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Open Access Comparative Study of the Cellular Pharmacodynamics of Calcineurin Inhibitors Between Patients With Chronic Renal Failure Awaiting Renal Transplantation and Cirrhosis Patients Awaiting Liver Transplantation

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The in vitro response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to the suppressive effects of calcineurin inhibitors is known to correlate with the clinical efficacy of drugs used in renal transplantations. The present study was conducted to examine the differences of PBMC responses to calcineurin inhibitors between chronic renal failure (CRF) patients awaiting renal transplantation and cirrhosis patients awaiting liver transplantation. The study included 99 CRF patients awaiting renal transplantation and 27 cirrhosis patients awaiting liver transplantation. Twenty milliliters of venous blood was taken 1‐7 days before transplantation. The in vitro drug concentrations giving 50% inhibition of PBMC blastogenesis stimulated with concanavalin A (IC50s) were calculated. The suppressive effects of tacrolimus against PBMC blastogenesis were more than 10‐100 times stronger than those of cyclosporine. The median IC50 value for cyclosporine against the CRF PBMCs was not significantly different from the median IC50 value against the cirrhosis PBMCs. In contrast, tacrolimus sensitivity in cirrhosis PBMCs is approximately seven times higher than that in CRF PBMCs. The median IC50 value for tacrolimus against cirrhosis PBMCs was significantly lower and therefore the effect was stronger in comparison to the CRF PBMCs (p < 0.001). These data suggest that the PBMCs of cirrhosis patients, in comparison to those of CRF patients, are highly sensitive to the suppressive effect of tacrolimus. However, PBMC sensitivity to cyclosporine was not significantly different between the CRF and cirrhosis patients. These observations raise the possibility that treatment with tacrolimus, rather than cyclosporine, may therefore be a better choice to reduce the risks of allograft rejection in liver transplantation.

Keywords: Calcineurin inhibitors; Chronic renal failure; Cirrhosis; Liver transplantation; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Renal transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of 5th Surgery, Hachioji Medical Center, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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