Macrophages in experimental and human brain tumors

Part 2: Studies of the macrophage content of human brain tumors

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✓ The authors have analyzed 47 tumors of the central nervous system (11 glioblastomas, nine meningiomas, three medulloblastomas, 12 assorted primary neural tumors, and 12 brain metastases) for their content of macrophages. Cell suspensions were prepared by enzymatic digestion and macrophages were quantitated by IgGEAC rosette formation. Adsorption of sensitized indicator cells (EA) to sections of tumor was used as a measure to determine the distribution of IgGFc receptor-positive cells within the tumors and to serve as a control for selective release of IgGFc receptor-positive cells by enzyme digestion. The 11 glioblastomas had a mean macrophage content of 45% (range: 8% to 78%), the nine meningiomas had a mean of 44% (range: 5% to 81%), the three medulloblastomas a mean of 6% (range: 2% to 15%), and the metastatic tumors a mean of 24% (range: 4% to 70%). Adsorption of EA demonstrated that IgGFc receptor-positive cells were distributed throughout the tumor mass, although different types of patterns were observed. There was an excellent correlation between the percent of IgGEAC positive cells in suspensions and the extent of EA adsorption to the tumor sections. Compared to systemic neoplasms, most nervous system tumors have a high macrophage content. It is possible that the high macrophage content of brain tumors is related to their immunogenicity, and may be a partial explanation for the rarity of brain-tumor metastases.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Robert A. Morantz, M.D., Department of Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66103.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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