Medical Oncology

, 30:659 | Cite as

Implication of tumor stem-like cells in the tumorigenesis of sporadic paraganglioma

  • Yueming Yang
  • Liandi Guo
  • Fan Yang
  • Qing Huang
  • Fuping Zhang
  • Hongwei Ma
  • Hedong Li
  • Kaixuan YangEmail author
  • Jiangyan LouEmail author
  • Cong LiuEmail author
Original Paper


It is commonly believed that paragangliomas are rare tumors arising from the neural crest-derived chromaffin cells. Although it has been speculated that paraganglioma is related to stem cell origin, there has been lack of direct evidence demonstrating the presence of (neural) stem cells in these tumor tissues. In this study, we found a subgroup of human paraganglioma from ten clinical samples displayed definitive markers of CD133 and/or nestin, the fundamental features of neural stem cell capable of self-renewal and differentiation. A panel of lineage-specific markers was also manifest in some of these tumors, consistent with the hierarchical and heterogeneous nature of these tumors. These observations strongly suggest that at least some forms of paraganglioma maintain tumor stem-like cells (TSCs) that potentially contribute to the histologic complexity of human paraganglioma. Finally, we found that the genomic DNA structure becomes highly unstable in tumor cells of paraganglioma, indicating the loss of tight control of genomic surveillance system be an important transitory event from normal multi-potent tissue stem cells to TSCs.


Paraganglioma Tumor stem-like cells (TSCs) Tumorigenesis Genomic surveillance 



This work is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2011CB966200 and 2013CB911000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (30970950), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of Ministry of Education of China (NCET-10-0566), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University of Ministry of Education of China (IRT0935), Department of Science and Technology of Sichuan Province (2011SZ0002 and 2012JQ0005), and Bureau of Science and Technology of Chengdu (11PPYB072SF).

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Developmental & Stem Cell Institute, Department of Gynecology, West China Second University HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The People’s Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionNanningPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Obstetric & Gynecologic and Pediatric Diseases and Birth Defects, Ministry of EducationSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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