The effect of α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) on${}^{125}{\rm I}\text{-induced}$ brain injury was investigated in a dog model. Cerebrospinal putrescine levels were reduced from baseline levels 1-2 weeks after irradiation in animals treated with125 I and DFMO, while putrescine levels were elevated in125 I and saline-treated animals. In addition, the time course of changes in the volumes of edema, necrosis, and tissue showing evidence of blood-brain barrier breakdown was altered significantly by DFMO treatment. The most significant alterations occurred 2-4 weeks after irradiation, at which times the average volumes of damage in DFMO-treated animals were reduced compared to saline-treated animals. The time course of alterations in blood-to-brain transfer, brain-to-blood transfer, and vascularity following irradiation was also altered by DFMO treatment. Analysis of variance demonstrated a strong relationship of blood-to-brain transfer and vascularity to volume of edema, suggesting that the effect of DFMO on edema may be partially mediated by its effects on blood-brain barrier breakdown.

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