Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults and often has amplification of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene. The value of EGFR as a prognostic marker in GBMs is unclear; some studies have shown an adverse correlation, while others indicated a neutral or even favorable association with longer survival. Furthermore, EGFR-amplified GBMs are usually regarded as a single subgroup of tumors, though the range of EGFR copy number varies greatly. In this study, 532 glioblastomas were analyzed for EGFR amplification via fluorescence in situ hybridization at the time of initial diagnosis. While there was no difference in survival by EGFR amplification (P = 0.33), stratification by amount of EGFR amplification showed that, surprisingly, median survival was 39% longer in the high-amplifier group (EGFR: chromosome 7 ratio > 20) versus non-amplified GBMs (P = 0.03), and 43% longer versus GBMs with low-to-moderate EGFR amplification (EGFR:chromosome 7 ratio = 2-20, P = 0.0007). Stratifying by postsurgical treatment regimens, this difference was seen only when temozolomide (TMZ) was used; tumors without amplification and high EGFR amplification both responded better to TMZ than those with low-to-moderate amplification (P = 0.01), whereas those without adjuvant therapy or adjuvant therapy without TMZ showed no survival differences (P = 0.63 and 0.91, respectively). These results suggest that glioblastomas with EGFR amplification are a heterogeneous group of tumors, and that behavior might differ according to degree of amplification, but not in a straightforward dose-response manner.
EGFR; amplification; temozolomide; glioblastoma
Arachnoid cysts are congenital lesions that contain fluid identical to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). They usually do not communicate with CSF spaces. The vast majority of arachnoid cysts are congenital asymptomatic lesions that are discovered incidentally. Those lesions that do become symptomatic typically present in childhood with signs and symptoms of intracranial hypertension, seizures, and focal neurologic deficits specific to cyst location.
A rare case of a parasellar arachnoid cyst presenting with oculomotor palsy is presented. The patient is a 45-year-old male who presented with acute onset diplopia and frontal headache. Neurologic examination revealed right ptosis, pupillary dilation, and opthalmoparesis consistent with an oculomotor palsy. Computed tomography (CT) scan and lumbar puncture failed to reveal evidence of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain demonstrated a 1 cm right parasellar nonenhancing mass that was hyperintense on T2 flair and with a fluid-fluid level concerning for a thrombosed posterior communicating artery (PCommA) aneurysm. There was an additional finding of a left occipital pole intraparenchymal hemorrhage in the setting of multiple hereditary cavernomas. Formal cerebral angiography revealed normal intracranial and extracranial vasculature. The patient was taken to the operating room for a right frontotemporal craniotomy, which revealed compression of the right oculomotor nerve by an arachnoid cyst. The cyst was fenestrated and resected with decompression of the oculomotor nerve. Postoperatively, the third nerve palsy had completely resolved.
The above case demonstrates that arachnoid cysts should be considered in the differential for patients presenting with nonpupil sparing third nerve palsy and require timely surgical intervention. As is the case for an expanding PCommA aneurysm, prompt decompression results in the best chance for recovery of oculomotor nerve function.
Arachnoid cyst; cavernoma; oculomotor palsy
BRAF rearrangements and BRAF V600E point mutations are recurring events in pediatric low-grade gliomas. However, their clinical significance, including possible interactions between these markers and other glioma biomarkers, is unclear. In this study a retrospective cohort of 198 pediatric low-grade gliomas (including 40 treated with adjuvant therapy) was analyzed for BRAF rearrangements, BRAF V600E, p16/CDKN2A deletion, p53 expression, and MIB1 proliferation index. In tumors with BRAF rearrangement, homozygous p16 deletion correlated with shorter progression-free survival (P = .04). A high MIB1 proliferation index trended toward worse response to adjuvant radiotherapy compared to BRAF-rearranged, p16-intact tumors (P = .08). On multivariate analysis, the 2 most consistently powerful independent adverse prognostic markers were midline location (P = .0001) and p16 deletion (P = .03). Tumors with BRAF V600E had a strong trend toward an increased risk for progression (hazard ratio = 2.48, P = .07), whereas those with BRAF rearrangement had a milder trend toward reduced risk (hazard ratio = .54, P = .15). These data suggest that p16 deletion adversely impacts the outcomes of BRAF-driven gliomas, that high proliferation index may be a better marker of progression risk than BRAF, that BRAF rearrangement and BRAF V600E might not necessarily produce comparable outcomes, and that none of these markers is stronger than tumor location in determining prognosis in pediatric low-grade gliomas.
BRAF; MIB1; p16; p53; V600E
α-Synuclein (α-Syn) is a chaperone-like protein that is highly implicated in Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well as in Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). Rare forms of PD occur in individuals with mutations of α-Syn or triplication of wild type α-Syn, and in both PD and DLB the intraneuronal inclusions known as Lewy bodies contain aggregated α-Syn that is highly phosphorylated on serine 129. In neuronal cells and in the brains of α-Syn overexpressing transgenic mice, soluble α-Syn stimulates the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a major serine/threonine phosphatase. Serine 129 phosphorylation of α-Syn attenuates its stimulatory effects on PP2A and also accelerates α-Syn aggregation, however, it is unknown if aggregation of α-Syn into Lewy–bodies impairs PP2A activity. To assess for this, we measured the impact of α-Syn aggregation on PP2A activity in vitro and in vivo. In cell free assays, aggregated α-Syn had ~50 % less PP2A-stimulatory-effects than soluble recombinant α-Syn. Similarly in DLB and α-Syn triplication brains, which contain robust α-Syn aggregation with high levels of serine 129 phosphorylation, PP2A activity was also ~50% attenuated. As α-Syn normally stimulates PP2A activity, our data suggest that overexpression of α-Syn or sequestration of α-Syn into Lewy bodies has the potential to alter the phosphorylation state of key PP2A substrates; raising the possibility that all forms of synucleinopathy will benefit from treatments aimed at optimizing PP2A activity.
Synucleinopathy; hyperphosphorylation; dephosphorylation; phosphatase; enzymatic regulation
Up to 60% of the patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can have cortical or brainstem Lewy bodies (LB), and extrapyramidal signs (EPS) have been found to be associated with LB in AD patients. However, the relationship between EPS and brain volumes has not been studied in the LB variant of AD using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between patterns of brain atrophy and clinical EPS in patients with pathologically confirmed AD. We compared gray matter structure using voxel-based morphometry in 29 Definite AD cases, 16 (55%) of whom also had LBs identified with α-synuclein immunohistochemistry. Multivariate models analyzed brain volume at a voxel level accounting for subject group, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), EPS, total brain volume, and the time from MRI scan to death. There was no significant difference in gray matter volume in the Definite AD patients as a function of LB. There was a significant association between gray matter volumes and the MMSE in AD patients, both with and without LBs. There was a significant correlation between gray matter volume and EPS only in the group of AD patients with LBs, and not in those with pure AD. These findings suggest that that the etiology of EPS in patients with the LB variant of AD is associated with neuronal loss in the nigrostriatal tracts. By contrast, the source of the EPS in AD alone appears to be less well localized.
Alzheimer’s disease; extrapyramidal signs; imaging; Lewy bodies; magnetic resonance imaging; voxel-based morphometry
1p/19q codeletion is a favorable prognostic marker of oligodendrogliomas. While fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and microsatellite-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) are common methods to test for 1p/19q codeletion, it is unclear which test is better at prognostic stratification. This study analyzed outcomes of 111 oligodendrogliomas with both 1p/19q FISH and LOH done at the time of diagnosis. Overall concordance between the 2 assays was 81.1%. In grade III oligodendrogliomas, LOH was better than FISH at survival stratification (p < 0.0001 for LOH vs. p = 0.02 for FISH), although increasing the stringency of FISH interpretation criteria improved concordance and prognostic power. Oligodendrogliomas that were 1p/19q-codeleted by FISH but also had 10q LOH were negative for 1p/19q codeletion by PCR analysis in over 70% of cases, with very poor survival in the grade III subset. Thus, although PCR-based LOH is a better stratifier of 1p/19q status, FISH still has clinical and prognostic utility, especially if 10q data can be incorporated.
1p/19q; 10q; Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); Loss of heterozygosity (LOH); Microsatellite; Oligodendroglioma
Defects in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I antigen processing machinery (APM) component expression can have a negative impact on the clinical course of tumors and the response to T-cell-based immunotherapy. Since brain metastases of breast cancer are of increasing clinical significance, the APM component expression levels and CD8+ T-cell infiltration patterns were analyzed in primary breast and metastatic brain lesions of breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. Comparison of unpaired 50 primary and 33 brain metastases showed lower expression of β2-microgloblin, transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) 1, TAP2 and calnexin in the brain lesions. Although no significant differences were found in APM component scores between primary breast and brain lesions in 15 paired cases, primary breast lesions of which patients eventually developed brain metastases showed lower levels of β2-microgloblin, TAP1 and calnexin compared with breast lesions without known brain metastases. The extent of CD8+ T cell infiltration was significantly higher in the lesions without metastasis compared with the ones with brain metastases, and was positively associated with the expression of TAP1 and calnexin. Furthermore, mouse tumor cells stably transfected with silencing hairpin (sh)RNA for TAP1 demonstrated a decreased susceptibility to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in vitro and enhanced spontaneous brain metastasis in vivo. These data support the functional significance of TAP1 expression in tumor cells. Taken together, our data suggest that patients with low or defective TAP1 or calnexin in primary breast cancers may be at higher risks for developing brain metastasis due to the defects in T cell-based immunosurveillance.
breast cancer; brain metastasis; antigen processing machinery (APM) components; CD8+ T cell; transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)1
Temozolomide (TMZ) is the preferred chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of glioma following surgical resection and/or radiation. Resistance to TMZ is attributed to efficient repair and/or tolerance of TMZ-induced DNA lesions. The majority of the TMZ-induced DNA base adducts are repaired by the base excision repair (BER) pathway and therefore modulation of this pathway can enhance drug sensitivity. N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase (MPG) initiates BER by removing TMZ-induced N3-methyladenine and N7-methylguanine base lesions, leaving abasic sites (AP sites) in DNA for further processing by BER. Using the human glioma cell lines LN428 and T98G, we report here that potentiation of TMZ via BER inhibition [methoxyamine (MX), the PARP inhibitors PJ34 and ABT-888 or depletion (knockdown) of PARG] is greatly enhanced by over-expression of the BER initiating enzyme MPG. We also show that methoxyamine-induced potentiation of TMZ in MPG expressing glioma cells is abrogated by elevated-expression of the rate-limiting BER enzyme DNA polymerase β (Polβ), suggesting that cells proficient for BER readily repair AP sites in the presence of MX. Further, depletion of Polβ increases PARP inhibitor-induced potentiation in the MPG over-expressing glioma cells, suggesting that expression of Polβ modulates the cytotoxic effect of combining increased repair initiation and BER inhibition. This study demonstrates that MPG overexpression, together with inhibition of BER, sensitizes glioma cells to the alkylating agent TMZ in a Polβ-dependent manner, suggesting that the expression level of both MPG and Polβ might be used to predict the effectiveness of MX and PARP-mediated potentiation of TMZ in cancer treatment.
base excision repair; methoxyamine; N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase; poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; temozolomide
Epidemiological studies have highlighted associations between the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and reduced glioma risks in humans. Most NSAIDs function as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors that prevent production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Since PGE2 induces expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), we hypothesized that COX-2 blockade would suppress gliomagenesis by inhibiting MDSC development and accumulation in the tumor microenvironment (TME). In mouse models of glioma, treatment with the COX-2 inhibitors acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or celecoxib inhibited systemic PGE2 production and delayed glioma development. ASA treatment also reduced the MDSC-attracting chemokine CCL2 in the TME along with numbers of CD11b+Ly6GhiLy6Clo granulocytic MDSCs in both the bone marrow and TME. In support of this evidence that COX-2 blockade blocked systemic development of MDSCs and their CCL2-mediated accumulation in the TME, there were defects in these processes in glioma-bearing Cox2-deficient and Ccl2-deficient mice. Conversely, these mice or ASA-treated wild-type mice displayed enhanced expression of CXCL10 and infiltration of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in the TME, consistent with a relief of MDSC-mediated immune suppression. Antibody-mediated depletion of MDSCs delayed glioma growth in association with an increase in CXCL10 and CTLs in the TME, underscoring a critical role for MDSCs in glioma development. Lastly, Cxcl10-deficient mice exhibited reduced CTL infiltration of tumors, establishing that CXCL10 limited this pathway of immune suppression. Taken together, our findings show that the COX-2 pathway promotes gliomagenesis by directly supporting systemic development of MDSC and their accumulation in the TME, where they limit CTL infiltration.
To determine whether temozolomide is an active agent in the treatment of children with high-grade astrocytomas and whether survival is influenced by the expression of the O6-methylguanine-methyltransferase gene (MGMT) in these patients. In the Children's Oncology Group study ACNS0126, 107 patients with a diagnosis of anaplastic astrocytoma (AA), glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), or gliosarcoma were enrolled. All patients underwent concomitant chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide. The outcomes were compared with those of children treated in Children's Cancer Group (CCG) study CCG-945. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue was available in 71 cases for immunohistochemical analysis of MGMT expression. Ninety patients were deemed eligible, 31 with AA, 55 with GBM, and 4 with other eligible diagnoses. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 11 ± 3% and 22 ± 5%, respectively. There was no evidence that temozolomide given during radiation therapy and as adjuvant therapy resulted in improved EFS compared with that found in CCG-945 (p = 0.98). The 3-year EFS rate for AA was 13 ± 6% in ACNS0126 compared with 22 ± 5.5% in CCG-945 (p = 0.95). The 3-year EFS rate for GBM was 7 ± 4% in ACNS0126 compared with 15 ± 5% in CCG-945 (p = 0.77). The 2-year EFS rate was 17 ± 5% among patients without MGMT overexpression and 5 ± 4% among those with MGMT overexpression (p = 0.045). Temozolomide failed to improve outcome in children with high-grade astrocytomas. MGMT overexpression was adversely associated with survival.
High-grade glioma; temozolomide; pediatric brain tumors
Recent studies have demonstrated a high frequency of IDH mutations in adult “secondary” malignant gliomas arising from preexisting lower grade lesions, often in young adults, but not in “primary” gliomas. Because pediatric malignant gliomas share some molecular features with adult secondary gliomas, we questioned whether a subset of these tumors also exhibited IDH mutations.
We examined the frequency of IDH mutations, using real-time polymerase chain reaction and sequencing analysis, in a cohort of 43 pediatric primary malignant gliomas treated on the Children’s Oncology Group ACNS0423 study. The relationship between IDH mutations and other molecular and clinical factors, and outcome, was evaluated.
IDH1 mutations were observed in 7 of 43 (16.3%) tumors; no IDH2 mutations were observed. A striking age association was apparent in that mutations were noted in 7 of 20 tumors (35%) from children ≥14 years, but in 0 of 23 (0%) younger children (p=0.0024). No association was observed with clinical factors other than age. One-year event-free survival was 86±15% in the IDH-mutated group versus 64±8% in the non-mutated group (p=0.03, one-sided logrank test). One-year overall survival was 100% in patients with mutations versus 81±6.7% in those without mutations (p=0.035, one-sided logrank test).
IDH1 mutations are common in malignant gliomas in older children, suggesting that a subset of these lesions may be biologically similar to malignant gliomas arising in younger adults and may be associated with a more favorable prognosis.
Anaplastic glioma; Childhood; Glioblastoma; IDH
Alkylating agents are commonly used in the treatment of childhood malignant gliomas. Overexpression of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT)constitutes an important mechanism for resistance to such agents, and MGMT status has been associated with outcome in several recent trials. Deficiency in mismatch repair (MMR)function has been implicated in preclinical studies as an additional potential mechanism of resistance to methylating agents, such as temozolomide, independent of tumor MGMT status. However, the frequency of this abnormality as a clinical resistance mechanism in childhood malignant gliomas has not been well characterized.
To address this issue, we examined the frequency of microsatellite instability (MSI), a marker of defective MMR, in a series of 68 tumors, derived from newly diagnosed patients treated on the Children's Cancer Group 945 study, and the Children's Oncology Group ACNS0126 and 0423 studies. MSI was assessed using a panel of six microsatellite markers, including BAT-25, BAT-26, CAT-25, D2S123, D5S346, and D17S250. MGMT immunoreactivity was assessed in parallel to allow comparison of the relative incidence of MGMT overexpression and MSI.
Only three tumors had high-level MSI involving three or more markers; the remainder had no MSI at any of the loci examined. These children did not have unusual features in terms of their outcome. In contrast to the infrequency of MSI, 25 tumors (37%)exhibited MGMT overexpression as assessed by immunohistochemistry. None of the tumors with MSI exhibited overexpression of MGMT.
MMR deficiency is an infrequent contributor to initial alkylator resistance in children with malignant gliomas. Pediatr Blood Cancer.
anaplastic glioma; childhood; glioblastoma; MGMT; microsatellite instability; mismatch repair; treatment resistance
Two hallmarks of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common malignant brain cancer in humans, are aggressive growth and the ability of single glioma cells to disperse throughout the brain. These characteristics render tumors resistant to current therapies and account for the poor prognosis of patients. Although it is known that oncogenic signaling caused by overexpression of genes such as PDGFRA is responsible for robust glioma growth and cell infiltration, the mechanisms underlying glioblastoma malignancy remain largely elusive. Here, we report that PDGFRα signaling in glioblastomas leads to Src-dependent phosphorylation of the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Dock180 at tyrosine 1811 (Dock180Y1811) that results in activation of the GTPase Rac1 and subsequent cell growth and invasion. In human glioma cells, knockdown of Dock180 and reversion with an RNAi-resistant Dock180Y1811F abrogated, whereas an RNAi-resistant Dock180WT rescued, PDGFRα-promoted glioma growth, survival, and invasion. Phosphorylation of Dock180Y1811 enhanced its association with CrkII and p130Cas, causing activation of Rac1 and consequent cell motility. Dock180 also associated with PDGFRα to promote cell migration. Finally, phosphorylated Dock180Y1811 was detected in clinical samples of gliomas and various types of human cancers, and coexpression of phosphorylated Dock180Y1811, phosphorylated SrcY418, and PDGFRα was predictive of extremely poor prognosis of patients with gliomas. Taken together, our findings provide insight into PDGFRα-stimulated gliomagenesis and suggest that phosphorylated Dock180Y1811 contributes to activation of Rac1 in human cancers with PDGFRA amplification.
Aberrant activation of Akt is a common finding in adult malignant gliomas, resulting in most cases from mutations or deletions involving PTEN, which allows constitutive Akt phosphorylation. In contrast, we have previously reported that pediatric malignant gliomas, which are morphologically similar to lesions arising in adults, have a substantially lower incidence of genomic alterations of PTEN. The objective of this study was to determine whether Akt activation was also an uncommon finding in childhood malignant gliomas and whether this feature was associated with survival. To address this issue, we examined the frequency of Akt activation, determined by overexpression of the activated phosphorylated form of Akt (Se473) on immunohistochemical analysis, in a series of 53 childhood malignant gliomas obtained from newly diagnosed patients treated on the Children’s Oncology Group ACNS0126 and 0423 studies. The relationship between Akt activation and p53 over-expression, MIB1 labeling, and tumor histology was evaluated. The association between Akt activation and survival was also assessed. Overexpression of activated Akt was observed in 42 of 53 tumors, far in excess of the frequency of PTEN mutations we have previously observed. There was no association between Akt activation and either histology, p53 overexpression, or MIB1 proliferation indices. Although tumors that lacked Akt overexpression had a trend toward more favorable event-free survival and overall survival (p = 0.06), this association reflected that non-overexpressing tumors were significantly more likely to have undergone extensive tumor removal, which was independently associated with outcome. Activation of Akt is a common finding in pediatric malignant gliomas, although it remains uncertain whether this is an independent adverse prognostic factor. In view of the frequency of Akt activation, the evaluation of molecularly targeted therapies that inhibit this pathway warrants consideration for these tumors.
Anaplastic glioma; Childhood; Glioblastoma; Akt; Prognostic factors; Treatment resistance
Hydrogen peroxide-inducible-clone 5 (Hic-5) and paxillin are members of the group III LIM domain protein family that localize to both cell nuclei and focal adhesions and link integrin-mediated signaling to the actin cytoskeleton. Prior in vitro studies have implicated paxillin in β-amyloid-induced cell death but little is known about the expression and function of Hic-5 and paxillin in the brain. We performed a blinded retrospective cross-sectional study of Hic-5 and paxillin expression in the hippocampus of Alzheimer disease (AD) and control subjects using immunohistochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy. The analysis included assessment of the expression of phosphorylated isoforms of paxillin that reflect activation of distinct signaling pathways. We found changes in the subcellular distribution of Hic-5, paxillin and specific phosphorylated isoforms of paxillin in the AD brains. Hic-5 and phosphorylated isoforms of paxillin colocalized with neurofibrillary tangles. Paxillin was predominantly found in reactive astrocytes in the AD hippocampi and activated paxillin was also detected in granulovacuolar bodies in AD. These data indicate that these important scaffolding proteins that link various intracellular signaling pathways to the extracellular matrix are modified and have altered subcellular distribution in AD.
Alzheimer disease; Amyloid plaque; Focal adhesions; Granulovacuolar degeneration; Hippocampus; Neurofibrillary tangles
Recent collaborative efforts have subclassified malignant glioblastomas into 4 clinical relevant subtypes based on their signature genetic lesions. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA) overexpression is concomitant with a loss of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) locus (encoding P16INK4A and P14ARF) in a large number of tumors within one subtype of glioblastomas. Here we report that activation of PDGFRα conferred tumorigenicity to Ink4a/Arf-deficient mouse astrocytes and human glioma cells in the brain. Restoration of p16INK4a but not p19ARF suppressed PDGFRα-promoted glioma formation. Mechanistically, abrogation of signaling modules in PDGFRα that lost capacity to bind to SHP-2 or PI3K significantly diminished PDGFRα-promoted tumorigenesis. Furthermore, inhibition of SHP-2 by shRNAs or pharmacological inhibitors disrupted the interaction of PI3K with PDGFRα, suppressed downstream AKT/mTOR activation, and impaired tumorigenesis of Ink4a/Arf-null cells, whereas expression of an activated PI3K mutant rescued the effect of SHP-2 inhibition on tumorigenicity. PDGFRα and PDGF-A are co-expressed in clinical glioblastoma specimens, and such co-expression is linked with activation of SHP-2/AKT/mTOR signaling. Together, our data suggest that in glioblastomas with Ink4a/Arf deficiency, overexpressed PDGFRα promotes tumorigenesis through the PI3K/AKT/mTOR-mediated pathway regulated by SHP-2 activity. These findings functionally validate the genomic analysis of glioblastomas and identify SHP-2 as a potential target for treatment of glioblastomas.
Studies suggest that frontotemporal lobar degeneration with transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP) is heterogeneous with division into four or five subtypes. To determine the degree of heterogeneity and the validity of the subtypes, we studied neuropathological variation within the frontal and temporal lobes of 94 cases of FTLD-TDP using quantitative estimates of density and principal components analysis (PCA). A PCA based on the density of TDP-43 immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, oligodendroglial inclusions, neuronal intranuclear inclusions, and dystrophic neurites, surviving neurons, enlarged neurons, and vacuolation suggested that cases were not segregated into distinct subtypes. Variation in the density of the vacuoles was the greatest source of variation between cases. A PCA based on TDP-43 pathology alone suggested that cases of FTLD-TDP with progranulin (GRN) mutation segregated to some degree. The pathological phenotype of all four subtypes overlapped but subtypes 1 and 4 were the most distinctive. Cases with coexisting motor neuron disease (MND) or hippocampal sclerosis (HS) also appeared to segregate to some extent. We suggest: (1) pathological variation in FTLD-TDP is best described as a ‘continuum’ without clearly distinct subtypes, (2) vacuolation was the single greatest source of variation and reflects the ‘stage’ of the disease, and (3) within the FTLD-TDP ‘continuum’ cases with GRN mutation and with coexisting MND or HS may have a more distinctive pathology.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy; FTLD with ubiquitin-positive inclusions; TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa; Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions; Neuropathologic heterogeneity; Principal components analysis
Patients with Muir-Torre syndrome, an autosomal-dominant familial tumor condition caused by germline mutation of the DNA mismatch repair genes, MSH2 or MLH1, present with tumors of the sebaceous gland and visceral malignancies characterized by microsatellite instability. Here we show development of glioblastoma multiforme in a patient with Muir-Torre syndrome. Immunohistochemical analysis of the brain tumor and colon cancer revealed loss of the DNA mismatch repair gene detected by the genetic test, suggesting a pathogenic link.
Activated microglia may promote neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may also help in amyloid clearance in immunization therapies. In vivo imaging of activated microglia using positron emission tomography (PET) could assist in defining the role of activated microglia during AD progression and therapeutics. We hypothesized that PK11195, a ligand that binds activated microglia, could label these cells in postmortem AD tissues and in vivo in an animal model of AD using PET. [3H](R)-PK11195 binding was significantly higher in AD frontal cortex compared to controls and correlated mainly with the abundance of immunohistochemically labeled activated microglia. With age, the brains of APP/PS1 transgenic mice showed progressive increase in [3H](R)-PK11195 binding and [11C](R)-PK11195 retention in vivo assessed using microPET, which correlated with the histopathological abundance of activated microglia. These results suggest that PK11195 binding in AD postmortem tissue and transgenic mice in vivo correlates with the extent of microglial activation and may help define the role of activated microglia in the pathogenesis and treatment of AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; microglia; PET; PK11195; Peripheral benzodiazepine Receptor; Astrocyte
CHI3L1 (YKL-40) is up-regulated in a variety of inflammatory conditions and cancers. We have previously reported elevated CHI3L1 concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of human and non-human primates with lentiviral encephalitis and using immunohistochemistry showed that CHI3L1 was associated with astrocytes.
In the current study CHI3L1 transcription and expression were evaluated in a variety of acute and chronic human neurological diseases.
ELISA revealed significant elevation of CHI3L1 in the CSF of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients as well as mild elevation with aging. In situ hybridization (ISH) showed CHI3L1 transcription mostly associated with reactive astrocytes, that was more pronounced in inflammatory conditions like lentiviral encephalitis and MS. Comparison of CHI3L1 expression in different stages of brain infarction showed that YKL40 was abundantly expressed in astrocytes during acute phases and diminished to low levels in chronic infarcts.
Taken together, these findings demonstrate that CHI3L1 is induced in astrocytes in a variety of neurological diseases but that it is most abundantly associated with astrocytes in regions of inflammatory cells.
The use of α-synuclein immunohistochemistry has altered our concepts of the cellular pathology, anatomical distribution and prevalence of Lewy body disorders. However, the diversity of methodology between laboratories has led to some inconsistencies in the literature. Adoption of uniformly sensitive methods may resolve some of these differences. Eight different immunohistochemical methods for demonstrating α-synuclein pathology, developed in eight separate expert laboratories, were evaluated for their sensitivity for neuronal elements affected by human Lewy body disorders. Identical test sets of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections from subjects diagnosed neuropathologically with or without Lewy body disorders were stained with the eight methods and graded by three observers for specific and nonspecific staining. The methods did not differ significantly in terms of Lewy body counts, but varied considerably in their ability to reveal neuropil elements such as fibers and dots. One method was clearly superior for revealing these neuropil elements and the critical factor contributing to its high sensitivity was considered to be its use of proteinase K as an epitope retrieval method. Some methods, however, achieved relatively high sensitivities with optimized formic acid protocols combined with a hydrolytic step. One method was developed that allows high sensitivity with commercially available reagents.
We investigated the protein expression of three glioma-associated antigens (GAAs) in pediatric brain stem glioma (BSG) and non-brain stem glioma (NBSG) cases with a view to their possible use in immunotherapy. Expression of EphA2, IL-13Rα2 and Survivin were studied by immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded tissues using a series of 15 BSG cases and 12 NBSG cases. Thirteen of 15 BSGs and all 12 NBSGs expressed at least one of GAAs; and 7 BSGs and 9 NBSGs expressed at least two of these GAAs at higher levels than non-neoplastic brain. There was no association between the tumor grade and levels of GAA expression. Although many cases demonstrated diffuse expression of GAAs throughout specimens, partial or patchy expression was noted in a small number of cases, suggesting a need for targeting multiple GAAs in immunotherapy. These results suggest that EphA2, IL-13Ralpha2 and Survivin are suitable targets for developing vaccine strategies for pediatric glioma.
Brain stem; EphA2; Glioma; Glioma-associated antigen; Immunohistochemistry; interleukin-13 receptor alpha 2; Pediatric glioma; Survivin
Studies of primary cells from malignant brain tumors such as glioblastomas are limited by the small size of surgically resected specimens. However, glioblastomas are also frequently debulked via ultrasonic aspiration. In this study, we examined the functional competence and growth of their aspirated cells. Cells from minced tissue and aspirations were comparable in migration, formation of pseudopodia, development of cellular spheres with radial outgrowth, and neuroectodermal features. Cultures were maintained for more than six weeks without fibroblastic overgrowth. Our observations show that ultrasonically aspirated specimens contain cells useful for studies of tumor migration and growth of tumorspheres.
Ultrasonic aspiration technique; brain tumor; glioblastoma; cell migration; pseudopodia; tumorspheres
The positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) binds with high affinity to β-pleated sheet aggregates of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in vitro. The in vivo retention of PiB in brains of people with Alzheimer's disease shows a regional distribution that is very similar to distribution of Aβ deposits observed post-mortem. However, the basis for regional variations in PiB binding in vivo, and the extent to which it binds to different types of Aβ-containing plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), has not been thoroughly investigated. The present study examined 28 clinically diagnosed and autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer's disease subjects, including one Alzheimer's disease subject who had undergone PiB-PET imaging 10 months prior to death, to evaluate region- and substrate-specific binding of the highly fluorescent PiB derivative 6-CN-PiB. These data were then correlated with region-matched Aβ plaque load and peptide levels, [3H]PiB binding in vitro, and in vivo PET retention levels. We found that in Alzheimer's disease brain tissue sections, the preponderance of 6-CN-PiB binding is in plaques immunoreactive to either Aβ42 or Aβ40, and to vascular Aβ deposits. 6-CN-PiB labelling was most robust in compact/cored plaques in the prefrontal and temporal cortices. While diffuse plaques, including those in caudate nucleus and presubiculum, were less prominently labelled, amorphous Aβ plaques in the cerebellum were not detectable with 6-CN-PiB. Only a small subset of NFT were 6-CN-PiB positive; these resembled extracellular ‘ghost’ NFT. In Alzheimer's disease brain tissue homogenates, there was a direct correlation between [3H]PiB binding and insoluble Aβ peptide levels. In the Alzheimer's disease subject who underwent PiB-PET prior to death, in vivo PiB retention levels correlated directly with region-matched post-mortem measures of [3H]PiB binding, insoluble Aβ peptide levels, 6-CN-PiB- and Aβ plaque load, but not with measures of NFT. These results demonstrate, in a typical Alzheimer's disease brain, that PiB binding is highly selective for insoluble (fibrillar) Aβ deposits, and not for neurofibrillary pathology. The strong direct correlation of in vivo PiB retention with region-matched quantitative analyses of Aβ plaques in the same subject supports the validity of PiB-PET imaging as a method for in vivo evaluation of Aβ plaque burden.
Pittsburgh Compound-B; PiB; amyloid imaging; plaques; PET imaging
In response to oxidative stress, the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus and transactivates expression of genes with antioxidant activity. Despite this cellular mechanism, oxidative damage is abundant in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease (AD and PD). To investigate mechanisms by which Nrf2 activity may be aberrant or insufficient in neurodegenerative conditions, we assessed Nrf2 localization in affected brain regions of AD, Lewy body variant of AD (LBVAD), and PD. By immunohistochemistry, Nrf2 is expressed in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of neurons in normal hippocampi with predominant expression in the nucleus. In AD and LBVAD, Nrf2 was predominantly cytoplasmic in hippocampal neurons and was not a major component of beta amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. By immunoblotting, we observed a significant decrease in nuclear Nrf2 levels in AD cases. In contrast, Nrf2 was strongly nuclear in PD nigral neurons but cytoplasmic in substantia nigra of normal, AD, and LBVAD cases. These findings suggest that Nrf2-mediated transcription is not induced in neurons in AD despite the presence of oxidative stress. In PD, nuclear localization of Nrf2 is strongly induced, but this response may be insufficient to protect neurons from degeneration.
Antioxidant; Brain; Neurodegeneration; Neuron; Oxidative stress; Transcription