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Clinical Significance of the Pharmacological Efficacy of Tacrolimus Estimated by the Lymphocyte Immunosuppressant Sensitivity Test (LIST) Before and After Renal Transplantation

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The lymphocyte immunosuppressant sensitivity test (LIST) with the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay procedure can predict the pharmacological efficacy of immunosuppressive agents. A previous study reported the pharmacological efficacy of tacrolimus evaluated by LIST just before renal transplantation significantly correlated with the incidence of acute rejection episodes. However, the pharmacological efficacy of tacrolimus has not been estimated after renal transplantation. Therefore, the present study evaluated the pharmacological efficacy of tacrolimus by LIST using the MTT assay procedure before and 1, 3, and 12 months after transplantation in 17 renal transplant recipients that received tacrolimus-based immunosuppressive therapy. The tacrolimus pharmacological efficacies before and after the procedure were also compared with incidence of acute rejection and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection episodes. The individual values of tacrolimus 50% inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation (IC50) varied widely before transplantation, and the mean value of the IC50 was 126.4 ± 337.7 ng/ml. The patients were divided into two groups according to the tacrolimus IC50 values evaluated before transplantation. The rate of acute rejection episodes in the tacrolimus high-sensitivity group was significantly lower than that in the tacrolimus low-sensitivity group (p = 0.005). The tacrolimus IC50 deviation between patients expanded further at one and three months after surgery. However, the sensitivity deviation almost converged at 1 year after surgery. Moreover, the pharmacological efficacy of tacrolimus evaluated at 1, 3, and 12 months after transplantation did not significantly correlate with the incidence of acute rejection episodes. The pharmacological efficacies of tacrolimus evaluated at both before and after surgery were not significantly correlated with the episodes of CMV infection. These findings suggest that the pharmacological efficacy of tacrolimus evaluated with LIST before surgery is a useful biomarker for predicting the occurrence of acute allograft rejection in renal transplantation.
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Keywords: 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT); Lymphocyte immunosuppressant-sensitivity test (LIST); Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs); Renal transplantation; Tacrolimus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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