Journal Article Application of radiosurgical techniques to produce a primate model of brain lesions

Kunimatsu, Jun  ,  Miyamoto, Naoki  ,  Ishikawa, Masayori  ,  Shirato, Hiroki  ,  Tanaka, Masaki

9p.67 , 2015-04-24 , Frontiers Media
Behavioral analysis of subjects with discrete brain lesions provides important information about the mechanisms of various brain functions. However, it is generally difficult to experimentally produce discrete lesions in deep brain structures. Here we show that a radiosurgical technique, which is used as an alternative treatment for brain tumors and vascular malformations, is applicable to create non-invasive lesions in experimental animals for the research in systems neuroscience. We delivered highly focused radiation (130-150 Gy at ISO center) to the frontal eye field (FEF) of macaque monkeys using a clinical linear accelerator (LINAC). The effects of irradiation were assessed by analyzing oculomotor performance along with magnetic resonance (MR) images before and up to 8 months following irradiation. In parallel with tissue edema indicated by MR images, deficits in saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements were observed during several days following irradiation. Although initial signs of oculomotor deficits disappeared within a month, damage to the tissue and impaired eye movements gradually developed during the course of the subsequent 6 months. Postmortem histological examinations showed necrosis and hemorrhages within a large area of the white matter and, to a lesser extent, in the adjacent gray matter, which was centered at the irradiated target. These results indicated that the LINAC system was useful for making brain lesions in experimental animals, while the suitable radiation parameters to generate more focused lesions need to be further explored. We propose the use of a radiosurgical technique for establishing animal models of brain lesions, and discuss the possible uses of this technique for functional neurosurgical treatments in humans.

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