Literature data indicate that glioma stem cells may give rise to both tumor cells and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Malignant glioma patients usually have increased levels of circulating (EPCs) and these cells are known to contribute to the glioma neovasculature. In this study we compared the intratumoral and circulating EPCs of glioma patients for a set of common glioma genotypical aberrations (amplification of EGFR; deletion of PTEN and aneusomy of chromosomes 7 and 10). We found that the EPCs present in the tumor tissues, not the circulating EPCs, share genetic aberrations with the tumor cells. EPCs with EGFR amplification were found in 46% and with PTEN deletion in 36% of the cases. EPCs with polysomy 7 and monosomy 10 were detected in 56% and 38% of the cases while centrosomal abnormalities in EPCs were found in 68% of the cases. The presence of genetic aberrations of glioma cells in intratumoral EPCs may point to transdifferentiation of glioma stem cells into EPCs. However, the tissue specific CD133 splice variant of blood EPCs was detected in the glioma tissues but not in control brains, suggestive of a blood origin of at least part of the intratumoral EPCs. The findings highlight the complexity of the cellular constituents of glioma neovascularization which should be taken into account when developing anti-angiogenic strategies for gliomas.

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Journal Journal of Cellular Physiology
Zheng, P.P, van der Weiden, M.M, van der Spek, P.J, Vincent, A.J.P.E, & Kros, J.M. (2013). Intratumoral, not circulating, endothelial progenitor cells share genetic aberrations with glial tumor cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 228(7), 1383–1390. doi:10.1002/jcp.24309