Effect of Sunitinib on Functional Reproductive Outcome in a Rabbit Model

This study evaluated the effect of short-term postoperative sunitinib administration on reproductive function after surgical uterine abrasion in a rabbit model, and found that it ameliorated adhesion-induced reproductive aberrations.

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Erica M. Fallon, M.D., Deepika Nehra, M.D., Hau D. Le, M.D., Arthur P. Nedder, D.V.M., Lankai Guo, M.S., Paul D. Mitchell, M.S., Bo R. Rueda, Ph.D., Mark Puder, M.D., Ph.D.

Vol 98, Issue 2 , Pages 496-502



To determine the effect of sunitinib (Sutent; SU11248; Pfizer), a US Food and Drug Administration-approved receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor previously shown to reduce de novo pelvic adhesion formation, on reproductive function after surgical uterine abrasion in a rabbit model.


Randomized placebo-controlled study.


Large animal facility within an academic hospital.


Thirty New Zealand White adult female rabbits (2.2–3.0 kg).


Administration of 11 doses (one preoperative and 10 postoperative) of oral sunitinib (10 mg/kg/d) or placebo.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Effect of short-term postoperative sunitinib administration on reproductive function after surgical uterine abrasion.


All animals were impregnated and survived until designated euthanasia. Sunitinib-treated animals had a larger average litter size (7.7 ± 1.9 vs. 5.6 ± 2.7 kits) and offspring viability (7.1 ± 2.7 vs. 3.5 ± 3.2 kits) compared with placebo-treated animals. There was no difference in gestational length or aberration in the maintainence of fertility. There were no gross abnormalities, detectable birth defects, or growth disparity in offspring from sunitinib versus placebo-treated mothers. The adhesion burden identified at euthanasia after parturition was lower in sunitinib compared with placebo-treated animals (N = 10/group).


Sunitinib ameliorated adhesion-induced reproductive aberrations after surgical uterine abrasion and may be an efficacious strategy to reduce postoperative pelvic adhesions.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(12)00574-2/fulltext

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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