Radial glia (RG) cells are the first neural stem cells to appear during embryonic development. Adult human glioblastomas harbor a subpopulation of RG-like cells with typical RG morphology and markers. The cells exhibit the classic and unique mitotic behavior of normal RG in a cell-autonomous manner. Single-cell RNA sequencing analyses of glioblastoma cells reveal transcriptionally dynamic clusters of RG-like cells that share the profiles of normal human fetal radial glia and that reside in quiescent and cycling states. Functional assays show a role for interleukin in triggering exit from dormancy into active cycling, suggesting a role for inflammation in tumor progression. These data are consistent with the possibility of persistence of RG into adulthood and their involvement in tumor initiation or maintenance. They also provide a putative cellular basis for the persistence of normal developmental programs in adult tumors.
Stem Cell Reports. 2020 Feb 11;14(2):338-350. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.01.007.