Long-term exposure to temozolomide affects locomotor activity and cartilage structure of elderly experimental rats

Anastasia V. Suhovskih, Olga P. Molodykh, Victor S. Ushakov, Maxim O. Politko, Dmitry K. Sokolov, Elena V. Koldysheva, Elvira V. Grigorieva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) is an essential part of anticancer therapy of various malignant tumours; however, its long-term effects on patients’ health and life quality need to be further investigated. Here, we studied the effects of TMZ and/or companion drug dexamethasone (DXM) on the locomotor activity and cartilage structure of elderly Wistar rats (n = 40). Long-term TMZ treatment selectively inhibited the horizontal, but not vertical locomotor activity of the rats (6.7-fold, p < 0.01) and resulted in delamination of the superficial epiphyseal cartilage of the femoral epiphysis of knee joints, a 2-fold decrease in mean thickness of epiphyseal cartilage (p < 0.001), and changes in the proliferative and maturation cartilage zones ratio. The simultaneous use of DXM attenuated TMZ-induced changes in cartilage thickness and integrity and compensated the decrease in horizontal locomotor activity of experimental animals. Nevertheless, combined TMZ/DXM treatment still significantly affected the structure of proximal tibial, but not distal femoral epiphysis of knee joints of the rats. These changes were accompanied by the increased content of total glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and their partial re-localisation from chondrocytes into tissue matrix, as well as the decrease in sulfated GAGs content in both compartments. Taken together, the results demonstrate that long-term treatment with TMZ results in a significant decrease in locomotor activity of elderly Wistar rats and the reorganisation of their knee joint cartilage structure, while DXM treatment attenuates those effects. So, use of DXM or chondroprotective drugs might be beneficial to maintain quality of life for TMZ-treated cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number541
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Cartilage morphology
  • Dexamethasone
  • Glycosaminoglycan content
  • Locomotor activity
  • Temozolomide

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term exposure to temozolomide affects locomotor activity and cartilage structure of elderly experimental rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this