Radioprotection of the CNS by WR-2721 has not been possible because of its inability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and so gain access to the neural tissue. Modification of the BBB using hypertonic arabinose (1.8 m), injected via the internal carotid artery (ica), permitted entry of ip-injected$[{}^{14}{\rm C}]{\rm WR}\text{-}2721$ into the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere. The BBB-modified hemisphere had a 5.34-fold increased uptake compared to nonmodified controls. Delivery as a bolus via the ica further enhanced uptake after BBB opening; WR-2721 was 3.73 times greater than by ip injection. A 20-fold increase of WR-2721 brain uptake has been calculated for ica administration with the BBB opened as compared to the ip route without BBB modification. Toxicity of ip-administered WR-2721 with the BBB open was only 1.4 times greater than nonmodified controls and 1.96 times more toxic when delivered via the ica. These data demonstrate significant uptake of WR-2721 into the CNS, a previously unprotected organ, and provide a model for future radioprotective studies.

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