Differential roles of pyramidal and fast-spiking, GABAergic neurons in the control of glioma cell proliferation

Neurobiol Dis. 2020 Jul;141:104942. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2020.104942. Epub 2020 May 11.


Recent studies have demonstrated an active role for neurons in glioma progression. Specifically, peritumoral neurons establish functional excitatory synapses with glioma cells, and optogenetic stimulation of cortical pyramidal neurons drives tumor progression. However, the specific role of different subsets of cortical neurons, such as GABAergic interneurons, remains unexplored. Here, we directly compared the effects of optogenetic stimulation of pyramidal cells vs. fast-spiking, GABAergic neurons. In mice inoculated with GL261 cells into the motor cortex, we show that optogenetic stimulation of pyramidal neurons enhances glioma cell proliferation. In contrast, optogenetic stimulation of fast-spiking, parvalbumin-positive interneurons reduces proliferation as measured by BrdU incorporation and Ki67 immunolabelling. Since both principal cells and fast-spiking interneurons are directly activated by sensory afferent input, we next placed tumors in the occipital cortex to test the impact of visual stimulation/deprivation. We report that total lack of visual input via dark rearing enhances the density of proliferating glioma cells, while daily visual stimulation by gratings of different spatial frequencies and contrast reduces tumor growth. The effects of sensory input are region-specific, as visual deprivation has no significant effect on tumor proliferation in mice with gliomas in the motor cortex. We also report that sensory stimulation combined with temozolomide administration delays the loss of visual responses in peritumoral neurons. Altogether, these data demonstrate complex effects of different neuronal subtypes in the control of glioma proliferation.

Keywords: Afferent sensory input; GABA; Glioma cell proliferation; Parvalbumin-positive interneurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • GABAergic Neurons / physiology*
  • Glioma / physiopathology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology
  • Optogenetics
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*