The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)2 in the irradiated brain was examined to test how a single high dose radiation, similar to that used for intraoperative radiation therapy given to the normal cerebrum, can affect the vascular endothelium. After a burr hole trephination in the rat skull, the cerebral hemisphere was exposed to a single 10 Gy dose of gamma rays, and the radiation effect was assessed at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after irradiation. His-tological changes, such as reactive gliosis, inflammation, vascular proliferation and necrosis, were correlated with the duration after irradiation. Significant VEGF and FGF2 expression in the 2- and 8-week were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay quantification in the radiation group. Immunohistochemical study for VEGF was done and the number of positive cells gradually increased over time, compared with the sham operation group. In conclusion, the radiation injuries consisted of radiation necrosis associated with the expression of VEGF and FGF2. These findings indicate that VEGF and FGF2 may play a role in the radiation injuries after intraoperative single high-dose irradiation.
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