Imatinib modulates pro-inflammatory microenvironment with angiostatic effects in experimental lung carcinogenesis

  • Shipra Puri
  • Gagandeep Kaur
  • Honit Piplani
  • Sankar Nath Sanyal
  • Vivek VaishEmail author
Original Article


Lung cancer has second highest rate of incidence and mortality around the world. Smoking cigarettes is the main stream cause of lung carcinogenesis along with other factors such as spontaneous mutations, inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. The present study was aimed to identify the mechanistic role of Imatinib in the chemoprevention of experimental lung carcinogenesis in rat model. Gross morphological observations for tumor formation, histological examinations, RT-PCR, Western blotting, fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular docking studies were performed to elucidate the chemopreventive effects of Imatinib and support our hypothesis by various experiments. It is evident that immuno-compromised microenvironment inside solid tumors is responsible for tumor progression and drug resistance. Therefore, it is inevitable to modulate the pro-inflammatory signaling inside solid tumors to restrict neoangiogenesis. In the present study, we observed that Imatinib could downregulate the inflammatory signaling and also attributed angiostatic effects. Moreover, Imatinib also altered the biophysical properties of BAL cells such as plasma membrane potential, fluidity and microviscosity to restrict their infiltration and thereby accumulation to mount immuno-compromised environment inside the solid tumors during angiogenesis. Our molecular docking studies suggest that immunomodulatory and angiostatic properties of Imatinib could be either independent of each other or just a case of synergistic pleiotropy. Imatinib was observed to activate the intrinsic or mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis to achieve desired effects in cancer cell killings. Interestingly, binding of Imatinib inside the catalytic domain of PARP-1 also suggests that it has caspase-independent properties in promoting cancer cell deaths.


Angiogenesis Imatinib Inflammation Lung cancer Membrane biology Molecular docking 


Author contributions

SNS and VV conceived the study and defined the aims and objectives. SP, GK and VV performed the animal procedures and other experiments. HP contributed in molecular docking studies. SNS and VV analyzed the data and statistics. VV wrote the manuscript.


No funds were received from any National or International Agency for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10787_2019_656_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 13 kb)
10787_2019_656_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1 mb)
Supplementary file2 (Tif 1064 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Smidt Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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