Brain Tumor Tissue???

Richard Kerr kerrr at CRYPTIC.RCH.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Thu Mar 19 21:43:23 EST 1998

At 01:38 20/03/98 GMT, you wrote:
>"Joshua Saunders" <jsaunde3 at> wrote:
>>I was just wondering if someone could tell me what kind of tissue, or
>>tissues a brain tumor consists of.
>Many different kinds.  The bulk of them arise from the glial cells
>(gliomas), but some arise from nerve cells, meningeal cells, ependymal
>cells, etc.

Hmmm, perhaps Bob or anyone else out there can clear this up:  I recall a
colleague hypothesising that all brain tumours MUST be of glial or other
support cell origin as these types of cells still undergo division in the
mature animal.  Nerve cells (or neurons) are post-mitotic, are therefore
incapable of division after the developmental stage.  So, as they are not in
the cell cycle, they cannot have a deranged cell cycle....which is another
way of looking at a cancer.

I came up with the exception of a neuroblastoma, however, these apparently
are juvenile cancers that are deranged early in development and manifest
themselves very early in life.  They also don't have a neuron phenotype,
they stay stuck in the neuroblast phenotype (these cells ARE still in the
cell cycle)  Also, intriguingly, they have an extremely high rate of
spontaneous remission (someone once estimated as high as 80 %)

so, the Question is:  can neurons form tumors in the brain ?

I don't know, if they can , would someone let me in on it.

Richard Kerr.
The Murdoch Institute,
R.C.H. Flemington Rd, Parkville, 3052,
kerrr at
Phone (61) 3 9345 5045.
FAX   (61) 3 9348 1391.
'The most interesting things about vertebrates occur in the neural crest.'
	Peter Thorogood.

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