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Cancer Res. 1993 Nov 1;53(21):5158-65.

Migratory pattern of fetal rat brain cells and human glioma cells in the adult rat brain.

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  • 1Gade Institute, Department of Pathology, University of Bergen, Haukeland Hospital, Norway.


The migratory behavior of two human glioma cell lines (D-54MG and GaMG) and fetal rat brain cells grafted into the adult rat brain was studied. To trace the implanted cells, they were stained with the carbocyanine vital dye 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate before injecting them into the white matter above the corpus callosum. The animals were sacrificed 2 h and 7 and 21 days after injection, and the brains were removed and cryosectioned. Fluorescence microscopy showed that both the 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate-stained fetal and tumor cells had the same migratory pattern. Implanted cells were found along myelinated fibers in the corpus callosum and in the perivascular space. After immunostaining for several extracellular matrix (ECM) components (laminin, fibronectin, collagen type IV, and chondroitin sulfate), laminin deposits were observed in the border zone between the host tissue and implanted tumor cells as well as fetal cells. By using two different types of antibodies against fibronectin, it is shown that the fibronectin expression observed in the tumor matrix may be host derived. This was further supported by the fact that tumor spheroids obtained from the two glioma cell lines were negative when immunostained for these ECM components. Several of the ECM components may be host derived. This can be caused by neovascularization and repair synthesis or by a local production of guiding substrates which are important for tumor cell locomotion. The present data suggest that the migratory patterns of fetal and glioma cells are indistinguishable when transplanted into the adult rat brain. Thus, glioma cells may be routed by the same ECM components that play a major role during brain development.

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