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Aquaporin-4 in glioma and metastatic tissues harboring 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced porphyrin fluorescence.

Al's Comment:

 This may show how Gliolan works. It is a dye that makes the tumor light up during surgery - approved in Europe but not the USA.  

Posted on: 04/27/2014

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Oct;115(10):2075-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2013.07.016. Epub 2013 Jul 31.
Aquaporin-4 in glioma and metastatic tissues harboring 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced porphyrin fluorescence.
Suero Molina EJ1, Ardon H, Schroeteler J, Klingenhöfer M, Holling M, Wölfer J, Fischer B, Stummer W, Ewelt C.
Author information: 
1Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Münster, Münster, Germany. Electronic address:
Aquaporin channels (AQPs) are a group of integral membrane proteins that regulate the transport of water through cell membranes. Previous studies have shown that up-regulation of AQP1 and AQP4, two of the predominant AQPs in the human brain, in high grade glial tumors contribute to cerebral edema. Others link AQPs to the regulation of human glioma cell migration and invasion. The aim of this study was to determine AQPs expression in tumor tissue harboring 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-induced porphyrin fluorescence with flow cytometry and compare it to the expression in normal brain tissue.
Tissue samples were obtained from fluorescing brain tumors of 26 patients treated with ALA prior to surgery (20 mg/kg b.w.). Expression levels of aquaporin channels were measured in primary tissue cultures using a FACS CANTO I flow cytometer. A control group consisted of four non-fluorescing tissue samples, the C6 and the U87 cell line.
Nineteen gliomas (14 high grade, 5 low grade) and 7 metastases were analyzed. On the 4th post-operative day, expression levels of AQP4 channels, but not of AQP1 channels, were significantly increased in samples from fluorescing tissue compared to non-fluorescing tissue. In addition we could see how ALA induces fluorescence in metastases.
Flow cytometry appears to be an auspicious method for the analysis of porphyrins and AQPs in primary brain cell tumor cultures. ALA fluorescing tissue showed higher AQP4 expression compared to normal brain tissue. The demonstrated expression in a context with ALA could open a targeted therapeutic spectrum, for example to selectively target AQP4.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
 PMID: 23915916 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 


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