, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 25-33
Date: 17 Apr 2004

Imatinib mesylate inhibits platelet-derived growth factor activity and increases chemosensitivity in feline vaccine-associated sarcoma

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Feline vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS) is a biologically aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma that can develop at sites where inactivated feline vaccines have been administered. We showed that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptor (PDGFR) play a role in the growth of VAS cells. The presence of PDGFR-β was confirmed in each of five VAS cell lines evaluated, one non-vaccine-associated feline fibrosarcoma (FSA) cell line and a feline fibroblast-derived cell line. The PDGF/PDGFR signaling pathway was inhibited in the VAS cell lines and the FSA cell line using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate (formerly called STI-571). Imatinib inhibited PDGF-BB-induced autophosphorylation of PDGFR in VAS cells and feline FSA cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Imatinib also significantly inhibited growth of feline VAS tumors in a murine xenograft model. Imatinib reversed the protective effect of PDGF-BB on growth inhibition by doxorubicin and carboplatin. PDGF-BB protected VAS cells from serum starvation and doxorubicin-induced apoptosis but not carboplatin-induced apoptosis, and imatinib eliminated this protection. These observations suggest that imatinib inhibits PDGFR tyrosine kinase activity in feline soft tissue sarcomas in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in a xenograft model.

This work was supported in part by the American Veterinary Medical Association Feline Sarcoma Task Force. Imatinib mesylate was provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.