Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2013 - Volume 72 - Issue 5 > Chemically Induced Rat Schwann Cell Neoplasia as a Model for...
Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology:
doi: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e31828ea4ac
Original Articles

Chemically Induced Rat Schwann Cell Neoplasia as a Model for Early-Stage Human Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors: Phenotypic Characteristics and Dysregulated Gene Expression

Koelsch, Bernd PhD; van den Berg, Linda Dipl Biol; Grabellus, Florian MD; Fischer, Christine PhD; Kutritz, Andrea; Kindler-Röhrborn, Andrea MD

Supplemental Author Material
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Abstract: Most malignant human tumors display a high degree of intratumoral heterogeneity at the time of diagnosis that contributes to treatment failure. This also applies to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) and aggressive soft tissue sarcomas that arise sporadically or in the context of neurofibromatosis type 1. On average, MPNSTs measure 10 cm in diameter at diagnosis. To explore molecular changes associated with early malignant progression and that may be present in most, if not all, tumor cells, we generated expression profiles of ethylnitrosourea-induced trigeminal MPNSTs in rats. Because these tumors cause increased intracranial pressure, they become detectable when they are comparatively minuscule. Histologic analyses revealed close resemblance to human MPNSTs. Compared with normal trigeminal nerve tissue, 365 genes were markedly upregulated and 310 genes were consistently downregulated in all MPNST samples. The molecular signature characteristic of early-stage MPNSTs included upregulation of proliferation and tissue remodeling–associated genes, downregulation of genes involved in Schwann cell differentiation, and the absence of transcripts associated with neuronal components. The transforming growth factor-β pathway was consistently upregulated in all tumor samples. These data suggest that the signaling pathways underlying early malignant progression of Schwann cells might be targeted to prevent tumor growth and/or to treat more advanced lesions.

© 2013 by American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.


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