Journal of applied toxicology : JAT

A tyrosine kinase inhibitor-induced myocardial degeneration in rats through off-target phosphodiesterase inhibition.

PMID 22936366


PF-04254644 is a selective kinase inhibitor of mesenchymal epithelial transition factor/hepatocyte growth factor receptor with known off-target inhibitory activity against the phosphodiesterase (PDE) family. Rats given repeated oral doses of PF-04254644 developed a mild to moderate myocardial degeneration accompanied by sustained increase in heart rate and contractility. Investigative studies were conducted to delineate the mechanisms of toxicity. Microarray analysis of Sprague-Dawley rat hearts in a 6 day repeat dose study with PF-04254644 or milrinone, a selective PDE3 inhibitor, revealed similar perturbation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (c-AMP) pathway. PDE inhibition and activation of c-AMP were further substantiated using PDE3B immunofluorescence staining and through a c-AMP response element reporter gene assay. The intracellular calcium and oxidative stress signaling pathways were more perturbed by treatment with PF-04254644 than milrinone. The rat cardiomyocytes calcium assay found a dose-dependent increase in intracellular calcium with PF-04254644 treatment. These data suggest that cardiotoxicity of PF-04254644 was probably due to activation of c-AMP signaling, and possibly subsequent disruption of intracellular calcium and oxidative stress signaling pathways. The greater response with PF-04254644 as compared with milrinone in gene expression and micro- and ultrastructural changes is probably due to the broader panel of PDEs inhibition.