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Neurosurg Focus. 2006 Apr 15;20(4):E22.

Characteristics of tumor-associated endothelial cells derived from glioblastoma multiforme.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.


Glioblastomas multiforme (GBMs) are highly vascular brain tumors characterized by abnormal vessel structures in vivo. This finding supports the theory that glioma-associated endothelial cells (ECs) have intrinsically different properties from ECs in normal human brain. Therefore, identification of the functional and phenotypic characteristics of tumor-associated ECs is essential for designing a rational antiangiogenic therapy. The GBM-associated ECs have a large, flat, and veil-like appearance, in contrast to normal ones, which are small and plump. Although the tumor ECs have the typical markers, they proliferate more slowly than these cell types in normal brain. The GBM-associated ECs are resistant to cytotoxic drugs, and they undergo less apoptosis than control cells. Also, GBM-associated ECs migrate faster than controls and constitutively produce high levels of growth factors such as endothelin-1, interleukin-8, and vascular endothelial growth factor. An understanding of these unique characteristics of glioma-associated ECs is important for the development of novel antiangiogenic agents that specifically target tumor-associated ECs in gliomas.

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