Projects per year
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer. Glioblastomas are infiltrated by a high number of microglia, which promote tumor growth and surrounding tissue invasion. However, it is unclear how microglia and glioma cells physically interact and if there are differences, depending on glioma cell type. Hence, we have developed a novel live imaging assay to study microglia–glioma interactions in vivo in the zebrafish brain. We transplanted well-established human glioblastoma cell lines, U87 and U251, into transgenic zebrafish lines with labelled macrophages/microglia. Our confocal live imaging results show distinct interactions between microglia and U87, as well as U251 glioblastoma cells that differ in number and nature. Importantly these interactions do not appear to be antitumoral as zebrafish microglia do not engulf and phagocytose the human glioblastoma cells. Finally, xenotransplants into the irf8−/− zebrafish mutant that lacks microglia, as well as pharmacological inhibition of the CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) on microglia, confirm a prominent role for zebrafish microglia in promoting human glioblastoma cell growth. This new model will be an important tool for drug screening and the development of future immunotherapeutics targeting microglia within glioma.
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- Deanery of Biomedical Sciences - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
- Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research
- Edinburgh Neuroscience
Person: Academic: Research Active