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Differentiation in Neuroblastoma: Diffusion-Limited Hypoxia Induces Neuro-Endocrine Secretory Protein 55 and Other Markers of a Chromaffin Phenotype
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Barnonkologisk forskning/Pfeifer)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
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2010 (English)In: PLOS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 5, no 9, e12825- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Neuroblastoma is a childhood malignancy of sympathetic embryonal origin. A high potential for differentiation is a hallmark of neuroblastoma cells. We have previously presented data to suggest that in situ differentiation in tumors frequently proceeds along the chromaffin lineage and that decreased oxygen ( hypoxia) plays a role in this. Here we explore the utility of Neuro-Endocrine Secretory Protein 55 ( NESP55), a novel member of the chromogranin family, as a marker for this process. Methodology/Principal Findings: Immunohistochemical analyses and in situ hybridizations were performed on human fetal tissues, mouse xenografts of human neuroblastoma cell lines, and on specimens of human neuroblastoma/ganglioneuroma. Effects of anaerobic exposure on gene expression by cultured neuroblastoma cells was analyzed with quantitative real-time PCR. Fetal sympathetic nervous system expression of NESP55 was shown to be specific for chromaffin cell types. In experimental and clinical neuroblastoma NESP55 immunoreactivity was specific for regions of chronic hypoxia. NESP55 expression also correlated strikingly with morphological evidence of differentiation and with other chromaffin-specific patterns of gene expression, including IGF2 and HIF2 alpha. Anaerobic culture of five neuroblastoma cell lines resulted in an 18.9-fold mean up-regulation of NESP55. Conclusions/Significance: The data confirms that chronic tumor hypoxia is a key microenvironmental factor for neuroblastoma cell differentiation, causing induction of chromaffin features and NESP55 provides a reliable marker for this neuronal to neuroendocrine transition. The hypoxia-induced phenotype is the predominant form of differentiation in stroma-poor tumors, while in stroma-rich tumors the chromaffin phenotype coexists with ganglion cell-like differentiation. The findings provide new insights into the biological diversity which is a striking feature of this group of tumors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 5, no 9, e12825- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-134819DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012825ISI: 000281960800020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-134819DiVA: diva2:373915
Available from: 2010-12-02 Created: 2010-12-01 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Hedborg, Fredrik
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Department of Genetics and PathologyDepartment of Women's and Children's Health
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