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Increased delivery of erucylphosphocholine to C6 gliomas by chemical opening of the blood-brain barrier using intracarotid pentylglycerol in rats

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Abstract

Background. Erucylphosphocholine (ErPC) has been shown to exert strong antineoplastic effects against various brain tumor cell lines in vitro. Since ErPC only enters the brain after long-term treatment, ineffective drug delivery to the tumor is considered to be the reason for the moderate responses to chemotherapy with ErPC observed in animal brain tumor models. We investigated a recently described method for chemically opening the blood-brain barrier (BBB) using intraarterial administration of alkylglycerols to increase the transfer of ErPC into the brain.

Methods. ErPC (40 mg/kg) was given to C6 glioma-bearing rats either as a single intracarotid bolus injection in the presence or absence of 1-O-pentylglycerol (300 mM) or as an intracarotid infusion in conjunction with bradykinin. Brain tissue concentrations were analyzed and compared to values obtained after intravenous ErPC treatment over 14 and 30 days (cumulative ErPC doses of 210 and 350 mg/kg, respectively).

Results. Pentylglycerol-induced BBB opening resulted in a significant increase in ErPC delivery to the tumor (17-fold) and, to a lesser extent, to the surrounding ipsilateral brain (7-fold) compared to intraarterial ErPC administration without alkylglycerol (P<0.05). Furthermore, the resulting ErPC concentrations in the brain tumor exceeded those obtained in tumor and tumor-free brain after long-term intravenous ErPC administration. In contrast to this, intracarotid bradykinin did not increase the transfer of ErPC to the tumor or tumor-free brain.

Conclusions. The intracarotid administration of pentylglycerol represents a novel and nontoxic method of overcoming the limited access of ErPC to both brain tumors and brain tissue adjacent to tumors. The present results provide further evidence that chemical opening of the BBB by intraarterial alkylglycerols is a promising new concept for improving delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to brain tumors.

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Erdlenbruch, B., Jendrossek, V., Kugler, W. et al. Increased delivery of erucylphosphocholine to C6 gliomas by chemical opening of the blood-brain barrier using intracarotid pentylglycerol in rats. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 50, 299–304 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00280-002-0497-4

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  • Alkylglycerol Erucylphosphocholine Blood-brain barrier Brain tumor Chemotherapy