3D models of glioblastoma interaction with cortical cells
Introduction: Glioblastoma (GBM) invasiveness and ability to infiltrate deep into the brain tissue is a major reason for the poor patient prognosis for this type of brain cancer. Behavior of glioblastoma cells, including their motility, and expression of invasion-promoting genes such as matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP2), are strongly influenced by normal cells found in the brain parenchyma. Cells such as neurons may also be influenced by the tumor, as many glioblastoma patients develop epilepsy. In vitro models of glioblastoma invasiveness are used to supplement animal models in a search for better treatments, and need to combine capability for high-throughput experiments with capturing bidirectional interactions between GBM and brain cells.Methods: In this work, two 3D in vitro models of GBM-cortical interactions were investigated. A matrix-free model was created by co-culturing GBM and cortical spheroids, and a matrix-based model was created by embedding cortical cells and a GBM spheroid in Matrigel.Results: Rapid GBM invasion occurred in the matrix-based model, and was enhanced by the presence of cortical cells. Little invasion occurred in the matrix-free model. In both types of models, presence of GBM cells resulted in a significant increase in paroxysmal neuronal activity.Discussion: Matrix-based model may be better suited for studying GBM invasion in an environment that includes cortical cells, while matrix-free model may be useful in investigation of tumor-associated epilepsy.