Effect of Brain Tumor Presence During Radiation on Tissue Toxicity: Transcriptomic and Metabolic Changes

Janice A. Zawaski, Omaima M Sabek, Horatiu Voicu, Hon-Chiu Eastwood Leung, M Waleed Gaber

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4 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Radiation therapy (RT) causes functional and transcriptomic changes in the brain; however, most studies have been carried out in normal rodent brains. Here, the long-term effect of irradiation and tumor presence during radiation was investigated.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Male Wistar rats ∼7 weeks old were divided into 3 groups: sham implant, RT+sham implant, and RT+tumor implant (C6 glioma). Hypofractionated irradiation (8 or 6 Gy/day for 5 days) was localized to a 1-cm strip of cranium starting 5 days after implantation, resulting in complete tumor regression and prolonged survival. Biopsy of tissue was performed in the implant area 65 days after implantation. RNA was hybridized to GeneChip Rat Exon 1.0 ST array. Data were analyzed using significant analysis of microarrays and ingenuity pathway analysis. (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) imaging was performed in the implantation site 65 to 70 days after implantation using a 9.4 T Biospec magnetic resonance imaging scanner with a quadrature rat brain array. Immunohistochemical staining for astrogliosis, HMG-CoA synthase 2, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and taurine was performed at ∼65 days after implantation.

RESULTS: Eighty-four genes had a false discovery rate <3.5%. We compared RT+tumor implant with RT+sham implant animals. The tumor presence affected networks associated with cancer/cell morphology/tissue morphology. (1)H-MRS showed significant reduction in taurine levels (P<.04) at the implantation site in both groups. However, the RT+tumor group also showed significant increase in levels of neurotransmitter GABA (P=.02). Hippocampal taurine levels were only significantly reduced in the RT+tumor group (P=.03). HMG-CoA synthase 2, GABA and taurine levels were confirmed using staining. Glial fibrillary acidic protein staining demonstrated a significant increase in inflammation that was heightened in the RT+tumor group.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that tumor presence during radiation significantly affects long-term functional transcriptomics landscape and neurotransmitter levels at the tumor implantation site/normal tissue, accompanied by increased inflammation (astrogliosis).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jul 12 2017


  • Journal Article


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