Genetic modeling of gliomas in mice: new tools to tackle old problems

Glia. 2011 Aug;59(8):1155-68. doi: 10.1002/glia.21142. Epub 2011 Feb 8.


The recently published comprehensive profiles of genomic alterations in glioma have led to a refinement in our understanding of the molecular events that underlie this cancer. Using state-of-the-art genomic tools, several laboratories have created and characterized accurate genetically engineered mouse models of glioma based on specific genetic alterations observed in human tumors. These in vivo brain tumor models faithfully recapitulate the histopathology, etiology, and biology of gliomas and provide an exceptional experimental system to discover novel therapeutic targets and test therapeutic agents. This review focuses on mouse models of glioma with a special emphasis on genetically engineered models developed around key genetic glioma signature mutations in the PDGFR, EGFR, and NF1 genes and pathways. The resulting animal models have provided insight into many fundamental and mechanistic facets of tumor initiation, maintenance and resistance to therapeutic intervention and will continue to do so in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / classification
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Glioma / classification
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neurofibromin 1 / genetics
  • Neurofibromin 1 / metabolism
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / genetics
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Neurofibromin 1
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors