Renal neoplasms in tuberous sclerosis mice are neurocristopathies

Uchenna, Unachukwu, Takayuki, Shiomi, Monica, Goldklang, Kiran, Chada, Jeanine, D'Armiento

iScience |

Tuberous sclerosis (TS) is a rare disorder exhibiting multi-systemic benign neoplasms. We hypothesized the origin of TS neoplastic cells derived from the neural crest given the heterogeneous ecto-mesenchymal phenotype of the most common TS neoplasms. To test this hypothesis, we employed Cre-loxP lineage tracing of myelin protein zero (Mpz)-expressing neural crest cells (NCCs) in spontaneously developing renal tumors of Tsc2+/−/Mpz(Cre)/TdTfl/fl reporter mice. In these mice, ectopic renal tumor onset was detected at 4 months of age increasing in volume by 16 months of age with concomitant increase in the subpopulation of tdTomato+ NCCs from 0% to 6.45% of the total number of renal tumor cells. Our results suggest that Tsc2+/− mouse renal tumors arise from domiciled proliferative progenitor cell populations of neural crest origin that co-opt tumorigenesis due to mutations in Tsc2 loci. Targeting neural crest antigenic determinants will provide a potential alternative therapeutic approach for TS pathogenesis.