Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain cancer, with a median survival of less than 2 years after diagnosis with current available therapies. The tumor microenvironment serves a critical role in tumor invasion and progression, with microglia as a critical player. Our laboratory has previously demonstrated that propentofylline, an atypical methylxanthine with central nervous system glial modulating and anti-inflammatory actions, significantly decreases tumor growth in a GBM rodent model by preferentially targeting microglia. In the present study, we used the CNS-1 rat glioma model to elucidate the mechanisms of propentofylline. Here we demonstrate that propentofylline targets TROY, a novel signaling molecule up-regulated in infiltrating microglia, and not macrophages, in response to CNS-1 cells. We identify Pyk2, Rac1 and pJNK as the downstream signaling molecules of TROY through western blot analysis and siRNA transfection. We demonstrate that inhibition of TROY expression in microglia by siRNA transfection significantly inhibits microglial migration towards CNS-1 cells similar to 10 µM propentofylline treatment. These results identify TROY as a novel molecule expressed in microglia, involved in their migration and targeted by propentofylline. Furthermore, these results describe a signaling molecule that is differentially expressed between microglia and macrophages in the tumor microenvironment.
Jacobs, Valerie L.; Liu, Yingna; and De Leo, Joyce A., "Propentofylline Targets Troy, a Novel Microglial Signaling Pathway" (2012). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 3128.