The clinical significance of extracellular matrix in gangliogliomas.
Based on in vitro studies which demonstrate that collagen IV and laminin inhibit the proliferation and invasiveness of glioma cells, we investigated the clinical significance of these extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) in patients with gangliogliomas, tumors in which ECM is often a prominent feature. Our study compared the relative presence and deposition pattern of collagen IV and laminin in 19 gangliogliomas and in 18 gliomas without ganglion cell differentiation (8 low-grade astrocytomas, 7 anaplastic astrocytomas, and 3 anaplastic mixed gliomas). We also examined whether the presence of collagen IV and laminin correlated with other features often observed in gangliogliomas, including perivascular lymphocytic inflammation, granular bodies, microcalcification, and subarachnoid extension, and whether any of these features were associated with the patient's clinical course. Significant deposition of collagen IV and laminin was found in 9 gangliogliomas (47%), but in none of the other gliomas. The presence of these extracellular proteins in gangliogliomas correlated with both perivascular inflammation (P = 0.003), and involvement of the leptomeninges by tumor (P = 0.008). The duration of symptoms prior to surgical resection was significantly longer for patients whose tumors showed extracellular deposition of collagen IV and laminin than for patients whose tumors lacked deposition of these proteins (mean 13.7 vs 5.1 years; P = 0.02). In addition, the duration of symptoms was significantly longer for patients whose tumors exhibited perivascular inflammation than for patients whose tumors displayed little or no perivascular inflammation (mean 14.8 vs 4.8 years; P = 0.01). These findings suggests that collagen IV and laminin and perivascular inflammation are related to the indolent behavior of gangliogliomas.