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J Neurooncol. 2001 Dec;55(3):141-7.

Macrophage/microglial cell subpopulations in glioblastoma multiforme relapses are differentially altered by radiochemotherapy.

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  • 1Institute of Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, Medical School, Germany.


Following surgical removal of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), radiochemotherapy impedes neoplastic outgrowth and relapse formation. Macrophages/microglial cells are believed to be potent mediators of the host defense system in GBM. However, little is known about their alteration by postsurgical therapies. We have now analyzed expression of LCA (leucocyte common antigen), CD68 (phagocytic cells), HLA-DR, -DP, -DQ (MHC class II), MRP-8 (myeloid-related protein, S100A8), MRP-14 (S100A9), LCF (lymphocyte chemoattractant factor, IL-16) and NOS II (inducible nitric oxide synthase) in macrophages/microglial cells in 39 GBM relapses and their matched primary tumors. Following surgery of the primary tumors, 15 patients received irradiation and chemotherapy, 17 irradiation and 7 no treatment. In irradiated relapses, we observed significantly more macrophages/microglial cells expressing MRP-14 compared to untreated GBM relapses. Furthermore, we observed a significant increase of CD68 expressing macrophages/microglial cells in patients without postsurgical treatment, but not in those with radiochemotherapy. In conclusion, our findings suggest that radiochemotherapy alters the number of MRP-14 expressing cells. The lacking increase of CD68 expressing cells in patients with radiochemotherapy suggests depletion of this cell type by postsurgical therapy.

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