. The discovery of such cells in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), an organ traditionally thought to have little or no regenerative capacity, has opened the door to the possibility of designing innovative regenerative therapeutics, an unexpected concept in neurobiology 15 years ago. In 1992, to detect precursor cells in the adult brain, we employed a serum-free culture system whereby the majority of primary differentiated CNS cells did not survive but a small population of EGF-responsive cells were maintained in an undifferentiated state and proliferated to form clusters, called neurospheres (Reynolds and Weiss, Science 255:1707-1710, 1992). These neurospheres could be (a) dissociated to form numerous secondary spheres or (b) induced to differentiate, generating the three major cell types of the CNS. This chapter outlines the adult mammalian NSC culture methodology and provides technical details of the neurosphere assay to achieve reproducible cultures.
Progress in Brain Research. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19660648
The discovery of stem cells in the adult central nervous system implied the potential for endogenous repair and exogenous cell-based therapeutics. The development of experimental protocols, like the neurosphere assay and the neural-colony forming cell assay, enable the accurate and meaningful investigation of neural stem cell properties and allow the exploration of mechanisms related to the role of neural stem cells in aging and cancer.
Cell Stem Cell. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19896437
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online). 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20824857
Studies in animal models of ischemic stroke have shown that stem cells transplanted into the brain can lead to functional improvement. However, to date, evidence for the benefits of stem cell transplantation in ischemic stroke patients is lacking.
Carcinogenesis. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21051441
Human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults. The poor prognosis and minimally successful treatments of GBM indicates a need to identify new therapeutic targets. In this study, we examined the role of CXCR3 in glioma progression using the GL261 murine model of malignant glioma. Intracranial GL261 tumors express CXCL9 and CXCL10 in vivo. Glioma-bearing CXCR3-deficient mice had significantly shorter median survival time and reduced numbers of tumor-infiltrated natural killer and natural killer T cells as compared with tumor-bearing wild-type (WT) mice. In contrast, pharmacological antagonism of CXCR3 with NBI-74330 prolonged median survival times of both tumor-bearing WT and CXCR3-deficient mice when compared with vehicle-treated groups. NBI-74330 treatment did not impact tumor infiltration of lymphocytes and microglia. A small percentage of GL261 cells were identified as CXCR3(+), which was similar to the expression of CXCR3 in several grade IV human glioma cell lines (A172, T98G, U87, U118 and U138). When cultured as gliomaspheres (GS), the human and murine lines increased CXCR3 expression; CXCR3 expression was also found in a primary human GBM-derived GS. Additionally, CXCR3 isoform A was expressed by all lines, whereas CXCR3-B was detected in T98G-, U118- and U138-GS cells. CXCL9 or CXCL10 induced in vitro glioma cell growth in GL261- and U87-GS as well as inhibited cell loss in U138-GS cells and this effect was antagonized by NBI-74330. The results suggest that CXCR3 antagonism exerts a direct anti-glioma effect and this receptor may be a potential therapeutic target for treating human GBM.
Neurosurgery. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21135745
Based on the clonal evolution model and the assumption that the vast majority of tumor cells are able to propagate and drive tumor growth, the goal of cancer treatment has traditionally been to kill all cancerous cells. This theory has been challenged recently by the cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis, that a rare population of tumor cells, with stem cell characteristics, is responsible for tumor growth, resistance, and recurrence. Evidence for putative CSCs has been described in blood, breast, lung, prostate, colon, liver, pancreas, and brain. This new hypothesis would propose that indiscriminate killing of cancer cells would not be as effective as selective targeting of the cells that are driving long-term growth (ie, the CSCs) and that treatment failure is often the result of CSCs escaping traditional therapies.The CSC hypothesis has gained a great deal of attention because of the identification of a new target that may be responsible for poor outcomes of many aggressive cancers, including malignant glioma. As attractive as this hypothesis sounds, especially when applied to tumors that respond poorly to current treatments, we will argue in this article that the proposal of a stemlike cell that initiates and drives solid tissue cancer growth and is responsible for therapeutic failure is far from proven. We will present the point of view that for most advanced solid tissue cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme, targeting a putative rare CSC population will have little effect on patient outcomes. This review will cover problems with the CSC hypothesis, including applicability of the hierarchical model, inconsistencies with xenotransplantation data, and nonspecificity of CSC markers.
Determination of Somatic and Cancer Stem Cell Self-renewing Symmetric Division Rate Using Sphere Assays
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21246056
Representing a renewable source for cell replacement, neural stem cells have received substantial attention in recent years. The neurosphere assay represents a method to detect the presence of neural stem cells, however owing to a deficiency of specific and definitive markers to identify them, their quantification and the rate they expand is still indefinite. Here we propose a mathematical interpretation of the neurosphere assay allowing actual measurement of neural stem cell symmetric division frequency. The algorithm of the modeling demonstrates a direct correlation between the overall cell fold expansion over time measured in the sphere assay and the rate stem cells expand via symmetric division. The model offers a methodology to evaluate specifically the effect of diseases and treatments on neural stem cell activity and function. Not only providing new insights in the evaluation of the kinetic features of neural stem cells, our modeling further contemplates cancer biology as cancer stem-like cells have been suggested to maintain tumor growth as somatic stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis. Indeed, tumor stem cell's resistance to therapy makes these cells a necessary target for effective treatment. The neurosphere assay mathematical model presented here allows the assessment of the rate malignant stem-like cells expand via symmetric division and the evaluation of the effects of therapeutics on the self-renewal and proliferative activity of this clinically relevant population that drive tumor growth and recurrence.
Sonic Hedgehog and Notch Signaling Can Cooperate to Regulate Neurogenic Divisions of Neocortical Progenitors
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21379383
Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is crucial for the generation and maintenance of both embryonic and adult stem cells, thereby regulating development and tissue homeostasis. In the developing neocortex, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) regulates neural progenitor cell proliferation. During neurogenesis, radial glial cells of the ventricular zone (VZ) are the predominant neocortical progenitors that generate neurons through both symmetric and asymmetric divisions. Despite its importance, relatively little is known of the molecular pathways that control the switch from symmetric proliferative to differentiative/neurogenic divisions in neural progenitors.
Brain : a Journal of Neurology. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21515906
Individual tumour cells display diverse functional behaviours in terms of proliferation rate, cell-cell interactions, metastatic potential and sensitivity to therapy. Moreover, sequencing studies have demonstrated surprising levels of genetic diversity between individual patient tumours of the same type. Tumour heterogeneity presents a significant therapeutic challenge as diverse cell types within a tumour can respond differently to therapies, and inter-patient heterogeneity may prevent the development of general treatments for cancer. One strategy that may help overcome tumour heterogeneity is the identification of tumour sub-populations that drive specific disease pathologies for the development of therapies targeting these clinically relevant sub-populations. Here, we have identified a dye-retaining brain tumour population that displays all the hallmarks of a tumour-initiating sub-population. Using a limiting dilution transplantation assay in immunocompromised mice, label-retaining brain tumour cells display elevated tumour-initiation properties relative to the bulk population. Importantly, tumours generated from these label-retaining cells exhibit all the pathological features of the primary disease. Together, these findings confirm dye-retaining brain tumour cells exhibit tumour-initiation ability and are therefore viable targets for the development of therapeutics targeting this sub-population.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21533195
Estrogen signaling plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Because the majority of breast carcinomas express the estrogen receptor ERα, endocrine therapy that impedes estrogen-ER signaling reduces breast cancer mortality and has become a mainstay of breast cancer treatment. However, patients remain at continued risk of relapse for many years after endocrine treatment. It has been proposed that cancer recurrence may be attributed to cancer stem cells (CSCs)/tumor-initiating cells (TICs). Previous studies in breast cancer have shown that such cells can be enriched and propagated in vitro by culturing the cells in suspension as mammospheres/tumorspheres. Here we established tumorspheres from ERα-positive human breast cancer cell line MCF7 and investigated their response to antiestrogens Tamoxifen and Fulvestrant. The tumorsphere cells express lower levels of ERα and are more tumorigenic in xenograft assays than the parental cells. Both 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) and Fulvestrant attenuate tumorsphere cell proliferation, but only 4-OHT at high concentrations interferes with sphere formation. However, treated tumorsphere cells retain the self-renewal capacity. Upon withdrawal of antiestrogens, the treated cells resume tumorsphere formation and their tumorigenic potential remains undamaged. Depletion of ERα shows that ERα is dispensable for tumorsphere formation and xenograft tumor growth in mice. Surprisingly, ERα-depleted tumorspheres display heightened sensitivity to 4-OHT and their sphere-forming capacity is diminished after the drug is removed. These results imply that 4-OHT may inhibit cellular targets besides ERα that are essential for tumorsphere growth, and provide a potential strategy to sensitize tumorspheres to endocrine treatment.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21618083
It has been thought for a long time that the adult brain is incapable of generating new neurons, or that neurons cannot be added to its complex circuitry. However, recent technology has resulted in an explosion of research demonstrating that neurogenesis, or the birth of new neurons from adult stem cells constitutively occurs in two specific regions of the mammalian brain; namely the subventricular zone and hippocampal dentate gyrus. Adult CNS stem cells exhibit three main characteristics: (1) they are "self-renewing," i.e., they possess a theoretically unlimited ability to produce progeny indistinguishable from themselves, (2) they are proliferative (undergoing mitosis) and (3) they are multipotent for the different neuroectodermal lineages of the CNS, including the different neuronal, and glial subtypes. CNS stem cells and all progenitor cell types are broadly termed "precursors." In this chapter, we describe methods to identify, isolate and experimentally manipulate stem cells of the adult brain. We outline how to prepare a precursor cell culture from naive brain tissue and how to test the "stemness" potential of different cell types present in that culture, which is achieved in a three-step paradigm. Following their isolation, stem/progenitor cells are expanded in neurosphere culture. Single cells obtained from these neurospheres are sorted for the expression of surface markers by flow cytometry. Finally, putative stem cells from cell sorting will be subjected to the so-called neural colony-forming cell assay, which allows discrimination between stem and progenitor cells. At the end of this chapter we will also describe how to identify neural stem cells in vivo.
Ethynyldeoxyuridine (EdU) Suppresses in Vitro Population Expansion and in Vivo Tumor Progression of Human Glioblastoma Cells
Journal of Neuro-oncology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21643840
Thymidine analogs (TAs) are synthetic nucleosides that incorporate into newly synthesized DNA. Halogenated pyrimidines (HPs), such as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), are a class of TAs that can be detected with antibodies and are commonly used for birthdating individual cells and for assessing the proliferative index of cell populations. It is well established that HPs can act as radiosensitizers when incorporated into DNA chains, but they are generally believed not to impair normal cell function in the absence of secondary stressors. However, we and others have shown that HP incorporation leads to a sustained suppression of cell cycle progression in mammalian cells, resulting in cellular senescence in somatic cells. In addition, we have shown that HP incorporation results in delayed tumor progression in a syngeneic rat model of glioma. Here we examine ethynyldeoxyuridine (EdU), a newly developed and alkylated TA, for its anti-cancer activity, both in vitro and in vivo. We show that EdU, like HPs, leads to a severe reduction in the proliferation rate of normal and transformed cells in vitro. Unlike HPs, however, EdU incorporation also causes DNA damage resulting in the death of a substantial subset of treated cells. When administered over an extended time as a monotherapy to mice bearing subcutaneous xenografts of human glioblastoma multiforme tumors, EdU significantly reduces tumor volume and increases survival without apparent significant toxicity. These results, combined with the fact that EdU readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, support the continued investigation of EdU as a potential therapy for malignant brain tumors.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21687800
Large-scale proliferation and multi-lineage differentiation capabilities make neural stem cells (NSCs) a promising renewable source of cells for therapeutic applications. However, the practical application for neuronal cell replacement is limited by heterogeneity of NSC progeny, relatively low yield of neurons, predominance of astrocytes, poor survival of donor cells following transplantation and the potential for uncontrolled proliferation of precursor cells. To address these impediments, we have developed a method for the generation of highly enriched immature neurons from murine NSC progeny. Adaptation of the standard differentiation procedure in concert with flow cytometry selection, using scattered light and positive fluorescent light selection based on cell surface antibody binding, provided a near pure (97%) immature neuron population. Using the purified neurons, we screened a panel of growth factors and found that bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) demonstrated a strong survival effect on the cells in vitro, and enhanced their functional maturity. This effect was maintained following transplantation into the adult mouse striatum where we observed a 2-fold increase in the survival of the implanted cells and a 3-fold increase in NeuN expression. Additionally, based on the neural-colony forming cell assay (N-CFCA), we noted a 64 fold reduction of the bona fide NSC frequency in neuronal cell population and that implanted donor cells showed no signs of excessive or uncontrolled proliferation. The ability to provide defined neural cell populations from renewable sources such as NSC may find application for cell replacement therapies in the central nervous system.
YB-1 Bridges Neural Stem Cells and Brain Tumor-initiating Cells Via Its Roles in Differentiation and Cell Growth
Cancer Research. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21730024
The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) is upregulated in many human malignancies including glioblastoma (GBM). It is also essential for normal brain development, suggesting that YB-1 is part of a neural stem cell (NSC) network. Here, we show that YB-1 was highly expressed in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of mouse fetal brain tissues but not in terminally differentiated primary astrocytes. Conversely, YB-1 knockout mice had reduced Sox-2, nestin, and musashi-1 expression in the SVZ. Although primary murine neurospheres were rich in YB-1, its expression was lost during glial differentiation. Glial tumors often express NSC markers and tend to loose the cellular control that governs differentiation; therefore, we addressed whether YB-1 served a similar role in cancer cells. YB-1, Sox-2, musashi-1, Bmi-1, and nestin are coordinately expressed in SF188 cells and 9/9 GBM patient-derived primary brain tumor-initiating cells (BTIC). Silencing YB-1 with siRNA attenuated the expression of these NSC markers, reduced neurosphere growth, and triggered differentiation via coordinate loss of GSK3-β. Furthermore, differentiation of BTIC with 1% serum or bone morphogenetic protein-4 suppressed YB-1 protein expression. Likewise, YB-1 expression was lost during differentiation of normal human NSCs. Consistent with these observations, YB-1 expression increased with tumor grade (n = 49 cases). YB-1 was also coexpressed with Bmi-1 (Spearmans 0.80, P > 0.001) and Sox-2 (Spearmans 0.66, P > 0.001) based on the analysis of 282 cases of high-grade gliomas. These proteins were highly expressed in 10/15 (67%) of GBM patients that subsequently relapsed. In conclusion, YB-1 correlatively expresses with NSC markers where it functions to promote cell growth and inhibit differentiation.
ELK4 Neutralization Sensitizes Glioblastoma to Apoptosis Through Downregulation of the Anti-apoptotic Protein Mcl-1
Neuro-oncology. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21846680
Glioma is the most common adult primary brain tumor. Its most malignant form, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is almost invariably fatal, due in part to the intrinsic resistance of GBM to radiation- and chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. We analyzed B-cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2) anti-apoptotic proteins in GBM and found myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) to be the highest expressed in the majority of malignant gliomas. Mcl-1 was functionally important, as neutralization of Mcl-1 induced apoptosis and increased chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. To determine how Mcl-1 was regulated in glioma, we analyzed the promoter and identified a novel functional single nucleotide polymorphism in an uncharacterized E26 transformation-specific (ETS) binding site. We identified the ETS transcription factor ELK4 as a critical regulator of Mcl-1 in glioma, since ELK4 downregulation was shown to reduce Mcl-1 and increase sensitivity to apoptosis. Importantly the presence of the single nucleotide polymorphism, which ablated ELK4 binding in gliomas, was associated with lower Mcl-1 levels and a greater dependence on Bcl-xL. Furthermore, in vivo, ELK4 downregulation reduced tumor formation in glioblastoma xenograft models. The critical role of ELK4 in Mcl-1 expression and protection from apoptosis in glioma defines ELK4 as a novel potential therapeutic target for GBM.
Scientific Reports. 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22355762
The detection of growth hormone (GH) and its receptor in germinal regions of the mammalian brain prompted our investigation of GH and its role in the regulation of endogenous neural precursor cell activity. Here we report that the addition of exogenous GH significantly increased the expansion rate in long-term neurosphere cultures derived from wild-type mice, while neurospheres derived from GH null mice exhibited a reduced expansion rate. We also detected a doubling in the frequency of large (i.e. stem cell-derived) colonies for up to 120 days following a 7-day intracerebroventricular infusion of GH suggesting the activation of endogenous stem cells. Moreover, gamma irradiation induced the ablation of normally quiescent stem cells in GH-infused mice, resulting in a decline in olfactory bulb neurogenesis. These results suggest that GH activates populations of resident stem and progenitor cells, and therefore may represent a novel therapeutic target for age-related neurodegeneration and associated cognitive decline.