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Neuro Oncol. 2018 Oct 9;20(11):1505-1516. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noy088.

IDH mutation status is associated with distinct vascular gene expression signatures in lower-grade gliomas.

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Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Medicinal Plant Resource and Natural Pharmaceutical Chemistry, National Engineering Laboratory for Resource Developing of Endangered Chinese Crude Drugs in Northwest of China, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China.
Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Neurosurgery, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Key Laboratory of Post-Neuroinjury Neuro-Repair and Regeneration in Central Nervous System, Ministry of Education and Tianjin City, Tianjin, China.
Department of Neuroscience, Neurology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Center for Research and Development, Uppsala University, Gävle Hospital, Gävle, Sweden.
Department of Radiation Sciences and Oncology, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



Vascular gene expression patterns in lower-grade gliomas (LGGs; diffuse World Health Organization [WHO] grades II-III gliomas) have not been thoroughly investigated. The aim of this study was to molecularly characterize LGG vessels and determine if tumor isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation status affects vascular phenotype.


Gene expression was analyzed using an in-house dataset derived from microdissected vessels and total tumor samples from human glioma in combination with expression data from 289 LGG samples available in the database of The Cancer Genome Atlas. Vascular protein expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in human brain tumor tissue microarrays (TMAs) representing WHO grades II-IV gliomas and nonmalignant brain samples. Regulation of gene expression was examined in primary endothelial cells in vitro.


Gene expression analysis of WHO grade II glioma indicated an intermediate stage of vascular abnormality, less severe than that of glioblastoma vessels but distinct from normal vessels. Enhanced expression of laminin subunit alpha 4 (LAMA4) and angiopoietin 2 (ANGPT2) in WHO grade II glioma was confirmed by staining of human TMAs. IDH wild-type LGGs displayed a specific angiogenic gene expression signature, including upregulation of ANGPT2 and serpin family H (SERPINH1), connected to enhanced endothelial cell migration and matrix remodeling. Transcription factor analysis indicated increased transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and hypoxia signaling in IDH wild-type LGGs. A subset of genes specifically induced in IDH wild-type LGG vessels was upregulated by stimulation of endothelial cells with TGFβ2, vascular endothelial growth factor, or cobalt chloride in vitro.


IDH wild-type LGG vessels are molecularly distinct from the vasculature of IDH-mutated LGGs. TGFβ and hypoxia-related signaling pathways may be potential targets for anti-angiogenic therapy of IDH wild-type LGG.

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