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Introduction: Astrocytic gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors that developed from glial origin. The angiogenic cell population from brain tumor enhances the recruitment of circulating cancer stem cells homing towards tumor site.
Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the tumor angiogenic cell population that stained with CD133+ and VEGFA+ markers and its associations with circulating cancer stem cell (CD133+/VEGFR2-) population in the in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of astrocytic glioma patients.
Methods: A total of 22 astrocytic glioma patients were consented from Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Tumor (n=22) were sliced and stained with CD133+ and VEGFA+ angiogenic markers and counter stained with DAPI. The circulating cancer stem cells (CD133+/VEGFR2-) in PBMCs (n=22) were quantified using FACS based on the expression of CD133 and VEGFR2 markers. The paired t-test and Pearson correlation was used for the data analysis.
Results: The percentage of angiogenic cell population was significantly higher in brain tumor compared to adjacent normal brain tissue (1.25 ± 0.96% vs. 0.74 ± 0.68%; paired t-test=2.855; df=21, p = 0.009). Positive correlation was found between the angiogenic cells of brain tumor tissue and adjacent normal brain tissue (Pearson correlation, r = 0.53, p = 0.011). Significant positive correlation also was found between angiogenic cells in glioma tumor and cancer stem cells in peripheral circulating systems of astrocytic glioma patients (Pearson correlation, r = 0.42, p = 0.049).
Conclusion: Angiogenic cells in the brain tumor resident promote the recruitment of circulating cancer stem cells homing to the tumor site and induce the proliferation and the growth of the tumor in astrocytic glioma patients.
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