Neuroblastoma is thought to originate from neural crest-derived cells. CD57 defines migratory neural crest cells in normal development and is expressed in neuroblastomas. We therefore investigated the role of CD57 expression in neuroblastoma cells in vitro, in vivo and in situ. Compared to CD57low neuroblastoma cells, CD57high cells developed tumors with decreased latency after orthotopic transplantation into adrenal glands of immunodeficient mice. In addition, CD57high neuroblastoma cells were also more clonogenic, induced more spheres, were less lineage-restricted and showed enhanced invasiveness. After tail vein injection more CD57high cells homed to liver and lung and formed metastases than CD57low cells. In stroma-poor neuroblastoma of patients CD57high cells were associated with undifferentiated tumor cells across all stages and tended to be more frequent after chemotherapy. We thus conclude that strong expression of CD57 is associated with some aggressive attributes of neuroblastoma cells and is linked with undifferentiated neuroblastoma cells in patients.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 1438. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-1438