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Weissenberger, J; Steinbach, J P; Malin, G; Spada, S; Rülicke, T; Aguzzi, A (1997). Development and malignant progression of astrocytomas in GFAP-v-src transgenic mice. Oncogene, 14(17):2005-2013.

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We have generated a transgenic mouse model for astrocytoma by expressing the v-src kinase under control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene regulatory elements in astrocytes. Abnormal astrogliosis was observed in all transgenic animals already at 2 weeks postnatally, frequently followed by the development of dysplastic changes. Later, small proliferative foci arose, and overt astrocytoma developed in the brain and spinal cord in 14.4% of mice after a follow up time of 65 weeks. While early lesions were histologically consistent with low-grade astrocytoma, at later stages most tumors were highly mitotic and frankly malignant. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was expressed by tumor cells already at early stages, suggesting induction by v-src, and it was most pronounced in pseudopalisading cells surrounding necrotic areas, implying additional upregulation by hypoxia. In larger lesions, mitotic activity and expression of flk-1, the cognate receptor of VEGF were induced in endothelial cells. Therefore, end-stage tumors mimicked the morphological and molecular characteristics of human glioblastoma multiforme. Time course and stochastic nature of the process indicate that v-src did not suffice for malignant transformation, and that astrocytomas were the result of a multistep process necessitating co-operation of additional genetic events.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Date:1 May 1997
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:20
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Publisher DOI:10.1038/sj.onc.1201168
PubMed ID:9160879

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