Three-dimensional vascular microenvironment landscape in human glioblastoma

George P. Cribaro, Elena Saavedra-López, Leire Romarate, Izaskun Mitxitorena, Laura R. Díaz, Paola V. Casanova, Meritxell Roig-Martínez, José M. Gallego, Ana Perez-Vallés, Carlos Barcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The cellular complexity of glioblastoma microenvironments is still poorly understood. In-depth, cell-resolution tissue analyses of human material are rare but highly necessary to understand the biology of this deadly tumor. Here we present a unique 3D visualization revealing the cellular composition of human GBM in detail and considering its critical association with the neo-vascular niche. Our images show a complex vascular map of human 3D biopsies with increased vascular heterogeneity and altered spatial relationship with astrocytes or glioma-cell counterparts. High-resolution analysis of the structural layers of the blood brain barrier showed a multilayered fenestration of endothelium and basement membrane. Careful examination of T cell position and migration relative to vascular walls revealed increased infiltration corresponding with tumor proliferation. In addition, the analysis of the myeloid landscape not only showed a volumetric increase in glioma-associated microglia and macrophages relative to GBM proliferation but also revealed distinct phenotypes in tumor nest and stroma. Images and data sets are available on demand as a resource for public access.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)24
Number of pages20
JournalActa Neuropathologica Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Astrocytes
  • Basement membrane
  • Blood vessels
  • Endothelium
  • Glioblastoma
  • Macrophages
  • Microglia
  • T cells
  • Tumor microenvironments


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