Gamma knife surgery (GKS) is used for the treatment of various human brain disorders. However, the biological effects of gamma ray irradiation on both the target area, and the surrounding tissues are not well studied. The effects of gamma ray exposure to both targeted and untargeted regions were therefore evaluated by monitoring gene expression changes in the unilateral irradiated (60 Gy) and contralateral un-irradiated striata in the rat. Striata of irradiated and control brains were dissected 16 hours post-irradiation for analysis using a whole genome 44K DNA oligo microarray approach. The results revealed 230 induced and 144 repressed genes in the irradiated striatum and 432 induced and 239 repressed genes in the un-irradiated striatum. Out of these altered genes 39 of the induced and 16 of the reduced genes were common to both irradiated and un-irradiated tissue. Results of semiquantitative, confirmatory RT-PCR and western blot analyses suggested that gamma-irradiation caused cellular damage, including oxidative stress, in the striata of both hemispheres of the brains of treated animals.