Immunological, biochemical, ultrastructural, and electrophysiological characteristics of a human glioblastoma-derived cell culture line

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✓ This report presents the results of a study using multiple techniques of the established human cell line, LM, which has been developed in culture medium from a patient with a right temporoparietal glioblastoma. This cell line has human subtetraploid karyotype and has several features of a transformed line in culture. These include continuous propagation for 10 years, ability to form tumor nodules when transplanted into immunologically suppressed hamsters, and pleomorphic appearance. Ultrastructurally, it is characterized by multiple nuclei, few actin cables, and numerous surface-membrane microvilli, as well as abundant 9- to 10-nm cystoplasmic filaments. By its immunological reactivity, the line can be shown to contain glial fibrillary acidic protein at low levels, consistent with its glial origin and continued nature. Dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (db-cAMP) induces formation of long astrocytic-like processes as well. Its membrane electrical characteristics include a low resting membrane potential and short time constant. Used in a microtiter antiglioma antibody cytotoxicity assay, LM yields a positive reaction to antibodies in the sera of 80% of patients with astrocytomas and only 9% of normal blood-bank donors, suggesting that it shares common antigens with other astrocytic tumor lines.

The varied characteristics of this glioblastoma-derived line emphasize the “multiforme” nature of the neoplasm and suggest that for characterization of any such line, multiple parameters are necessary to allow comparison with other long-term glioblastoma lines in the literature. The usefulness of the LM line in in vitro cell biological, immunological, chemotherapeutic, and radiobiological studies of gliomas makes such efforts very worthwhile.

Article Information

Address for Drs. Kornblith, Smith, McKeever and Quindlen: Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland 20205.

Address for Dr. Davison: Boston Biomedical Research Institute, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.

Address reprint requests to: Peter McL. Black, M.D., Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

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    Photomicrograph of the LM lines, passage 145. Hematoxylin & Giemsa, × 60.

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    Scanning electron microgram showing surface microvilli and filopodia. × 2500.

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    Transmission electron micrograph showing a change of cellular morphology with formation of multiple processes after the addition of db-cAMP. × 320.

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    Transmission electron micrograph of a db-cAMP-induced process in an LM glioma cell in monolayer culture. The prominent 9- to 10-nm filaments are arrayed in the long axis of the process. × 20,000. ‡ Serum obtained from MA Bioproducts, Briggs Ford Road, Walkersville, Maryland.

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    Transmission electron micrograph of a cell growing in monolayer culture, passage 130. Note the abundant microvilli and indented nucleus. × 5690.

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    High-magnification transmission electron micrograph of 10-nm glial filaments commonly found in cells of the LM line. × 49,200.

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    Transmission electron micrograph showing intercellular connection between two LM cells consisting of a subplasmalemmal density and intercellular gap. The 35-nm gap has central opacification. × 200,000.

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    The extracellular carpet produced by LM cells in a shadow-cast preparation. × 15,000.

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    Chromsome preparation from a cell in the 18th passage of line LM. The total chromosome number is 82 in this colcemid preparation which has been banded by Dr. L. Atkins.

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    Densitometric tracings from Coomassie bluestained polyacrylamide-SDS gels showing the protein populations solubilized from the cells or tissues by heating in 1% SDS. The samples are: A, extract of LM cells; B, Triton-X-insoluble cytoskeletal structures from LM cells; C, presumptive astrocytes cultured from fetal dog brain (data from PF Davidson, unpublished work); D, a second cultured human glioma from this laboratory; and E, an extract from a multiple sclerosis (MS) plaque. The cytoskeleton (tracing B) is enriched with respect to the 10-nm cytoskeletal protein and actin (at 5.6 and 6.7 cm, respectively). Undegraded GFAP migrates at 6.3 cm and is prominent in the MS plaque extract, but it is not prominent in the cultured astrocytes or presumptive astrocytoma cells.

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    Photomicrograph showing immunofluorescence of LM cells grown on coverslips. Anti-GFAP stain, × 1000.

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    Photomicrograph showing growth of LM in immunologically suppressed hamsters. H & E, × 400.

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    Transmission electron micrograph showing a growth in a hamster demonstrating endothelial cell proliferation. × 2000.

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