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- Heavy ions and X-rays in brain tumor treatment : a comparison of their biological effects on tissue slice cultures (2009)
- Background: In this interdisciplinary project, the biological effects of heavy ions are compared to those of X-rays using tissue slice culture preparations from rodents and humans. Advantages of this biological model are the conservation of an organotypic environment and the independency from genetic immortalization strategies used to generate cell lines. Its open access allows easy treatment and observation via live-imaging microscopy. Materials and methods: Rat brains and human brain tumor tissue are cut into 300 micro m thick tissue slices. These slices are cultivated using a membrane-based culture system and kept in an incubator at 37°C until treatment. The slices are treated with X-rays at the radiation facility of the University Hospital in Frankfurt at doses of up to 40 Gy. The heavy ion irradiations were performed at the UNILAC facility at GSI with different ions of 11.4 A MeV and fluences ranging from 0.5–10 x 106 particles/cm². Using 3D-confocal microscopy, cell-death and immune cell activation of the irradiated slices are analyzed. Planning of the irradiation experiments is done with simulation programs developed at GSI and FIAS. Results: After receiving a single application of either X-rays or heavy ions, slices were kept in culture for up to 9d post irradiation. DNA damage was visualized using gamma H2AXstaining. Here, a dose-dependent increase and time-dependent decrease could clearly be observed for the X-ray irradiation. Slices irradiated with heavy ions showed less gamma H2AX-positive cells distributed evenly throughout the slice, even though particles were calculated to penetrate only 90–100 micro m into the slice. Conclusions: Single irradiations of brain tissue, even at high doses of 40 Gy, will result neither in tissue damage visible on a macroscopic level nor necrosis. This is in line with the view that the brain is highly radio-resistant. However, DNA damage can be detected very well in tissue slices using gamma H2AX-immuno staining. Thus, slice cultures are an excellent tool to study radiation-induced damage and repair mechanisms in living tissues.
- CSF and serum biomarkers focusing on cerebral vasospasm and ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage (2013)
- Delayed cerebral vasospasm (CVS) and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) remain severe complications after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Although focal changes in cerebral metabolism indicating ischemia are detectable by microdialysis, routinely used biomarkers are missing. We therefore sought to evaluate a panel of possible global markers in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients after SAH. CSF and serum of SAH patients were analyzed retrospectively. In CSF, levels of inhibitory, excitatory, and structural amino acids were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In serum, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100B level were measured and examined in conjunction with CVS and DCI. CVS was detected by arteriography, and ischemic lesions were assessed by computed tomography (CT) scans. All CSF amino acids were altered after SAH. CSF glutamate, glutamine, glycine, and histidine were significantly correlated with arteriographic CVS. CSF glutamate and serum S100B were significantly correlated with ischemic events after SAH; however, NSE did not correlate neither with ischemia nor with vasospasm. Glutamate, glutamine, glycine, and histidine might be used in CSF as markers for CVS. Glutamate also indicates ischemia. Serum S100B, but not NSE, is a suitable marker for ischemia. These results need to be validated in larger prospective cohorts.
- The nontoxic natural compound Curcumin exerts anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, and anti-invasive properties against malignant gliomas (2010)
- Background: New drugs are constantly sought after to improve the survival of patients with malignant gliomas. The ideal substance would selectively target tumor cells without eliciting toxic side effects. Here, we report on the anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, and anti-invasive properties of the natural, nontoxic compound Curcumin observed in five human glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines in vitro. Methods: We used monolayer wound healing assays, modified Boyden chamber trans-well assays, and cell growth assays to quantify cell migration, invasion, and proliferation in the absence or presence of Curcumin at various concentrations. Levels of the transcription factor phospho-STAT3, a potential target of Curcumin, were determined by sandwich-ELISA. Subsequent effects on transcription of genes regulating the cell cycle were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Effects on apoptosis were determined by caspase assays. Results: Curcumin potently inhibited GBM cell proliferation as well as migration and invasion in all cell lines contingent on dose. Simultaneously, levels of the biologically active phospho-STAT3 were decreased and correlated with reduced transcription of the cell cycle regulating gene c-Myc and proliferation marking Ki-67, pointing to a potential mechanism by which Curcumin slows tumor growth. Conclusions: Curcumin is part of the diet of millions of people every day and is without known toxic side effects. Our data show that Curcumin bears anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, and anti-invasive properties against GBM cells in vitro. These results warrant further in vivo analyses and indicate a potential role of Curcumin in the treatment of malignant gliomas.
- Occurrence of vasospasm and infarction in relation to a focal monitoring sensor in patients after SAH: placing a bet when placing a probe? (2013)
- Introduction: Vasospastic brain infarction is a devastating complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Using a probe for invasive monitoring of brain tissue oxygenation or blood flow is highly focal and may miss the site of cerebral vasospasm (CVS). Probe placement is based on the assumption that the spasm will occur either at the dependent vessel territory of the parent artery of the ruptured aneurysm or at the artery exposed to the focal thick blood clot. We investigated the likelihood of a focal monitoring sensor being placed in vasospasm or infarction territory on a hypothetical basis. Methods: From our database we retrospectively selected consecutive SAH patients with angiographically proven (day 7–14) severe CVS (narrowing of vessel lumen >50%). Depending on the aneurysm location we applied a standard protocol of probe placement to detect the most probable site of severe CVS or infarction. We analyzed whether the placement was congruent with existing CVS/infarction. Results: We analyzed 100 patients after SAH caused by aneurysms located in the following locations: MCA (n = 14), ICA (n = 30), A1CA (n = 4), AcoA or A2CA (n = 33), and VBA (n = 19). Sensor location corresponded with CVS territory in 93% of MCA, 87% of ICA, 76% of AcoA or A2CA, but only 50% of A1CA and 42% of VBA aneurysms. The focal probe was located inside the infarction territory in 95% of ICA, 89% of MCA, 78% of ACoA or A2CA, 50% of A1CA and 23% of VBA aneurysms. Conclusion: The probability that a single focal probe will be situated in the territory of severe CVS and infarction varies. It seems to be reasonably accurate for MCA and ICA aneurysms, but not for ACA or VBA aneurysms.
- Non-aneurysmal non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: patient characteristics, clinical outcome and prognostic factors based on a single-center experience in 125 patients (2014)
- BACKGROUND: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is mainly caused by ruptured cerebral aneurysms but in up to 15% of patients with SAH no bleeding source could be identified. Our objective was to analyze patient characteristics, clinical outcome and prognostic factors in patients suffering from non-aneurysmal SAH. METHODS: From 1999 to 2009, data of 125 patients with non-aneurysmal SAH were prospectively entered into a database. All patients underwent repetitive cerebral angiography. Outcome was assessed according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) (mRS 0-2 favorable vs. 3-6 unfavorable). Also, patients were divided in two groups according to the distribution of blood in the CT scan (perimesencephalic and non-perimesencephalic SAH). RESULTS: 106 of the 125 patients were in good WFNS grade (I-III) at admission (85%). Overall, favorable outcome was achieved in 104 of 125 patients (83%). Favorable outcome was associated with younger age (P < 0.001), good admission status (P < 0.0001), and absence of hydrocephalus (P = 0.001).73 of the 125 patients suffered from perimesencephalic SAH, most patients (90%) were in good grade at admission, and 64 achieved favorable outcome.52 of the 125 patients suffered from non-perimesencephalic SAH and 40 were in good grade at admission. Also 40 patients achieved favorable outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Patients suffering from non-aneurysmal SAH have better prognosis compared to aneurysm related SAH and poor admission status was the only independent predictor of unfavorable outcome in the multivariate analysis. Patients with a non-perimesencephalic SAH have an increased risk of a worse neurological outcome. These patients should be monitored attentively.