Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 16 pp 20738—20747

Apatinib inhibits the proliferation of gastric cancer cells via the AKT/GSK signaling pathway in vivo

Yi Chen1, *, , Nan Chen2, *, , Jin Xu3, *, , Xindong Wang4, , Xiaowei Wei5, , Cuiju Tang5, , Zhong Duanmu5, , Junfeng Shi5, ,

  • 1 Department of Oncology, Nanjing Pukou Central Hospital, Pukou Branch Hospital of Jiangsu Province Hospital, Nanjing 210000, China
  • 2 Department of Outpatient, General Hospital of Eastern Theater Command, PLA, Nanjing 210002, China
  • 3 Department of Thyroid and Mammary Gland Surgery, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210000, China
  • 4 Department of Oncology, Medical School, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China
  • 5 Department of Oncology, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210000, China
* Equal contribution

Received: July 25, 2021       Accepted: August 14, 2021       Published: August 27, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of cancer-associated mortality globally. Although the diagnosis and therapeutic strategies for GC have improved, the prognosis for advanced gastric cancer (AGC) remains poor. Hence, the present study sought to design a zebrafish model established by microinjecting human MGC-803 GC cell line for studying personalized molecular-targeted cancer therapy. Apatinib, a novel molecular-targeted agent, was evaluated for its in vivo efficacy through a comparison among the control groups (no treatment) and subject groups (treatment). Newly formed vessel length and tumor volume were measured in all of the groups for further study. The length of newly formed vessels was obviously shortened after apatinib treatment in the zebrafish model established in this study. Meanwhile, apatinib exhibited the best antitumor growth effect with dose and time dependence by suppressing AKT/GSK3α/β signaling, which may be the mechanism underlying the profound antitumor clinical effect of apatinib. The data indicated that apatinib therapy exerts an anti-angiogenesis effect and it can be recommended as a proper antitumor growth therapy for GC patients. Additionally, zebrafish models could be designed as a potential practical tool to explore new anti-GC cancer drugs.


GC: gastric cancer; AGC: advanced gastric cancer; OS: overall survival; PFS: progression-free survival; hpf: hour post fertilization; SIV: subintestinal vessel; dpi: days post injection; dpt: days post treatment; PDX: patient-derived xenograft.