Diffuse midline glioma (DMG) is a type of lethal brain tumor that develops mainly in children. The majority of DMG harbor the K27M mutation in histone H3. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in the brainstem are candidate cells-of-origin for DMG, yet there is no genetically engineered mouse model of DMG initiated in OPCs. Here, we used the RCAS/Tv-a avian retroviral system to generate DMG in Olig2-expressing progenitors and Nestin-expressing progenitors in the neonatal mouse brainstem. PDGF-A or PDGF-B overexpression, along with p53 deletion, resulted in gliomas in both models. Exogenous overexpression of H3.3K27M had a significant effect on tumor latency and tumor cell proliferation when compared with H3.3WT in Nestin+ cells but not in Olig2+ cells. Further, the fraction of H3.3K27M-positive cells was significantly lower in DMGs initiated in Olig2+ cells relative to Nestin+ cells, both in PDGF-A and PDGF-B-driven models, suggesting that the requirement for H3.3K27M is reduced when tumorigenesis is initiated in Olig2+ cells. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes in H3.3K27M tumors were non-overlapping between Olig2;PDGF-B, Olig2;PDGF-A, and Nestin;PDGF-A models. GSEA analysis of PDGFA tumors confirmed that the transcriptomal effects of H3.3K27M are cell-of-origin dependent with H3.3K27M promoting epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and angiogenesis when Olig2 marks the cell-of-origin and inhibiting EMT and angiogenesis when Nestin marks the cell-of-origin. We did observe some overlap with H3.3K27M promoting negative enrichment of TNFA_Signaling_Via_NFKB in both models. Our study suggests that the tumorigenic effects of H3.3K27M are cell-of-origin dependent, with H3.3K27M being more oncogenic in Nestin+ cells than Olig2+ cells.

DOI 10.1002/glia.24189