The utility of serum biomarkers to detect myocardial alterations induced by Imatinib in rats

Eugene Herman, Alan Knapton, Jun Zhang, Joel Estis, John Todd, Steven Lipshultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Imatinib (Imb) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor with cardiotoxic activity (decreases in left ventricular function and congestive heart failure) in patients. Currently, clinical diagnosis of Imb cardiotoxicity relies primarily on evaluation of left ventricular function, Imb also induces cardiac lesions in rats. Aims: This study, in rats, sought to determine whether monitoring biochemical markers would be a sensitive means to detect Imb-induced changes in cardiomyocyte morphology. Materials and methods: Groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were dosed orally with 50, 100, 200 mg kg-1 Imb or water daily for 28 days. Tissues and blood samples were collected 24 h after the last dosing. Cardiac biomarkers such as cardiac troponin I (cTnI), cardiac troponin T (cTnT), and fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3) were monitored by the Erenna, Elecsys, and Meso Scale immunoassay systems. Results: Imb caused microscopic myocardial lesions (myofibrillar loss, cytoplasmic vacuolization, and necrosis) at all doses as determined by unbiased histopathology analysis. The severity of the alterations was dose-related with mean lesion scores (based on a scale of 0-3) of 1.2 (50 mg kg-1), 2.1 (100 mg kg-1) and 2.9 (200 mg kg-1). However, the increases in cTnI, cTnT, and FABP3 levels were noted primarily in high-dose Imb treated animals. Discussion and conclusion: The occurrence of myocardial alterations in animals without consistent changes in cardiac troponin and FABP3 concentrations raises questions regarding the utility of these biomarkers as early indicators of Imb-induced cardiotoxicity. Due to limited numbers of animals the reasons for this discrepancy could not be determined. e00015

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Research and Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac biomarkers
  • Imatinib cardiotoxicity
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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