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Edjah K. Nduom, Stuart Walbridge and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Although pulsatile and continuous infusion paradigms have been described for convective delivery of drugs, the effectiveness and properties of each flow paradigm are unknown. To determine the effectiveness and properties of pulsatile and continuous convective infusion paradigms, the authors compared these convective flow methods in the gray and white matter of primates.

Methods

Six primates (Macaca mulatta) underwent convective infusion of Gd-DPTA (5 mM) into the cerebral gray matter (thalamus) or white matter (frontal lobe) using pulsed (intermittent pulses of 15 μl/min) or continuous (1 μl/min) convective flow. Results were assessed by clinical MRI and histological analyses.

Results

Distribution of Gd-DTPA infusate in gray and white matter by pulsed and continuous flow was clearly identified using MRI, which revealed that both convective flow methods demonstrated an increase in the volume of distribution (Vd) with increasing volume of infusion (Vi) in the surrounding gray and white matter. Although the mean (± SD) gray matter Vd:Vi ratio for the pulsed infusions (4.2 ± 0.5) was significantly lower than the mean Vd:Vi ratio for continuous infusions (5.4 ± 0.5; a 22% difference [p = 0.0006]), the difference between pulsed (3.8 ± 0.4) and continuous (4.3 ± 1.2) infusions in white matter was not significantly different (p = 0.3). Pulsed infusions were associated with more leakback (12.3% ± 6.4% of Vi) than continuous infusions (3.9% ± 7.8%), although this difference was not significant (p = 0.2). All animals tolerated the infusions and there was no histological evidence of tissue injury at the infusion sites.

Conclusions

Although pulsed and continuous infusion flow paradigms can be safely and effectively used for convective delivery into both gray and white matter, continuous infusion is associated with a higher Vd:Vi ratio than pulsatile infusion in gray matter. High rates of infusion (15 μl/min) can be used to deliver infusate without any significant leakback and without any clinical or histological evidence of injury.

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Ashok R. Asthagiri, Stuart Walbridge, John D. Heiss and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Accurate real-time imaging of coinfused surrogate tracers can be used to determine the convective distribution of therapeutic agents. To assess the effect that a concentration of a Gd-based surrogate tracer has on the accuracy of determining the convective distribution, the authors infused different concentrations of Gd-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) in primates during MR imaging.

Methods

Five nonhuman primates underwent convective infusion (1 or 5 mM, 21–65 μl) of Gd-DTPA alone, Gd-DTPA and 14C-sucrose, or Gd-DTPA and 14C-dextran into the bilateral striata. Animals underwent real-time MR imaging during infusion (5 animals) and autoradiographic analysis (2 animals).

Results

Gadolinium-DTPA could be seen filling the striata at either concentration (1 or 5 mM) on real-time MR imaging. While the volume of distribution (Vd) increased linearly with the volume of infusion (Vi) for both concentrations of tracer (1 mM: R2 = 0.83; 5 mM: R2 = 0.96), the Vd/Vi ratio was significantly (p < 0.0001) less for the 1-mM (2.3 ± 1.0) as compared with the 5-mM (7.4 ± 1.9) concentration. Autoradiographic and MR volumetric analysis revealed that the 5-mM concentration most accurately estimated the Vd for both small (sucrose [359 D], 12% difference between imaging and autoradiographic distribution) and large (dextran [70 kD], 0.2% difference) molecules compared with the 1-mM concentration (sucrose, 65% difference; dextran, 68% difference).

Conclusions

The concentration of infused Gd-DTPA plays a critical role in accurately assessing the distribution of molecules delivered by CED. A 5-mM concentration of Gd-DTPA most accurately estimated the Vd over a wide range of molecular sizes.

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John D. Heiss, Stuart Walbridge, Ashok R. Asthagiri and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Muscimol is a potent γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptor agonist that temporarily and selectively suppresses neurons. Targeted muscimol suppression of neuronal structures could provide insight into the pathophysiological processes and treatment of a variety of neurological disorders. To determine if muscimol delivered to the brain by convection-enhanced delivery could be monitored using a coinfused surrogate MR imaging tracer, the authors perfused the striata of primates with tritiated muscimol and Gd–diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA).

Methods

Three primates underwent convective coinfusion of 3H-muscimol (0.8 μM) and Gd-DTPA (5 mM) into the bilateral striata. Primates underwent serial MR imaging during infusion, and the animals were killed immediately after infusion. Postmortem quantitative autoradiography and histological analysis was performed.

Results

Real-time MR imaging revealed that infusate (tritiated muscimol and Gd-DTPA) distribution was clearly discernible from the noninfused parenchyma. Real-time MR imaging of the infusion revealed the precise region of anatomical perfusion in each animal. Imaging analysis during infusion revealed that the distribution volume (Vd) of infusate linearly increased (R = 0.92) with volume of infusion (Vi). Overall, the mean (± SD) Vd/Vi ratio was 8.2 ± 1.3. Autoradiographic analysis revealed that MR imaging of Gd-DTPA closely correlated with the distribution of 3H-muscimol, and precisely estimated its Vd (mean difference in Vd, 7.4%). Quantitative autoradiograms revealed that muscimol was homogeneously distributed over the perfused region in a square-shaped concentration profile.

Conclusions

Muscimol can be effectively delivered to clinically relevant volumes of the primate brain. Moreover, the distribution of muscimol can be tracked using coinfusion of Gd-DTPA and MR imaging. The ability to perform accurate monitoring and to control the anatomical extent of muscimol distribution during its convection-enhanced delivery will enhance safety, permit correlations of muscimol distribution with clinical effect, and should lead to an improved understanding of the pathophysiological processes underlying a variety of neurological disorders.

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Jeffrey W. Degen, Stuart Walbridge, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Object. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) can be used safely to perfuse regions of the central nervous system (CNS) with therapeutic agents in a manner that bypasses the blood—brain barrier (BBB). These features make CED a potentially ideal method for the distribution of potent chemotherapeutic agents with certain pharmacokinetic properties to tumors of the CNS. To determine the safety and efficacy of the CED of two chemotherapeutic agents (with properties ideal for this method of delivery) into the CNS, the authors perfused naive rats and those harboring 9L gliomas with carboplatin or gemcitabine.

Methods. Dose-escalation toxicity studies were performed by perfusing the striatum (10 µl, 24 rats) and brainstem (10 µl, 16 rats) of naive rats with carboplatin (0.1, 1, and 10 mg/ml) or gemcitabine (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/ml) via CED. Efficacy trials involved the intracranial implantation of 9L tumor cells in 20 Fischer 344 rats. The tumor and surrounding regions were perfused with 40 µl of saline (control group, four rats), 1 mg/ml of carboplatin (four rats), or 4 mg/ml of gemcitabine (four rats) 7 days after implantation. Eight rats harboring the 9L glioma were treated with the systemic administration of 60 mg/kg of carboplatin (four rats) or 150 mg/kg of gemcitabine (four rats) 7 days postimplantation. Clinical, gross, and histological analyses were used to determine toxicity and efficacy.

Toxicity occurred in rats that had received only the highest dose of the CED of carboplatin or gemcitabine. Among rats with 9L gliomas, all control and systemically treated animals died within 26 days of tumor implantation. Long-term survival (120 days) and eradication of the tumor occurred in both CED-treated groups (75% of rats in the carboplatin group and 50% of rats in the gemcitabine group). Furthermore, animals harboring the 9L glioma and treated with intratumoral CED of carboplatin or gemcitabine survived significantly longer than controls treated with intratumoral saline (p < 0.01) or systemic chemotherapy (p < 0.01).

Conclusions. The perfusion of sensitive regions of the rat brain can be accomplished without toxicity by using therapeutic concentrations of carboplatin or gemcitabine. In addition, CED of carboplatin or gemcitabine to tumors in this glioma model is safe and has potent antitumor effects. These findings indicate that similar treatment paradigms may be useful in the treatment of glial neoplasms in humans.

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Alexander Ksendzovsky, Stuart Walbridge, Richard C. Saunders, Ashok R. Asthagiri, John D. Heiss and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Recent studies indicate that M13 bacteriophage, a very large nanoparticle, binds to β-amyloid and α-synuclein proteins, leading to plaque disaggregation in models of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. To determine the feasibility, safety, and characteristics of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of M13 bacteriophage to the brain, the authors perfused primate brains with bacteriophage.

Methods

Four nonhuman primates underwent CED of M13 bacteriophage (900 nm) to thalamic gray matter (4 infusions) and frontal white matter (3 infusions). Bacteriophage was coinfused with Gd-DTPA (1 mM), and serial MRI studies were performed during infusion. Animals were monitored for neurological deficits and were killed 3 days after infusion. Tissues were analyzed for bacteriophage distribution.

Results

Real-time T1-weighted MRI studies of coinfused Gd-DTPA during infusion demonstrated a discrete region of perfusion in both thalamic gray and frontal white matter. An MRI-volumetric analysis revealed that the mean volume of distribution (Vd) to volume of infusion (Vi) ratio of M13 bacteriophage was 2.3 ± 0.2 in gray matter and 1.9 ± 0.3 in white matter. The mean values are expressed ± SD. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated mean Vd:Vi ratios of 2.9 ± 0.2 in gray matter and 2.1 ± 0.3 in white matter. The Gd-DTPA accurately tracked M13 bacteriophage distribution (the mean difference between imaging and actual bacteriophage Vd was insignificant [p > 0.05], and was –2.2% ± 9.9% in thalamic gray matter and 9.1% ± 9.5% in frontal white matter). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed evidence of additional spread from the initial delivery site in white matter (mean Vd:Vi, 16.1 ± 9.1). All animals remained neurologically intact after infusion during the observation period, and histological studies revealed no evidence of toxicity.

Conclusions

The CED method can be used successfully and safely to distribute M13 bacteriophage in the brain. Furthermore, additional white matter spread after infusion cessation enhances distribution of this large nanoparticle. Real-time MRI studies of coinfused Gd-DTPA (1 mM) can be used for accurate tracking of distribution during infusion of M13 bacteriophage.

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Jay Jagannathan, Stuart Walbridge, John A. Butman, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is increasingly used to investigate new treatments for central nervous system disorders. Although the properties of CED are well established in normal gray and white matter central nervous system structures, the effects on drug distribution imposed by ependymal and pial surfaces are not precisely defined. To determine the effect of these anatomical boundaries on CED, the authors infused low MW and high MW tracers for MR imaging near ependymal (periventricular) and pial (pericisternal) surfaces.

Methods

Five primates underwent CED of Gd-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA; MW 590 D) or Gd-bound albumin (Gd-albumin; MW 72,000 D) during serial real-time MR imaging (FLAIR and T1-weighted sequences). Periventricular (caudate) infusions were performed unilaterally in 1 animal (volume of infusion [Vi] 57 μl) and bilaterally in 1 animal with Gd-DTPA (Vi = 40 μl on each side), and bilaterally in 1 animal with Gd-albumin (Vi = 80 μl on each side). Pericisternal infusions were performed in 2 animals with Gd-DTPA (Vi = 190 μl) or with Gd-albumin (Vi = 185 μl) (1 animal each). Clinical effects, MR imaging, and histology were analyzed.

Results

Large regions of the brain and brainstem were perfused with both tracers. Intraparenchymal distribution was successfully tracked in real time by using T1-weighted MR imaging. During infusion, the volume of distribution (Vd) increased linearly (R2 = 0.98) with periventricular (mean Vd/Vi ratio ± standard deviation; 4.5 ± 0.5) and pericisternal (5.2 ± 0.3) Vi, but did so only until the leading edge of distribution reached the ependymal or pial surfaces, respectively. After the infusate reached either surface, the Vd/Vi decreased significantly (ependyma 2.9 ± 0.8, pia mater 3.6 ± 1.0; p < 0.05) and infusate entry into the ventricular or cisternal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was identified on FLAIR but not on T1-weighted MR images.

Conclusions

Ependymal and pial boundaries are permeable to small and large molecules delivered interstitially by convection. Once infusate reaches these surfaces, a portion enters the adjacent ventricular or cisternal CSF and the tissue Vd/Vi ratio decreases. Although T1-weighted MR imaging is best for tracking intraparenchymal infusate distribution, FLAIR MR imaging is the most sensitive and accurate for detecting entry of Gd-labeled imaging compounds into CSF during CED.

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Rajiv R. Iyer, John A. Butman, Stuart Walbridge, Neville D. Gai, John D. Heiss and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Because convection-enhanced delivery relies on bulk flow of fluid in the interstitial spaces, MR imaging techniques that detect extracellular fluid and fluid movement may be useful for tracking convective drug distribution. To determine the tracking accuracy of T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted MR imaging sequences, the authors followed convective distribution of radiolabeled compounds using these imaging sequences in nonhuman primates.

Methods

Three nonhuman primates underwent thalamic convective infusions (5 infusions) with 14C-sucrose (MW 342 D) or 14C-dextran (MW 70,000 D) during serial MR imaging (T2- and diffusion-weighted imaging). Imaging, histological, and autoradiographic findings were analyzed.

Results

Real-time T2- and diffusion-weighted imaging clearly demonstrated the region of infusion, and serial images revealed progressive filling of the bilateral thalami during infusion. Imaging analysis for T2- and diffusion-weighted sequences revealed that the tissue volume of distribution (Vd) increased linearly with volume of infusion (Vi; R2 = 0.94, R2 = 0.91). Magnetic resonance imaging analysis demonstrated that the mean ± SD Vd/Vi ratios for T2-weighted (3.6 ± 0.5) and diffusion-weighted (3.3 ± 0.4) imaging were similar (p = 0.5). While 14C-sucrose and 14C-dextran were homogeneously distributed over the infused region, autoradiographic analysis revealed that T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging significantly underestimated the Vd of both 14C-sucrose (mean differences 51.3% and 52.3%, respectively; p = 0.02) and 14C-dextran (mean differences 49.3% and 59.6%; respectively, p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Real-time T2- and diffusion-weighted MR imaging significantly underestimate tissue Vd during convection-enhanced delivery over a wide range of molecular sizes. Application of these imaging modalities may lead to inaccurate estimation of convective drug distribution.

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Gabriel C. Tender, Stuart Walbridge, Zoltan Olah, Laszlo Karai, Michael Iadarola, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Object. Neuropathic pain is mediated by nociceptive neurons that selectively express the vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1). Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is an excitotoxic VR1 agonist that causes destruction of VR1-positive neurons. To determine whether RTX can be used to ablate VR1-positive neurons selectively and to eliminate hyperalgesia and neurogenic inflammation without affecting tactile sensation and motor function, the authors infused it unilaterally into the trigeminal ganglia in Rhesus monkeys.

Methods. Either RTX (three animals) or vehicle (one animal) was directly infused (20 µl) into the right trigeminal ganglion in Rhesus monkeys. Animals were tested postoperatively at 1, 4, and 7 weeks thereafter for touch and pain perception in the trigeminal distribution (application of saline and capsaicin to the cornea). The number of eye blinks, eye wipes, and duration of squinting were recorded. Neurogenic inflammation was tested using capsaicin cream. Animals were killed 4 (one monkey) and 12 (three monkeys) weeks postinfusion. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses were performed.

Throughout the duration of the study, response to high-intensity pain stimulation (capsaicin) was selectively and significantly reduced (p < 0.001, RTX-treated compared with vehicle-treated eye [mean ± standard deviation]): blinks, 25.7 ± 4.4 compared with 106.6 ± 20.8; eye wipes, 1.4 ± 0.8 compared with 19.3 ± 2.5; and squinting, 1.4 ± 0.6 seconds compared with 11.4 ± 1.6 seconds. Normal response to sensation was maintained. Animals showed no neurological deficit or sign of toxicity. Neurogenic inflammation was blocked on the RTX-treated side. Immunohistochemical analysis of the RTX-treated ganglia showed selective elimination of VR1-positive neurons.

Conclusions. Nociceptive neurons can be selectively ablated by intraganglionic RTX infusion, resulting in the elimination of high-intensity pain perception and neurogenic inflammation while maintaining normal sensation and motor function. Analysis of these findings indicated that intraganglionic RTX infusion may provide a new treatment for pain syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia as well as others.

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Gabriel C. Tender, Stuart Walbridge, Zoltan Olah, Laszlo Karai, Michael Iadarola, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Neuropathic pain is mediated by nociceptive neurons that selectively express the vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1). Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is an excitotoxic VR1 agonist that causes destruction of VR1-positive neurons. To determine whether RTX can be used to ablate VR1-positive neurons selectively and to eliminate hyperalgesia and neurogenic inflammation without affecting tactile sensation and motor function, the authors infused it unilaterally into the trigeminal ganglia in Rhesus monkeys.

Methods

Either RTX (three animals) or vehicle (one animal) was directly infused (20 μl) into the right trigeminal ganglion in Rhesus monkeys. Animals were tested postoperatively at 1, 4, and 7 weeks thereafter for touch and pain perception in the trigeminal distribution (application of saline and capsaicin to the cornea). The number of eye blinks, eye wipes, and duration of squinting were recorded. Neurogenic inflammation was tested using capsaicin cream. Animals were killed 4 (one monkey) and 12 (three monkeys) weeks postinfusion. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses were performed.

Throughout the duration of the study, response to high-intensity pain stimulation (capsaicin) was selectively and significantly reduced (p < 0.001, RTX-treated compared with vehicle-treated eye [mean ± standard deviation]): blinks, 25.7 ± 4.4 compared with 106.6 ± 20.8; eye wipes, 1.4 ± 0.8 compared with 19.3 ± 2.5; and squinting, 1.4 ± 0.6 seconds compared with 11.4 ± 1.6 seconds. Normal response to sensation was maintained. Animals showed no neurological deficit or sign of toxicity. Neurogenic inflammation was blocked on the RTX-treated side. Immunohistochemical analysis of the RTX-treated ganglia showed selective elimination of VR1-positive neurons.

Conclusions

Nociceptive neurons can be selectively ablated by intraganglionic RTX infusion, resulting in the elimination of high-intensity pain perception and neurogenic inflammation while maintaining normal sensation and motor function. Analysis of these findings indicated that intraganglionic RTX infusion may provide a new treatment for pain syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia as well as others.

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca