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, 47 (1), 91-6

Characterization of Glioma Stem-Like Cells From Human Glioblastomas


Characterization of Glioma Stem-Like Cells From Human Glioblastomas

Shun Yamamuro et al. Int J Oncol.


Glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) could have potential for tumorigenesis, treatment resistance, and tumor recurrence (GSC hypothesis). However, the mechanisms underlying such potential has remained elusive and few ultrastructural features of the cells have been reported in detail. We therefore undertook observations of the antigenic characteristics and ultrastructural features of GSCs isolated from human glioblastomas. Tumor spheres formed by variable numbers of cells, exhibiting a variable appearance in both their size and shape, were frequently seen in GSCs expressing the stem cell surface markers CD133 and CD15. Increased cell nucleus atypia, mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, coated vesicles, and microvilli, were noted in the GSCs. Furthermore, cells at division phases and different phases of the apoptotic process were occasionally observed. These findings could imply that GSCs have certain relations with human neural stem cells (NSCs) but are primitively different from undifferentiated NSCs. The data may provide support for the GSC hypothesis, and also facilitate the establishment of future glioblastoma treatments targeting GSCs.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Semithin sections stained with toluidine blue (upper row), glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) from human glioblastoma are gathered together to form tumor spheres. Immunofluorescence staining for CD133 (middle row) and CD15 (lower row), cell membranes of the GSCs are positively stained for CD133 (green) and CD15 (red). Magnifications, ×400. Left, GSCs 0125. Right, GSCs 0222.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Immunofluorescence staining of glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) for GFAP (upper row), most of the GSCs are positive for the cell marker GFAP. Immunohistological staining for MGMT (lower row), positive expression of MGMT protein is evident in the GSCs. Magnifications, ×400. Left, GSCs 0125. Right, GSCs 0222.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Ultrastructure of GSCs. The cell nuclei of the GSCs are irregular in shape, and the nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio is generally from high to moderate degree. Cellular organelles are generally abundant in the form of mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and some vesicles can be seen. Apoptotic cells can be observed in the left image. Bars, 2 μm.

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