X-Ray Microbeam Irradiation of the Contusion-Injured Rat Spinal Cord Temporarily Improves Hind-Limb Function
a Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York.Radiation Research (Impact Factor: 2.91). 12/2012; 179(1). DOI: 10.1667/RR2921.1
Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition with no effective treatment. The physiological processes that impede recovery include potentially detrimental immune responses and the production of reactive astrocytes. Previous work suggested that radiation treatment might be beneficial in spinal cord injury, although the method carries risk of radiation-induced damage. To overcome this obstacle we used arrays of parallel, synchrotron-generated X-ray microbeams (230 μm with 150 μm gaps between them) to irradiate an established model of rat spinal cord contusion injury. This technique is known to have a remarkable sparing effect in tissue, including the central nervous system. Injury was induced in adult female Long-Evans rats at the level of the thoracic vertebrae T9-T10 using 25 mm rod drop on an NYU Impactor. Microbeam irradiation was given to groups of 6-8 rats each, at either Day 10 (50 or 60 Gy in-beam entrance doses) or Day 14 (50, 60 or 70 Gy). The control group was comprised of two subgroups: one studied three months before the irradiation experiment (n = 9) and one at the time of the irradiations (n = 7). Hind-limb function was blindly scored with the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) rating scale on a nearly weekly basis. The scores for the rats irradiated at Day 14 post-injury, when using t test with 7-day data-averaging time bins, showed statistically significant improvement at 28-42 days post-injury (P < 0.038). H&E staining, tissue volume measurements and immunohistochemistry at day ∼110 post-injury did not reveal obvious differences between the irradiated and nonirradiated injured rats. The same microbeam irradiation of normal rats at 70 Gy in-beam entrance dose caused no behavioral deficits and no histological effects other than minor microglia activation at 110 days. Functional improvement in the 14-day irradiated group might be due to a reduction in populations of immune cells and/or reactive astrocytes, while the Day 10/Day 14 differences may indicate time-sensitive changes in these cells and their populations. With optimizations, including those of the irradiation time(s), microbeam pattern, dose, and perhaps concomitant treatments such as immunological intervention this method may ultimately reach clinical use.
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ABSTRACT: X-irradiation has a beneficial effect in treating spinal cord injury. We supposed that X-irradiation could improve the microenvironment at the site of a spinal cord injury and inhibit glial scar formation. Thus, this study was designed to observe the effects of 8 Gy X-irradiation on the injury site at 6 hours and 2, 4, 7, and 14 days post injury, in terms of improvement in the microenvironment and hind limb motor function. Immunohistochemistry showed that the expression of macrophage marker ED-1 and the area with glial scar formation were reduced. In addition, the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan score was higher at 7 days post injury relative to the other time points post injury. Results indicated that X-irradiation at a dose of 8 Gy can inhibit glial scar formation and alleviate the inflammatory reaction, thereby repairing spinal cord injury. X-irradiation at 7 days post spinal cord injury may be the best time window.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify genes and molecular pathways differentially regulated by synchrotron-generated microbeams (MRT) versus conventional radiotherapy (CRT) beams in vitro using cultured EMT6.5 cells. We hypothesized (based on previous findings) that gene expression and molecular pathway changes after MRT are different from those seen after CRT. We found that at 24 h postirradiation, MRT exerts a broader regulatory effect on multiple pathways than CRT. MRT regulated those pathways involved in gene transcription, translation initiation, macromolecule metabolism, oxidoreductase activity and signaling transduction in a different manner compared to CRT. We also found that MRT/CRT alone, or when combined with inflammatory factor lipopolysaccharide, upregulated expression of Ccl2, Ccl5 or Csf2, which are involved in host immune cell recruitment. Our findings demonstrated differences in the molecular pathway for MRT versus CRT in the cultured tumor cells, and were consistent with the idea that radiation plays a role in recruiting tumor-associated immune cells to the tumor. Our results also suggest that a combination of MRT/CRT with a treatment targeting CCL2 or Csf2 could repress the tumor-associated immune cell recruitment, delay tumor growth and/or metastasis and yield better tumor control than radiation alone.
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ABSTRACT: Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a form of cancer treatment in which a single large dose of radiation is spatially fractionated in-line or grid-like patterns. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that MRT is capable of eliciting high levels of tumor response while sparing normal tissue that is exposed to the same radiation field. Since a large fraction of the MRT-treated tumor is in the dose valley region that is not directly irradiated, tumor response may be driven by radiation bystander effects, which in turn elicit a microvascular response. Differential alterations in hemodynamics between the tumor and normal tissue may explain the therapeutic advantages of MRT. Direct observation of these dynamic responses presents a challenge for conventional ex vivo analysis. Furthermore, knowledge gleaned from in vitro studies of radiation bystander response has not been widely incorporated into in vivo models of tumor radiotherapy, and the biological contribution of the bystander effect within the tumor microenvironment is unknown. In this study, we employed noninvasive, serial observations of the tumor microenvironment to address the question of how tumor vasculature and HIF-1 expression are affected by microbeam radiotherapy. Tumors (approximately 4 mm in diameter) grown in a dorsal window chamber were irradiated in a single fraction using either a single, microplanar beam (300 micron wide swath) or a wide field (whole-window chamber) to a total dose of 50 Gy. The tumors were optically observed daily for seven days postirradiation. Microvascular changes in the tumor and surrounding normal tissue differed greatly between the wide-field and microbeam treatments. We present evidence that these changes may be due to dissimilar spatial and temporal patterns of HIF-1 expression induced through radiation bystander effects.
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