Document Type


Publication Date



School of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical Sciences



Background: Brain tumor vasculature can be significantly compromised and leakier than that of normal brain blood vessels. Little is known if there are vascular permeability alterations in the brain adjacent to tumor (BAT). Changes in BAT permeability may also lead to increased drug permeation in the BAT, which may exert toxicity on cells of the central nervous system. Herein, we studied permeation changes in BAT using quantitative fluorescent microscopy and autoradiography, while the effect of chemotherapy within the BAT region was determined by staining for activated astrocytes.

Methods: Human metastatic breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231Br) were injected into left ventricle of female NuNu mice. Metastases were allowed to grow for 28 days, after which animals were injected fluorescent tracers Texas Red (625 Da) or Texas Red dextran (3 kDa) or a chemotherapeutic agent 14C-paclitaxel. The accumulation of tracers and 14C-paclitaxel in BAT were determined by using quantitative fluorescent microscopy and autoradiography respectively. The effect of chemotherapy in BAT was determined by staining for activated astrocytes.

Results: The mean permeability of texas Red (625 Da) within BAT region increased 1.0 to 2.5-fold when compared to normal brain, whereas, Texas Red dextran (3 kDa) demonstrated mean permeability increase ranging from 1.0 to 1.8-fold compared to normal brain. The Kin values in the BAT for both Texas Red (625 Da) and Texas Red dextran (3 kDa) were found to be 4.32 ± 0.2 × 105 mL/s/g and 1.6 ± 1.4 × 105 mL/s/g respectively and found to be significantly higher than the normal brain. We also found that there is significant increase in accumulation of 14C-Paclitaxel in BAT compared to the normal brain. We also observed animals treated with chemotherapy (paclitaxel (10 mg/kg), erubilin (1.5 mg/kg) and docetaxel (10 mg/kg)) showed activated astrocytes in BAT.

Conclusions: Our data showed increased permeation of fluorescent tracers and 14C-paclitaxel in the BAT. This increased permeation lead to elevated levels of activated astrocytes in BAT region in the animals treated with chemotherapy.

Source Citation

Mohammad, A. S., Adkins, C. E., Shah, N., Aljammal, R., Griffith, J. I. G., Tallman, R. M., … Lockman, P. R. (2018). Permeability changes and effect of chemotherapy in brain adjacent to tumor in an experimental model of metastatic brain tumor from breast cancer. BMC Cancer, 18(1).


© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.



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