Magnetic resonance imaging of ethyl-nitrosourea-induced rat gliomas: A model for experimental therapeutics of low-grade gliomas

P. E. Kish, M. Blaivas, M. Strawderman, K. M. Muraszko, D. A. Ross, B. D. Ross, G. McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Human low-grade gliomas represent a population of brain tumors that remain a therapeutic challenge. Preclinical evaluation of agents, to test their preventive or therapeutic efficacy in these tumors, requires the use of animal models. Spontaneous gliomas develop in models of chemically induced carcinogenesis, such as in the transplacental N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) rat model. However, without the ability to detect initial tumor formation, multiplicity or to measure growth rates, it is difficult to test compounds for their interventional or preventional capabilities. In this study Fisher-334 rats, treated transplacentally with ENU, underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination in order to evaluate this approach for detection of tumor formation and growth. ENU-induced intracranial cerebral tumors were first observable in T2-weighted images beginning at 4 months of age and grew with a mean doubling time of 0.487 ± 0.112 months. These tumors were found histologically to be predominately mixed gliomas. Two therapeutic interventions were evaluated using MRI, vitamin A (all-trans retinol palmitate, RP), as a chemopreventative agent and the anti-angiogenic drug SU-5416. RP was found to significantly delay the time to first tumor observation by one month (P = 0.05). No differences in rates of tumor formation or growth rates were observed between control and RP-treated groups. MRI studies of rats treated with SU-5416 resulted in reduction in tumor growth rates compared to matched controls. These results show that MRI can be used to provide novel information relating to the therapeutic efficacy of agents against the ENU-induced tumor model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-257
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • ENU
  • Gliomas
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • N-ethyl-N-nitro sourea
  • Transplacental induction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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