, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 325-331

Meningioma mouse models

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Abstract

Meningiomas, although mostly benign, may sometimes present aggressive features and raise issues concerning alternative treatment options besides surgery. In order to gain new insights in meningioma biology and develop alternative treatments, several meningioma mouse models have been engineered during the past two decades. As rodents very rarely develop spontaneous meningiomas, animal models have been first developed by implanting human meningioma cells derived from a primary tumor and meningioma cell lines subcutaneously into athymic mice. Induction of de novo meningiomas in rodents with mutagens, such as nitrosourea, has also been reported. Advances in our understanding of molecular genetics of meningioma have pinpointed the central role of NF2 tumor suppressor gene in the pathogenesis of those tumors. These discoveries have led to the creation of a genetically engineered model utilizing conditional mutagenesis to specifically inactivate the mouse Nf2 gene in arachnoidal cells, resulting in the formation of intracranial meningothelial hyperplasia and meningiomas and thus reproducing the main mechanism of human meningeal tumorigenesis. This powerful new technology significantly improves on prior models and may open avenues of investigation never before possible in meningioma research. We present here a review of current meningioma mouse models used in translational therapeutics with associated imaging and pre-clinical studies.