Emerging evidence suggests that crosstalk between glioma cells and the brain microenvironment may influence brain tumor growth. To date, known reciprocal interactions among these cells have been limited to the release of paracrine factors. Combining a genetic strategy with longitudinal live imaging, we find that individual gliomas communicate with distinct sets of non-glioma cells, including glial cells, neurons, and vascular cells. Transfer of genetic material is achieved mainly through extracellular vesicles (EVs), although cell fusion also plays a minor role. We further demonstrate that EV-mediated communication leads to the increase of synaptic activity in neurons. Blocking EV release causes a reduction of glioma growth in vivo. Our findings indicate that EV-mediated interaction between glioma cells and non-glioma brain cells alters the tumor microenvironment and contributes to glioma development.
- cell fusion
- extracellular vesicle
- tumor microenvironment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)