Genetic Analysis of Diffuse High-Grade Astrocytomas in Infancy Defines a Novel Molecular Entity

Gerrit H. Gielen, Marco Gessi, Francesca R. Buttarelli, Caterina Baldi, Jennifer Hammes, Anja Zur Muehlen, Evelyn Doerner, Dorota Denkhaus, Monika Warmuth-Metz, Felice Giangaspero, Libero Lauriola, André O. Von Bueren, Christof M. Kramm, Andreas Waha, Torsten Pietsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pediatric high-grade gliomas are considered to be different when compared to adult high-grade gliomas in their pathogenesis and biological behavior. Recently, common genetic alterations, including mutations in the H3F3A/ATRX/DAXX pathway, have been described in approximately 30% of the pediatric cases. However, only few cases of infant high-grade gliomas have been analyzed so far. We investigated the molecular features of 35 infants with diffuse high-grade astrocytomas, including 8 anaplastic astrocytomas [World Health Organization (WHO) grade III] and 27 glioblastomas (WHO grade IV) by immunohistochemistry, multiplex ligation probe-dependent amplification (MLPA), pyrosequencing of glioma-associated genes and molecular inversion probe (MIP) assay. MIP and MLPA analyses showed that chromosomal alterations are significantly less frequent in infants compared with high-grade gliomas in older children and adults. We only identified H3F3A K27M in 2 of 34 cases (5.9%), with both tumors located in the posterior fossa. PDGFRA amplifications were absent, and CDKN2A loss could be observed only in two cases. Conversely, 1q gain (22.7%) and 6q loss (18.2%) were identified in a subgroup of tumors. Loss of SNORD located on chromosome 14q32 was observed in 27.3% of the infant tumors, a focal copy number change not previously described in gliomas. Our findings indicate that infant high-grade gliomas appear to represent a distinct genetic entity suggesting a different pathogenesis and biological behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • ALT
  • ATRX
  • glioblastoma
  • H3F3A
  • high-grade glioma
  • infants
  • molecular inversion probe analysis
  • multiplex ligation probe-dependent amplification
  • pediatric brain tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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