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J Neurooncol. 2014 Sep;119(2):297-306. doi: 10.1007/s11060-014-1514-2. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

In vivo and ex vivo assessment of the blood brain barrier integrity in different glioblastoma animal models.

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Department of Imaging and Pathology, Biomedical MRI, KU Leuven, O&N1, Herestraat 49, P.O. Box 505, 3000, Louvain, Belgium.


Blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption is used (pre)clinically as a measure for brain tumor malignancy and grading. During treatment it is one of the parameters followed rigorously to assess therapeutic efficacy. In animal models, both invasive and non-invasive methods are used to determine BBB disruption, among them Evans blue injection prior to sacrifice and T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) post contrast injection. In this study, we have assessed the BBB integrity with the methods mentioned above in two experimental high grade glioma models, namely the GL261 mouse glioblastoma model and the Hs683 human oligodendroglioma model. The GL261 model showed clear BBB integrity loss with both, contrast-enhanced (CE) MRI and Evans blue staining. In contrast, the Hs683 model only displayed BBB disruption with CE-MRI, which was not evident on Evans blue staining, indicating a limited BBB disruption. These results clearly indicate the importance of assessing the BBB integrity status using appropriate methods. Especially when using large therapeutic molecules that have difficulties crossing the BBB, care should be taken with the appropriate BBB disruption assessment studies.

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