gms | German Medical Science

61st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC) as part of the Neurowoche 2010
Joint Meeting with the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery on the 20 September 2010

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

21 - 25 September 2010, Mannheim

The genome-wide transcriptional profiling of radioresistant stem-like brain tumour initiating cells

Meeting Abstract

  • Alf Giese - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany
  • Agatha Pilzak - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany
  • Veit Rohde - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany
  • Margret Rave-Fraenk - Klinik für Strahlentherapie und Radioonkologie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany
  • Walter Shulz-Schaeffer - Institut für Neuropathologie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany
  • Ella Kim - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 61. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) im Rahmen der Neurowoche 2010. Mannheim, 21.-25.09.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. DocP1751

doi: 10.3205/10dgnc222, urn:nbn:de:0183-10dgnc2223

Published: September 16, 2010

© 2010 Giese 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: Stem-like Brain Tumour Initiating Cells (BTICs) appear to be a key cellular component of the invasive phenotype and resistance of malignant gliomas to radiotherapy. The molecular mechanisms of radioresistance in BTICs are largerly undefined. The aim of this study was to assess transcriptional profiles of non-irradiated BTICs and their radioresistant derivatives.

Methods: BTICs were derived from human GBMs and propagated as neurosphere cultures. To select radioresistant populations BTICs were subjected to repetitive rounds of radiation (2,5 Gy single treatment) over six consecutive passages. The analysis of the global transcriptional profiles were performed using GeneChip Human Gene 1.0 ST arrays (Affymetrix). The differentially expressed genes were categorized by change in expression level and biological function (GeneOntology). The tumorigenic potential and radio resistance were evaluated in an orthotopic glioma mouse model. Nude mice bearing BTIC-induced tumours were treated with 15 Gy radiation total dose (6x2.5 Gy/d). Histology was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples.

Results: Ten long-term neurosphere cultures were established from GBM and characterized in vitro and in vivo. Five (50%) showed a propensity for continuous regeneration in vitro after repetitive exposures to radiation and gave rise to tumours with radioresistant phenotype in vivo. A microarray-based analysis of the transcription profile identified more than 1000 genes differentially expressed in BTICs and their radioresistant derivative (FDR P <0.05 correction). Out of all differentially regulated genes the majority (69%) were down-regulated in radioresistant BTICs. In the group of the strongest up-regulation (logFC ≥1.0), genes with functions in cell adhesion/migration were represented by 16,1%. 18.9% of the genes from the down-regulated group (logFC ≤–1.0) were with functions in DNA metabolism or nucleic acid binding. Genes differentially expressed in radio resistant BTICs included those involved in the regulation of glioma core pathways (TCGA research network, Nature 2008).

Conclusions: Molecular alterations associated with glioma radiorestance involve stable radiation-induced changes in the transcriptome. Signaling pathways associated with recurrent GBM, including those involved in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration and DNA metabolism, are the major targets for radiation-induced alterations in the transcriptome of radioresistant glioma.