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Michael Zorniak, Paul A. Clark and John S. Kuo

OBJECT

Glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) exhibit stem-like properties, are highly efficient at forming tumor xenografts, and are resistant to many current therapies. Current molecular identifiers of GSCs are scarce and controversial. The authors describe differential cell-surface gene expression profiling to identify GSC-specific markers.

METHODS

Independent human GSC lines were isolated and maintained in standard neural stem cell (NSC) media and were validated for self-renewal, multipotent differentiation, and tumor initiation properties. Candidate upregulated GSCspecific plasma membrane markers were identified through differential Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 Array gene expression profiling of GSCs, human NSCs (hNSCs), normal brain tissue, and primary/recurrent glioblastoma multiforme samples. Results were validated by using comparative quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis of GSCs, hNSCs, normal human astrocytes, U87 glioma cell line, and patient-matched serum-cultured glioblastoma multiforme samples.

RESULTS

A candidate GSC-specific signature of 19 upregulated known and novel plasma membrane–associated genes was identified. Preferential upregulation of these plasma membrane–linked genes was validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Cadherin-19 (CDH19) protein expression was enhanced in minimally infiltrative GSC lines.

CONCLUSIONS

Gene expression profiling of GSCs has shown CDH19 to be an exciting new target for drug development and study of GBM tumorigenesis.

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Jed Voss, Timothy B. Meier, Robert Freidel, Bornali Kundu, Veena A. Nair, Ryan Holdsworth, John S. Kuo and Vivek Prabhakaran

Object

Functional MRI (fMRI) is commonly used by neurosurgeons preoperatively to identify brain regions associated with essential behaviors, such as language and motor abilities. In this study the authors investigated the relationship between patient morbidity and mortality and the distance from the tumor border area to functional activations in secondary motor and language cortices.

Methods

Patients with primary or metastatic brain tumors who underwent preoperative fMRI motor and language mapping were selected from a large database of patients with tumors. The lesion-to-activation distance (LAD) was measured in each patient relative to the supplementary motor area (SMA) for motor tasks and the presupplementary motor area (pSMA) for language tasks. The association between LAD and the incidence of deficits was investigated using the Fisher exact tests of significance. The impact of other variables, including age, handedness, sex, and tumor grade, was also investigated. In a subset of patients, logistic regression was performed to identify the likelihood of deficits based on the LAD to primary and secondary regions. Finally, Mantel-Cox log-rank tests were performed to determine whether survival time was significantly related to the LAD to secondary motor and language areas.

Results

A significant association was observed between the LAD to the SMA and the incidence of motor deficits, with the percentage of patients with deficits dropping for those in the LAD > 2 cm group. The relationship between the LAD to the pSMA and the incidence of language deficits was not significant. Logistic regression demonstrated that the LAD to primary sensorimotor cortex does affect the incidence of motor deficits, but that the LAD to SMA does not. Finally, the authors observed no relationship between the LAD to secondary regions and patient mortality rates.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that the LAD to SMA structures does affect morbidity, although not to the extent of LAD to primary structures. In addition, motor deficits are significantly associated with LAD to secondary structures, but language deficits are not. This should be considered by neurosurgeons for patient consultation and preoperative planning.

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Will Lyon, Tej I. Mehta, Kelli B. Pointer, Daniel Walden, Ardem Elmayan, Kyle I. Swanson and John S. Kuo

Dr. Clinton Woolsey was a leading 20th-century neuroscientist for almost 4 decades. His most significant achievements were the novel use and refinement of evoked potential techniques to functionally map mammalian brains, the discovery of secondary cortical areas, and a wide repertoire of comparative neurofunctional studies across many species. The authors discuss his life and work through a historical context with contemporaries, highlight the primitive state of brain mapping before Woolsey, and review his involvement in advancing its rapid development through work at both Johns Hopkins University and University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Woolsey's lasting impact on basic and clinical neuroscience, neurosurgery, and neurology and his important roles as a scientific mentor and leader are also described.

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John S. Kuo, Cynthia Hawkins, James T. Rutka and Martin H. Weiss

Object

The authors investigated the feasibility of using fat allografts (chemically treated to reduce the host immune response) for neurosurgical applications.

Methods

Subcutaneous fat specimens collected from New Zealand White rabbits were treated with DNAse I and sodium deoxycholate to reduce immunogenicity before subcutaneous, midscapular implantation in immunocompetent recipient rabbits. Allograft incorporation and the host-allograft response were examined at 1, 6, and 11 weeks by histopathological analysis. Control specimens of autograft and untreated fat allograft implants were examined for comparison.

Results

The host immune response was markedly reduced in the region around the chemically treated fat allografts when compared with untreated allografts, and was similar to the tolerant host response to autografts.

Conclusions

Based on their results, the authors suggest that fat allografts processed for reduced immunogenicity may be a convenient, viable alternative for neurosurgical applications.

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Bornali Kundu, Amy Penwarden, Joel M. Wood, Thomas A. Gallagher, Matthew J. Andreoli, Jed Voss, Timothy Meier, Veena A. Nair, John S. Kuo, Aaron S. Field, Chad Moritz, M. Elizabeth Meyerand and Vivek Prabhakaran

Object

Functional MRI (fMRI) has the potential to be a useful presurgical planning tool to treat patients with primary brain tumor. In this study the authors retrospectively explored relationships between language-related postoperative outcomes in such patients and multiple factors, including measures estimated from task fMRI maps (proximity of lesion to functional activation area, or lesion-to-activation distance [LAD], and activation-based language lateralization, or lateralization index [LI]) used in the clinical setting for presurgical planning, as well as other factors such as patient age, patient sex, tumor grade, and tumor volume.

Methods

Patient information was drawn from a database of patients with brain tumors who had undergone preoperative fMRI-based language mapping of the Broca and Wernicke areas. Patients had performed a battery of tasks, including word-generation tasks and a text-versus-symbols reading task, as part of a clinical fMRI protocol. Individually thresholded task fMRI activation maps had been provided for use in the clinical setting. These clinical imaging maps were used to retrospectively estimate LAD and LI for the Broca and Wernicke areas.

Results

There was a relationship between postoperative language deficits and the proximity between tumor and Broca area activation (the LAD estimate), where shorter LADs were related to the presence of postoperative aphasia. Stratification by tumor location further showed that for posterior tumors within the temporal and parietal lobes, more bilaterally oriented Broca area activation (LI estimate close to 0) and a shorter Wernicke area LAD were associated with increased postoperative aphasia. Furthermore, decreasing LAD was related to decreasing LI for both Broca and Wernicke areas. Preoperative deficits were related to increasing patient age and a shorter Wernicke area LAD.

Conclusions

Overall, LAD and LI, as determined using fMRI in the context of these paradigms, may be useful indicators of postsurgical outcomes. Whereas tumor location may influence postoperative deficits, the results indicated that tumor proximity to an activation area might also interact with how the language network is affected as a whole by the lesion. Although the derivation of LI must be further validated in individual patients by using spatially specific statistical methods, the current results indicated that fMRI is a useful tool for predicting postoperative outcomes in patients with a single brain tumor.

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Paul A. Clark, Saswati Bhattacharya, Ardem Elmayan, Soesiawati R. Darjatmoko, Bradley A. Thuro, Michael B. Yan, Paul R. van Ginkel, Arthur S. Polans and John S. Kuo

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive brain cancer with median survival of less than 2 years with current treatment. Glioblastomas exhibit extensive intratumoral and interpatient heterogeneity, suggesting that successful therapies should produce broad anticancer activities. Therefore, the natural nontoxic pleiotropic agent, resveratrol, was studied for antitumorigenic effects against GBM.

METHODS

Resveratrol's effects on cell proliferation, sphere-forming ability, and invasion were tested using multiple patient-derived GBM stem-like cell (GSC) lines and established U87 glioma cells, and changes in oncogenic AKT and tumor suppressive p53 were analyzed. Resveratrol was also tested in vivo against U87 glioma flank xenografts in mice by using multiple delivery methods, including direct tumor injection. Finally, resveratrol was delivered directly to brain tissue to determine toxicity and achievable drug concentrations in the brain parenchyma.

RESULTS

Resveratrol significantly inhibited proliferation in U87 glioma and multiple patient-derived GSC lines, demonstrating similar inhibitory concentrations across these phenotypically heterogeneous lines. Resveratrol also inhibited the sphere-forming ability suggesting anti–stem cell effects. Additionally, resveratrol blocked U87 glioma and GSC invasion in an in vitro Matrigel Transwell assay at doses similar to those mediating antiproliferative effects. In U87 glioma cells and GSCs, resveratrol reduced AKT phosphorylation and induced p53 expression and activation that led to transcription of downstream p53 target genes. Resveratrol administration via oral gavage or ad libitum in the water supply significantly suppressed GBM xenograft growth; intratumoral or peritumoral resveratrol injection further suppressed growth and approximated tumor regression. Intracranial resveratrol injection resulted in 100-fold higher local drug concentration compared with intravenous delivery, and with no apparent toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS

Resveratrol potently inhibited GBM and GSC growth and infiltration, acting partially via AKT deactivation and p53 induction, and suppressed glioblastoma growth in vivo. The ability of resveratrol to modulate AKT and p53, as well as reportedly many other antitumorigenic pathways, is attractive for therapy against a genetically heterogeneous tumor such as GBM. Although resveratrol exhibits low bioavailability when administered orally or intravenously, novel delivery methods such as direct injection (i.e., convection-enhanced delivery) could potentially be used to achieve and maintain therapeutic doses in the brain. Resveratrol's nontoxic nature and broad anti-GBM effects make it a compelling candidate to supplement current GBM therapies.

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Kelli B. Pointer, Paul A. Clark, Alexandra B. Schroeder, M. Shahriar Salamat, Kevin W. Eliceiri and John S. Kuo

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant primary brain tumor. Collagen is present in low amounts in normal brain, but in GBMs, collagen gene expression is reportedly upregulated. However, to the authors' knowledge, direct visualization of collagen architecture has not been reported. The authors sought to perform the first direct visualization of GBM collagen architecture, identify clinically relevant collagen signatures, and link them to differential patient survival.

METHODS

Second-harmonic generation microscopy was used to detect collagen in a GBM patient tissue microarray. Focal and invasive GBM mouse xenografts were stained with Picrosirius red. Quantitation of collagen fibers was performed using custom software. Multivariate survival analysis was done to determine if collagen is a survival marker for patients.

RESULTS

In focal xenografts, collagen was observed at tumor brain boundaries. For invasive xenografts, collagen was intercalated with tumor cells. Quantitative analysis showed significant differences in collagen fibers for focal and invasive xenografts. The authors also found that GBM patients with more organized collagen had a longer median survival than those with less organized collagen.

CONCLUSIONS

Collagen architecture can be directly visualized and is different in focal versus invasive GBMs. The authors also demonstrate that collagen signature is associated with patient survival. These findings suggest that there are collagen differences in focal versus invasive GBMs and that collagen is a survival marker for GBM.