Understanding the Repopulation of Glioblastoma in Drosophila Model System


Understanding the Repopulation of Glioblastoma in Drosophila Model System




Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common form of malignant brain tumors, accounting for about 52% of primary brain tumors. Patients diagnosed with GBM typically die within a few months after diagnosis. Standard treatment consists of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. GBM has an unfavorable diagnosis due to the high rates of tumor recurrence. The cause of the repopulation of the tumor after treatment is currently unknown; therefore, there is a need to study the repopulation of GBM in more detail. We have created a simple glioma model in Drosophila melanogaster to study the effects of treatment on tumor size and repopulation of the tumor. We have created the glioma model by suppressing Pten while overexpressing oncogene Ras in glial cells in order to induce a tumor. Flies with genotype UASPten RNAi;UASRasV12; Repo Gal4 UASGFP developed aggressive brain tumors and failed to survive to the adult stage. 1st instar larvae of this genotype were exposed to different dosages of X-ray radiation to study the radiation sensitivity of glioma larvae. We utilized 3.5 Gy of radiation to carry out further experiments. We found there is a significant reduction in tumor size in the larvae exposed to X-ray compared to the unexposed samples; however, there is still repopulation of the tumor after X-ray exposure. Through the use of immunohistochemistry, we found that there is significant reduction in Glial cells, neuroblasts, and neurons after X-ray exposure. We plan to further our study by looking into the effects of radiation on the ganglion mother cells and dying cells of the brain. Since the pathways in this study are conserved from flies to mammals, these findings can be utilized in other model systems and in humans. These findings have the potential to lead to possible treatments for glioblastoma tumors in humans.

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Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Madhuri Kango-Singh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Leah Dawn Bullock

Understanding the Repopulation of Glioblastoma in Drosophila Model System