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AIMS: The coordinated expression of the Notch ligands Delta-like 4 (Dll4) and Jagged (Jag)1 is believed to define appropriate endothelial sensitivity to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Preclinical data suggest that Dll4-Notch signalling may confer resistance to anti-VEGF therapy with bevacizumab, and Jag1 may antagonize Dll4-Notch. The aims of this study were to characterize the expression of Dll4 and Jag1 in primary glioblastomas. METHODS AND RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry was performed on 40 glioblastomas and normal brain using validated antibodies against Dll4 and Jag1. In-situ hybridization for Dll4 was performed on serial sections and compared with protein expression. Dll4 expression was localized to the cytoplasm and membrane of endothelial cells in all glioblastomas; it was weak or absent in normal brain. Jag1 expression was observed in the cytoplasm and membrane of glomeruloid and non-glomeruloid endothelial cells from 76% and 67% of glioblastomas, respectively. However, endothelial Jag1 expression was less intense and less prevalent than Dll4. There was no association between Dll4 and Jag1 expression. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, Dll4 and Jag1 are expressed in glioblastoma vasculature. These data may define subsets of glioblastoma that might be sensitive (Dll4(+) /Jag1(+) ) or resistant (Dll4(+) /Jag1(-) ) to bevacizumab. Our data also suggest that anti-Dll4 therapy should be evaluated experimentally in glioblastoma.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





740 - 747


Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Tumor, Brain Neoplasms, Calcium-Binding Proteins, Cerebrovascular Circulation, DNA, Neoplasm, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Gene Expression, Glioblastoma, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Jagged-1 Protein, Male, Membrane Proteins, Middle Aged, Serrate-Jagged Proteins