Primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the midbrain in a murine model of retinoblastoma

D. M. Marcus, J. L. Carpenter, J. M. O'Brien, T. Kivela, E. Brauner, A. Tarkkanen, I. Virtanen, D. M. Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The first heritable model of retinoblastoma was established by retina-specific expression of simian virus 40 T-antigen (SV40 T-ag) in transgenic mice. Bilateral, multifocal ocular tumors were observed in 100% of transgene-bearing mice. Central nervous system neoplasms occurred at a lower rate (27%) and represented the murine counterpart of human trilateral retinoblastoma. The authors characterized the transgenic brain tumors and found them to be primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET) of the midbrain. Murine brain tumors do not involve the pineal gland and most closely resemble undifferentiated suprasellar or parasellar tumors occasionally observed in human trilateral retinoblastoma. The murine malignancies arose from the subependymal cells of the cerebral aqueduct. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural examination revealed that the transgenic brain tumors were undifferentiated and lacked all antigens associated with normal murine neuronal, glial, and ependymal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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