Glioblastoma-dependent differentiation and angiogenic potential of human mesenchymal stem cells in vitro

Birnbaum, Tobias; Hildebrandt, Jenna; Nuebling, Georg; Sostak, Petra; Straube, Andreas
October 2011
Journal of Neuro-Oncology;Oct2011, Vol. 105 Issue 1, p57
Academic Journal
Tumor angiogenesis is of central importance in the malignancy of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). As previously shown, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) migrate towards GBM and are incorporated into tumor microvessels. However, phenotype and function of recruited hMSC remain unclear. We evaluated the differentiation and angiogenic potential of hMSC after stimulation with glioblastoma-conditioned medium in vitro. Immunostaining with endothelial, smooth muscle cell and pericyte markers was used to analyze hMSC differentiation in different concentrations of tumor-conditioned medium (CM), and the angiogenic potential was evaluated by matrigel-based tube-formation assay (TFA). Immunofluorescence staining revealed that tumor-conditioned hMSC (CM-hMSC) expressed CD 151, VE-cadherin, desmin, α-smooth muscle actin, nestin, and nerval/glial antigen 2 (NG2) in a CM concentration-dependent manner, whereas no expression of von-Willebrand factor (vWF) and smooth myosin could be detected. These findings are indicative of GBM-dependent differentiation of hMSC into pericyte-like cells, rather than endothelial or smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, TFA of hMSC and CM-hMSC revealed CM-dependent formation of capillary-like networks, which differed substantially from those formed by human endothelial cells (HUVEC), also implying pericyte-like tube formation. These results are indicative of GBM-derived differentiation of hMSC into pericyte-like mural cells, which might contribute to the neovascularization and stabilization of tumor vessels.


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