The astrocytic response towards invasive meningiomas

L. Zeltner, J. Schittenhelm, M. Mittelbronn, F. Roser, M. Tatagiba, C. Mawrin, Y. J. Kim, A. Bornemann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Invasive meningiomas disrupt the pial-glial basement membrane. This membrane is closely attached to the subpial glial endfeet forming the glia limitans. The fate of subpial astrocytes during the course of brain invasion by meningiomas is not known. In the present study we immunolabelled sections of 35 brain-invasive meningiomas (14 meningothelial meningiomas WHO grade I, 11 atypical WHO grade II and 10 anaplastic WHO grade III) using anti-collagen IV to label basement membrane material, and antibodies against astrocytic markers CD44, SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Astrocytes were present at the tumour-brain interface of 14/14 WHO grade I meningiomas, 9/11 WHO grade II tumours and 9/10 WHO grade III tumours. The presence of astrocytes was associated with an intact basement membrane in 11/14 WHO grade I meningiomas (P < 0.01), 6/9 WHO grade II tumours, and 6/9 WHO grade III tumours. However, tumour embedded in deep brain parenchyma lacked both an astrocytic reaction and basement membrane material. In conclusion, astrocytes eventually disappear from the tumour-brain interface during the course of meningioma infiltration. This observation might indicate that the survival of subpial astrocytes is dependent on an intact pial-glial basement membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Basement membrane
  • Brain invasion
  • CD44
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Reactive astrocytosis
  • Tumour cell migration


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