Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are highly aggressive sarcomas that arise sporadically or in association with the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) cancer predisposition syndrome. In individuals with NF1, MPNSTs are hypothesized to arise from Nf1-deficient Schwann cell precursor cells following the somatic acquisition of secondary cooperating genetic mutations (e.g., p53 loss). To model this sequential genetic cooperativity, we coupled somatic lentivirus-mediated p53 knockdown in the adult right sciatic nerve with embryonic Schwann cell precursor Nf1 gene inactivation in two different Nf1 conditional knockout mouse strains. Using this approach, ~60% of mice with Periostin-Cre-mediated Nf1 gene inactivation (Periostin-Cre; Nf1flox/flox mice) developed tumors classified as low-grade MPNSTs following p53 knockdown (mean, 6 months). Similarly, ~70% of Nf1+/- mice with GFAP-Cre-mediated Nf1 gene inactivation (GFAP-Cre; Nf1flox/null mice) developed low-grade MPNSTs following p53 knockdown (mean, 3 months). In addition, wild-type and Nf1+/- mice with GFAP-Cre-mediated Nf1 loss develop MPNSTs following somatic p53 knockout with different latencies, suggesting potential influences of Nf1+/- stromal cells in MPNST pathogenesis. Collectively, this new MPNST model system permits the analysis of somatically-acquired events as well as tumor microenvironment signals that potentially cooperate with Nf1 loss in the development and progression of this deadly malignancy.
- Mouse models
- Neurofibromatosis type 1