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Acta Neuropathol. 1987;75(1):92-103.

Establishment and characterization of five cell lines derived from human malignant gliomas.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


We established and characterized five cell lines derived from human malignant gliomas (four glioblastomas multiforme and one highly anaplastic astrocytoma). All cell lines exhibited tumor cell morphology and growth kinetics, and anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. Cytogenetic analysis revealed significant aneuploidy in all five cases as well as clonal chromosomal alterations unique to each cell line. No cell line was tumorigenic in athymic mice. Two of the cell lines were sensitive to carmustine (BCNU) in monolayer and soft-agar cultures. Electron microscopy showed marked variability between cell lines in the number and structure of intracytoplasmic organelles; SF-126 formed collagen fibers in vitro. Immunohistochemical analysis of the surgical specimens showed variable expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in malignant astrocytes; positive immunostaining for glycoproteins of the extracellular matrix was found predominantly in perivascular regions. In early-passage cultures, only cell line SF-295 expressed GFAP; at establishment, none of the cell lines expressed GFAF or glutamine synthetase. Fibronectin and laminin were expressed by all cell lines in early-passage culture, but expression of these glycoproteins at establishment was variable. Only SF-126 was positively identified by immunostains for procollagen III; this was also the only cell line in which DEAE-cellulose chromatography and SDS-PAGE demonstrated interstitial collagen synthesis. These well-characterized glioma-derived cell lines may now serve as useful tools with which to study the cell biology of gliomas. The synthesis of interstitial collagen by a glioma-derived cell line may suggest a derivation from vascular mesenchymal elements, either reactive or transformed, in the original heterogeneous malignant glioma, rather than from a glial precursor cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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