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Childs Nerv Syst. 2010 Jul;26(7):897-904. doi: 10.1007/s00381-010-1087-0. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Medulloblastoma-derived tumor stem-like cells acquired resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and radiosensitivity.

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Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.



Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most malignant primary brain tumor in early childhood that contains cellular and functional heterogeneity. Recent evidence has demonstrated that the tumor stem cells (TSC) may explain the radiochemoresistance of brain tumors, including MB. The aim of the present study is to investigate the possible role of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in viability and tumorigenicity of MB cells and MB-derived TSC.


MB-associated TSC were isolated and cultured by serum-free medium with bFGF and EGF. The parental MB cells and MB-TSC cells were treated with TRAIL in different concentrations and assessed for cell viability, invasion ability, colony forming ability, and radiotherapy effect.


We enrich a subpopulation of MB-TSC cells using tumor spheroid formation approach. MB-TSC display enhanced self-renewal and highly expressed "stemness" genes (CD133, Sox-2, Bmi1, Nestin). Additionally, MB-TSC showed significant resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and radiosensitivity compared to the parental MB cells due antiapoptotic gene (c-FLIP, Caspase 8, Bcl-2, and Bax) upregulation.


Our data suggest that MB-TSC are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and tumorigenic properties. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which to operate the physiological characteristics in MB-TSC cells offers attractive approach for MB treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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