Immunological considerations of modern animal models of malignant primary brain tumors

J Transl Med. 2009 Oct 8:7:84. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-7-84.


Recent advances in animal models of glioma have facilitated a better understanding of biological mechanisms underlying gliomagenesis and glioma progression. The limitations of existing therapy, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, have prompted numerous investigators to search for new therapeutic approaches to improve quantity and quality of survival from these aggressive lesions. One of these approaches involves triggering a tumor specific immune response. However, a difficulty in this approach is the the scarcity of animal models of primary CNS neoplasms which faithfully recapitulate these tumors and their interaction with the host's immune system. In this article, we review the existing methods utilized to date for modeling gliomas in rodents, with a focus on the known as well as potential immunological aspects of these models. As this review demonstrates, many of these models have inherent immune system limitations, and the impact of these limitations on studies on the influence of pre-clinical therapeutics testing warrants further attention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Gene Targeting
  • Glioma / immunology*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / genetics
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase