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A novel 3D in vitro model of glioblastoma reveals resistance to temozolomide which was potentiated by hypoxia

Musah-Eroje, Ahmed; Watson, Sue


Ahmed Musah-Eroje

Sue Watson


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common invasive malignant brain tumour in adults. It is traditionally investigated in vitro by culturing cells as a monolayer (2D culture) or as neurospheres (clusters enriched in cancer stem cells) but neither system accurately reflects the complexity of the three-dimensional (3D) chemoresistant microenvironment of GBM.
Materials and Methods
Using three GBM cell-lines (U87, U251, and SNB19), the effect of culturing cells in a Cultrex-based basement membrane extract (BME) (3D Tumour Growth Assay (TGA)) on morphology, gene expression, metabolism, and temozolomide chemoresistance was investigated.
Cells were easily harvested from the 3D model and cultured as a monolayer (2D) and neurospheres. Indeed, the SNB19 cells formed neurospheres only after they were first cultured in the 3D model. The expression of CD133 and OCT4 was upregulated in the neurosphere and 3D assays respectively. Compared with cells cultured in the 2D model, cells were more resistant to temozolomide in the 3D model and this resistance was potentiated by hypoxia.
Taken together, these results suggest that micro-environmental factors influence GBM sensitivity to temozolomide. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in temozolomide resistance in this 3D model might lead to the identification of new strategies that enable the more effective use of the current standard of care agents.


Musah-Eroje, A., & Watson, S. (2019). A novel 3D in vitro model of glioblastoma reveals resistance to temozolomide which was potentiated by hypoxia. Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 142(2), 231-240.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 29, 2019
Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 29, 2019
Journal Journal of Neuro-Oncology
Print ISSN 0167-594X
Electronic ISSN 1573-7373
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 142
Issue 2
Pages 231-240
Keywords Glioblastoma, 3D, chemoresistance, temozolomide, hypoxia, CD133, OCT4
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 19 October 2018; Accepted: 16 January 2019; First Online: 29 January 2019; : ; : There is no conflict of interest.; : This article does not contain any studies with animal/human participants performed by any of the authors.


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