PDGF in cerebellar development and tumorigenesis
Sammanfattning: Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant cerebellar childhood tumor. As in many other brain tumors, expression of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptors has been shown in medulloblastoma. To reveal the importance of this growth factor in cerebellar development and tumorigenesis, analyses were performed on human medulloblastoma cell lines and on tissue from normal mouse brain at different stages of development. The in vivo effect of a forced expression of PDGF-B in the cerebellar primordium was examined in transgenic mice. In the normal mouse embryo, we found PDGF receptor-?-positive cells in the early neuroepithelium and on neuronal precursors. In the postnatal cerebellum, cells in the external germinal layer and Purkinje cells expressed the receptor. In the medulloblastoma cells, expression of all the three PDGF isoforms and PDGF receptors was seen and correlated to neuronal differentiation. Endogenously activated, i.e. tyrosine phosphorylated, PDGF receptors were identified. To reveal the role of PDGF in normal cerebellar development, we established transgenic mice where a PDGF-B cDNA was introduced via homologous recombination into the engrailed-1 gene. Engrailed-1 is specifically expressed at the mid-/hindbrain boundary of the early neural tube, i.e. in an area from which the cerebellar primordium develops. The ectopic expression of PDGF-B caused a disturbance of cerebellar development. Midline fusion of the cerebellar primordium did not occur properly, which resulted in cerebellar dysplasia in the adult mouse.In a parallel study, the expression pattern of a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-lacZ transgene was followed in the embryonic mouse central nervous system. It was shown that the human GFAP promoter was already active by embryonic day 9.5 and as development proceeded, expression occured in different, independent cell populations. Among these cell populations were the radial glial cells in the neocortex.
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