gms | German Medical Science

60th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Benelux countries and Bulgaria

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

24 - 27 May 2009, Münster

Glioma stem cells exhibit less migration potential than other glioma cells

Meeting Abstract

  • K. Weber - Institut für Neuropathologie, Universitätsklinikum Münster
  • M. Hotfilder - Pädiatrische Hämatologie und Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Münster
  • W. Paulus - Institut für Neuropathologie, Universitätsklinikum Münster
  • V. Senner - Institut für Neuropathologie, Universitätsklinikum Münster

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien. Münster, 24.-27.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocP06-02

doi: 10.3205/09dgnc306, urn:nbn:de:0183-09dgnc3060

Published: May 20, 2009

© 2009 Weber et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Diffuse invasion of high grade gliomas is the main obstacle for successful therapy. There is increasing evidence for the existence of a distinct population of tumor cells in gliomas which are responsible for initiating and driving tumor formation and underlie recurrence. These brain tumor stem cells (BTSC) are endowed with some characteristics of normal neural stem cells. This study investigated the migration potential of BTSC compared to other glioma cells.

Methods: Side population (SP) cells with the capacity to excrete the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342 via the ABCG2 transporter have been shown to be highly enriched in tumor stem cells and can be isolated by flow cytometry. We investigated SP cells in eight human glioma cell lines (U343MG, U373MG, U87MG, 86HG39, A172MG, D54MG, T98G, H4) and performed different migration assays (monolayer migration assay and transwell assay) as well as proliferation assays. Furthermore we investigated the SP population and expression of stem cell markers in glioma sublines selected for fast versus slow migration (TB288slow, TB288fast).

Results: A small persistent population of SP cells was detected in U373MG (1.9%), U87MG (1.3%) and H4 (2.3%). SP cells displayed about 2-fold increased expression of ABCG2. In both experimental migration models the migration of SP cells was less when compared to non-SP cells (significant for U373MG and H4), whereas proliferation of SP cells was increased. The detection of a distinct SP population in glioma cells selected for slow migration (TB288slow), but not in their fast counterparts (TB288fast) supported these results. Slow TB288 cells also showed increased expression of neural stem cell markers Sox2 and musashi1 (>1,000-fold).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that SP cells enriched in BTCS have a lower migration potential than non-SP cells, raising the question why invasive tumor cells are the ones to cause tumor recurrence.