Human Low-Grade Glioma Cultures

  • Daniela Cesselli
  • Antonio Paolo Beltrami
  • Anja Pucer
  • Evgenia Bourkoula
  • Tamara Ius
  • Marco Vindigni
  • Miran Skrap
  • Carlo Alberto BeltramiEmail author


Numerous diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic issues concerning low-grade gliomas still remain to be clarified. In this regard, in vitro and in vivo models of low-grade gliomas would represent a way to get insight into these crucial aspects. However, many of the in vitro and in vivo models assayed in the literature are focused on high-grade gliomas.

For this reason, in this chapter we reviewed the literature on low-grade glioma culture describing the results so far obtained, highlighting limitations and envisioning promising innovative directions that research is undertaking in this critical field.

Specifically, first, we critically presented the conventional methods adopted to study low-grade gliomas, such as continuous human tumor cell lines and short-term glioma cultures. Then, we discussed the culture methods utilized to isolate and in vitro expand glioma cancer stem cells from adult and pediatric tumors, underlining the need of optimizing new culture conditions because of the partial failure of the simple transfer to low-grade gliomas of the methods efficient in isolating glioma stem cells from high-grade gliomas. Finally, we presented the innovative, although still in its infancy, possibility to culture nonneoplastic stromal cells as a way to obtain cell lines representative of the biological behavior of the patient tumors.

In conclusion, the aim of this chapter was to explain why the culture of patient-derived cancer cells represents a unique opportunity to create in vitro and in vivo models closely mimicking the biological properties of the patient tumor, thus allowing a patient-based approach.


Low-grade glioma Cell culture Immortalized cell lines Glioma-derived tumor-initiating cells Neurospheres CD133 Tumor-associated ­parenchymal cell lines Personalized medicine 





Basic fibroblast-derived growth ­factor


Cancer-associated fibroblast


Cancer stem cell


Epithelial-derived growth factor




Glial fibrillary acidic protein


Glioma stem cell


Low-grade glioma


Multipotent adult stem cells


O6–methylguanine–DNA ­methyltransferase


Platelet-derived growth factor


Tumor-associated fibroblast





FIRB accordi di programma 2011; title: “FIERCE – FInd nEw moleculaR and CEllular targets against cancer.” Pr. RBAP11Z4Z9. 2012–2014; FIRB accordi di programma 2011 pr. RBAP11ETKA_007 “Nanotechnological approaches for tumor theragnostic.” Programma per la Cooperazione Transfrontaliera Italia–Slovenia 2007–2013. Title: “Identificazione di nuovi marcatori di cellule staminali tumorali a scopo diagnostico e terapeutico.”


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Cesselli
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Antonio Paolo Beltrami
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anja Pucer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Evgenia Bourkoula
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tamara Ius
    • 4
  • Marco Vindigni
    • 4
  • Miran Skrap
    • 4
  • Carlo Alberto Beltrami
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Interdepartmental Center for Regenerative MedicineUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Biological SciencesUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  3. 3.Department of PathologyAzienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di UdineUdineItaly
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryAzienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di UdineUdineItaly

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