Jørgen Frøkiær

AQP9 expression in glioblastoma multiforme tumors is limited to a small population of astrocytic cells and CD15(+)/CalB(+) leukocytes

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Aquaporin-9 (AQP9) is a membrane protein channel that is permeable to a range of small solutes, including glycerol, urea and nucleobases. Expression of AQP9 in normal brain is limited, while widespread AQP9 expression has previously been reported in human glioblastoma. However, the specific cellular expression of AQP9 in glioblastoma remains unclear. In this study, we have examined microarrays to corroborate AQP9 mRNA expression in glioma. These analyses suggested that AQP9 mRNA expression in glioblastoma is primarily explained by tumor infiltration with AQP9 expressing leukocytes. Immunolabeling confirmed that within tumor regions, AQP9 was expressed in CD15(+) and Calgranulin B(+) leukocytes, but also in larger cells that morphologically resembled glioma cells. Specificity of immunoreagents was tested in recombinant cell lines, leukocyte preparations, and sections of normal human brain and liver tissue. Apparent AQP9(+) glioma cells were frequently observed in proximity to blood vessels, where brain tumor stem cells have been observed previously. A fraction of these larger AQP9 expressing cells co-expressed the differentiated astrocyte marker GFAP. AQP9 expressing glioma cells were negative for the brain tumor stem cell marker CD15, but were observed in proximity to CD15(+) glioma cells. AQP9 expression may therefore require signals of the perivascular tumor environment or alternatively it may be restricted to a population of glioma stem cell early progenitor cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e75764
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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