γ-H2AX as a Marker for Dose Deposition in the Brain of Wistar Rats after Synchrotron Microbeam Radiation
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OBJECTIVE: Synchrotron radiation has shown high therapeutic potential in small animal models of malignant brain tumours. However, more studies are needed to understand the radiobiological effects caused by the delivery of high doses of spatially fractionated x-rays in tissue. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of the γ-H2AX antibody as a marker for dose deposition in the brain of rats after synchrotron microbeam radiation therapy (MRT). METHODS: Normal and tumour-bearing Wistar rats were exposed to 35, 70 or 350 Gy of MRT to their right cerebral hemisphere. The brains were extracted either at 4 or 8 hours after irradiation and immediately placed in formalin. Sections of paraffin-embedded tissue were incubated with anti γ-H2AX primary antibody. RESULTS: While the presence of the C6 glioma does not seem to modulate the formation of γ-H2AX in normal tissue, the irradiation dose and the recovery versus time are the most important factors affecting the development of γ-H2AX foci. Our results also suggest that doses of 350 Gy can trigger the release of bystander signals that significantly amplify the DNA damage caused by radiation and that the γ-H2AX biomarker does not only represent DNA damage produced by radiation, but also damage caused by bystander effects. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we suggest that the γ-H2AX foci should be used as biomarker for targeted and non-targeted DNA damage after synchrotron radiation rather than a tool to measure the actual physical doses.
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