Response of avian embryonic brain to spatially segmented x-ray microbeams.

F. A. Dilmanian, G. M. Morris, G. Le Duc, X. Huang, B. Ren, T. Bacarian, J. C. Allen, J. Kalef-Ezra, I. Orion, E. M. Rosen, T. Sandhu, P. Sathé, X. Y. Wu, Z. Zhong, H. L. Shivaprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Duck embryo was studied as a model for assessing the effects of microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) on the human infant brain. Because of the high risk of radiation-induced disruption of the developmental process in the immature brain, conventional wide-beam radiotherapy of brain tumors is seldom carried out in infants under the age of three. Other types of treatment for pediatric brain tumors are frequently ineffective. Recent findings from studies in Grenoble on the brain of suckling rats indicate that MRT could be of benefit for the treatment of early childhood tumors. In our studies, duck embryos were irradiated at 3-4 days prior to hatching. Irradiation was carried out using a single exposure of synchrotron-generated X-rays, either in the form of parallel microplanar beams (microbeams), or as non-segmented broad beam. The individual microplanar beams had a width of 27 microm and height of 11 mm, and a center-to-center spacing of 100 microm. Doses to the exposed areas of embryo brain were 40, 80, 160 and 450 Gy (in-slice dose) for the microbeam, and 6, 12 and 18 Gy for the broad beam. The biological end point employed in the study was ataxia. This neurological symptom of radiation damage to the brain developed within 75 days of hatching. Histopathological analysis of brain tissue did not reveal any radiation induced lesions for microbeam doses of 40-160 Gy (in-slice), although some incidences of ataxia were observed in that dose group. However, severe brain lesions did occur in animals in the 450 Gy microbeam dose groups, and mild lesions in the 18 Gy broad beam dose group. These results indicate that embryonic duck brain has an appreciably higher tolerance to the microbeam modality, as compared to the broad beam modality. When the microbeam dose was normalized to the full volume of the irradiated tissue. i.e., the dose averaged over microbeams and the space between the microbeams, brain tolerance was estimated to be about three times higher to microbeam irradiation as compared with broad beam irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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