Human and rat glioma growth, invasion, and vascularization in a novel chick embryo brain tumor model

Alexandra Cretu, Joseph S. Fotos, Brian W. Little, Deni S. Galileo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The mechanisms that control the insidiously invasive nature of malignant gliomas are poorly understood, and their study would be facilitated by an in vivo model that is easy to manipulate and inexpensive. The developing chick embryo brain was assessed as a new xenograft model for the production, growth, and study of human and rat glioma cell lines. Three established glioma lines (U-87 MG, C6, and 9L) were injected into chick embryo brain ventricles on embryonic day (E) 5 and brains were examined after several days to two weeks after injection. All glioma lines survived, produced vascularized intraventricular tumors, and invaded the brain in a manner similar to that in rodents. Rat C6 glioma cells spread along vasculature and also invaded the neural tissue. Human U-87 glioma cells migrated along vasculature and exhibited slight invasion of neural tissue. Rat 9L gliosarcoma cells were highly motile, but migrated only along the vasculature. A derivative of 9L cells that stably expressed the cell surface adhesion molecule NgCAM/L1 was produced and also injected into chick embryo brain ventricles to see if this protein could facilitate tumor cell migration away from the vasculature into areas such as axonal tracts. 9L/NgCAM cells, however, did not migrate away from the vasculature and, thus, this protein alone cannot be responsible for diffuse invasiveness of some gliomas. 9L/NgCAM cell motility was assessed in vitro using sophisticated time-lapse microscopy and quantitative analysis, and was significantly altered compared to parental 9L cells. These studies demonstrate that the chick embryo brain is a successful and novel xenograft model for mammalian gliomas and demonstrate the potential usefulness of this new model for studying glioma tumor cell growth, vascularization, and invasiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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