A novel zebrafish xenotransplantation model for study of glioma stem cell invasion

Xiao-Jun Yang, Wei Cui, Ai Gu, Chuan Xu, Shi-Cang Yu, Ting-Ting Li, You-Hong Cui, Xia Zhang, Xiu-Wu Bian
PloS One 2013, 8 (4): e61801
Invasion and metastasis of solid tumors are the major causes of death in cancer patients. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) constitute a small fraction of tumor cell population, but play a critical role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The xenograft of tumor cells in immunodeficient mice is one of commonly used in vivo models to study the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. However, this model is time-consuming and labor intensive. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and their transparent embryos are emerging as a promising xenograft tumor model system for studies of tumor invasion. In this study, we established a tumor invasion model by using zebrafish embryo xenografted with human glioblastoma cell line U87 and its derived cancer stem cells (CSCs). We found that CSCs-enriched from U87 cells spreaded via the vessels within zebrafish embryos and such cells displayed an extremely high level of invasiveness which was associated with the up-regulated MMP-9 by CSCs. The invasion of glioma CSCs (GSCs) in zebrafish embryos was markedly inhibited by an MMP-9 inhibitor. Thus, our zebrafish embryo model is considered a cost-effective approach tostudies of the mechanisms underlying the invasion of CSCs and suitable for high-throughput screening of novel anti-tumor invasion/metastasis agents.

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