Identification of phenotypic neural stem cells in a pediatric astroblastoma

Stephen L. Huhn, Yun Yung, Samuel Cheshier, Griffith Harsh, Laurie Ailles, Irving Weissman, Hannes Vogel, Victor Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Object. The goal of this study was to illustrate the findings of a significant subpopulation of cells within a pediatric astroblastoma that have the specific cell surface phenotype found on known human neural stem cells. Methods. Cells with a cell surface marker profile characteristic of human neural stem cells were isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting from a mostly nonmitotic astroblastoma removed from the brain of an 11-year-old girl. An unusually high proportion (24%) of the cells were CD133 positive and CD24, CD34, and CD45 negative (CD1331 CD242CD342CD452 cells), the phenotypic antigenic pattern associated with neural stem cells; very few CD133-positive cells were not also CD24, CD34, and CD45 negative. Some cells (12%) were CD34 positive, indicating the presence within the tumor of hematopoietic stem cells. Cells formed cytospheres that resembled neurospheres when seeded into stem cell media and coexpressed b-tubulin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) but did not express the oligodendrocyte marker O4. Cell proliferation was demonstrated by incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine. The cells lost their capacity for self-renewal in vitro after four to six passages, although they continued to coexpress b-tubulin and GFAP. The cells did not differentiate into neurons or astrocytes when placed in differentiation medium. Conclusions. Although this astroblastoma contained a high proportion of phenotypic neural stemlike cells, the cells had limited proliferative capacity and multipotency. Their role in astroblastoma formation and growth is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-450
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Astroblastoma
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting
  • Neural stem cell
  • Pediatric neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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