Purpose To quantify the effectiveness of SB415286, a specific inhibitor of GSK-3β, as a neuroprotectant against radiation-induced central nervous system (brain) necrosis in a mouse model. Methods and Materials Cohorts of mice were treated with SB415286 or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) prior to irradiation with a single 45-Gy fraction targeted to the left hemisphere (brain) using a gamma knife machine. The onset and progression of radiation necrosis (RN) were monitored longitudinally by noninvasive in vivo small-animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) beginning 13 weeks postirradiation. MRI-derived necrotic volumes for SB415286- and DMSO-treated mice were compared. MRI results were supported by correlative histology. Results Mice treated with SB415286 showed significant protection from radiation-induced necrosis, as determined by in vivo MRI with histologic validation. MRI-derived necrotic volumes were significantly smaller at all postirradiation time points in SB415286-treated animals. Although the irradiated hemispheres of the DMSO-treated mice demonstrated many of the classic histologic features of RN, including fibrinoid vascular necrosis, vascular telangiectasia, hemorrhage, and tissue loss, the irradiated hemispheres of the SB415286-treated mice consistently showed only minimal tissue damage. These studies confirmed that treatment with a GSK-3β inhibitor dramatically reduced delayed time-to-onset necrosis in irradiated brain. Conclusions The unilateral cerebral hemispheric stereotactic radiation surgery mouse model in concert with longitudinal MRI monitoring provided a powerful platform for studying the onset and progression of RN and for developing and testing new neuroprotectants. Effectiveness of SB415286 as a neuroprotectant against necrosis motivates potential clinical trials of it or other GSK-3β inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-721
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014


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