Resilience to transformation and inherent genetic and functional stability of adult neural stem cells ex vivo

Chiara Foroni, Rossella Galli, Barbara Cipelletti, Andrea Caumo, Sara Alberti, Roberta Fiocco, Angelo Vescovi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent observations have suggested that extensive culturing of adult neural stem cells (ANSCs) by exploiting the NeuroSphere assay might select for aggressive cell clones, endowed with neoplastic potential, that overgrow the rest of the native stem cells. However, a detailed study of the propensity of ANSCs to transform has never been thoroughly undertaken. Here, we report the first demonstration that ANSCs can be propagated in vitro for over a year, maintaining a strikingly stable profile with regard to self-renewal, differentiation, growth factor dependence, karyotype, and molecular profiling. Most importantly, the long-term culturing of ANSCs did not result in the formation of tumors in vivo, even when ANSCs were transduced with Myc and Ras oncogenes. The cancer resistance could depend on specific mechanisms aimed at protecting ANSCs and preserved by optimal nonstressful culture conditions. In conclusion, besides a plentiful and safe source of cells for therapeutic applications, ANSCs provide an ideal model to study aging and cancer in the context of stemness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3725-3733
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Volume67
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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