Management of adverse side-effects after chemotherapy in macaques as exemplified by streptozotocin: Case studies and recommendations

Melanie L Graham, Lucas A. Mutch, Jessica A. Kittredge, Eric F. Rieke, Nicholas A Robinson, Elizabeth K. Zolondek, Aaron W. Faig, Theresa A. DuFour, James W. Munson, Henk Jan Schuurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The chemotherapeutic streptozotocin is used for induction of diabetes in animal models including non-human primates. Being a cytotoxic nitrosourea compound, it can be associated with adverse events (AEs), mainly nausea and emesis, nephrotoxicity, elevated liver transaminase levels, pulmonary oedema and, most prominently, metabolic acidosis: these can be severe in some cases. The incidence and gravity are to some extent related to the characteristics of the individual animal, diagnostic tools, prompt recognition of symptoms and supportive measures. Careful animal selection, dose adaptation and supportive actions such as renal protective hydration are the main tools in managing AEs, but do not fully eliminate unavoidable and sometimes life-threatening conditions. In our centre we have built experience in a cohort of 78 cynomolgus and rhesus macaques in which six cases manifested severe AEs (8%). This experience has prompted implementation of strategies for early detection and management of adverse effects, together with an animal refinement programme. We present here specific pretreatment regimens, post-infusion laboratory evaluations, and flow charts to assess/treat metabolic acidosis and precipitating factors. Case reports of the six animals with severe AEs are presented to illustrate management of AEs, especially metabolic acidosis, and criteria for early euthanasia where appropriate. We conclude that improved monitoring and validated tools allow for optimal management of adverse effects in an early stage of their manifestation. Reduced morbidity and mortality not only improve individual animal wellbeing but also avoid model-induced confounding that diminishes the translational value of the experimental protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-192
Number of pages15
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Adverse events
  • Diabetes induction
  • Non-human primate
  • Refinement
  • Streptozotocin


Dive into the research topics of 'Management of adverse side-effects after chemotherapy in macaques as exemplified by streptozotocin: Case studies and recommendations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this