In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), receptor tyrosine kinase ligands promote growth and survival and contribute to AML-associated marrow neoangiogenesis. We have tested simultaneous inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor signaling by novel indolinone derivatives using 14 myeloid, including 11 human leukemic, cell lines. Compounds inhibited colony formation of all cell lines in a dose-dependent fashion. Inhibitory concentrations for 50% of the colony formation/survival (IC50) for BIBF1000 were <100 nmol/L for 3 of 11, <or=500 nmol/L for 6 of 11, and <1,000 nmol/L for 10 of 11 leukemic cell lines, with one cell line being resistant in the dose range <1,000 nmol/L. BIBF1120 was less effective with 4 of 11 leukemic cell lines being resistant within the dose range <1,000 nmol/L. Testing of myeloid 32D cells transfected with empty vector, wild-type Flt3, or Flt3 carrying an internal tandem duplication mutation revealed higher resistance for the internal tandem duplication mutant. These effects of the compounds were associated with inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Furthermore, both compounds induced apoptosis in the sensitive cell lines. In Mono-Mac1 cells, the compounds had a direct proapoptotic effect that was increasing the proapoptotic effect of 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine. The data provide a rationale for clinical evaluation of these tyrosine kinase inhibitors in AML.