AbstractOBJECTIVEThis laboratory has demonstrated that lipid-coated microbubbles (LCMs) effectively aggregate and deliver chemotherapeutic drugs into rat brain tumor cells and antigliosis agents into maturing rat brain injury sites. In this study, we report the affinity of tail vein-injected LCMs to the injured rat spinal cord by a compressive lesion to the upper thoracic region.METHODSThe accumulation of LCMs in the injured spinal cord was analyzed by labeling it with a lipid-soluble fluorescent dye, 3,3'-dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine perchlorate. Indices of glial fibrillary acidic protein were measured concomitantly with 3,3'-dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine perchlorate-labeled LCMs using confocal microscopy.RESULTSThere was no aggregation of LCMs accumulated 1 and 6 hours after injury; however, when given 2, 4, and 7 days after injury, LCMs showed a clear affinity for the injured region. LCM aggregation shifted from the central necrotic area of the injury on postinjury Day 2 and postinjury Day 4 to the white matter among glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes by postinjury Day 7.CONCLUSIONAffinity of LCMs for spinal cord injury sites may be mediated in the early stages after injury by proliferating macrophages in the necrotic center, and then in later stages by glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes in adjacent white matter. These findings suggest a potential for using LCMs as a delivery vehicle to concentrate lipid-soluble agents in spinal cord injury sites.
Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: May 1, 1999
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