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An alternative method to stereotactic inoculation of transplantable brain tumours in large numbers of rats

La Regina, M. C., Culbreth, V. O., Higashikubo, R., Roti, J. L. Roti, Spitz, D. R.
Laboratory animals 2000 v.34 no.3 pp. 265-271
rats, sarcoma, laboratory equipment, brain, weight, laboratory techniques, animal experimentation
The rat 9L gliosarcoma brain tumour model has been widely used in brain cancer studies. Intracerebral implantation of the cells in the parietal lobe of the brain has been performed using the stereotactic or freehand inoculation methods. For large numbers of rats, we wished to develop a method more accurate and precise than the freehand method, but less labour intensive than the stereotactic method. A template implantation technique was developed and compared quantitatively with the stereotactic method. Rats were inoculated with either the template or stereotactic method at doses of 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000 or 40 000 cells. Results of this comparison showed that the template method is precise and accurate for tumour placement within the brain cortex, and decreases labour requirements. Mean survival rates between groups were not significantly different at doses of 5000, 20 000 or 40 000 cells inoculated. Significance was seen at the low dose of 1000 cells (P < 0.001). This was attributable to an absence of tumour growth in five of six stereotactic rats in this group. Significance was also seen at the 10 000 dose level (P < 0.05) with the stereotactic rats again surviving longer than the template rats. However, in this case all the stereotactic rats had tumour growth. Brain weights did not differ significantly between groups, except at the 1000 dose level where no growth of tumour occurred in five of the six stereotactic animals. Body weight gain within one week following surgery did not differ significantly between any of the groups at α = 0.05. Studies on rat cadavers showed no statistical difference in placement measurements between the stereotactic and template methods. These results indicate that the template method for intra cerebrally implanting tumour cells in rats provides a precise, accurate and rapid procedure that maximizes reproducibility with a significant reduction in labour requirements, when compared with the conventional stereotactic methodology.