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Neurol Res. 2013 Dec;35(10):993-1001. doi: 10.1179/016164113X13756993777580.

SELDI-TOF analysis of glioblastoma cyst fluid is an approach for assessing cellular protein expression.

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  • 1Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.



In about 10% of glioblastoma patients, preoperative MRI discloses the presence of tumor cysts. Whereas the impact of cystic appearance on prognosis has been discussed extensively, only little is known about the tumor cyst fluid. In this study, we tested the feasibility of the surface enhanced laser desorption ionization time of flight (SELDI-TOF) technique to detect cyst fluid proteins.


Cyst fluid was collected from 21 glioblastoma patients for SELDI-TOF analysis and compared to control cerebrospinal fluids from 15 patients with spinal stenosis. Resulting protein peaks with significant differences between groups were further described, using the molecular weight in an internet search of protein databases and publications. Two potential cyst fluid proteins, basigin and ferritin light chain, were selected for immunohistological detection in the histologic slides of the patients, metallothionein (MT) served as negative control.


As supposed from the results of the SELDI-TOF analysis, basigin and ferritin were detected immunohistochemically in the cyst wall, whereas MT was more equally distributed between the cyst wall and the surrounding tumor tissue. Median survival time of the patients was 20 months (range 2 to 102 months) and correlated with age, but not with expression of the three proteins.


The SELDI-TOF approach reveals a number of proteins, potentially present in glioblastoma cyst fluid. Identification of these proteins in tumor cells may help understand the pathogenetic pathways and the prognostic value of cystic changes.

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