Mice Expressing Myc in Neural Precursors Develop Choroid Plexus and Ciliary Body Tumors

Am J Pathol. 2018 Jun;188(6):1334-1344. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


Choroid plexus tumors and ciliary body medulloepithelioma are predominantly pediatric neoplasms. Progress in understanding the pathogenesis of these tumors has been hindered by their rarity and lack of models that faithfully recapitulate the disease. Here, we find that endogenous Myc proto-oncogene protein is down-regulated in the forebrain neuroepithelium, whose neural plate border domains give rise to the anterior choroid plexus and ciliary body. To uncover the consequences of persistent Myc expression, MYC expression was forced in multipotent neural precursors (nestin-Cre:Myc), which produced fully penetrant models of choroid plexus carcinoma and ciliary body medulloepithelioma. Nestin-mediated MYC expression in the epithelial cells of choroid plexus leads to the regionalized formation of choroid plexus carcinoma in the posterior domain of the lateral ventricle choroid plexus and the fourth ventricle choroid plexus that is accompanied by loss of multiple cilia, up-regulation of protein biosynthetic machinery, and hydrocephalus. Parallel MYC expression in the ciliary body leads also to up-regulation of protein biosynthetic machinery. Additionally, Myc expression in human choroid plexus tumors increases with aggressiveness of disease. Collectively, our findings expose a select vulnerability of the neuroepithelial lineage to postnatal tumorigenesis and provide a new mouse model for investigating the pathogenesis of these rare pediatric neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / genetics
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ciliary Body / metabolism
  • Ciliary Body / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • MYC protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc