Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 123–136 | Cite as

Genomic and transcriptomic analyses match medulloblastoma mouse models to their human counterparts

  • Julia Pöschl
  • Sebastian Stark
  • Philipp Neumann
  • Susanne Gröbner
  • Daisuke Kawauchi
  • David T. W. Jones
  • Paul A. Northcott
  • Peter Lichter
  • Stefan M. Pfister
  • Marcel Kool
  • Ulrich SchüllerEmail author
Original Paper


Medulloblastoma is a malignant embryonal brain tumor with highly variable outcome. In order to study the biology of this tumor and to perform preclinical treatment studies, a lot of effort has been put into the generation of appropriate mouse models. The usage of these models, however, has become debatable with the advances in human medulloblastoma subgrouping. This study brings together multiple relevant mouse models and matches genetic alterations and gene expression data of 140 murine tumors with 423 human medulloblastomas in a global way. Using AGDEX analysis and k-means clustering, we show that the Blbp-cre::Ctnnb1(ex3) Fl/+ Trp53 Fl/Fl mouse model fits well to human WNT medulloblastoma, and that, among various Myc- or Mycn-based mouse medulloblastomas, tumors in Glt1-tTA::TRE-MYCN/Luc mice proved to be most specific for human group 3 medulloblastoma. None of the analyzed models displayed a significant match to group 4 tumors. Intriguingly, mice with Ptch1 or Smo mutations selectively modeled SHH medulloblastomas of adulthood, although such mutations occur in all human age groups. We therefore suggest that the infantile or adult gene expression pattern of SHH MBs are not solely determined by specific mutations. This is supported by the observation that human medulloblastomas with PTCH1 mutations displayed more similarities to PTCH1 wild-type tumors of the same age group than to PTCH1-mutated tumors of the other age group. Together, we provide novel insights into previously unrecognized specificity of distinct models and suggest these findings as a solid basis to choose the appropriate model for preclinical studies on medulloblastoma.


WNT SHH Medulloblastoma Gene expression profile Mutations Mouse model 



We thank Dr. Y. Lee and Dr. P. McKinnon (both Memphis, TN, USA) for providing microarray data. We are further indebted to Dr. Dr. M. Dorostkar (Munich, Germany) and all members of the Schüller group for very fruitful discussions. This work was supported by grants from the Deutsche Krebshilfe (Max-Eder junior research program to U.S.), the Wilhelm Sander Foundation (to U.S.), the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Foundation (to U.S.) and the Friedrich Baur Foundation (to J. P.).

Supplementary material

401_2014_1297_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 1820 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Pöschl
    • 1
  • Sebastian Stark
    • 2
    • 6
  • Philipp Neumann
    • 3
  • Susanne Gröbner
    • 2
  • Daisuke Kawauchi
    • 2
  • David T. W. Jones
    • 2
  • Paul A. Northcott
    • 2
  • Peter Lichter
    • 4
  • Stefan M. Pfister
    • 2
    • 5
  • Marcel Kool
    • 2
  • Ulrich Schüller
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Neuropathology and Prion ResearchLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.Division of Pediatric Neuroncology (B062)German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of InformaticsTechnical UniversityMunichGermany
  4. 4.Division of Molecular GeneticsGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany
  5. 5.Department of Pediatric Hematology and OncologyHeidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.Department of General PediatricsHeidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany

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