GFAP expression in the subcutaneous tumors of immature glial cell line (HITS glioma) derived from ENU-induced rat glioma

Yuji Ikeno, Isao Shimokawa, Yoshikazu Higami, Takayoshi Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In order to evaluate the proliferation and differentiation potentials of ethylnitrosourea (ENU)-induced rat glioma cells, the authors attempted to obtain a cell line that maintains glial features in long-term culture. One of five cell lines cultivated from ENU-induced rat gliomas merited particular interest because of the differentiation of its neoplastic glia. This cell line, designated as HITS glioma, had a polygonal cell body and formed a monolayer with pile-up foci in vitro, in contrast to the other cell lines, which displayed a mesenchymal change through passages. GFAP-positive cells, found in the primary culture, disappeared in the late passages of HITS glioma, as they did in the other cell lines. Galactocerebroside (GC), GD3 ganglioside, and Leu7 were not expressed in the cell lines during culture. Subcutaneous inoculation of HITS glioma into neonatal rats induced tumors with histopathological components mimicking the histopathological appearance of ENU-induced gliomas. The components also had a fraction of GFAP-positive cells. Such findings indicate that HITS glioma cells may be composed of immature glial cells which are able to differentiate into astrocytic cells under certain conditions. Several growth factors which play a role in gliogenesis were used to evaluate the mechanism(s) of proliferation and/or differentiation of HITS glioma. These growth factors did not induce the expression of GFAP and other antigenic expression in HITS glioma, even though some promoted the proliferation of HITS glioma. Although the mechanism involving the astrocytic differentiation of HITS glioma is unknown, HITS glioma may serve as an effective tool in research to evaluate the mechanisms of proliferation and differentiation of neoplastic glia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-204
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • GFAP
  • cell line
  • ethylnitrosourea
  • glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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