Object. Radiosurgery for functional neurosurgery performed using a linear accelerator (LINAC) has not been extensively characterized in preclinical studies. In the present study, the properties of a newly designed 3-mm-diameter collimator were evaluated in a dedicated LINAC, which produced lesions in the basal ganglia of vervet monkeys. Lesion formation was determined in vivo in three animals by examining magnetic resonance (MR) images to show the dosedelivery precision of targeting and the geometry and extent of the lesions. Postmortem immunohistochemical studies were conducted to determine the extent of lesion-induced radiobiological effects.
Methods. In three male vervet monkeys, the subthalamic nucleus (STN; one animal) and the pars compacta of the lateral substantia nigra (SN; two animals) were targeted by a Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery System that included a 3-mm collimator and delivered a maximum dose of 150 Gy. Magnetic resonance images obtained 4, 5, and 9 months posttreatment were reviewed, and the animals were killed so that immunohistological characterizations could be made.
Conclusions. The generation of precise radiosurgical lesions by a 3-mm collimator was validated in studies that targeted the basal ganglia of the vervet monkey. The extent of the lesions created in all animals remained restricted in diameter (< 3 mm) throughout the duration of the studies, as assessed by reviewing MR images. Histological studies showed that the lesions were contained within the STN and SN target areas and that there were persistent increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity. Increases in immunoreactivity for tyrosine hydroxylase, the serotonin transporter, and the GluR1 subunit of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate glutamate receptor in penumbral regions of the lesion were suggestive of compensatory neuronal adaptations. This radiosurgical approach may be of particular interest for the induction of lesions of the STN and SN in studies of experimental parkinsonism, as well as for the development of potential radiosurgical treatments for Parkinson disease.