The effect of neurosphere culture conditions on the cellular metabolism of glioma cells

Ulf Dietrich Kahlert, Katharina Koch, Abigail Kora Suwala, Rudolf Hartmann, Menglin Cheng, Donata Maciaczyk, Dieter Willbold, Charles G. Eberhart, Kristine Glunde, Jarek Maciaczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malignant gliomas, with an average survival time of 16-19 months after initial diagnosis, account for one of the most lethal tumours overall. Current standards in patient care provide only unsatisfying strategies in diagnostic and treatment for high-grade gliomas. Here we describe metabolic phenomena in the choline and glycine network associated with stem cell culture conditions in the classical glioma cell line 1187. Using high-resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of cell culture metabolic extracts we compare the metabolic composition of 1187 chronically propagated as adherent culture in medium supplemented with serum to serum-free neurosphere growth. We found that the switch to neurosphere growth, besides the increase of cells expressing the putative glioma stem cell marker CD 133, modulated a number of intracellular metabolites including choline, creatine, glycine, and myo-inositol that have been previously reported as potential diagnostic markers in various tumours. These findings highlight the critical influence of culture conditions on glioma cell metabolism, and therefore particular caution should be drawn to the use of in vitro system research in order to investigate cancer metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalFolia Neuropathologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • CD133
  • Choline
  • Creatine
  • Glioma
  • Glycine
  • Metabolism
  • Myo-inositol
  • Neurosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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