Svensson A, Ramos-Moreno T, Eberstål S, Scheding S, Bengzon J
J. Neurooncol. 131 (2) 245-254 [2017-01-00; online 2016-10-18]
Gene profiling has revealed that malignant gliomas can be divided into four distinct molecular subtypes, where tumors with a mesenchymal gene expression are correlated with short survival. The present investigation was undertaken to clarify whether human malignant gliomas contain endogenous mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), fulfilling consensus criteria defined by The International Society for Cellular Therapy, recruited from the host. We found that MSC-like cells can be isolated from primary human malignant gliomas. Two distinct MSC-like cell populations, differing in their expression of the CD90 surface marker, were discovered after cell sorting. RNA sequencing revealed further genetic differences between these two cell populations and MSC-like cells lacking CD90 produced higher amounts of VEGF and PGE2 compared to cells with the true MSC phenotype, implying that the CD90(-) MSC-like cells most probably are more active in tumor vascularization and immunosuppression than their CD90(+) counterpart. The results highlight the CD90(-) subpopulation as an important tumor component, however, its functional effects in glioma remains to be resolved. Using the protocols presented here, it will be possible to isolate, characterize and analyze brain tumor-derived MSC-like cells in more detail and to further test their functions in vitro and in in vivo xenograft models of glioma.