Although chronic cyclosporine toxicity is mainly characterized by tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis, glomerular injury with expansion of mesangial matrix and sclerosis is not uncommon. Tacrolimus is a newer calcineurin inhibitor that has been used in renal transplant recipients as primary or rescue therapy. Clinical trials suggest an improved long-term graft survival among patients treated with tacrolimus. Recently we have shown that tacrolimus and cyclosporine have similar effects on extracellular matrix turnover in cultured cells. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of the calcineurin inhibitors on whole glomeruli extracellular matrix turnover.
Human glomeruli isolated from kidney biopsies just before transplantation were incubated with culture media containing either cyclosporine (200 ng/mL) or tacrolimus (10 ng/mL) for 24 hours. Glomeruli incubated only with culture medium were used as control.
The expressions of (alpha2)IV collagen, metalloprotease 9 (MMP9), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteases 2 (TIMP-2), and TGFbeta were evaluated by in situ reverse transcription and polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR). beta-actin was used as a control gene. Cyclosporine (but not tacrolimus) increased the expression of (alpha2)IV collagen and TIMP2 in isolated glomeruli. TGF-beta was markedly increased by cyclosporine. MMP9 expression was not affected by the calcineurin inhibitors. By light microscopy kidney biopsies did not show pathologic changes.
Cyclosporine treatment modulates extracellular matrix turnover in isolated human glomeruli, inducing an imbalance between synthesis and degradation. This effect, not observed in tacrolimus-treated human glomeruli, may induce the extracellular matrix deposition and sclerosis characteristic of chronic cyclosporine toxicity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tacrolimus has proven to be superior to cyclosporine-Sandimmune with regard to the prevention of acute rejections, but data comparing tacrolimus with Neoral are scarce. A total of 128 consecutive renal transplant recipients was studied. The patients were treated with Neoral-based (n = 74) or tacrolimus-based (n = 54) immunosuppressive regimens. Survival analyses (Cox regression analysis) were performed on an intention-to-treat basis. Renal function and cardiovascular risk profile were analyzed by means of a repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) up to 12 months after transplantation. Immunological features were less favorable in the tacrolimus group. Two-year patient and graft survival were comparable. Acute-rejection-free survival was 82 % in the tacrolimus group versus 40 % in the Neoral group (P < 0.0001). The severity of the rejections (1997 Banff classification) was comparable (P = 0.43). Immunological graft loss (3.7 % vs. 12.2 %, P = 0.02) and conversion because of rejection (0 % vs. 28.4 %, P < 0.001) were less in the tacrolimus group. A higher proportion (68.5 % vs. 14.9 %, P < 0.001) was successfully put on monotherapy. Creatinine clearance, proteinuria, and fractional uric acid clearance were similar. In the tacrolimus group mean blood pressure was comparable, but patients needed less anti-hypertensive drugs (P < 0.001) and, even with fewer patients on lipid-lowering drugs, total cholesterol was lower (5.2 vs. 6.0 mmol/l, P = 0.003). Treatment for post-transplant diabetes mellitus was 18.5 % versus 10.8 % (P = 0.22). In both groups, antidiabetic medication could be withdrawn for most patients. This study indicates that tacrolimus is superior to cyclosporine-Neoral in preventing acute rejection with comparable patient and graft survival rates. Because of a lower need for treatment of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, the cardiovascular risk profile is more favorable. A considerable proportion of patients can be successfully weaned off co-medication and treated with tacrolimus monotherapy.
Transplant International 12/2001; 14(6):370-83. DOI:10.1007/s001470100002 · 2.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With tacrolimus-based immunosuppression, it appears safe to withdraw steroids 3 to 6 months after renal transplantation. We hypothesized whether steroids could also be safely withdrawn early after transplantation.
Sixty-two patients (first or second transplant, with no previous immunological failure, and current panel reactive human leucocyte antigen [HLA] antibodies [PRA]<50%), treated with tacrolimus, were prospectively randomized to stop steroids (10 mg prednisolone) after day 7 posttransplantation (stop group [STOP], n=28) or to gradually wean off steroids in 3 to 6 months (tapering group [TAP], n=34). Analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis.
After a median follow-up of 2.7 years, patient and graft survival were 97 and 90% and comparable between both groups (P =0.11 and P=0.13, respectively). The incidence of acute rejection was 29 (STOP) versus 33% (TAP) ( P=0.30). The time to the first rejection was a median of 35 days (STOP) versus 11 days (TAP) ( =0.19). The severity of the rejections (1997 Banff classification) was comparable (P =0.57). Creatinine clearance and proteinuria were similar (P >0.70). The incidence of infections was comparable ( P>0.10). The incidence of new-onset diabetes mellitus, defined as the use of antidiabetic medication, was 8.0 (STOP) versus 30.3% (TAP) (P =0.04). All cases occurred in the STOP group after 1 year, while all cases occurred in TAP in the first 4 months ( P<0.001).
Compared with tapering in 3 to 6 months, stopping steroids 1 week posttransplantation results in comparable patient and graft survival and in a similar incidence of acute rejections. The incidence of new-onset diabetes may be reduced. The immunosuppressive benefit of adding 10 mg prednisolone to tacrolimus seems to be limited.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there are experimental reports of cytochrome P450 3A4 iso-enzyme (CYP3A4) induction by glucocorticoids, there are no clinical reports about an interaction between tacrolimus and steroids. Therefore, tacrolimus trough level and dose were compared after dose-normalization before and after withdrawal of prednisolone. After withdrawal of 5 mg prednisolone, the median tacrolimus dose-normalized level increased by 14% in the retrospective ( n=54), and by 11% in the prospective ( n=8) part of the study. After withdrawal of 10 mg, this increase was 33% ( n=30) and 36% ( n=14), respectively. An additional pharmacokinetic part of the study ( n=8) revealed an 18% increase in AUC ( P=0.05) after withdrawal of 5 mg prednisolone, which is compatible with a reduced metabolism after steroid withdrawal. The significant increase in tacrolimus exposure after steroid withdrawal may on the one hand counteract the reduction in immunosuppression intended by steroid withdrawal, and, on the other hand, may result in an increase of serum creatinine which could be misinterpreted as rejection.
Transplant International 11/2003; 16(10):721-5. DOI:10.1007/s00147-003-0615-1 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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