Pediatric Glioblastoma Cells Inhibit Neurogenesis and Promote Astrogenesis, Phenotypic Transformation and Migration of Human Neural Progenitor Cells Within Cocultures

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Experimental Cell Research


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Neural progenitor cell (NPC) fate is influenced by a variety of biological cues elicited from the surrounding microenvironment and recent studies suggest their possible role in pediatric glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) development. Since a few GBM cells also display NPC characteristics, it is not clear whether NPCs transform to tumor cell phenotype leading to the onset of GBM formation, or NPCs migrate to developing tumor sites in response to paracrine signaling from GBM cells. Elucidating the paracrine interactions between GBM cells and NPCs in vivo is challenging due to the inherent complexity of the CNS. Here, we investigated the interactions between human NPCs (ReNcell) and human pediatric GBM-derived cells (SJ-GBM2) using a Transwell® coculture setup to assess the effects of GBM cells on ReNcells (cytokine and chemokine release, viability, phenotype, differentiation, migration). Standalone ReNcell or GBM cultures served as controls. Qualitative and quantitative results from ELISA®, Live/Dead® and BrdU assays, immunofluorescence labeling, western blot analysis, and scratch test suggests that although ReNcell viability remained unaffected in the presence of pediatric GBM cells, their morphology, phenotype, differentiation patterns, neurite outgrowth, migration patterns (average speed, distance, number of cells) and GSK-3β expression were significantly influenced. The cumulative distance migrated by the cells in each condition was fit to Furth's formula, derived formally from Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. ReNcell differentiation into neural lineage was compromised and astrogenesis promoted within cocultures. Such coculture platform could be extended to identify the specific molecules contributing to the observed phenomena, to investigate whether NPCs could be transplanted to replace lesions of excised tumor sites, and to elucidate the underlying molecular pathways involved in GBM-NPC interactions within the tumor microenvironment.