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Lab Invest. 2005 Sep;85(9):1163-71.

Establishment of a benign meningioma cell line by hTERT-mediated immortalization.

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Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital, Münster, Germany.


Meningioma represents the most common intracranial tumor, but well-characterized cell lines derived from benign meningiomas are not available. A major reason for the lack of benign tumor cell lines is senescence of nonmalignant cells in vitro, while malignant cells are often immortal. We have developed a meningioma cell line by retrovirally transducing primary cells derived from a human WHO grade I meningothelial meningioma with the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene, which enables bypassing cellular senescence. Five clones have been cultured for more than 21 months so far, while corresponding nontransfected cells ceased proliferation within 3 months. Quantitative RT-PCR and a telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay revealed high hTERT mRNA levels and high telomerase activity in all transduced populations, while nontransduced cells were negative. The average telomere size of transduced cells was considerably longer than that of parental cells and the biopsy specimen. One clone, designated Ben-Men-1, was characterized in more detail, and exhibited typical cytological, immunocytochemical, ultrastructural and genetical features of meningioma, including whorl formation, expression of epithelial membrane antigen, desmosomes and interdigitating cell processes, as well as -22q. Following subdural transplantation into nude mice, tumor tissue with typical histological features of meningothelial meningioma was found. We conclude that Ben-Men-1 represents an immortalized yet differentiated cell line useful for biological and therapeutical studies on meningioma.

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