Emeritus Faculty, Acad Council, Cardiothoracic Surgery
1. Discovery, preclinical and clinical development of novel immunosuppressive molecules for use in cell and organ transplantation and autoimmune disease:
a. Direct inhibitors of calcineurin based on rational drug design derived from computational chemistry of cocrystallization of drug-enzyme complexes;
b. Competitive inhibitors of purine biosynthesis;
c. Inhibitors of pyrimidine and purine biosynthesis;
d. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors;
e. Inhibitors of cell cycle progression (rapamycin);
f. Inhibitors of T-cell specific NFkB and AP-1 transcription;
g. Anti-CD11a monoclonal antibodies;
h. Relationship between immunosuppressive drug mechanisms and antigen-stimulated T and B cell apoptosis.
2. Molecular mechanisms of immunosuppressive drug action in vitro and in vivo.
3. Relationship among dose, blood level and pharmacodynamic effects of immunosuppressive drugs in animals and humans.
4. Models, pathogenesis and treatment of chronic organ rejection.
5. Prevention and treatment of acute and chronic GvH in animals and humans.
6. Pharmacologic control of acute and chronic xenograft rejection.
7. Prevention of restenosis after balloon angioplasty.
Recent work has indicated a role for anti-Gal alpha 1-3Gal (Gal) and anti-non-Gal xenoantibodies in the primate humoral rejection response against human-decay accelerating factor (hDAF) transgenic pig organs. Our laboratory has shown that anti-porcine xenograft antibodies in humans and non-human primates are encoded by a small number of germline IgV(H) progenitors. In this study, we extended our analysis to identify the IgV(H) genes encoding xenoantibodies in immunosuppressed cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) transplanted with hDAF-transgenic pig organs.Three immunosuppressed monkeys underwent heterotopic heart transplantation with hDAF porcine heart xenografts. Two of three animals were given GAS914, a poly-L-lysine derivative shown to bind to anti-Gal xenoantibodies and neutralize them. One animal rejected its heart at post-operative day (POD) 39; a second animal rejected the transplanted heart at POD 78. The third monkey was euthanized on POD 36 but the heart was not rejected. Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and serum were obtained from each animal before and at multiple time points after transplantation. We analyzed the immune response by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to confirm whether anti-Gal or anti-non-Gal xenoantibodies were induced after graft placement. Immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene (V(H)) cDNA libraries were then produced and screened. We generated soluble single-chain antibodies (scFv) to establish the binding specificity of the cloned immunoglobulin genes.Despite immunosuppression, which included the use of the polymer GAS914, the two animals that rejected their hearts showed elevated levels of cytotoxic anti-pig red blood cell (RBC) antibodies and anti-pig aortic endothelial cell (PAEC) antibodies. The monkey that did not reject its graft showed a decline in serum anti-RBC, anti-PAEC, and anti-Gal xenoantibodies when compared with pre-transplant levels. A V(H)3 family gene with a high level of sequence similarity to an allele of V(H)3-11, designated V(H)3-11(cyno), was expressed at elevated levels in the monkey that was not given GAS914 and whose graft was not rejected until POD 78. IgM but not IgG xenoantibodies directed at N-acetyl lactosamine (a precursor of the Gal epitope) were also induced in this animal. We produced soluble scFv from this new gene to determine whether this antibody could bind to the Gal carbohydrate, and demonstrated that this protein was capable of blocking the binding of human serum xenoantibody to Gal oligosaccharide, as had previously been shown with human V(H)3-11 scFv.DAF-transgenic organs transplanted into cynomolgus monkeys induce anti-Gal and anti-non-Gal xenoantibody responses mediated by both IgM and IgG xenoantibodies. Anti-non-Gal xenoantibodies are induced at high levels in animals treated with GAS914. Antibodies that bind to the Gal carbohydrate and to N-acetyl lactosamine are induced in the absence of GAS914 treatment. The animal whose heart remained beating for 78 days demonstrated increased usage of an antibody encoded by a germline progenitor that is structurally related, but distinct from IGHV311. This antibody binds to the Gal carbohydrate but does not induce the rapid rejection of the xenograft when expressed at high levels as early as day 8 post-transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2007.00391.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000245750000006
View details for PubMedID 17381688
Despite previous studies suggesting that surgery cause immune suppression, the underlying biologic mechanisms have not been studied using advanced immune function assays. Unilateral nephrectomy was performed in nonhuman primates. Blood was collected before surgery and at different time-points through 14 days after surgery. Lymphocyte proliferation (expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen in cells in S/G(2)M-phase), production of intracellular cytokines [interleukin (IL)-2, interferon (IFN)-gamma, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] and expression of surface-activation antigens (CD25, CD71) on T-lymphocytes were assessed in whole blood using flow cytometry. Results were compared with nonoperated control animals. The procedure caused a decrease of 25% in absolute lymphocyte count on postoperative day 3. Inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation was maximal on postoperative day 1 (55% normalized to preoperative values) and was detectable until postoperative day 7, when it was 25%. Expression of T-cell activation antigens was decreased during the first postoperative week with a maximum on postoperative day 1 for CD71 (29%) and on postoperative day 3 for CD25 (49%). Intracellular production of cytokines by T cells was decreased only on postoperative day 1 (50% for IL-2, 29% for IFN-gamma and 22% for TNF-alpha). Immune functions returned to presurgery values by day 14. A major surgical procedure severely inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and various T-cell functions up to 1 week postoperatively.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2005.00119.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000231868900006
View details for PubMedID 16162103
ISA247 is a novel cyclosporine analog. In this study we compare, in vitro, the effects of ISA247 on immune function with those of cyclosporine. Whole blood from cynomolgus monkeys (n = 5) was incubated with different concentrations of ISA247 or cyclosporine and stimulated with different mitogens in culture medium. Lymphocyte proliferation was assessed by [3H]-TdR incorporation assay and by flow cytometry. Flow cytometry was also used to assess production of intracellular cytokines by T cells and expression of T cell activation surface antigens. The concentration of drug necessary to attain 50% of the maximum effect (EC50) was subsequently calculated. EC50 values for ISA247 were lower than for cyclosporine, and the differences were statistically significant for lymphocyte proliferation, T cell cytokine production, and expression of all T cell activation surface antigens but one. We conclude that ISA247 suppresses diverse immune functions more potently than cyclosporine in vitro.
View details for PubMedID 15827754
The current standard of hand palpation may not be a sensitive method to detect rejection in heterotopic heart xenotransplants (HHTx). We sought to assess the use of echocardiography to detect rejection of pig heart xenografts. Four cynomolgus monkeys received HHTx from hDAF-transgenic pigs. Immunosuppression was cyclophosphamide induction, cyclosporine, steroids, sodium mycophenolate, alphaGal trisaccharide polymer, +/-soluble complement receptor type 1. Echocardiography was performed immediately after HHTx and three times a week postoperatively. Contractility on echo was scored as 1(none), 2(severely impaired), 3(moderate to severely impaired), 4(moderately impaired), 5(mild to moderately impaired), 6(mildly impaired), or 7(normal). Left ventricle wall thickness (LVWT) was measured in the anterior, inferior, posterior, lateral, and septal walls, the average was calculated. Impaired contractility or increase in LVWT were considered rejection and treated with steroids (solumedrol 15 mg/kg IV for 3-5 days). Palpation score (4-strong to 1-none) was recorded daily. Myocardial biopsies were obtained infrequently. At the time of first rejection, all four monkeys had an increase in LVWT and a decrease in contractility on echocardiography. Steroid treatment enhanced contractility in four monkeys and decreased LVWT in three monkeys. Palpation score remained at four of four during initial rejection episodes. Decrease in contractility and increase in LVWT on echocardiography appear to signify graft injury because steroid treatment results in improvement. Compared to palpation, echocardiography is more sensitive for assessing function of heterotopic pig heart xenografts. Echocardiography has, therefore, the potential to detect and treat early rejection episodes of heterotopic heart xenografts in nonhuman primates. This may help to achieve longer graft survival.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.transproceed.2005.02.067
View details for Web of Science ID 000229467500085
View details for PubMedID 15919505
Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) mediates signal transduction from cytokine receptors using the common chain (gammac). Because mutations in genes encoding gammac or JAK3 result in immunodeficiency, we investigated the potential of a rationally designed inhibitor of JAK3, CP-690,550, to prevent renal allograft rejection in nonhuman primates.Life-supporting kidney transplantations were performed between mixed leukocyte reaction-mismatched, ABO blood group-matched cynomolgus monkeys. Animals were treated with CP-690,550 (n = 18) or its vehicle (controls, n = 3) and were euthanized at day 90 or earlier if there was allograft rejection.Mean survival time (+/- standard error of mean) in animals treated with CP-690,550 (53 +/- 7 days) was significantly longer than in control animals (7 +/- 1 days, P=0.0003) and was positively correlated with exposure to the drug (r = 0.79, P < 0.01). Four treated animals were euthanized at 90 days with a normal renal function and low-grade rejection at final pathology. Occurrence of rejection was significantly delayed in treated animals (46 +/- 7 days from transplantation vs. 7 +/- 1 days in controls, P = 0.0003). Persistent anemia, polyoma virus-like nephritis (n = 2), and urinary calcium carbonate accretions (n = 3) were seen in animals with high exposure. Natural killer cell and CD4 and CD8 T-cell numbers were significantly reduced in treated animals. Blood glucose, serum lipid levels, and arterial blood pressure were within normal range in treated animals, and no cancers were demonstrated.CP-690,550 is the first reported JAK3 inhibitor combining efficacy and good tolerability in a preclinical model of allotransplantation in nonhuman primates and thus has interesting potential for immunosuppression in humans.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000157117.30290.6F
View details for Web of Science ID 000228373100006
View details for PubMedID 15818321
The current practice of evaluating heterotopic heart xenografts by palpation allows only detection of severe graft dysfunction, which indicates terminal graft failure. Therefore, we evaluated whether echocardiography is a better method of detecting early graft dysfunction as a marker of rejection in abdominal pig heart xenografts in cynomolgus monkeys.Six cynomolgus monkeys received heterotopic heart transplants from pig donors transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor (hDAF). Induction therapy consisted of either cyclophosphamide or rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin. Maintenance therapy consisted of cyclosporine or tacrolimus, steroids, and sodium mycophenolate or mycophenolate mofetil, GAS914 (alphaGal oligosaccharide containing glycoconjugate), and for some animals TP10 (soluble complement receptor type 1). Echocardiography was performed immediately after transplantation and 3 times a week after surgery. We scored contractility and measured left ventricular wall thickness. Impaired contractility or increased wall thickness were considered graft dysfunction and were treated with pulse steroids. Palpation score was recorded daily. We also obtained myocardial biopsy specimens.Palpation score remained at 4 out of 4 in all animals until 2 to 5 days before final graft failure, whereas echocardiography detected several episodes of impaired graft function, either decreased left ventricular contractility or increased left ventricular wall thickness before graft failure. Treatment with pulse steroids improved graft function only during early episodes of graft impairment. Final graft failure was steroid resistant and caused by severe vascular rejection.Echocardiography is a better method of assessing graft dysfunction than is palpation. Therefore, echocardiography may detect early rejection episodes of heterotopic heart xenografts in non-human primates.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2003.09.041
View details for Web of Science ID 000226922800017
View details for PubMedID 15701440
In pig-to-nonhuman primate solid organ xenotransplantation using organs from donors transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor (hDAF), the main type of rejection is antibody-mediated (acute humoral xenograft rejection, AHXR). This occurs despite the complement-regulatory function of the transgene, neutralization of natural antibodies to Galalpha1-3Gal (Gal) using soluble glycoconjugates, and chronic immunosuppression. As complement components play a major role in graft destruction after antibody binding, we evaluated the efficacy of chronic complement inhibition by soluble complement receptor type 1 (TP10).Life-supporting hDAF-transgenic kidney transplantation was performed in cynomolgus monkeys, using cyclophosphamide induction, and maintenance immunosuppression with cyclosporin A, mycophenolate sodium, and tapering steroids. Rejection was treated with bolus steroid injections: if not successful animals were terminated. Three groups were studied: in group 1 (n=4) GAS914 (a soluble glycoconjugate comprising Gal on a poly-L-lysine backbone) was added before and after transplantation; group 2 (n=2) received GAS914 as in group 1 and in addition TP10 before and after transplantation; in group 3 (n=4) GAS914 was only given before transplantation and TP10 as in group 2. Monitoring included the regular assessment of anti-porcine antibodies, complement activity (soluble C5b-9), therapeutic drug monitoring, and graft histology. Results: Survival in group 1 was 6, 12, 31 and 37 days, respectively, and in all four cases graft histology showed AHXR. The two animals in groups 2 survived 3 and 15 days, respectively, and similarly showed AHXR in graft histology. In group 3 two animals showed AHXR (10 and 37 days survival, respectively), and two others did not show AHXR (20 and 32 days survival, respectively). The diagnosis AHXR included the deposition of complement activation products in the graft, which were present at lower intensity in animals treated with TP10. In all animals GAS914 effectively neutralized circulating anti-Gal antibody. Antibodies were detectable in the circulation of all animals using porcine erythrocytes in a hemolytic assay, although at lower levels than before transplantation. Soluble C5b-9 was not detectable in the circulation of animals receiving TP10, and circulating TP10 concentrations in these animals were in a presumed pharmacologically active range.The inclusion of TP10 in the immunosuppressive protocol does not clearly lead to improved xenograft survival. Despite effective neutralization of anti-Gal antibodies and effective inhibition of systemic complement activity, AHXR was apparent in four of six animals under chronic TP10 treatment, including deposits of complement activation products in the graft. Apparently, effective systemic complement inhibition by TP10 in combination with local complement regulation by the hDAF transgene product does not necessarily result in effective inhibition of complement activation at locations in the xenograft upon binding of anti-porcine antibodies to the grafted endothelium.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00184.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000225747500004
View details for PubMedID 15598270
Our introductory pig-to-cynomolgus monkey heart or kidney transplantation using organs from pigs transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor (hDAF), showed a high incidence of hyperacute rejection (HAR), which was ascribed to extraordinary high levels of anti-pig antibodies. We evaluated the efficacy of GAS914, a Gal alpha 1-3Gal trisaccharide linked to a poly-l-lysine backbone, in inhibition of HAR.hDAF transgenic heterotopic heart (n = 15) or life-supporting kidney (n = 8) transplantation included induction with cyclophosphamide or anti-thymocyte globulin, and maintenance with cyclosporine or tacrolimus, steroids and mycophenolate sodium/mofetil. Four doses of GAS914 were given before transplantation. Rejection was confirmed by graft histology, and anti-pig antibody levels were determined in various assays.Four of six heart transplants without GAS914 treatment showed HAR. Nine subsequent transplants with GAS914 pre-treatment, did not show HAR (chi-square, P < 0.05). Two of four kidney transplants without GAS914 treatment ended with HAR. Four subsequent transplants with GAS914 did not show HAR. Animals with HAR showed extremely high antibody levels. Samples just before transplantation showed significantly higher antibody levels in recipients presenting with HAR. In all assays antibody levels were significantly lowered by GAS914 pre-treatment.HAR of hDAF solid organs could be ascribed to high levels of anti-pig antibodies. It is hypothesized that the hDAF transgene shows a threshold in efficacy, above which an overwhelming attack by antibodies and complement activation cannot be modulated to prevent HAR. HAR does not occur when animals with lower levels are used, or when antibodies are effectively depleted from the circulation by GAS914 treatment.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00173.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000224432900005
View details for PubMedID 15479461
Anti-Gal alpha 1-3Gal (Gal) antibodies play a major role in hyperacute rejection and acute humoral xenograft rejection (AHXR) in porcine-to-nonhuman primate transplantation. The role of anti-non-Gal antibodies in AHXR is less well defined.Eleven cynomolgus monkeys received a heterotopic heart transplant from a human decay-accelerating factor transgenic pig, and maintenance immunosuppression with cyclosporin A or tacrolimus, steroids, mycophenolate sodium or mycophenolate mofetil, and in 10 animals the Gal-containing soluble glycoconjugate GAS914. Six ended with AHXR (6 to 78 day survival) and five did not show AHXR (9 to 36 day survival). Anti-Gal antibodies were depleted in vivo with GAS914, or in vitro with Gal-coated Sepharose beads. IgM- and IgG-class anti-non-Gal antibodies in serum depleted of anti-Gal antibodies were measured by flow cytometry using porcine endothelial target cells.Compared with pre-transplant values, all six recipients with AHXR showed a substantially higher level of anti-non-Gal IgM antibodies at rejection; in five animals there was also an increase in IgG-class antibodies. There was no relevant change in recipients without AHXR. AHXR at time of cessation of heart contraction could be preceeded by a steady increase in antibody level starting 2 to 3 weeks earlier.AHXR is invariably associated with increased circulating anti-non-Gal antibodies. These antibodies are not observed in recipients without AHXR, and five of six recipients with AHXR were adequately depleted of anti-Gal antibodies by maintenance GAS914. This indicates that anti-non-Gal antibodies play a significant role in the pathogenesis of AHXR. Also, the assessment of these antibodies could be used as an early monitor of AHXR.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00175.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000224432900007
View details for PubMedID 15479463
ISATX247 is a novel calcineurin inhibitor that has shown more potency than cyclosporine in vitro. This is the first study to compare the survival times of renal allografts in nonhuman primates treated with either ISATX247 or cyclosporine.Adult, male cynomolgus monkeys were divided into blood-group compatible and mixed-lymphocyte, stimulation-mismatched, donor-recipient pairs. Heterotopic renal transplantation and bilateral native nephrectomies were performed. The monkeys were placed into either an ISATX247 or cyclosporine treatment group. Both groups were dosed twice daily to maintain a 12-hour drug-trough level of 150 ng/mL. Whole-blood concentrations of ISATX247 and cyclosporine, complete blood counts, and serum chemistry profiles were performed three times a week. Euthanasia was performed if the serum creatinine concentration became 7 or more mg/dL or a serious complication developed.The group receiving ISATX247 (n=8) survived significantly (P=0.0036) longer than the group receiving cyclosporine (n=7). The mean trough blood concentration of ISATX247 was 120 +/- 32 ng/mL and cyclosporine was 189 +/- 130 ng/mL. The average area under the curve 0-12 for ISATX247 was 6045 +/- 1679 ng/mL/hr and for cyclosporine was 4919 +/- 823 ng/mL/hr. The average calcineurin inhibition at trough blood concentrations was 80 +/- 11% for ISATX247 and 48 +/- 12% for cyclosporine.Allografts in monkeys treated with ISATX247 survived significantly longer than those treated with cyclosporine. On the basis of survival times and degree of calcineurin inhibition, ISATX247 is a more potent immunosuppressive agent than cyclosporine in this nonhuman primate model of renal-allograft transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.tp.0000131950.75697.71
View details for Web of Science ID 000223935400008
View details for PubMedID 15371668
Natural anti-porcine antibodies play a major role in hyperacute solid organ xenograft rejection in the pig-to-non-human primate model. Work from other groups and our experience in transplantation experiments has shown that antibody levels are highly variable between non-human primate species, and that extremely high levels can mediate hyperacute rejection even if organs from animals transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor are used.Sera were obtained from cynomolgus monkeys wild-caught in Mauritius, captive-bred in the Philippines, captive-bred in Indonesia (Indonesia-Ind), and originating from Indonesia but colony-bred in USA (Indonesia-USA), from baboons wild-caught in Kenya, and from rhesus monkeys originating from India but colony-bred in USA (10 animals in each group). Antibody levels were determined using assays for haemolytic antibody (APA), IgM and IgG class anti-Galalpha1-3Gal antibody, and IgM and IgG class anti-endothelial cell antibody.Cynomolgus monkeys from the Philippines and Indonesia-USA and rhesus monkeys showed median APA and IgM antibody levels in the same range as a pooled human serum standard, and median IgG levels well below the level in this standard. Cynomolgus monkeys from Mauritius and Indonesia-Ind showed extremely high APA levels (median seven to 10 times the human serum standard): IgM class antibodies were also higher, while IgG class antibodies were in the range of the level in the human serum standard. Antibody levels in baboons were in between these two categories. The results of the APA assay showed a highly statistically significant correlation with the assays of IgM antibody, and this was also the case for the IgM antibody assays, indicative of the assessment of the same antibodies in these assays. The same was observed for the assays for IgG antibody. Taking body weight as an indicator for age, there was no relationship between body weight and levels of antibodies.Natural antibody levels show a significant variation between various groups of non-human primates, with levels in some groups well above those in a human serum standard.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00139.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000221979600004
View details for PubMedID 15196127
Immune monitoring may use flow cytometry or molecular biology techniques. Flow cytometry assays cells that are phenotypically characterized, whereas TaqMan RT-PCR starts with RNA extraction from unfractionated heterogeneous cell populations. We therefore wondered how the effects of immunosuppressive drugs on cytokine production in stimulated whole blood, as determined by flow cytometry, would correlate with those obtained with quantitative real-time PCR (TaqMan RT-PCR).Blood drawn from naive cynomolgus monkeys was exposed to incremental amounts of cyclosporine (CsA; 300, 600, 900 and 1200 ng/ml) or tacrolimus (TRL; 8, 20, 40 and 80 ng/ml) before lectin stimulation in vitro. Blood was then either stained for CD3, IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-4, and TNF-alpha and analyzed on a flow cytometer with various gating strategies, or submitted to RNA extraction for analysis of the above mentioned cytokines mRNA transcripts using TaqMan RT-PCR.Both methods revealed a parallel dose-dependent inhibition of cytokine production in stimulated blood. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)'s) ranged from 511-771 ng/ml (CsA) and 15-29 ng/ml (TRL) with flow cytometry, and from 275-529 ng/ml (CsA) and 11-48 ng/ml (TRL) with TaqMan RT-PCR for T-helper 1 cytokines. Both assays correlated well with a Pearson product moment correlation of 0.76. Extending gating from a CD3(+) gate to a lymphocyte gate improved correlation (r = 0.85) for all cytokines investigated (except IL-2; unchanged) whereas further extending gating resulted, to the contrary, in lower correlations. Independent of gating strategy a high correlation (r = 0.97) was observed when drug IC(50)'s were considered.Flow cytometry and TaqMan RT-PCR may be used interchangeably to monitor the effects of candidate immunosuppressive drugs on cytokine mRNA production in lectin-stimulated whole blood.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jim.2004.04.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000223009400012
View details for PubMedID 15251418
AGI-1096 is a novel phenolic intracellular antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties. In vitro, AGI-1096 inhibited the inducible expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, E-selectin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in endothelial cells and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-1beta secretion from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. It also inhibited serum-stimulated proliferation of aortic smooth-muscle cells. In vivo, AGI-1096 demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in a murine delayed-type hypersensitivity model. Given these antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties, we reasoned that AGI-1096 may be able to prevent chronic allograft arteriosclerosis. This hypothesis was tested in a rodent aortic transplantation model.Donor descending aortas from August-Copenhagen-Irish rats were heterotopically transplanted into Lewis rat abdomens in end-to-end fashion. Animals were assigned to six groups as follows: AGI-1096 0 mg/kg per day (vehicle, n = 10), 10 mg/kg per day (n = 10), 20 mg/kg per day (n = 10), 40 mg/kg per day (n = 10), positive control (cyclosporine A 10 mg/kg per day by oral gavage, n = 10), and isograft negative control (Lewis-to-Lewis, n = 5). AGI-1096 was administrated subcutaneously to recipient animals three days before the surgery and for 90 days thereafter. On day 90, the paraffin-embedded allograft sections were stained with Elastin-van Gieson's stain, and the intima/media (I/M) ratio and luminal narrowing (1%LN) was assessed by digital morphometry.AGI-1096 demonstrated dose-dependent lowering of the I/M ratio and %LN when compared with vehicle controls.This is the first study to show that treatment of allograft recipients with AGI-1096 decreases the incidence of transplant arteriosclerosis. These data suggest that AGI-1096 may be a promising new therapeutic agent for use in clinical transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000123076.05313.9F
View details for Web of Science ID 000221723400003
View details for PubMedID 15239610
Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality after lung transplantation. One initiating event in the development of obliteration of the airway lumen is epithelial injury. In our model of chronic rejection, initial ischemic injury and denudation of the epithelium occurs in the isografts, with eventual re-epithelialization and partial patency of the airway lumen. In contrast, allografts do not recover epithelium, and the airway lumen becomes obliterated. We hypothesized that because integrin alphaVbeta6 is expressed in healing epithelium, integrin alphaVbeta6 expression would be greatly increased in isografts, but not in allografts.Using a rat tracheal allograft rejection model as a source of 4- to 5-microm tissue sections, we compared integrin staining in allografts vs isografts from animals at post-transplant Days 7, 14, 28, and 60. We analyzed the sections using immunohistochemistry after incubation with a specific monoclonal antibody E7P6 against integrin alphaVbeta6. Negative control slides were processed identically, except that primary antibody was omitted.The sections from healing, re-epithelializing isografts showed intense staining when using the antibody recognizing integrin alphaVbeta6, compared with the allografts studied. Days 7 and 14 isografts had increased epithelial expression of alphaVbeta6. As the isograft epithelium recovered, the intensity diminished at Days 28 and 60. In allografts, at Days 7 to 60, we detected only a comparatively low-level of expression in injured epithelium.Integrin alphaVbeta6 is readily detectable in healing isografts. Integrin alphaVbeta6 may be crucial in maintaining a viable epithelial cell layer, which is related to slowed progression of airway obliteration in OB.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053-2498(03)00206-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000220703700009
View details for PubMedID 15063405
Like allografts, vascularized xenografts are susceptible to a process of chronic rejection. We have used the hamster-to-rat aortic transplant model to study characteristics of this phenomenon and to determine whether it could be controlled or prevented by immunosuppressive therapy. Golden Syrian hamster aortas were transplanted into untreated Lewis rats, athymic rats, and Lewis rats receiving cyclosporin (10 mg/kg), leflunomide (5, 10 or 15 mg/kg), or 10 mg/kg of both drugs. Grafts were harvested on days 2, 7, 14, 28 and 56. Grafts and recipient spleens were analysed using computerized morphometry, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Blood was taken on various days for the measurement of anti-hamster antibodies (flow cytometry) and of the leflunomide metabolite A77 127. In untreated rats, by day 56, transplanted aortas developed a cell-free media with a mature neointimal lesion consisting of actin-positive cells, CD4 T cells, and macrophages. There were large increases in anti-hamster immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG, collections of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive cells in splenic germinal centres, and IgM, C3 and C5a deposition in aortas. In athymic recipients, the media architecture was preserved, and the changes in the neointima and in anti-hamster IgM and IgG were markedly abrogated, but not prevented. In Lewis rats receiving leflunomide, absence of circulating or deposited IgM did not prevent neointimal formation by day 14. Combination treatment was the most effective at preventing neointimal formation and humoral changes. Leflunomide monotherapy was the least effective. There were no changes in peak concentrations of the main metabolite of leflunomide over 8 weeks. The hamster-to-rat aortic transplant model is suitable for the study of xenograft vasculopathy, the histological and serological changes of which are predominantly T-cell dependent. Combination treatment with 10 mg/kg of cyclosporin and 10 mg/kg of leflunomide was most effective in preventing xenograft vasculopathy.
View details for Web of Science ID 000188992300006
View details for PubMedID 14962277
We tested the hypothesis that sustained suppression of immune functions by mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) throughout the dosing interval reduces the severity of rejection.Four groups of rat heart allograft recipients were treated orally daily through Day 5 with either: "low-dose" MMF, 10 mg/kg once daily (QD) or 5 mg/kg twice daily (BID); or "high-dose" MMF, 20 mg/kg QD or 10 mg/kg BID. The following were determined for all animals on Day 6: pharmacokinetics (PK, using high-performance liquid chromatography) of mycophenolic acid (MPA); pharmacodynamics (PD, by flow cytometry quantitation of whole blood mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and expression of diverse T-cell surface activation molecules); and histologic graft rejection scores (RS).RS correlated with PD for suppression of both lymphocyte proliferation and transferrin receptor expression (r2 = 0.85 and 0.81, respectively) more highly than with MPA plasma levels (r2 = 0.45), which shows the validity of PD as surrogate markers of MMF efficacy. MMF 5 mg/kg BID produced greater (p < 0.001) suppression of lymphocyte proliferation (area under the PD effect-time curve, AUE = 2,010% inhibition. hour) and sustained trough (E0) PD effect (86% suppression) than MMF 10 mg/kg QD (AUE = 1,436% inhibition. hour, E0 = 55%). RS did not differ between the 20 mg/kg QD and 10 mg/kg BID "high-dose" groups, because PD was maximally suppressed.PD were surrogate markers for MMF immunosuppressive efficacy. MMF 5 mg/kg BID produced more sustained suppression of both PD and rejection than MMF 10 mg/kg QD.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053-2498(03)00194-3
View details for Web of Science ID 000220155700011
View details for PubMedID 15019644
A-285222 (A-285) is a bis-trifluoromethyl-pyrazole (BTP), a novel class of immunosuppressive agents that inhibit NFAT activity in vitro in human and non-human primate cells through a calcineurin-independent mechanism. In this preliminary study, we treated cynomolgus monkeys with different doses of A-285 for several days. Blood was collected from all animals at different times during the study. From these samples, plasma concentrations of A-285 were measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), and intracellular T-cell production of the cytokines IL-2, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha was quantified by flow cytometry using a mitogen-stimulated whole blood assay. Marked inhibition of cytokine production occurred after administration of the first dose of A-285, and this effect was comparable to that of cyclosporine. While neurological toxic side effects were seen when the plasma concentration of A-285 exceeded 4 microg/ml, at lower plasma levels the drug was well tolerated over 2 weeks and its pharmacodynamic effects were sustained throughout this time.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00147-003-0676-1
View details for Web of Science ID 000220559900006
View details for PubMedID 14735234
ISA(TX)247 is a novel calcineurin inhibitor that has shown more potency than cyclosporine in vitro. This is the first in vivo study of the effects of ISA(TX)247 on lymphocyte functions in non-human primates.Groups of cynomolgus monkeys were treated orally twice daily for 7 days, each dose consisting of 25 mg/kg cyclosporine (n = 5), 25 mg/kg ISA(TX)247 (n = 6) or 50 mg/kg ISA(TX)247 (n = 6). Levels of cyclosporine and ISA(TX)247 in whole blood were measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. After mitogen stimulation, lymphocyte proliferation was assessed by tritium-labeled thymidine incorporation and by flow cytometry (expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen in cells in S/G(2)M phase). Flow cytometry was also used to assess production of intracellular cytokines by T cells (interleukin-2, interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and expression of T-cell surface activation antigens (CD25, CD71, CD11a, CD95, CD154).Trough (C(14 hr)) and peak (C(3 hr)) drug levels, as well as area under the concentration-time curve, were significantly higher for cyclosporine than ISA(TX)247 (370 ng/ml vs 70 ng/ml, 877 ng/ml vs 303 ng/ml and 6,262 ng. h/ml vs 1,979 ng. h/ml, respectively). On Day 7 at C(14 hr), lymphocyte proliferation had been suppressed by approximately 50% in all groups compared with proliferation before treatment. Three hours after dosing, lymphocyte proliferation was inhibited significantly more by ISA(TX)247 (approximately 80%, with no differences between the two ISA(TX)247 dose levels) than by cyclosporine (65% inhibition). Similar differences between the immunosuppressive effects of ISA(TX)247 and cyclosporine were found for inhibition of expression of T-cell surface activation antigens. Despite lower ISA(TX)247 exposures compared with cyclosporine, the cyclosporine treatment only rarely suppressed cytokine production more than treatment with ISA(TX)247.In non-human primates, ISA(TX)247 produces a greater or similar inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation, expression of T-cell activation surface antigens, and cytokine production when compared with cyclosporine, despite ISA(TX)247's lower blood levels and total exposure. We conclude that ISA(TX)247 suppresses diverse T-cell functions more potently than cyclosporine in non-human primates in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053-2498(03)00033-0
View details for Web of Science ID 000187162200008
View details for PubMedID 14672749
Although current immunosuppressive drugs are effective, they have numerous severe side effects that mandate the search for new agents. Mutations in the gene for janus kinase (JAK)3 result in severe combined immune deficiency with severely impaired humoral and cellular immunity, an observation that has prompted the development of JAK3 inhibitors. Due to its central role in lymphocyte activation, proliferation and homeostasis, targeting the JAK/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway may provide the required efficacy, without the toxicities associated with current therapies. Several studies conducted in rodents have validated the proof-of-concept, with a variety of JAK3 inhibitors demonstrating efficacy for immune suppression. In addition, the selective JAK3 inhibitor CP-690550 (Pfizer Inc) significantly improved allograft survival in a stringent preclinical model in primates and exhibited a good safety profile in non-human primates. This, along with studies of protein kinase inhibitors for cancer treatment, could demonstrate that development of effective, safe and selective kinase inhibitors for immunosuppression is possible.
View details for PubMedID 14758768
Because of its requirement for signaling by multiple cytokines, Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) is an excellent target for clinical immunosuppression. We report the development of a specific, orally active inhibitor of JAK3, CP-690,550, that significantly prolonged survival in a murine model of heart transplantation and in cynomolgus monkeys receiving kidney transplants. CP-690,550 treatment was not associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or lymphoproliferative disease. On the basis of these preclinical results, we believe JAK3 blockade by CP-690,550 has potential for therapeutically desirable immunosuppression in human organ transplantation and in other clinical settings.
View details for Web of Science ID 000186258000052
View details for PubMedID 14593182
Weight gain is frequently observed after lung transplantation, but the magnitude, predictors and implications of weight gain after lung transplant are unknown.This retrospective cohort study included 826 lung transplant recipients randomly selected from 12 international transplant centers. We included adult patients with available weight data at baseline and 1 year post-transplant. We examined demographic and clinical predictors of first year weight gain using a multiple linear regression model (n = 579) with percent weight change as the dependent variable. To study the association between first year weight gain and subsequent survival, we performed a Cox proportional hazards analysis. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.The median weight change was 10% (range -32% to 84%). On multi-variate analysis, increasing age and prolonged mechanical ventilation were inversely associated with weight gain; obstructive disease, interstitial disease and increasing ischemic time were positively associated with weight gain. Increasing baseline weight was negatively associated with weight gain in patients with obstructive and interstitial disease. The model accounted for 14% of the variance in weight gain. Patients with weight gain above the median had better subsequent survival (adjusted hazard ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.41 to 0.90). Infection was a more common cause of death in these patients, whereas malignant deaths were more frequent in patients with below-median weight gain.Substantial weight gain occurs in the first year after lung transplantation. The predictors of weight gain may be used to target high-risk patients for early intervention. Higher weight gain is associated with better subsequent survival.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053-2498(02)00807-0
View details for Web of Science ID 000184634300010
View details for PubMedID 12909470
Failure to control chronic graft dysfunction [e.g. graft vascular disease (GVD)] is the primary cause of immunologic graft failure. This is the first study of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for the treatment of GVD in non-human primate recipients of aortic allografts. Abdominal aortic allografts were exchanged between mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR) -mismatched, blood-group-compatible cynomolgus monkeys. Six control recipients were untreated. Individualized treatment with frequent dose adjustments of MMF insured that treatment was close to the maximum tolerated dose (mean 99.2 mg/kg/day). Immune-mediated injury proceeded unhindered until day 45, after which MMF treatment began. Changes in intimal volume (IV) were quantified by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and compared to histology on day 105. Serial IVUS measurements of IV (mm(3)) in controls showed progressive GVD. In four out of six animals, MMF was well tolerated, thus enabling optimum treatment; in all these animals, IV was significantly less than in the control animals (p = 0.02). In the two remaining animals, high doses were not tolerated; at day 105, there was no significant difference in IV between them and the controls. We found a significant correlation between the mean MMF tolerated dose and the inhibition of progression of IV (r = -0.88, p = 0.015). When high MMF doses were tolerated, MMF slowed progression of GVD.
View details for Web of Science ID 000184032600007
View details for PubMedID 12814473
Co-stimulatory blockade has been shown to prolong allograft survival in different transplant models. We investigated the effect of combining humanized anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with sirolimus in cynomolgus monkey renal transplant recipients.After renal transplantation, groups of four animals were treated daily with sirolimus, sirolimus and nine weekly doses of mAb, two weekly doses of mAb, or sirolimus and two weekly doses of mAb.Survival was significantly better in monkeys treated with the combination of sirolimus and mAb when compared with treatment with either agent alone (P=0.0067 by log-rank analysis). When combined with sirolimus, nine weekly doses of mAb did not result in an additional survival benefit compared with only two mAb doses (P=0.74). None of the treatment regimens used in this study resulted in development of transplantation tolerance.Sirolimus can be successfully combined with humanized mAb against CD80 and CD86. Induction with a short course of mAb is effective in prolonging allograft survival in combination with sirolimus.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000066806.10029.7A
View details for Web of Science ID 000183910400033
View details for PubMedID 12829920
Delayed treatment with sirolimus (SRL) halts progression of graft vascular disease (GVD) in nonhuman primate (NHP) aortic allograft recipients. In this study, we investigated whether SRL monotherapy prevents the development of GVD.Pairs of 3-cm infrarenal aortic segments were exchanged between mixed lymphocyte reaction-mismatched, blood group-compatible NHPs (n=12). Six NHPs were untreated controls, and 6 were treated orally with SRL starting on the day of transplantation. Follow-up was 105 days. SRL doses were adjusted individually by assessing SRL blood concentrations, immune function, and clinical status. The severity of GVD was determined every 3 weeks by intravascular ultrasound, which quantified intimal area (IA) and intimal volume (IV) for the middle 1-cm graft segments. The mean+/-SEM SRL plasma levels were 14.5+/-9 ng/mL. In grafts from treated NHPs, IA and IV values on days 63, 84, and 105 were significantly lower than for controls (P<0.05 to P<0.001). On day 105, in the grafts from SRL-treated NHPs compared with grafts from controls, values (mean+/-SEM) were IA, 2.9+/-0.9 versus 5.5+/-0.7 mm2, P<0.001 and IV, 29.6+/-4.6 versus 55.2+/-2.8 mm3, P<0.001; IA and IV values for grafts from SRL-treated NHPs did not increase significantly between days 21 and 105.We show that SRL monotherapy prevented GVD in NHP aortic allograft recipients, suggesting the value of SRL for controlling GVD in clinical transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1161/01.CIR.0000065576.80196.A4
View details for Web of Science ID 000182807000028
View details for PubMedID 12719285
The malononitrilamide FK778 is a leflunomide analogue with a shorter half-life than leflunomide. Groups of cynomolgus monkeys were treated orally with various doses of FK778 once daily for 7 days: group A, 10 mg/kg ( n=4); group B, 5 mg/kg ( n=3); and group C, one single loading dose of 20 mg/kg followed by 5 mg/kg once daily ( n=2). Trough plasma concentration of FK778 was measured by HPLC. Lymphocyte proliferation and expression of T-cell activation surface antigens were assessed by flow cytometry. In group A, trough plasma concentration of FK778 reached steady state at 48 h. After 7 days, lymphocyte proliferation was 23+/-7.4% (mean +/- SEM) and expression of CD71, CD25, CD11a and CD95 on T cells was less than 50% of pre-treatment baseline values. In group B, trough plasma levels of FK778 did not reach steady state, but dropped to near-zero levels after 3 days and on day 7 and lymphocyte proliferation and T-cell surface antigen expression were not different from pre-treatment baseline values. In group C, FK778 trough levels did not reach steady state, but drug exposure was evident over the entire period of treatment, and on day 7, lymphocyte proliferation was 11.4+/-8.6% of pre-treatment baseline values. We conclude that FK778 inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and expression of T-cell activation antigens in vivo in non-human primates after 1 week of treatment. These effects are related to the total drug exposure over the time of treatment. At doses lower than 10 mg/kg daily, FK778 is cleared from the circulation between the dosing intervals, thus failing to exert its inhibitory effects on immune functions.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00147-003-0591-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000183862700010
View details for PubMedID 12712238
The leflunomide analog, FK778, is a selective pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. In rodent models, FK778 is efficacious in the prevention of allograft and xenograft rejection, and a combination of FK778 and cyclosporine has synergistic immunosuppressive efficacy.Heterotopic renal transplantation was performed in 20 dogs. Dogs were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: Neoral alone (n=6), FK778 alone (n=7), or a combination of Neoral and FK778 (n=7). Dogs were killed when the plasma creatinine concentration exceeded 7 mg/dL. A complete postmortem examination was performed and the type of acute-active allograft rejection described.A combination of Neoral and FK778 significantly prolonged allograft survival (P=0.0007), with median survival times of 14.5 days for Neoral alone, 7 days for FK778 alone, and 36 days for Neoral and FK778. Allograft histologic changes were consistent with acute-active allograft rejection in 19 of 20 dogs: in the Neoral-alone group, four dogs were type IB, and two were type IIA; in the FK778-alone group, five dogs were type IB, and one was type IIB; and in the Neoral and FK778 group, three dogs were type IB, three were IIA, and one dog was type III. The dog with type III rejection appeared to experience acute sepsis before rejection. Vomiting, diarrhea, and histologic gastritis and enteritis were commonly observed in dogs treated with the combination of Neoral and FK778.A combination of Neoral and FK778 prolonged allograft survival in a robust rejection model. Further investigation of FK778 in organ transplantation is warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000061789.97072.12
View details for Web of Science ID 000182573100019
View details for PubMedID 12717190
FK778, a malononitrilamide analog of leflunomide, is currently being investigated for use in clinical transplantation.Whole blood from cynomolgus monkeys (n=4) and healthy human volunteers (n=4) was incubated with different concentrations of FK778 and stimulated with mitogens in culture medium. Lymphocyte proliferation was assessed by tritium-labeled thymidine incorporation and by flow-cytometric analysis of expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen on cells in S/G(2)M phase. Flow cytometry was also used to assess expression of T and B lymphocyte activation surface antigens and production of intracellular cytokines by T cells.Not only lymphocyte proliferation, but also expression of various T cell surface antigens (CD25, CD11a, CD95, CD154) was suppressed by FK778. Fifty percent effective concentration values for the different immune functions were lower in human blood than in blood from cynomolgus monkeys.FK778 inhibits multiple immune functions. Their flow cytometric evaluation can be used to assess the effects of the drug in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000183859300005
View details for PubMedID 12799199
The current standard of monitoring transplant patients by drug levels is not optimal because it does not take into account the different and individual effects of immunosuppressive drugs on each patient. In this study, the authors tested immune function assays for monitoring transplant patients. Blood was collected from stable renal transplant patients treated with cyclosporin, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone (n = 8), and from healthy volunteers (n = 12). Lymphocyte proliferation, expression of T-cell surface activation antigens (CD25, CD71, CD11a, CD95, CD154), production of intracellular cytokines (IL-2, INFgamma, TNFalpha), and lymphocyte subsets (CD4, CD8, CD16, CD20) were assessed by flow cytometry. Lymphocyte proliferation, expression of T-cell surface activation antigens, and production of intracellular cytokines were significantly decreased in transplant recipients compared with healthy control volunteers. The combined effects of several immunosuppressive drugs in renal transplant recipients can be quantitated with immune function assays in whole blood. This new method may be helpful to achieve an optimal level of immunosuppression for each patient.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180612500003
View details for PubMedID 12548140
The primary mechanism of action in vivo of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is believed to be inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation. We used novel assays of lymphocyte functions (pharmacodynamics, PD) in whole blood collected from rat heart allograft recipients treated with MMF to investigate the mechanisms of action of the active metabolite of MMF, mycophenolate acid (MPA) in vivo. Allograft recipients were treated orally once daily with 3 different doses of MMF. Seven days after transplantation, blood was collected 24h after the penultimate dose and several timepoints after the last dose, after which grafts were removed for microscopic grading of rejection. Lymphocytes in whole blood samples were mitogen stimulated through calcium-dependent and -independent signaling pathways. Inhibition of PD was measured by lymphocyte proliferation and expression of several surface antigens on T cells, and was calculated as area under the time-inhibition of immune function effect curve (AUE0-24h). We found that inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation and antigen expression by MPA correlated highly with MMF-dose, MPA level and with the histologic severities of graft rejection (p <0.05). In summary, MPA suppressed lymphocyte proliferation and expression of T-cell surface antigens in whole blood collected from MMF-treated allograft recipients, thus demonstrating the multiple mechanisms of suppression of rejection on peripheral blood T cells after MMF treatment.
View details for Web of Science ID 000178029900006
View details for PubMedID 12243493
The use of nonhuman primates in preclinical transplantation studies is becoming more common. This report details complete procedures developed for a successful life-supporting kidney allotransplantation program using the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis).All transplants were performed in wild-caught, ABO-matched, MLR-mismatched adult males. Transplant procedures were staggered: an animal first served as a donor, was allowed to recover for 4 weeks, and was subsequently used as a recipient. The kidney was flushed in situ while the aorta was briefly cross-clamped. The graft was implanted heterotopically end-to-side in the right iliac fossa using microsurgical techniques. An ureteroneocystostomy was constructed; a telemetry probe was inserted into the aorta, and the remaining native kidney was removed.Sixty-two transplants were performed in 6.9 +/- 0.1 kg animals. Operating times in the donor and recipient were 126 +/- 3 and 166 +/- 5 min, respectively. The cold ischemia time was 55 +/- 1 min. There were no intraoperative deaths. Postoperative complications were observed in six (9.7%) monkeys and consisted of one early renal arterial thrombosis and five ureteral complications (two of which were successfully repaired). Transplants were ultimately successful in 93.6% (58/62) of cases. Immediate kidney function was satisfactory, with a mean serum creatinine of 1.7 +/- 0.2 mg/dL and a mean urine output of 140 +/- 15 ml on postoperative day 7.Life-supporting kidney transplantation in cynomolgus macaques is a demanding operation that requires great attention to details. Precise surgical techniques, telemetric monitoring, ultrasound surveillance, and aggressive, early, postoperative fluid resuscitation produced a 94% success rate.
View details for DOI 10.1006/jsre.2002.6499
View details for Web of Science ID 000178680600010
View details for PubMedID 12384066
To evaluate a combination of MNA 715 and microemulsifed cyclosporine for the prevention of renal allograft rejection in mismatched mongrel dogs.Randomized, experimental study.Fourteen female mismatched mongrel dogs.Heterotopic renal transplantation and bilateral nephrectomy were performed in each dog. Dogs were randomly assigned to receive either MNA 715 and cyclosporine (n = 8) or cyclosporine alone (n = 6). Dogs were killed at 100 days after transplantation or when plasma creatinine exceeded 7 mg/dL.In the cyclosporine and MNA 715 group: 4 dogs survived to 100 days with normal plasma creatinine concentrations; 2 dogs with intestinal intussusceptions were killed at 5 and 8 days, 1 dog with a wound infection and sepsis was killed at 14 days, and 1 dog with a serum creatinine concentration >7 mg/dL was killed at 51 days postoperatively. In the cyclosporine-alone group: 3 dogs with acute rejection were killed at 6 to 9 days and 3 dogs survived to 100 days. In dogs treated with cyclosporine and MNA 715, survival to histologically confirmed acute rejection was significantly longer (P =.044) and the degree of mononuclear cell infiltration was significantly reduced (P =.040), compared with dogs treated with cyclosporine alone.MNA 715 combined with cyclosporine prolonged allograft survival and reduced the severity of histologic rejection in a clinically relevant renal transplant model.An immunosuppressive regimen consisting of MNA715 and microemulsified cyclosporine may be effective in preventing allograft rejection in canine renal transplant patients.
View details for DOI 10.1053/jvet.2002.33615
View details for Web of Science ID 000176573100009
View details for PubMedID 12094350
The antiproliferative effects of MMF are believed to be the mechanism of its immunosuppressive action. We further investigated the mechanisms of action by assessing the pharmacodynamics (PD) of MMF in treated animals using whole blood assays not only of lymphocyte proliferation but also of activation. In vitro, different MPA concentrations were added to rat whole blood. In vivo, Lewis rats were treated with single doses of 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg MMF (n = 6 rats/dose group). Blood was obtained before and at different times after drug administration. For both in vitro and in vivo studies, different mitogens with calcium-dependent (TCR) or -independent (co-stimulatory) pathways of lymphocyte activation were added to the blood for stimulation. Proliferation was measured by [3H]TdR incorporation and by flow cytometric detection of DNA content. Activation was measured by changes in T cell surface expression of CD25, CD134, CD71, CD11a and CD54. In vitro and in vivo studies showed a dose-dependent inhibition by MPA and MMF, respectively, of lymphocyte proliferation and surface antigen expression. We observed high correlations between MMF PD effects over time with both MMF dose and MPA plasma concentrations in vivo. We show that MMF, apart from its antiproliferative effect, induced a dose-dependent suppression of calcium-dependent and -independent stimulated expression of important lymphocyte cell surface antigens. These data suggest that the ex vivo assessment of immune function in whole blood can uncover new mechanisms of MMF action. Our results demonstrated that the measurement of the PD is a means to assess the functional effects of MMF after its administration in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000177373000001
View details for PubMedID 12182459
We constructed miniaturized autoantigen arrays to perform large-scale multiplex characterization of autoantibody responses directed against structurally diverse autoantigens, using submicroliter quantities of clinical samples. Autoantigen microarrays were produced by attaching hundreds of proteins, peptides and other biomolecules to the surface of derivatized glass slides using a robotic arrayer. Arrays were incubated with patient serum, and spectrally resolvable fluorescent labels were used to detect autoantibody binding to specific autoantigens on the array. We describe and characterize arrays containing the major autoantigens in eight distinct human autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. This represents the first report of application of such technology to multiple human disease sera, and will enable validated detection of antibodies recognizing autoantigens including proteins, peptides, enzyme complexes, ribonucleoprotein complexes, DNA and post-translationally modified antigens. Autoantigen microarrays represent a powerful tool to study the specificity and pathogenesis of autoantibody responses, and to identify and define relevant autoantigens in human autoimmune diseases.
View details for Web of Science ID 000174139500036
View details for PubMedID 11875502
In our established model of heterotopic tracheal transplantation, at day 28 following transplantation, obliteration of the lumen is observed, which is histologically similar to that seen in Obliterative Bronchiolitis (OB). Pirfenidone (Pir) is a novel anti-fibrotic agent that causes no immunosuppression, but does downregulate the production of TGF-beta and collagen in vitro. We hypothesized that when used in this in vivo model, that Pir may alter the observed luminal fibrosis and obliteration.The treatment groups were: CSA, Pir and CSA, Pir only (n=6 each). Luminal supernatants and tissue were obtained from these groups at day 28. H&E staining was completed, as well as MTS proliferation assays, and TGF-beta ELISA on the fluids.The CSA-Pir combined treatment group was the least fibrogenic in vitro (p<0.001). The TGF-beta levels were elevated in all groups (range 203-372 pg/ml). The H&E staining revealed that the luminal obliteration was less organized in the combined CSA-Pir group.Our study shows that the combination of CSA-Pir results in a less fibrogenic luminal fluid and a less dense fibrous luminal plug. Pir should be further studied in obliterative airways disease (OAD).
View details for DOI 10.1006/pupt.2002.0367
View details for Web of Science ID 000178956500005
View details for PubMedID 12406665
To describe the clinical signs and histopathologic features of renal allograft rejection in cats, and to provide a historical, untreated control group for use in future studies of feline renal allograft rejection.Fourteen adult research cats.Renal transplantation and bilateral nephrectomy were performed in pairs of immunogenically mismatched cats. A physical examination was performed, and packed cell volume, total protein, and plasma creatinine concentrations were measured each day after surgery. The cats were euthanatized when plasma creatinine concentration exceeded 7 mg/dL or when weight loss exceeded 20%. Renal histopathology was scored according to the Banff 97 criteria by 3 pathologists.Nine cats completed the study. Plasma creatinine exceeded 7 mg/dL in 5 cats, weight loss exceeded 20% in 3 cats, and 1 cat was found dead. Clinical signs in cats with rejection were nonspecific or absent. Rectal temperature decreased by 0.8 +/- 0.5 degrees C in the 24 hours before euthanasia. The pathologists agreed on the allograft histopathologic category in 6 of 9 cats. The histologic consensus was acute/active rejection in 8 cats and normal in 1 cat. Median survival time of the 8 cats with histologically confirmed allograft rejection was 23 days (range, 8-34 days).Renal allograft rejection is associated with minimal clinical signs. Therefore, plasma creatinine concentration should be measured routinely in patients with a functioning allograft. An increase in plasma creatinine concentration is highly suspicious for allograft rejection, although a biopsy of the renal allograft is needed for definitive diagnosis.
View details for Web of Science ID 000173116200007
View details for PubMedID 11778167
Antibodies play a crucial role in the rejection of xenografts. We tested the hypothesis that xenografts are protected against antibody-mediated attack early after transplantation in a concordant model. We investigated the role of xenoreactive antibodies as a stimulus for protection and the effects of a total blockade of the antibody response by the leflunomide analog malononitrilamide 279. Hamster cardiac xenografts were transplanted to Lewis rat recipients. Second transplants and retransplants of xenografts were performed to untreated rats that had a xenograft in place for 3 d. Untreated rats rejected hamster cardiac xenografts after 4.0 +/- 0.0 d. Significant levels of anti-donor IgM, as measured by flowcytometry, were present on day 3 after transplantation (11.2% +/- 2.8 vs. 1.2% +/- 0.0 on day 0, P < 0.001). 'Fresh' second xenografts transplanted to rats that had a first xenograft in place for 3 d and had anti-hamster antibodies, underwent hyperacute rejection. The first xenografts remained functioning. Xenografts that were removed on day 3 from untreated rats and then retransplanted remained functioning. Xenografts that were removed on d 3 from rats that had been treated with malononitrilamide 279, 15 mg/kg/d and were retransplanted underwent hyperacute rejection. IgM levels at the time of removal were 1.1% +/- 0.5 in these rats and not different from baseline (P = 0.96). We conclude that xenografts are protected against antibody-mediated damage early after transplantation. The presence of anti-donor antibodies might be an essential stimulus for the induction of protection. There seems to be a delicate balance between the injurious and protective effects of antibodies. Treatment strategies that are designed to block antibody formation completely might prevent the induction of protection.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172007900003
View details for PubMedID 11737849
Goblet cells are important in the maintenance of the epithelial cell population in the airway, defense against injury and storage and release of mucins, which can protect the surface epithelial layer. In our rat tracheal model of acute rejection, there is injury and loss of respiratory epithelium in allografts. This loss of epithelium is associated with obliteration of the airway lumen. In small bowel allografts, studies have shown that the loss of goblet cells is an important histologic feature of rejection. The aims of this study were: (i) to examine for the first time the close time-course of goblet cell proliferation in acute rejection; and (ii) to compare the isograft vs. allograft morphometric changes associated with epithelial damage.Heterotopically transplanted rat tracheas (n = 45) were harvested at days 3,5,7, 10 and 12. Hematoxylin & eosin (H & E), Alcian blue and PAS staining was completed. Computerized image analysis was used to assess epithelial coverage. The mean number of PAS-positive goblet cells counted at 40x/field was determined, and 10 fields were counted per tracheal section. RESULTS There was a significant decrease in the number of goblet cells in the allografts between days 5 and 12 (p < 0.006). In the isografts, there was a gradual increase from day 3 to 10 (p < 0.05), then a sharp fall from day 10 to 12 (p < 0.03). In isografts from day 7 to 10, the goblet cell number increased, while the percentage respiratory epithelium remained the same. The percentage respiratory epithelial coverage and the number of goblet cells showed a direct correlation in the allografts (r2 = 0.57).Our study shows, for the first time, that goblet cell proliferation occurs in the epithelial repair phase in isografts, whereas in allografts the goblet cells are lost and do not recover.
View details for Web of Science ID 000173467300006
View details for PubMedID 12099375
Recent studies have shown some efficacy using monotherapy with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against CD80 and CD86 receptors after life-supporting renal transplantation in non-human primates. Our study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of combinations of the same mAbs with either microemulsion cyclosporine (CsA) or steroids.Unilateral renal transplantation was performed in 16 blood group-matched and MLR-mismatched cynomolgus monkeys that were assigned to four different treatment groups. All monkeys in groups I, II, and IV were treated with the combination of a CD80 (h1F1) and CD86 (h3D1) mAb given at 20 mg/kg each preoperatively, then 5 mg/kg at weekly intervals starting postoperative (po) day 0 until poday 56 (9 doses). In group I the animals (n=4) were treated with mAbs only. In group II (n=4) mAbs were combined with a CsA regimen adjusted daily to maintain target 24 hr trough levels of 150-300 ng/ml CsA for poday 0 to poday 56. In group III (n=4) the animals received CsA monotherapy according to the same regimen as group II. In group IV methylprednisone was administered at 2 mg/kg IV on poday 0-2, then at 0.5 mg/kg/day prednisone per gavage that was and tapered to 0.2 mg/kg/day on which they were maintained until poday 56. All animals were off all immunosuppressive treatment after poday 56 and were then followed until poday 119.The mean survival of groups I-IV was 74 (range 9-119 days), 113 (96-119 days), 39 (22-71 days), and 79 days (6 to 119), respectively. All animals in group I showed clinical evidence of acute severe rejection (fever, creatinine increase, anuria) within the first week posttransplant, including those that retained renal function until poday 119. Only one animal in group II had a moderate clinical rejection during the treatment period and three of four animals survived the intended follow-up period. All animals in group III had multiple biopsy proven or severe clinical rejection episodes within the first 21 days and only one animal survived beyond poday 40. Moderate or severe acute rejection was diagnosed in three of four animals of group IV within the first 28 days post transplant and only one animal survived until poday 119.Our data show that combining a calcineurin inhibitor or prednisone with mAbs designed to block costimulatory signals does not antagonize the immunosuppressive efficacy of these mAbs. In addition, combining CsA with mAbs directed against the CD80 and CD86 receptors significantly prolongs graft survival when compared to CsA monotherapy. Therefore clinical trials of humanized mAbs to CD80 and CD86 used in combination with conventional immunosuppression can be considered.
View details for Web of Science ID 000171239500025
View details for PubMedID 11579312
Graft vascular disease (GVD) is the most common cause of late graft failure in solid organ transplantation. Recent studies have shown good efficacy of a novel nontoxic viral-derived serine proteinase inhibitor (SERP-1) in preventing postangioplasty restenosis. The current study was designed to test whether short-term treatment with SERP-1 was effective in reducing the incidence of GVD in a solid organ transplant.Piebald-Virol-Glaxo (PVG) donor hearts were transplanted into August-Copenhagen-Irish (ACI) recipients and observed for 90 days. All recipients (n=60) were treated with microemulsion cyclosporine (CsA) 7.5 mg/kg per gavage from day 0 to day 9 and randomized into 4 groups. SERP-1 was given intravenously. Group I received CsA monotherapy; group II, CsA+SERP-1 1 ng/g (postoperative days 0-9); group III, CsA+SERP-1 10 ng/g (postoperative days 0-9); and group IV, CsA+SERP-1 10 ng/g (postoperative days 0-9, 30, and 60). Graft viability was monitored by palpation, and GVD was assessed by morphometry.Two animals in group I rejected their allografts on postoperative days 7 and 14, 1 animal in group II rejected the allograft (postoperative day 31), and none in group III and IV rejected the allografts. At 90 days postoperative, 23.8% of all coronary vessels showed evidence of GVD in group I, 18.4% in group II, 12.9% in group III, and 11.8% in group IV. The difference in incidence of GVD was significant between groups I and III (P<0.05) and groups I and IV (P<0.05). Treatment with SERP-1 was well tolerated, and all animals regained weight quickly postsurgery.Treatment of allograft recipients with SERP-1 in combination with CsA early after transplantation significantly decreases the incidence of GVD when compared to grafts treated with only CsA. These results demonstrate the clinical potential for this novel serine protease inhibitor to prevent GVD in solid organ transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170587000003
View details for PubMedID 11502962
We have optimized assays to measure mitogen-stimulated rat lymphocyte activation in whole blood and have used these assays to quantitate the potencies of immunosuppressive drugs with different mechanisms of action. To define the optimal conditions for measuring T cell functions in whole blood, the effects of different concentrations of mitogens that activate T cells through calcium-dependent and -independent pathways were measured over time. Proliferation was measured by tritium-labeled thymidine ([3H]-TdR) incorporation and by flow cytometric analysis of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)/DNA content. Furthermore, we detected the increases in percent expression of cell-surface activation antigens (CD25, CD134, CD71, CD11a and CD54). Concanavalin A (Con A) stimulated maximum lymphocyte proliferation and expression of T cell surface activations by 72-96 h, which was 48 h later than stimulation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus anti-CD28 monoclonal antibody (mAb) or PMA plus ionomycin (IONO). Addition of sirolimus, tacrolimus, cyclosporine or the active metabolite of leflunomide, A77 1726, to mitogen-stimulated whole blood produced drug concentration-dependent inhibitions of lymphocyte proliferation and expression of cell surface activation antigen expression. From these data, we determined drug potencies (inhibitory concentration of 50%, IC(50)) and drug concentrations causing maximum inhibition of T cell functions (I(max)). We developed simple and reproducible assays to measure different lymphocyte functions in whole blood cultures. These assays were used to investigate the mechanisms of different immunosuppressive drugs. These methods can be exploited to measure T cell functions in blood collected from subjects treated with immunosuppressants in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169258800009
View details for PubMedID 11384672
Cell cycle progression represents a key event in vascular proliferative diseases, one that depends on an increased rate of protein synthesis. An increase in phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity is associated with vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, and rapamycin, which blocks the activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin, inhibits this proliferation in vitro and in vivo. We hypothesized that these 2 molecules converge on a critical pathway of translational regulation that is essential for successful upregulation of cell cycle-regulatory proteins in activated smooth muscle cells. p70(S6) kinase, a target of PI 3-kinase and the mammalian target of rapamycin, was rapidly activated on growth factor stimulation of quiescent coronary artery smooth muscle cells and after balloon injury of rat carotid arteries. The translational repressor protein 4E-binding protein 1 was similarly hyperphosphorylated under these conditions. These events were associated with increases in the protein levels of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase 1, cyclin-dependent kinase 2, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and p21(Cip1) in vivo and in vitro, whereas inhibition of the PI 3-kinase signaling pathway with either rapamycin or wortmannin blocked the upregulation of these cell cycle proteins, but not mRNA, and arrested the cells in vitro before S phase. In contrast to findings in other cell types, growth factor- or balloon injury-induced downregulation of the cell cycle inhibitor p27(Kip1) was not affected by rapamycin treatment. These data suggest that cell cycle progression in vascular cells in vitro and in vivo depends on the integrity of the PI 3-kinase signaling pathway in allowing posttranscriptional accumulation of cell cycle proteins.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170005200011
View details for PubMedID 11451744
We have previously shown that anti-leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 (CD11a) monoclonal antibody (mAb) prevents acute rejection and produces donor-specific unresponsiveness in murine recipients of heterotopic heart allografts. Here, we investigate the ability of this mAb to prevent the development of obliterative airway disease (OAD) in murine recipients of tracheal allografts.BALB/c tracheae were heterotopically transplanted into C3H mice. OAD developed by day 28 after transplantation and was characterized histologically by a loss of epithelial cell coverage and luminal obliteration of the tracheal allograft with a proliferation of fibrogenic mesenchymal cells, which is a lesion comparable to obliterative bronchiolitis in human lung transplant recipients. Monotherapy with anti-LFA-1 mAb preserved graft epithelium, prevented the development of OAD, and maintained unresponsiveness to donor antigen for more than 42 days after the final mAb administration.These findings suggest the potential for anti-LFA-1 mAb therapy to suppress both acute and chronic rejection in clinical lung transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169420900022
View details for PubMedID 11435974
Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is almost completely absorbed from the gut and is rapidly de-esterified into its active drug, mycophenolic acid (MPA). The main metabolite is glucuronidated MPA (MPAG), which is excreted into bile and undergoes enterohepatic recirculation. Studies in healthy volunteers treated with cholestyramine show that interruption of the enterohepatic recirculation decreases MPA exposure by approximately 40%. Published data show a difference in mycophenolic acid plasma concentrations between kidney transplant recipients treated with MMF plus cyclosporine (CsA) and those treated with MMF plus tacrolimus (TRL). However, the interpretation of these data is complicated by interpatient differences in variables that may influence MMF pharmacokinetics (e.g., underlying disease, co-medication, and time since transplantation). To understand the influence of TRL and CsA on MMF pharmacokinetics (PK) more completely, the authors eliminated confounding variables in clinical studies by performing drug interaction studies in inbred rats. To achieve a steady state, 3 groups of Lewis rats (n = 8 per group) were treated once daily with oral CsA (8 mg/kg), TRL (4 mg/kg), or placebo on days 0-6 before all rats began once-daily oral treatment with MMF (20 mg/kg) on day 7. Combined treatment with either MMF + CsA, MMF + TRL, or MMF + placebo was continued for 1 week (days 8-14). Thereafter, CsA and TRL treatments were stopped but MMF treatment was continued on days 14-21. Blood was sampled during the 24 hours subsequent to dosing on day 7 (after the first MMF dose), on day 14 (after multiple MMF doses) and on day 21 (after CsA/TRL washout). Rats in the MMF + TRL group and in the MMF + placebo group showed a second peak in the MPA-PK profiles consistent with enterohepatic recirculation of MPA. The MPA-PK profiles for the MMF + CsA-treated animals did not show a second MPA peak. On Day 14, the mean plasma MPA-AUC(0-24 hours) for the CsA-treated animals was significantly less than MPA exposures for rats in the MMF + TRL- and the MMF + placebo-treated groups. Furthermore, in contrast to results from other investigators, co-administration of CsA and MMF significantly increased MPAG-AUC(0-24 hours). Serum creatinines did not differ among rats in the three groups. CsA but not TRL decreased MPA plasma levels and increased MPAG-AUC(0-24 hours). These data suggest that CsA inhibits MPAG excretion into bile and offer an explanation for the well-known increased MPA exposure in organ transplant patients caused by conversion from CsA- to TRL-based immunosuppression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167667100005
View details for PubMedID 11294511
RAD is a novel macrolide with potent immunosuppressive and antiproliferative activities. This study characterizes the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of two different single oral doses of RAD in stable lung and heart/lung transplant recipients with and without cystic fibrosis (CF).This was a Phase I, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, two-period, two-sequence, crossover study. Single doses of RAD capsules at doses of 0.035 mg/kg (2.5 mg maximum) or 0.10 mg/kg (7.5 mg maximum) were administered with cyclosporine (Neoral [cyclosporine, USP] modified), steroids, and azathioprine on Day 1. The alternate dose was administered on Day 16. Laboratory assessments, vital signs, and adverse events were recorded throughout the study. RAD pharmacokinetic profiles were assessed over a 7-day period following each dose. Steady-state cyclosporine (CsA) profiles were assessed at baseline and with each RAD dose; RAD and CsA trough concentrations were obtained throughout the study period.Of the 20 patients randomized, 8 had CF and 12 did not. Single doses of RAD were safe and well tolerated. Headache was the most common side effect. RAD produced a mild, dose-dependent, reversible decrease in platelet and leukocyte counts. Cholesterol and triglycerides were minimally affected. At both doses, CF patients had significantly lower peak concentrations of RAD than did non-CF patients (p = 0.03); however, overall exposure (area under the curve/dose) was not different between the groups (p = 0.63). At the higher dose, there was a clinically minor under-proportionality in AUC, averaging -11%. Steady-state pharmacokinetics of CsA were not affected by RAD co-administration.RAD was safe and well tolerated by stable lung and heart/lung transplant recipients with and without CF. The presence of CF did not influence the extent of RAD exposure. Single doses of RAD did not affect the pharmacokinetics of CsA. Ongoing studies are assessing the long-term safety and efficacy of RAD in lung and heart/lung transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167590800008
View details for PubMedID 11257560
View details for PubMedID 11250450
View details for PubMedID 11250239
Assays of drug blood levels are used for therapeutic immunosuppressive drug monitoring (pharmacokinetics, PK). We monitored lymphocyte functions (pharmacodynamics, PD) in allograft recipients treated with mycophenolic acid (MPA) to determine its mechanisms and the relationships among dose levels, PK, PD, and histological severity of graft rejection.Lewis rats transplanted with Brown Norway (BN) rat hearts were treated with different dose levels of MPA for 8, 15, or 29 days at which times grafts were removed and scored for rejection grade. Blood was analyzed (high-performance liquid chromatography) for MPA plasma concentrations (area under the concentration-time curve0-24 hr, C6 hr, trough) and for lymphocyte functions using concanavalin A-stimulated whole blood assays to measure lymphocyte proliferation (tritium labeled thymidine incorporation and flow cytometric bivariate proliferating nuclear cell antigen/DNA analysis) and activation (percent lymphocytes expressing CD25 or CD134). PD values were AUE0-24 hr (area under the PD effect-time curve), maximum inhibition and trough.MPA equipotently suppressed (by flow cytometry) both proliferation and activation and these effects correlated with MPA plasma levels (r2=0.80-0.91). Relationships among MPA dose levels, PK and PD were clear, direct, and reproducible. Correlation coefficients after 8 days of MPA treatment were: 0.90, 0.87, and 0.49 for MPA PK (AUC0-24 hr, C6 hr and trough) versus rejection scores; 0.80-0.89, 0.86-0.92, and 0.25-0.52 for PD flow cytometric assays (AUE0-24 hr, maximum inhibition, and trough) versus rejection scores.MPA inhibits both lymphocyte proliferation and activation. PD by flow cytometry (FCM) correlates highly with severity of graft rejection, showing that PD of MPA measured in peripheral blood predicts immune cell activity in graft tissue.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089966300009
View details for PubMedID 11045640
The inability to measure the effects of immunosuppressive drugs on immune cells in vivo has always severely limited preclinical drug development, the design and interpretation of clinical trials and the optimal clinical use of this drug class in transplantation. Now, new technologies using microliter samples of whole blood and exploiting the specificity, sensitivity and versatility of flow cytometry have been developed. These novel techniques not only are illuminating the 'black box' that has obscured the pharmacodynamic effects of immunosuppressants but also are uncovering new mechanisms of action of these drugs. Pharmacodynamic assays measure biologically relevant events in vivo, since changes in lymphocyte functions in blood collected from immunosuppressed graft recipients faithfully reflect histopathologic events within allograft tissue.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089144000011
View details for PubMedID 11007359
Current immunosuppressive protocols fail to prevent chronic rejection often manifested as graft vascular disease (GVD) in solid organ transplant recipients. Several new immunosuppressants including sirolimus, a dual function growth factor antagonist, have been discovered, but studies of drug efficacy have been hampered by the lack of a model of GVD in primates, as a prelude to clinical trials. As described earlier, we have developed a novel non-human primate model of GVD where progression of GVD is quantified by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).Twelve cynomolgus monkeys underwent aortic transplantation from blood group compatible but mixed lymphocyte reaction-mismatched donors. To allow the development of GVD in the allograft, no treatment was administered for the first 6 weeks. Six monkeys were treated orally with sirolimus from day 45 after transplantation to day 105.Progression of GVD measured as change in intimal area from day 42 to 105 was halted in sirolimus-treated monkeys compared to untreated monkeys (P<0.001, general linear model). On day 105, the intimal area +/- SEM was 3.7+/-1.0 and 6.4+/-0.5 mm2, respectively (P<0.05, t test). The magnitude of allograft intimal area on day 105 correlated inversely with sirolimus trough levels (R2=0.67, P<0.05). Regression of the intimal area was seen in four of six sirolimus-treated monkeys, which was significantly different from the untreated monkeys (P<0.05).Our results in the first non-human primate model of GVD showed that treatment with sirolimus not only halted the progression of preexisting GVD but also was associated with partial regression. Sirolimus trough blood levels were correlated with efficacy. Therefore, sirolimus has the potential to control clinical chronic allograft rejection.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089710700014
View details for PubMedID 11014651
Because epithelial cells are targets of alloimmune injury leading ultimately to airway obliteration, we tested whether epithelial re-growth could prevent obliterative airway disease (OAD) in orthotopic tracheal allografts.Brown Norway tracheal segments were orthotopically transplanted into nonimmunosuppressed Lewis rats. Allografts were removed on days 2-10 (n=13), 30 (n=4), and 60 (n=5) for histology, computerized morphometry (obliteration), and immunohistochemical detection of mononuclear cells, smooth muscle alpha-actin, and tissue phenotype. Normal tracheas, host tracheas, and heterotopically transplanted allografts served as controls.Orthotopic allografts removed on days 2-10 exhibited epithelial damage and re-growth and mononuclear cell infiltration. On days 30 and 60, partially ciliated cuboidal or attenuated epithelium completely covered the lumen. Although mononuclear cells declined, numerous T cells with a high CD4/CD8 ratio were found in the epithelium till day 60. Orthotopic allograft epithelium expressed donor phenotype on day 7, but recipient phenotype on days 30 and 60. Despite subepithelial alpha-actin positive myofibroblast proliferation, obliteration did not progress from day 7 to 30 and 60 (35, 30, and 33%, respectively). Although more than in normal or host tracheas, the obliteration in orthotopic allografts on days 30 and 60 was significantly less (P<0.001) than in heterotopic allografts.We describe, for the first time, longterm patency of fully histoincompatible orthotopic tracheal allografts in nonimmunosuppressed rats. Despite acute alloimmune injury and induction of myofibroblast proliferation, epithelial re-growth from the host limited the progression of OAD, thus emphasizing the role of epithelium in the control of airway obliteration.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089710700001
View details for PubMedID 11014638
Graft vascular disease (GVD) is an incompletely understood process and the primary cause of late allograft failure. A nonhuman primate model was established to study the progression of GVD by using serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).Aortic allografts were transplanted below the inferior mesenteric arteries (IMA) into 6 rhesus monkeys. Removed and re-implanted aortic segments between renal arteries, and the inferior mesenteric arteries served as autografts. IVUS was performed at days 0, 24, 52, 80, and 98 after transplantation. Vessel area (VA) and lumen area (LA) were measured from each cross-section at 0.5 mm intervals. Intimal index (II=100x (VA-LA/VA)) and corresponding vessel volumes were calculated for the whole grafts. Histologic features were assessed from autopsy samples using computerized morphometric method and a score from 0 to 3 for GVD (0=none, 3=severe).In allografts, vessel volume and luminal volume decreased significantly (P<0.05 for both) and the intimal index increased from 12% to 59% by day 98. These parameters remained unchanged in autografts. Histologic analysis of allografts showed concentric intimal hyperplasia and scattered mononuclear cell accumulations, whereas the autografts had only occasional eccentric intimal changes. The GVD-scores were significantly higher in allografts than in autografts (median 3 vs. 1, P=0.042).We introduce a nonhuman primate model of GVD that enables serial IVUS assessments of multiple parameters of GVD. Concentric intimal proliferation and decrease of vessel dimensions was observed in allografts as a consequence of alloimmunity. This is a potential new model for studying new therapies to prevent GVD or halt its progression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088863300006
View details for PubMedID 10949182
We report the tissue distribution and clinical monitoring of the novel macrolide immunosuppressant SDZ-RAD ¿40-O-(2-hydroxyethyl)-rapamycin and its metabolites in monkey lung transplant recipients as well as its interaction with cyclosporine as the Neoral formulation. After left unilateral lung transplantation, cynomolgus monkeys received by oral administration either 1) 1.5 mg/kg/day SDZ-RAD (n = 4); 2) 100 mg/kg/day cyclosporine (n = 4); 3) 0.3 mg/kg/day SDZ-RAD + 100 mg/kg/day cyclosporine (n = 6); 4) 1.5 mg/kg/day SDZ-RAD + 50 mg/kg/day cyclosporine (n = 5); or 5) SDZ-RAD and cyclosporine doses adjusted according to trough blood concentration measurements (n = 6). At the end of the observation period (usually 29 days after transplantation), and 24 h after the last doses, tissue samples were collected and analyzed with HPLC/mass spectrometry. Gall bladder, pancreas, the transplant lung, cerebellum, kidneys, and spleen had the highest SDZ-RAD concentrations. Coadministration of cyclosporine increased SDZ-RAD concentrations in most tissues as well as tissue-to-blood distribution coefficients. In contrast, SDZ-RAD had only a small effect on cyclosporine blood and tissue concentrations. Rejection in lung grafts in monkeys treated with either of the cyclosporine/SDZ-RAD combinations was significantly less than in the monotherapy groups (P <.002). Histological rejection scores were inversely correlated with SDZ-RAD concentrations in blood (r = -0. 68; P <.001; n = 24), lymph nodes (P = -0.58; P <.003; n = 24), thymus (r = -0.63; P <.001; n = 23) and transplant lung tissue (r = -0.58; P <.003; n = 24). We conclude that, in addition to the synergistic pharmacodynamic interaction, a pharmacokinetic interaction resulting in higher SDZ-RAD tissue concentrations contributed to the significantly better immunosuppressive efficacy when both drugs were combined compared with monotherapy.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087896200040
View details for PubMedID 10871329
Obliterative bronchiolitis remains a major long-term complication after lung transplantation. Using a reproducible model of heterotopically transplanted rat tracheas, this study examined the role of several novel immunosuppresive compounds to prevent and reverse obliterative airway disease in these animals.Brown Norway rat trachea were transplanted into the greater omentum of Lewis (allografts) or Brown Norway (isografts) animals. Recipient animals were treated with rapamycin, cyclosporine, 15-deoxyspergulin, mycophenolate mofetil, or leflunomide from day 0, 7, or 14 until day of graft removal, either day 28 or 50. Trachea segments were evaluated for degree of lumenal occlusion, as well as percent and type of lumen epithelial cell coverage.All untreated allografted tracheas obliterated completely, although isografts appeared patent with normal respiratory epithelium when they were removed. Leflunomide, rapamycin, and cyclosporine effectively prevented obliteration when treatment was initiated at day 0, with rapamycin showing continued efficacy when initiated as late as day 7. 15-deoxyspergulin and mycophenolate mofetil failed to consistently inhibit obliteration with any treatment schedule. An inverse correlation was found between epithelial coverage and degree of obliteration, and was especially pronounced in grafts from cyclosporine-treated animals.Immunosuppressive drug therapy will inhibit airway obliteration, but efficacy sharply diminishes if initiation of treatment is delayed. Efficacy also varies among immunosuppressive compounds, and results indicate those drugs that enable epithelial regrowth most effectively inhibit airway graft obliteration.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087669400007
View details for PubMedID 10868623
Leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a) monoclonal antibody (mAb) affects many leukocyte functions without cell depletion. We hypothesized that the use of a humanized, anti-rhesus modified LFA-1 mAb (H2C12) in rhesus monkeys would cause: (1) prolonged heart allograft survival, (2) inhibition of primary but not secondary antibody responses, and (3) minimal drug toxicity.Control (n=5) and H2C12-treated (n=7) (8-20 mg/kg i.v. on day -1 followed by 10 mg/kg/day) adult male rhesus recipients were inoculated with GP120 protein antigen on day -28 and -1 and grafted with heterotopic abdominal hearts (day 0). Donor-recipient pairs were equally MLR mismatched (4329.8+/-1124.1 CPM controls vs. 7289.0+/-1926.5 treated, P=NS). Mean heart allograft survival as evaluated by daily abdominal palpation was significantly prolonged in high dose recipients (23.0+/-2.6, n=4) vesus controls (8.2+/-1.3, n=5, P<0.02, Mann-Whitney U test). H2C12 treatment did not produce signs of cytokine release or toxicity, was nondepleting, but down-modulated PBL CD11a expression to 43.4+/-3.6% (n=4) of control levels (n=5) at day 7 as demonstrated by flow cytometry. It had no effect on postoperative Con A or MLR and did not prevent mAb clearance due to the rhesus-antihuman antibody response. The addition of mycophenolate mofitil prevented rhesus-antihuman antibody response with therapeutic H2C12 levels seen for >35 days.The use of this mAb to block CD11a had the benefit of being a well tolerated, highly targeted therapy. These are the first results showing that monotherapy with anti-leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 mAb prolonged survival of MLR mismatched allogenic cardiac grafts in primates.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087421700006
View details for PubMedID 10852588
The main cause of mortality following lung transplantation is chronic rejection, manifesting morphologically as obliterative bronchiolitis (OB). It has been suggested that damage to the respiratory epithelium initiates proliferation of mesenchymal cells, leading to dense collagenous scarring in small airways. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is strongly expressed in the damaged epithelium in human OB, along with high levels of peroxynitrite, suggesting that endogenous NO mediates the epithelial destruction. To examine further the role of iNOS in this process, heterotopic airway implants were studied in rats, an acknowledged disease model. Specimens of iso- or allografted trachea, collected 3-60 days after implantation, were processed for histology and immunocytochemistry for iNOS and, as a marker of peroxynitrite formation, nitrotyrosine. In both iso- and allografts at the earliest stage (day 3), ischaemia was associated with severe epithelial damage or loss. These changes progressed until day 7 and were accompanied by strong expression of iNOS and nitrotyrosine in epithelial cells. In isografts, epithelial recovery was seen, with abundant iNOS immunoreactivity but little nitrotyrosine. In contrast, the epithelium in allografts did not regenerate and progressive inflammation and fibroproliferation occurred until complete obliteration of the tracheal lumen at day 60. The fibroproliferation was associated with changes in morphology of fibroblasts that were accompanied by alterations in their iNOS expression. iNOS immunoreactivity was dense in the plump fibroblasts of early lesions, in some cases as early as post-operative day 5, but very weak in elongated fibroblasts in totally occluded grafts. The intensity of immunoreactivity for nitrotyrosine corresponded to that of iNOS. These results indicate a dual role for NO in the airway obliteration that follows transplantation, through destruction of epithelium and stimulation of fibroblast activity.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086742100012
View details for PubMedID 10767722
Recent experimental data have shown that coadministration of microemulsion cyclosporine and the novel immunosuppressant SDZ-RAD potentiates the immunosuppressive efficacies of both drugs to suppress allograft rejection. Our study was designed to assess the potential of delayed SDZ-RAD administration, in addition to cyclosporine maintenance therapy, to reverse acute rejection in an allogeneic rat lung transplant model.Unilateral left lung transplantation was performed using Brown-Norway donors implanted into Lewis recipients. An untreated control group and a cyclosporine monotherapy group (7.5 mg/kg) were followed for 7 days. An additional cyclosporine monotherapy group (7.5 mg/kg), and a combined therapy group treated with cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg) plus SDZ-RAD (2.5 mg/kg), were followed for 21 days. For treatment of ongoing rejection, 7.5 mg/kg cyclosporine was given as maintenance therapy, and SDZ-RAD (2.5 mg/kg) was added on postoperative day 7. Drugs were given orally, and in the combined therapy regimens, administered 6 hours apart. Outcome variables included daily weight, radiographs, and histology.Radiographs on postoperative day 7 showed mild and moderate opacification of the left chest in the cyclosporine monotherapy groups and the untreated control group. Addition of SDZ-RAD to cyclosporine treatment on postoperative day 7 reversed opacification by postoperative days 14 and 21. Monotherapy with microemulsion CsA resulted in mild histological rejection by day 7, which progressed to moderate rejection by day 21. Addition of SDZ-RAD on postoperative day 7 reversed acute rejection, resulting in none or minimal rejection at day 21.SDZ RAD reverses acute rejection under cyclosporine maintenance therapy in a stringent lung allotransplant model.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086022000056
View details for PubMedID 10750781
In previous studies of cynomolgus monkey lung allograft recipients, we demonstrated significant immunosuppressive efficacy but reduced tolerability after combined treatment with high doses of microemulsion cyclosporine (CsA) and SDZ RAD (40-O-(2-hydroxyethyl)-rapamycin). The current study was designed to compare efficacy and tolerability of a combination of low-dose CsA and high-dose SDZ RAD (CTL group) to triple therapy using the chimeric anti-interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor (CD25) monoclonal antibody (mAb) basiliximab (anti-IL-2 receptor mAb) for induction therapy (basiliximab: 5 mg intravenously on days 0 and 4) plus low-dose CsA and low-dose SDZ RAD for maintenance immunosuppression (CD25 group). CsA and anti-IL-2 receptor mAb are drugs that reduce cytokine synthesis and block IL-2-mediated lymphocyte stimulation, respectively. SDZ RAD blocks lymphocyte stimulation by other cytokines (e.g., IL-15) that are not inhibited by anti-IL-2 receptor mAb.Twelve unilateral lung transplants were performed. Recipients were observed for 49 days by daily weight assessment, hemograms, blood chemistries, radiographs, and lung biopsies. Monkeys were euthanized before day 49 in the event of excessive weight loss (>25%) or organ failure. Target CsA trough levels were 100-200 ng/ml. Target SDZ RAD trough levels in the CTL group (no mAb) were 20-40 ng/ml, and 10-20 ng/ml in the CD25 group.None of the monkeys in the CD25 group needed to be euthanized early due to signs of drug toxicity. In contrast, four monkeys in the CTL group were sacrificed on days 28-35 as a result of excessive weight loss (n=3) and renal functional impairment (n=1). Three recipients in the CD25 group were euthanized on days 36, 38, and 46 as a result of persistent high fever associated with severe rejection. The median animal survival in the CTL group was 32 vs. 46 days in the CD25 group (P<0.04). The only two long-term survivors in the CTL group showed moderate rejection at day 49. The median rejection scores at day 14 (A0) and day 28 (A2) were identical in the two groups, despite the fact that the mean SDZ RAD trough level was significantly lower in the CD25 group (CTL: 38+/-3 ng/ml, CD25: 18+/-2 ng/ml, P<0.0001). After basiliximab levels fell below the minimum therapeutic level (1 mg/ml) on day 28, the median rejection score at day 49 increased to A4 in the CD25 group.This is the first study to combine an anti-IL-2 receptor mAb with a drug from the rapamycin class plus CsA. Our study shows that induction therapy with basiliximab enabled SDZ RAD blood levels to be significantly reduced, which led to improved tolerability without the penalty of increased rejection.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085611500005
View details for PubMedID 10708100
The etiology and pathogenesis of obliterative bronchiolitis after lung transplantation remain to be fully elucidated. Using a rat model of heterotopically transplanted trachea grafts, we have examined the role airway epithelium plays in obliterative airway disease (OAD).Rat trachea isografts were denuded of epithelium by protease digestion. Grafts were inoculated either with or without native airway epithelial cells and transplanted into the omentum of recipient animals.Airway epithelium removal resulted in OAD in denuded isogeneic trachea grafts. Reseeding of the denuded grafts with epithelial cells significantly reduced airway obliteration from 78% to 22% luminal occlusion.Non-immune-mediated injury will cause OAD, and epithelial cell replacement in denuded isografts can significantly reduce the fibrotic progression of the disease.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085611500031
View details for PubMedID 10708126
1. SDZ-RAD, 40-O-(2-hydroxyethyl)-rapamycin, is a novel macrolide immunosuppressant. Because of its synergistic interaction, SDZ-RAD is under clinical investigation as immunosuppressant in combination with cyclosporine after organ transplantation. Neurotoxicity is a critical side-effect of cyclosporine. 2. We studied the effect of SDZ-RAD and its combination with cyclosporine on high-energy phosphates, phosphocreatine (PCr) and nucleoside triphosphates (NTP), in brain slices using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). 3. Cyclosporine significantly reduced high-energy phosphates after 2 h in a dose-dependent manner (100 micrograms l-1: 93 +/- 3% of control (NTP), 91 +/- 3% (PCr); 500 micrograms l-1: 84 +/- 2% (NTP), 73 +/- 2 (PCr); 5000 micrograms l-1: 68 +/- 3% (NTP), 55 +/- 5% (PCr); n = 6; P < 0.02). 4. In contrast, after perfusion for 2 h, SDZ-RAD (500 micrograms l-1 and 5000 micrograms l-1) significantly increased high-energy phosphate concentrations in the brain slices (P < 0.02). Even at the lowest concentration, SDZ-RAD protected brain energy metabolism against cyclosporine toxicity: 100 micrograms l-1 SDZ-RAD + 5000 micrograms l-1 cyclosporine: 86 +/- 3% (NTP), 83 +/- 7% (PCr), n = 3, P < 0.03 compared to cyclosporine alone. 5. As evaluated using an algorithm based on Loewe isobolograms, the effects of SDZ-RAD/cyclosporine combinations on brain energy reduction were antagonistic. Both drugs were found in mitochondria using h.p.l.c-MS analysis. 6. We conclude that cyclosporine inhibits mitochondrial high-energy phosphate metabolism, which can be antagonized by SDZ-RAD.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085249600010
View details for PubMedID 10711346
We studied the efficacy and tolerability of combined immunosuppressive therapy with cyclosporine A microemulsion (Neoral) plus the macrolide SDZ RAD 40-0 (2-hydroxyethyl) rapamycin (RAD) in a stringent cynomolgus monkey lung graft model in comparison with cyclosporine or SDZ RAD monotherapy.Thirty-nine cynomolgus monkeys received mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) mismatched unilateral lung transplants. Immunosuppressants were administered orally as single daily doses. The observation period was 28 days and follow-up included serial trough blood drug concentrations measured by high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, blood analyses, chest radiographs, open lung biopsies, as well as tissue drug concentrations and graft histology at necropsy.Graft biopsies in monkeys treated with vehicle (n=4), Neoral (day 1-7: 150 mg/kg/day; day 8-28: 100 mg/kg/day; n=6; mean +/- SE trough level (MTL): 292+/-17 ng/ml) or SDZ RAD monotherapy (1.5 mg/kg/day; n=6; MTL: 15+/-1 ng/ml) showed severe rejection. Coadministration in two transplant monkeys of Neoral (150/100 mg/kg/day) and SDZ RAD (1.5 mg/kg/day) caused their early death. In both animals, SDZ RAD blood levels were more than 5-fold higher than under monotherapy (MTL: 82+/-18 ng/ml). Simultaneous administration (n=6) of Neoral (150/100 mg/kg/day; MTL: 217+/-16 ng/ml) and SDZ RAD (0.3 mg/kg/day; MTL: 24+/-2 ng/ml) improved graft outcome (mild rejection). Side effects included renal failure (n=2) and seizures (n=1). Three monkeys survived to day 28. In this group the MTL for cyclosporin was 143+/-13 and for RAD 38+/-3. Staggered treatment completely prevented rejection in four of six grafts. However, five of six monkeys had moderate to severe diarrhea. In a concentration-controlled trial of simultaneously administered Neoral and SDZ RAD in transplant monkeys (target SDZ RAD MTL: 20-40 ng/ml; cyclosporine MTL: 100-200 ng/ml) all six monkeys survived with improved drug tolerability and an average biopsy score of mild rejection.Combination of orally administered SDZ RAD and Neoral showed excellent immunosuppressive efficacy in a stringent lung transplant model. The drug interaction and the narrow therapeutic index of this drug combination required careful dose adjustments to optimize tolerability and efficacy.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084860100015
View details for PubMedID 10653384
We investigated the efficacies of sirolimus (rapamycin) and cyclosporine for inhibition of graft vascular disease (GVD) in cynomolgus monkey recipients of aortic allografts. Increases in arterial intimal thickening in the midgraft (six consecutive cross-sections) after transplantation were quantified by serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) from day 21 to day 105. These data enabled correlations between changes in intimal indexes [II = (intimal area/vessel area) x 100] and trough levels of sirolimus and cyclosporine to be determined. Eighteen recipients received no immunosuppression for 6 weeks to allow alloimmune injury to occur. On day 45, monkeys were treated daily with sirolimus (n = 6) or cyclosporine (n = 6); six monkeys remained untreated. II increased significantly from day 63 to day 105 in untreated monkeys and monkeys treated with cyclosporine, whereas monkeys treated with sirolimus did not have a significant increase in II (P = 0.008, P = 0.006, P = NS; paired t-test). The change in II from days 63 to 105 was significantly greater in untreated monkeys compared to sirolimus-treated monkeys (P = 0.13; one-way ANOVA, P = 0.012 Tukey's post hoc test); other post hoc pairwise comparisons were not significant. Mean sirolimus and cyclosporine levels +/- SEM were 43 +/- 7 ng/ml and 562 +/- 20 ng/ml, respectively. Sirolimus trough levels, but not cyclosporine levels, correlated inversely with changes in II from day 42 to 105 (r2 = 0.73, P = 0.03). This non-human primate study shows that inhibition of intimal thickening by sirolimus depends on trough levels and provides the rationale for clinical trials of sirolimus for the control of GVD in organ transplant recipients.
View details for PubMedID 11112022
Understanding the cellular mechanisms that lead to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may lead to alternative approaches in the prevention or therapy of this disease process. In this manuscript, we investigated the mechanisms of action of the immunosuppressive drug rapamycin for the prevention of GVHD. GVHD-free long-term survival was achieved in BALB/c (H2d, Mls-2a, Mls-3a) recipients of B10.D2/nSnJ (H-2d, Mls-2a, Mls-3a) bone marrow and spleen cells after a 30-day course of high-dose rapamycin (5 mg/kg per day). Low responses to recipient and third-party cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) were observed as well as decreased mature T-cell numbers in the spleen. This low response was not due to defective interleukin (IL)-2 production, because exogenous IL-2 did not improve the responses in the MLR. However, GVHD-free long-term survival was associated with a large number of infiltrating mononuclear cells in the target organs of GVHD. This observation suggested the possibility that these cells were responsible for suppressing the immune response. Regulatory cells, which could suppress both antirecipient and third-party responses in vitro, were demonstrated to be present in the spleens of these GVHD-free long-term survivors. These results suggest that in addition to impaired cellular immune function, the presence of non-specific regulatory cells (ie, suppression) may contribute to maintenance of GVHD-free long-term survival induced by short-course rapamycin.
View details for Web of Science ID 000090107100001
View details for PubMedID 11071258
Mechanisms of immunosuppressive action of mycophenolic acid (MPA) on rat lymphocytes and correlations among MPA plasma concentrations (pharmacokinetics) and its suppression of immune functions (pharmacodynamics) were studied in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, MPA inhibited concanavalin A-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation in blood [tritium-labeled thymidine ([(3)H]TdR) incorporation, percentage of lymphocytes positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and in S-G(2)M by flow cytometry] and activation (percentage of lymphocytes expressing CD25 or CD134). Maximum percent inhibitions (I(max)) of lymphocyte functions and concentrations of MPA (mg/l in blood) inhibiting 50% of I(max) (IC(50)) were 99%/0.14 mg/l for [(3)H]TdR, 93%/0.28 mg/l for S-G(2)M, 74%/0.29 mg/l for CD25, and 83%/0.24 mg/l for CD134. Blood sampled at different times after single or multiple oral MPA administrations at four dose levels was assayed for lymphocyte functions and MPA plasma concentrations. I(max) (%) and IC(50) (mg/l in plasma by HPLC) were 98 to 99%/0.18 to 0.19 mg/l for [(3)H]TdR, 88 to 98%/0.70 to 0.83 mg/l for S-G(2)M, 60 to 63%/0.65 to 0.81 mg/l for CD25, and 72 to 77%/0.61 to 0.74 mg/l for CD134. IC(50) values for S-G(2)M, CD25, and CD134 were higher after multiple daily treatments than after a single dose. There were clear and direct relationships among MPA dose levels, kinetics of MPA plasma concentrations, and dynamics of lymphocyte functions. MPA treatment in vitro and in vivo inhibits not only mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation in whole blood but also lymphocyte expression of cell surface cytokine receptors. These two different mechanisms of action may contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of MPA in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083757300024
View details for PubMedID 10565830
Unprocessed ultrasound radiofrequency (RF) signal analysis has been shown to distinguish different tissue structures more reliably than gray-scale interpretation of conventional ultrasound images.The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of in vivo intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) RF signal analysis in an animal model of allograft rejection. Six cynomolgus monkeys underwent transplantation of 3-cm aortic allograft segments distal to the renal arteries from immunologically mismatched donors. IVUS imaging with a 30-MHz system was performed 84 to 105 days after the operation. RF signals were acquired from cross sections of the recipient and the allograft aortas in real time with a digitizer at 500 MHz with 8-bit resolution. Sixty-five cross sections and 68 regions of interest (31 in host aorta and 37 in allograft) were analyzed in the adventitial layer with a total number of 8568 vectors processed. For each region of interest, a weighted-average attenuation was calculated on the basis of the attenuation and length for each individual vector. Histological examination was performed at every cross section imaged by IVUS. When the gray-scale images of conventional IVUS scored by an independent observer were compared, no distinction between adventitia of the native aorta and allograft was possible. Analysis of the average RF backscatter power also showed no significant difference (70.32+/-3.55 versus 70.72+/-3.38 dB). However, the average attenuation of allografts was significantly lower than that of the host aortas (2.64+/-1.38 versus 4.02+/-1.16 dB/mm, P<0.001). Histology demonstrated a marked adventitial inflammatory response in all allografts, with no inflammation observed in the host aortas.In vivo IVUS tissue characterization can be performed during routine imaging. In this model of transplant vasculopathy, RF attenuation measurements were more sensitive than visual or quantitative gray-scale analysis.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083945000005
View details for PubMedID 10571969
Chronic graft vascular disease (CGVD) in cardiac allografts has been defined as a slowly evolving vasculopathy unresponsive to conventional immunosuppression. We compared 4 rodent models of CGVD to evaluate the reproducibility of CGVD in heart allografts. Rapamycin (Rapa) and cyclosporine (CSA) were then used to treat CGVD.Hearts were harvested and placed heterotopically into allogenic recipients. CGVD scores of PVG allografts from ACI recipients treated with CSA on days 1 through 10 were significantly elevated on day 90 (n=16) compared with other models (immunosuppression used): (1) Lewis to F344 recipients (CSA), (2) Brown Norway to Lewis (FK506), and (3) DA to Wistar-Firth (methylprednisolone, azathioprine, CSA). Although delayed (day 60 to 90) CSA treatment had no effect (n=6), delayed Rapa (3 mg. kg-1. d-1 IP) reversed CGVD in PVG grafts (0.22+/-0.19 on day 90, n=6). ACI isografts showed no evidence of CGVD (n=6) at day 90. Immunohistochemistry of PVG grafts revealed perivascular infiltrates consisting of CD4(+) T cells and limited numbers of macrophages persisting up to day 90. Flow cytometry demonstrated increased levels of anti-donor antibody at day 90, which was significantly inhibited by Rapa treatment.PVG grafts developed a significant increase in CGVD without evidence of ongoing myocardial rejection. This CGVD appeared to be mediated by both cellular and humoral mechanisms, given CD4(+) perivascular infiltrates and increased levels of anti-donor antibody. The anti-CGVD effectiveness of Rapa during a period in which there was little myocardial cellular infiltrate supports a novel mechanism of effect such as smooth muscle or B-cell inhibition.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081279300014
View details for PubMedID 10393683
The diagnosis of acute rejection in lung transplantation generally relies on transbronchial biopsies. This invasive procedure may be associated with bronchial bleeding or pneumothorax and may not be feasible in patients with severely compromised lung function. The hypothesis of the current study was that histopathological findings of donor bronchial segments implanted into the subcutaneous tissue of lung allograft recipients would predict lung tissue rejection scores, thus providing the clinician with an alternate source of information.Unilateral left lung transplantation was performed in 34 cynomolgus monkeys as part of a drug efficacy study. After completion of the transplant procedure, 4 bronchial ring segments of the explanted recipient left lung and 4 bronchial ring segments of the non-transplanted right donor lung were implanted subcutaneously in the abdominal region. Lung allograft rejection was evaluated by open lung biopsies of the allograft performed on postoperative (PO) Day 14 and during sacrifice on PO Day 28. At the time of each biopsy, 2 donor and 2 recipient subcutaneous bronchial rings were explanted. Histologic evaluation of the lung tissue samples was performed according to the working formulation of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Bronchial rings were independently evaluated by assessing the degree of airway narrowing; percentage of intact epithelial coverage as well as its specific histology (respiratory ciliated, flattened cuboidal, squamous); presence of lymphocytes, macrophages or spindle cells; and presence of peribronchial inflammation, luminal fibrosis, lymphocytic bronchitis or luminal mucous. Statistical analysis was performed by logistic regression.In the recipient bronchial rings, there was no evidence of airway narrowing. There was 98% epithelial coverage, 71% that were respiratory ciliated cells, and there was no inflammation. Donor bronchial rings showed no airway narrowing for monkeys with grade A0 to A2 rejection in tissue biopsies and a maximum narrowing (41.2%) with A4 rejection. Epithelial cell coverage was approximately 100% with grade A0-A2 and 44+/-11% with A4 rejection. Lymphocytic bronchitis was most severe in A4 rejection and minimal in A0 to A2 rejection. By logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of a likelihood of rejection were the degree of airway obliteration, the percentage of epithelial cell coverage, the degree of lymphocytic bronchitis and the product of respiratory and flattened cuboidal cell coverage.The current data show that histologic alterations of subcutaneously implanted donor bronchial rings correlate with lung tissue biopsy scores based on the ISHLT working formulation. Because subcutaneous bronchial rings can be explanted under local anesthesia, they may provide useful information for the diagnosis of acute allograft rejection in patients with impaired lung function, patients that obtaining lung tissue samples may not be feasible.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081667900013
View details for PubMedID 10452349
In recent years, many new immunosuppressive drugs have been discovered and developed for clinical use in transplantation. This review focuses on those drugs (leflunomide, mycophenolate mofetil, sirolimus, tacrolimus) that have been shown to have immunosuppressive activity in patients. Different anti-interleukin-2 receptor antibodies are also reviewed as an example of a resurgence of development in the area of monoclonal antibodies. The price for reducing the incidence of allograft rejection by improved immunosuppression was thought to be a proportional increase in the incidence of infection and malignancy. Data from Phase III clinical trials of new immunosuppressants, however, show a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of acute rejection produced by these new drugs, which has not been accompanied by increases in infection and malignancy rates. The wide array of new drugs offers the opportunity to use combinations that block different pathways of immune activation while at the same time selecting drug combinations with nonoverlapping toxicity profiles so that doses of each single drug can be reduced below toxicity levels. The immunosuppressive therapy for patients can be tailored according to their individual needs.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080487900025
View details for PubMedID 10361877
Neoral and rapamycin derivative (RAD) have complementary mechanisms for inhibition of lymphocyte activation and are substrates for the same pathways of drug metabolism. Therefore, we investigated treatment regimens designed to minimize pharmacokinetic interactions and to potentiate immunosuppressive efficacy in a highly stringent rat lung allograft model.Lewis recipients of Brown Norway lungs received the following daily oral doses: (A) RAD at 2.5 mg/kg (n=9); (B) Neoral at 7.5 mg/kg (n=8); (C) RAD at 2.5 mg/kg + Neoral at 7.5 mg/kg simultaneously (n=8); or (D) RAD at 2.5 mg/kg + Neoral at 7.5 mg/kg (n=6) staggered 6 hr apart. Rats were assessed by daily weights, chest radiographs, drug trough levels (high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry), and blinded scoring of graft histology at death (day 21).Radiographs were completely opacified in all grafts of control and RAD monotherapy groups on days 7 and 14, respectively. Grafts were mildly opacified (Neoral monotherapy) and completely clear (both RAD + Neoral groups) on day 21. Simultaneous or staggered combined treatment dramatically reduced histologic rejection compared with treatment with either drug alone. Simultaneous treatment caused poor tolerability (poor grooming, lethargy) and significantly higher day-14 RAD and cyclosporine (CsA) trough levels (49+/-5 and 638+/-106 ng/ml; P<0.04) than in the staggered group (28+/-3 and 318+/-25 ng/ml) in which all animals were clinically normal. RAD and CsA day-14 trough levels in the staggered group were the same or lower than trough levels in animals treated with either drug alone (RAD 27+/-3/Neoral 815+/-67 ng/ml).(1) Administration of RAD + Neoral suppressed lung rejection more effectively than treatment with either drug alone. (2) Trough levels did not differ between monotherapy and staggered combination therapy for RAD but were lower for CsA. These results suggested that pharmacological, rather than pharmacokinetic, interactions between the parent drugs were responsible for the potentiation of immunosuppression when these drugs were coadministered. 3) Staggered administration of RAD+Neoral avoided the pharmacokinetic interactions that caused the elevated drug blood levels and poor tolerability caused by simultaneous administration. Thus, we could potentiate efficacy and improve tolerability by staggering administration of RAD and Neoral.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079910700005
View details for PubMedID 10221478
Malononitrilamides (MNAs) are a new class of immunomodulatory drug highly effective in in vivo models of allo- and xenotransplantation. Knowledge of their effects on immune cells, however, is limited and has been derived solely from investigations using isolated mononuclear cells. This use of purified cells to investigate drug activity is not ideal, so we have combined the analytical power of flow cytometry with our mitogen-driven, whole blood lymphocyte activation and proliferation assays to investigate the in vitro mechanism of action of MNAs. We first show that MNAs (A77 1726, HMR1279, and HMR1715), as well as brequinar (BQR) and cyclosporine (CsA), effectively inhibit cell activation antigen expression and lymphocyte proliferation. We next show that the inhibitory effects of MNAs and BQR, but not CsA, are reversed by the addition of uridine to the culture. These results suggest that inhibition of pyrimidine biosynthesis may be a mechanism by which MNAs suppress both lymphocyte activation and proliferation since these effects were reversed when uridine nucleotide pools were replenished. This novel finding of suppression of activation antigen expression by MNAs in whole blood expands our understanding of the effects of this new class of drug.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080245500003
View details for PubMedID 10369124
Infection and rejection, the two major barriers to successful organ transplantation, are closely linked, with immunosuppressive therapy being central to the pathogenesis of both. After almost two decades when azathioprine and prednisone, supplemented by antilymphocyte antibody therapy, were the cornerstones of post-transplant immunosuppressive programs, there has been a major increase in the therapeutic armamentarium available to treat rejection: cyclosporine, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, rapamycin, and antibodies directed against the interleukin-2 receptor. These agents are potent inhibitors of microbial specific T cell function, thus potentiating opportunistic infection with herpes group viruses, fungal and mycobacterial species, Strongyloides stercoralis, and a variety of intracellular pathogens. The mechanisms by which each of these drugs exerts its effects are an important determinant of the antimicrobial strategies that will be necessary to combat infection. Indeed, strategies to limit these infections are being linked to the nature of the immunosuppressive therapy required in a particular patient. Thus, the therapeutic prescription for the transplant patient is said to have two components: an immunosuppressive component to prevent and treat rejection, and an antimicrobial one to make it safe. In addition to using antimicrobial agents therapeutically, in the transplant patient prevention is stressed in which antibiotics are deployed prophylactically or preemptively.
View details for PubMedID 11428969
The novel leflunomide (LFM) analog, HMR 279, potentiates the immunosuppressive efficacy of microemulsion cyclosporine (Neoral) in rodent heart transplantation. The present study was designed to evaluate the immunosuppressive efficacy of this combination in comparison to the combination of Neoral and LFM in a stringent allogeneic rodent lung transplant model.Donor lungs from Brown Norway rats were implanted into Lewis recipients and were followed for 21 days. Postoperative monitoring included daily weight assessment, chest radiographs, drug trough levels measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (LFM/HMR 279) and high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (Neoral), and blinded histology assessment of the transplanted lung on the day of death based on the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation working formulation. Untreated lung recipients served as controls (group I, n=5). Rats were assigned to the following treatment groups: II, 7.5 mg/kg/day Neoral (n=6); III, 10 mg/kg/day LFM (n=6); IV, 10 mg/kg/day HMR 279 (n=6); V, 10 mg/kg/day LFM plus 7.5 mg/kg/day Neoral given simultaneously (n=13); and VI, 10 mg/kg/day HMR 279 plus 7.5 mg/kg/day Neoral given simultaneously (n=6). Drugs were given daily by oral gavage.All rats except for one in the HMR 279 monotherapy group survived the follow-up period. The chest radiographs in the control, LFM, and HMR 279 monotherapy groups showed moderate to complete opacification of the left chest by postoperative day 7 (controls) and day 14 (LFM, 279). At postoperative day 21, the Neoral monotherapy and the combination groups showed no signs of opacification in the radiographs. Combination therapies of Neoral plus HMR 279 or Neoral plus LFM were most successful in preventing histologic allograft rejection. Combining Neoral and HMR 279 resulted in a significant decrease in the cyclosporine trough levels. Co-administration of LFM plus Neoral resulted in significantly higher LFM trough levels when compared to LFM monotherapy. Of all treatments studied, the combination of HMR 279 plus Neoral was tolerated best as assessed by percentage of weight change.This study showed for the first time in a stringent rodent lung transplant model that combined treatment of LFM or HMR 279 plus Neoral potentiates the immunosuppressive efficacies of these drugs and successfully prevents allograft rejection.
View details for Web of Science ID 000078730800003
View details for PubMedID 10030278
The novel immunosuppressant SDZ RAD, 40-0 (2-hydroxyethyl)rapamycin, is an orally active rapamycin analogue developed for use in combination with cyclosporine (Neoral). The present study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of SDZ RAD, Neoral, or a combination of both drugs for suppression of acute rejection in an allogeneic, unilateral rat lung transplant model.Brown-Norway (RT1n) donor lungs were implanted into Lewis (RT1l) recipients that were observed for 21 days. Postoperative evaluation included daily weights, serial chest radiographs, drug trough levels, and histology scores of the transplanted lung on the day of sacrifice. Treatment groups were comprised of rats treated orally with the RAD vehicle as controls (n = 6); SDZ RAD 2.5 mg/kg/day (n = 9); Neoral 7.5 mg/kg/day (n = 8); Neoral 2.5 mg/kg/day (n = 6); SDZ RAD 2.5 mg/kg/day plus Neoral 7.5 mg/kg/day (n = 7); and Neoral 2.5 mg/kg/day plus SDZ RAD 2.5 mg/kg/day (n = 6).The results of this study showed that neither monotherapy with 2.5 mg/kg/day of Neoral, nor 2.5 mg/kg/day of SDZ RAD prevented severe acute rejection in unilateral lung transplant recipients. Furthermore, despite high dose (7.5 mg/kg/day) Neoral treatment, graft histology showed moderate rejection. However, addition of 2.5 mg/kg/day of SDZ RAD to 7.5 mg/kg/day of Neoral completely prevented histologic rejection in four of seven grafts, although the remaining 3 grafts showed minimal rejection. This combination resulted in significantly higher RAD trough levels when compared to SDZ RAD treatment alone. Combining a lower dose of Neoral (2.5 mg/ kg/day) with 2.5 mg/kg/day of SDZ RAD resulted in less weight loss and improved animal health; however, the histology of lung grafts in these rats showed mild rejection.This is the first study on the efficacy of the novel rapamycin derivative SDZ RAD for the control of acute lung allograft rejection. Results showed that acute unilateral rat lung allograft rejection is refractory to monotherapy with either high dose Neoral or SDZ RAD. The two regimens of combined treatment with Neoral plus SDZ RAD used in these studies produced either minimal rejection and reduced tolerability or mild rejection and better tolerability and showed potentiation of immunosuppression when both drugs were used together. Additional investigation of these two drugs is needed, however, to devise regimens that produce both high immunosuppressive efficacy and good tolerability.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079340500008
View details for PubMedID 10194039
We describe a novel sensitive and simplified gradient HPLC assay for quantification of the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA) in rat and human plasma. In contrast to previously reported MPA assays, our method used a single step extraction comprising addition of acetonitrile, which contained phenolphthalein glucoronic acid as internal standard, for protein precipitation. Linearity: 0.1-100 microg/ml (r2>0.999), mean recoveries: MPA 98.0%, internal standard 105.2%, mean intra-day precision: 4.3%, mean day-to-day precision: 4.3%, mean day-to-day accuracy: -1.5%. Sensitivity was sufficient to allow for quantification of mycophenolic acid in as little as 50 microl plasma.
View details for Web of Science ID 000078457100019
View details for PubMedID 10052706
Lymphocyte proliferation assays are commonly used to quantify the effects of immunosuppressive drugs in animal models, but the influence of anesthetic agents on those assays is not well understood. We used a whole blood proliferation assay to compare lymphocyte proliferation in blood drawn from normal male Lewis rats that were sedated using three common methods. Rats (n = 12) were serially bled from the orbital plexus while anesthetized with diethyl ether, methoxyflurane, or carbon dioxide. Before the beginning of the anesthetic trials, a random subset of the rats (n = 6) was bled via the jugular vein using only manual restraint to provide a baseline control group. A comparison of the lymphocyte proliferation results obtained under these four conditions (manual restraint, diethyl ether, methoxyflurane, or CO2) showed no significant differences. The only hematological variation seen was an elevation of the number of circulating lymphocytes when ether was used. We conclude that there is no justification for withholding sedation when bleeding rats for this type of lymphocyte proliferation. Furthermore, when considering the use of one of the agents examined in this study, the method can be chosen based on factors other than potential adverse effects on the assay results.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080220700006
View details for PubMedID 10319280
It was our objective to develop a rapid, sensitive and specific assay to quantify the immunosuppressive macrolide 40-O-(2-hydroxyethyl)rapamycin (SDZ-RAD) in blood of transplant patients. SDZ-RAD was extracted from blood by solid-liquid extraction. SDZ-RAD and its internal standard 28,40-diacetyl rapamycin were quantified using HPLC-electrospray MS. The assay was linear from 0.1 to 100 microg/l (r2 = 0.99). The mean recovery was 83% for SDZ-RAD and 80.5% for the internal standard. The mean day-to-day precision was 8.0%. Extracted samples were stable at 20 degrees C for at least 48 h and SDZ-RAD blood samples at -80 degrees C for at least six months.
View details for Web of Science ID 000077810400021
View details for PubMedID 9892080
View details for Web of Science ID 000076594403954
We studied a heterotopic large-animal model with obliterative airway lesions caused by allograft rejection.Lung fragments (1 cm3) with airways (LB), and 1 to 2 mm diameter bronchi alone (B) were implanted subcutaneously in 11 domestic piglets weighing 20 kg. Six animals each received 40 implants from nonrelated donors without immunosuppression (group A). Another 5 animals had autograft implants (group U). The implants were harvested consecutively for histologic analysis over 3 months in group A and 6 months in group U.In group U, the initial ischemia caused mild to moderate epithelial damage with moderate metaplasia but with a return to normal ciliary epithelium within 1 month. Transient mild luminal obliteration with granulation tissue and mononuclear cells was observed during the first weeks, but after 4 weeks the lumen was patent and filled with mucus. In the bronchial wall, moderate fibrosis developed in LB implants, whereas mild fibrosis was seen in B implants. In group A, the epithelium was totally absent by 2 weeks, and mild inflammation, fibrosis, and destruction of the cartilage with pericartilaginous mononuclear accumulation were observed in the bronchial wall. Small airways were gradually obliterated between days 7 and 21, initially by granulation tissue and mononuclear cells and later by progressive fibrosis.In this model, autografted airway implants stayed patent for at least 6 months, whereas total luminal obliteration histologically resembling obliterative bronchiolitis developed in allografts within 21 days. Because small airways, including bronchioli, can be transplanted with the use of this model, it may be useful for research into the causes of airway obliteration, which may be relevant to the pathogenesis of obliterative bronchiolitis in lung recipients.
View details for Web of Science ID 000076637800002
View details for PubMedID 9811400
Based on the known properties of ambroxol and dexamethasone to inhibit inflammation and increase endogenous surfactant levels, the potential advantage of donor pretreatment with either drug was investigated in an acute rat double-lung transplant model. Donor animals were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: an ambroxol group (AMB; 0.4 mg/kg), a dexamethasone group (DX; 2 mg/kg); or an untreated control group (CN). Drugs were given intraperitoneally 6 h prior to harvest. Following standard preservation and 16 h of cold ischemia, the donor double lung block was implanted into syngeneic recipients using custom-designed stents for the vascular anastomosis. During reperfusion, serial measurements of graft pulmonary vascular resistance and alveolar-arterial oxygen difference were obtained. Separate graft ventilation allowed determination of graft dynamic lung compliance. Final assessment included weight gain and histology. For phospholipid analysis, lung lavages were performed in the three study groups at the end of reperfusion and compared to levels before graft harvest. Donor pretreatment did not significantly affect preharvest phospholipid levels. Survival following graft ischemia and reperfusion was shortest after AMB (92 +/- 5 min) and longest after DX (110 +/- 5 min; DX vs AMB P < 0.03) and CN (116 +/- 4 min; CN vs AMB P < 0.02). DX pretreatment provided better compliance (P < 0.02) and lower vascular resistance (P < 0.0001) than AMB treatment. Airway resistance was lower in the AMB and DX groups than in controls (P < 0.04 and P < 0.02, respectively). The alveolar-arterial oxygen difference was markedly similar in all groups. Graft weight gain amounted to 114% +/- 10% in AMB, 88% +/- 12% in DX, and 98% +/- 13% in CN (P = NS). Thus, in this rat lung transplantation model, donor pretreatment with dexamethasone did not improve graft function compared to untreated controls and donor pretreatment with ambroxol was found to be potentially detrimental to graft function during reperfusion.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073963300005
View details for PubMedID 9638847
Cytomegalovirus infection has been identified as a significant risk factor for the development of obliterative bronchiolitis in human lung transplant recipients. This study was designed to assess the influence of rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV) on the pathogenesis and development of obliterative bronchiolitis in an experimental model of obliterative airway disease, which occurs after allogenic heterotopic tracheal transplantation in rodents.Sixty Lewis rats were infected intraperitoneally with 10(7) plaque-forming units of recombinant lac-Z-tagged RCMV expressing the gene for beta-galactosidase. Rats were either infected at the time of surgery (acute infection, n = 30) or 56 days before surgery (chronic infection, n = 30). Tracheae from Brown Norway (allograft) or Lewis (isograft) rats were implanted and wrapped in the greater omentum of infected Lewis rats. RCMV infection was verified in different recipient tissues by in vitro plaque-assays and by direct in situ staining for beta-galactosidase activity. The tracheal grafts were harvested on days 7, 14, and 21 after transplantation and stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Masson's trichrome. The peritracheal cellular inflammation was scored visually. The cellular density of the infiltrating cells and the extent of airway obliteration were analyzed by use of computer-digitized morphometry and compared with uninfected allografts as control.Both acute and chronic cytomegalovirus infection produced significantly higher mononuclear cell density values on days 7 and 14 compared with noninfected controls, indicating a more intense immune response in the infected allografts. Tracheal allograft obliteration was also more extensive after acute and, in particular, after chronic cytomegalovirus infection (64% narrowing after 21 days compared with 36% in grafts from noninfected control animals).Our experimental results provide direct evidence that the tracheal grafts were infected with RCMV and that the development of obliterative airway disease was enhanced in the acutely and chronically infected allografts compared with grafts from noninfected control animals.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073855800001
View details for PubMedID 9628562
View details for Web of Science ID 000076006403605
Survival after lung transplantation is less than 50% after 5 yrs and is limited by infection and obliterative bronchiolitis. There is, therefore, a need for new immunosuppressive regimens if we are to attempt to improve long-term survival. Several trials in lung transplantation of new immunosuppressive agents are in the planning stages. In this article, we review the experience with a new monoclonal agent (interleukin 2 (IL2) receptor antagonist) in kidney transplantation, together with the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic properties and experience in transplantation in general, of the more promising of the new xenobiotic compounds (cyclosporine microemulsion, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus and sirolimus). Recent novel approaches to the vexing problem of resistant lung rejection and obliterative bronchiolitis, such as the use of aerosolized cyclosporine, methotrexate, total lymphoid irradiation and phototherapy, are discussed. Finally an immunosuppressive regimen, using these new drugs in lung transplantation is suggested.
View details for Web of Science ID 000070939000033
View details for PubMedID 9426106
View details for Web of Science ID A1997YC88000250
Whole rear limbs were transplanted from Brown Norway or Lewis rat donors to Lewis rat recipients (n=6 per group). One group of allograft recipients was treated with leflunomide (10 mg/kg/24 hr/orally) and cyclosporine (5 mg/kg24 hr/orally) starting 2 days before to surgery. Treatment continued for 60 days or until graft rejection. Untreated allografts were rejected over 6-8 days. After isograft transplantation, weight bearing began by day 17-25 after surgery. Sensory function was restored by 50 days after surgery. All allografts in the drug-treated group survived the 60-day period; survival in this group was significantly longer (P=0.0001) than the untreated controls. Weight bearing began by day 30, but was incomplete in two rats at 60 days. Peroneal nerve function was present in half the rats at 60 days after surgery. Leflunomide combined with cyclosporine prevented whole limb allograft rejection across a major histocompatibility barrier.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XZ17300022
View details for PubMedID 9326421
Antioxidant treatment with lazeroids has proven beneficial for the amelioration of reperfusion injury in experimental lung transplantation. This study compares the effect of donor versus recipient treatment on immediate postoperative graft function.A model of acute double-lung transplantation in rats was used to assess graft function. Transplanted controls after 2 (group I) and 16 hours of ischemia (group II) were compared to a recipient (group III; 16-hour ischemia) and a donor treatment group (group IV; 16-hour ischemia) using the lazeroid U74389G (6 mg/kg). Serial assessment of alveolar-arterial oxygen difference, dynamic lung compliance, airway and pulmonary vascular resistance was obtained during a 2-hour reperfusion period. Final analysis included survival, weight gain, and histologic examination.Graft function was significantly better after 2 hours of ischemia than in any of the three 16-hour ischemia groups (II, III, IV). After 16 hours of ischemia, donor treatment provided superior graft function with respect to dynamic lung compliance, airway resistance, and alveolar-arterial oxygen difference when compared with groups II and III. The pulmonary vascular resistance was significantly higher in group III when compared with groups II and IV. Graft weight increase reflecting edema was highest in groups III (104%) and II (98%).After prolonged ischemia only donor treatment with the lazeroid U74389G was able to significantly reduce ischemia-reperfusion-related graft dysfunction.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XX18400054
View details for PubMedID 9307479
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether obliterative bronchiolitis might occur after xenogenic pulmonary transplantation. A model for obliterative airway disease (OAD) after tracheal allograft transplantation in the rat undergoes tracheal obliteration with histologic features characteristic of obliterative bronchiolitis in human lung transplant recipients. Using this model, the pathogenesis of OAD and its prevention with immunosuppressive drugs was studied in rat recipients of hamster tracheal grafts.Tracheae from 30 hamsters (xenografts) or 23 Brown-Norway rats (allografts) were implanted and wrapped in the greater omentum of untreated Lewis rats. The grafts were removed on day 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, or 28 after transplantation and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome and by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence (IFL) techniques. In addition, 25 recipients were treated with cyclosporine (CsA, 10 mg/kg p.o.), leflunomide (LFM, 20 mg/kg p.o.), or rapamycin (RPM, 6 mg/kg i.p.) for 14 or 21 days (5 animals per treatment group). Visual and morphometric analyses were used to evaluate the extent of airway obliteration, luminal coverage by respiratory or flattened cuboidal epithelium, and extent and density of peritracheal cellular inflammation.In all xenografts, a neutrophilic infiltration of the mucosa and submucosa was observed from day 1 until day 14 and was associated with complete loss of tracheal epithelium by day 14. A marked peritracheal mononuclear cellular infiltrate mixed with plasma cells and eosinophils was seen on days 7 and 14. Both the extent of peritracheal inflammation and the density of the mononuclear cell infiltrate were significantly increased in xenograft tracheae when compared with the allografts. Tracheal obliteration began on day 14 and reached a maximum of 43% on day 21 with evidence of intraluminal fibrosis. In contrast to IFL of allografts, IFL of xenografts demonstrated marked deposition of rat immunoglobulin in the peritracheal tissue on days 7 and 14. The effects of treatment with immunosuppressive drugs on tracheal graft narrowing and protection of respiratory epithelium were as follows: After 14 days of treatment, the percentage of tracheal graft narrowing was 12%, 23%, and 19% in the no treatment, CsA, and LFM groups, respectively; the percentage of respiratory epithelium at 14 days was 0%, 21%, and 95%. After 21 days of treatment, the percentage of tracheal graft narrowing was 43%, 49%, 12%, and 5% for the no treatment, CsA, LFM, and RPM groups, respectively; the percentage of respiratory epithelium at 21 days was 0%, 39%, 86%, and 0%. Using computerized morphometry, the extent and densities of the peritracheal cellular infiltrates were significantly reduced in LFM- and CsA-treated groups when compared with untreated xenograft controls. LFM and RPM, but not CsA, significantly reduced the degree of luminal obliteration compared with no treatment (P<0.05). LFM and, to a lesser extent, CsA were able to prevent the loss of normal respiratory epithelium. Analysis by IFL revealed a marked decrease in rat immunoglobulin deposition in xenografts from LFM- and RPM-treated groups compared with xenografts from CsA-treated or untreated rats.(1) OAD occurs not only after tracheal allotransplantation but also after xenotransplantation. (2) Subepithelial infiltration of neutrophils and the appearance of plasma cells and eosinophils in the peritracheal infiltrates distinguished the histology of rejected xenografts from allografts. (3) Antibody deposition was detected by IFL only in xenografts. (4) Treatment with LFM or RPM significantly decreased the severity of luminal obliteration. Importantly, LFM also prevented the loss of respiratory epithelium.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XR62400001
View details for PubMedID 9275099
The history, pharmacokinetics, mechanisms of action, and experimental as well as clinical data on the immunosuppressive potential of the novel drugs tacrolimus (FK506), sirolimus (rapamycin), mycophenolic acid (mycophenolate mofetil), and leflunomide (and its malononitriloamide analogues) are provided. Novel approaches with the following conventional immunosuppressants are outlined: methotrexate, aerosolized immunosuppression and the implementation of steroid taper. Total lymphoid irradiation and photopheresis for treatment of recurrent rejection are also discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XD39100016
View details for PubMedID 9187827
Leflunomide is a new immunomodulatory drug that is effective in experimental models of autoimmune diseases and in allo or xenotransplantation. In a phase II clinical trial, leflunomide showed high tolerability and efficacy in patients with advanced rheumatoid arthritis. The immunomodulatory activity of leflunomide is attributed to its primary metabolite A77 1726, which is a malononitrilamide. The in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of action of this class of compounds are not defined completely. Several malononitrilamide analogues and A77 1726 inhibit T- and B-cell proliferation, suppress immunoglobulin production, and interfere with cell adhesion. Although no central molecular mechanism of action has been proposed to explain all the effects of the malononitrilamides, the inhibition of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis and of cytokine- and growth factor receptor-associated tyrosine kinase activity are leading hypotheses for the effects of A77 1726 on T- and B-cell proliferation and function. Leflunomide is effective when administered in daily dosages of 10 mg and 25 mg to patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. The improved efficacy of a 25 mg dose is associated with a higher incidence of adverse effects (gastrointestinal symptoms, weight loss, allergic reactions, skin rash, and reversible alopecia). Because of the long plasma half-life of A77 1726 (11 to 16 days), loading doses are necessary to achieve steady state concentrations. Phase III randomized, placebo-controlled trials that use daily dosages of 10 mg or 20 mg are under way in the United States and Europe to confirm and extend the results of the phase II study. Malononitrilamide analogues of A77 1726 are being evaluated for immunosuppressive efficacy in preclinical models of transplantation. If these analogues show efficacies and therapeutic indexes that are similar to leflunomide in these models and that have shorter half-lives than A77 1726 in phase I trials, the preclinical and phase I data will be used to select the analogues for phase II trials in organ transplant recipients.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WY02600008
View details for PubMedID 9145039
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WL53000891
Obliterative bronchiolitis is the major cause of long-term morbidity and mortality in heart-lung and lung transplant recipients. There is presently no completely effective therapy for the treatment of obliterative bronchiolitis. We have examined the effects of rapamycin (RPM) on the development of obliterative airway disease in murine recipients of heterotopically transplanted allograft tracheas. In this model, an untreated allograft develops almost complete occlusion of the airway lumen with fibroblastic tissue and collagen scar by day 28 after transplantation. RPM administered intraperitoneally at the time of transplantation or even as late as day 14 after transplantation markedly inhibited obliteration of the airway lumen by fibroblastic tissue. Also, RPM significantly inhibited infiltration of the graft by macrophages. In the RPM-treated animals, the airway was reconstituted with an attenuated squamous epithelium rather than a normal pseudostratified epithelium. No adverse side effects were observed with RPM doses up to 12 mg/kg/ day. These findings suggest a potential role for RPM, perhaps in combination with cyclosporine, in preventing and treating obliterative bronchiolitis in heart-lung and lung allograft recipients.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WL85500008
View details for PubMedID 9047146
Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is the main chronic complication after heart-lung (HLTx) and lung transplantation (LTx), limiting the long-term success of both transplant procedures.Since 1981, 135 HLTxs and 61 isolated LTxs were performed in 184 patients at Stanford University.The overall prevalence of OB in patients surviving longer than 3 months postoperatively was 64% after HLTx and 68% after LTx. The actuarial freedom from OB was 72%, 51%, 44%, and 29% at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years, respectively, after HLTx and LTx. An analysis of potential risk factors revealed that the frequency and severity of acute rejection episodes (p < 0.001) and the appearance of lymphocytic bronchiolitis on biopsy (p < 0.05) were significantly associated with the development of OB. With regard to diagnosis of OB, pulmonary function tests show early reductions of the forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of the forced vital capacity with subsequent decreases in the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. The sensitivity of transbronchial biopsies has increased to 71% since 1993. Current treatment consists of augmented immunosuppression. Concurrent acute rejection episodes or active OB on biopsy have been treated aggressively with high-dose steroid pulses. Analysis of data from 73 patients with OB after HLTx and LTx revealed actuarial 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year survival of 89%, 71%, 44%, and 17% versus 86%, 77%, 63% and 56% in patients without OB (p < 0.05 by log-rank analysis). The main complication and cause of death in patients with OB was superimposed respiratory tract infection, which was treated aggressively.Early diagnosis of OB using pulmonary function tests or transbronchial biopsy is possible and important, because immediate treatment initiation has led to acceptable survival rates, with nearly 50% of affected patients still alive 5 years after transplantation. Current experimental research on OB suggests that immune injury is the main pathogenetic event of airway obliteration in animal models; rapamycin and leflunomide are new immunosuppressive agents that may have the potential to prevent and treat airway obliteration.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VQ16700050
View details for PubMedID 8893585
Among all the new immunosuppressive molecules being investigated either preclinically or clinically, four stand out: tacrolimus (FK506), sirolimus (rapamycin), mycophenolate mofetil and leflunomide (and its malononitriloamide analogs). Each drug has distinct mechanisms of immunosuppressive action, and in the past year significant advances have been made in our understanding of the actions of these drugs at the molecular and even atomic levels. Data from recent clinical trials demonstrate that these drugs very effectively suppress graft rejection or autoimmune diseases, validating the pivotal role played by each of their distinct molecular targets in the normal functioning of immune cells.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VL88300017
View details for PubMedID 8902398
Strategies targeting lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) have previously been shown to produce long-term survival of solid organ allografts in animals only when both CD11a and ICAM-1 are targeted for a brief (6-7 days) time or when extended (14 weeks) treatment with anti-CD11a monoclonal antibody (mAb) is administered. We show that recipient pretreatment followed by a brief (13 days) treatment course with high-dose anti-CD11a mAb alone produces long-term survival of cardiac allografts in the rigorous, nonprimarily vascularized heart allograft model in mice. This treatment regimen induces specific unresponsiveness in our model. In recipients bearing long-term beating cardiac grafts after treatment with anti-CD11a mAb, there still exists a high frequency of potentially antigen-reactive T cells in isolated peripheral blood lymphocyte fractions. Therefore, clonal deletion does not appear to explain the induction of specific unresponsiveness by treatment with anti-CD11a mAb in this model. These findings support the further investigation of the use of high-dose anti-LFA-1 mAb monotherapy in the pre- and early postoperative period to promote solid organ allograft survival.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VH63600001
View details for PubMedID 8830813
Nitric oxide suppresses proliferation and function of T cells and inhibits proliferation of smooth muscle cells in vitro and in vivo. The purpose of this study was to determine whether nitric oxide, stimulated by means of the oral administration of L-arginine, would reduce the degree of intimal thickening produced by immune injury in rat arterial allografts.Orthotopic femoral artery transplantation was done with Brown Norway donors and Lewis recipients. Seven days before operation, and for 39 additional days, one group received 2.25% L-arginine and one group received 0.01% N-omega-nitro-L-arginine in tap water; one group received tap water only. Forty days after operation, all arterial segments were excised and examined by histopathologic, morphometric, and immunohistochemical assays.There was no difference in the rejection response or degree of intimal thickening among the three groups. There were no qualitative differences in numbers of T cells, macrophages, or smooth muscle cells in the neointima, media, or adventitia among the untreated and treated groups. Induced nitric oxide synthase was present in the media and adventitia of the allograft vessels, but not in native rat arteries.Enhanced production of nitric oxide, via the administration of L-arginine, has been shown to reduce tissue pathologic changes in models of mechanical or dietary injury. Enhanced nitric oxide production did not suppress rejection or inhibit intimal thickening in this model of immune-mediated injury.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996TU97900007
View details for PubMedID 8820084
View details for PubMedID 8770988
More immunosuppressive drugs than ever have recently graduated from the laboratory to extensive clinical trials of their safety and efficacy in transplant patients. None of these drugs is perfect, but they control different forms of rejection in stringent animal models more effectively than other immunosuppressants, and these novel molecules suppress the immune system far more specifically than steroids and regimens that cause lymphopenia. Cyclosporin A and FK506 are the only drugs that selectively inhibit T-cell proliferation by blocking cytokine synthesis. The primary action of rapamycin appears to be inhibition of the actions of cytokines and growth factors on T, B, and some nonimmune cells. T and B cells are more sensitive than nonimmune cells to the depletion of purines and pyrimidines caused by mizoribine, mycophenolate mofetil, brequinar sodium, and leflunomide. Nucleotide depletion causes interruption of DNA synthesis and glycosylation of adhesion molecules in immune cells. Further differentiation of T and B cells after proliferation into fully functional immune cells is inhibited by unknown mechanisms of brequinar and deoxyspergualin. On the basis of preclinical studies, these drugs may effectively suppress clinical rejection that is acute (all), chronic (rapamycin, leflunomide, mycophenolate mofetil), or antibody mediated (brequinar, deoxyspergualin, mycophenolate mofetil, rapamycin, leflunomide). Some drugs (FK506, deoxyspergualin, mycophenolate mofetil, rapamycin, leflunomide) may reverse acute rejection refractory to conventional immunosuppression. Not only do these new drugs block different biochemical steps that normally lead to fully functional T and B cells after stimulation by alloantigen, but their toxicity profiles also differ. Results from preclinical studies predict that use of selected combinations of these drugs will be more effective, less nephrotoxic, less myelotoxic, and less broadly immunosuppressive than current regimens based on cyclosporine, T-cell depletion, steroids, and azathioprine.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TF69700003
View details for PubMedID 8588221
Chronic rejection in the form of graft vascular disease (GVD) continues to plague clinical transplantation of vascularized organs. The histopathology of this lesion is characterized by neointimal hyperplasia, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and obliterative arteriopathy. Due to the lack of effective medical therapy for preventing or reversing these chronic vascular changes, retransplantation remains the final resort in treatment. Some of the newer immunosuppressive agents, including the new isoxazole derivative leflunomide (LFM), have shown efficacy in preventing chronic rejection in animal models of transplantation. Although its mechanism of action remains incompletely elucidated, previous work using lymphocytes in vitro suggests that the drug might act as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, an inhibitor of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, or both. In order to elucidate whether the efficacy of LFM in vivo is attributable not only to anti-proliferative effects on the recipient immune system but also to direct effects on mesenchymal cells in the donor organ, we examined the effects of LFM on a transformed 9E11G murine smooth muscle cell (M-SMC) line in vitro. We demonstrate here that the active metabolite of LFM, A77 1726, dose-dependently inhibits the constitutive and growth-factor stimulated proliferation of M-SMC in vitro. Furthermore, the anti-proliferative effect of the drug can be reversed by the addition of uridine to the culture medium. These results suggest that inhibition of uridine biosynthesis appears to be a mechanism by which LFM exerts anti-proliferative effects on both lymphocytes and smooth muscle cells, and this dual action may be responsible for its efficacy in preventing GVD in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TP74500001
View details for PubMedID 8719103
Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) has emerged as the main cause of morbidity and mortality in the long-term follow-up after lung and heart-lung transplantation. The pathogenesis of OB is multifactorial, with acute rejection and cytomegalovirus infection being the main risk factors for the development of OB. The final common pathway of all inciting events seems to be an alloimmune injury, with subsequent release of immunologic mediators and production of growth factors leading to luminal obliteration and fibrous scarring of the small airways. Analyzing the 14 years of experience in 163 patients at Stanford University, we found a current incidence of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome or histologically proven OB within the first 3 years after lung and heart-lung transplantation of 36.3%, with an overall prevalence of 58.1% after heart-lung and 51.4% after lung transplantation. Both pulmonary function indices (forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second) and transbronchial biopsies have proven helpful in diagnosing bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome or OB at an early stage. Early diagnosis of OB and improved management have achieved survival rates in patients with OB after 1, 3, 5, and 10 years of 83%, 66%, 46%, and 22%, compared with 86%, 83%, 67%, and 67% in patients without OB. Recently, different experimental models have been developed to investigate the cellular and molecular events leading to OB and to evaluate new treatment strategies for this complication, which currently limits the long-term success of heart-lung and lung transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TV39200074
View details for PubMedID 8787504
Leflunomide, an isoxazole derivative, has been shown to effectively prolong rodent allograft and cardiac xenograft survival. In vitro studies suggest that leflunomide inhibits the production of donor-specific antibodies and is capable of blocking both T- and B-cell proliferation. In light of the significant role that humoral immunity is believed to play in chronic pulmonary allograft rejection as well as hyperacute and accelerated acute xenograft rejection, we examined the efficacy of leflunomide in prolonging pulmonary allografts and xenografts and its effect on donor-specific antibody production.Lungs from Brown Norway rats or Golden Syrian hamsters were orthotopically transplanted into Lewis rat recipients. Allograft recipients were treated daily for 14 days with vehicle, leflunomide (15 mg/kg/day orally), or cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg/day orally) starting on the day of grafting (day 0). In xenograft recipients, leflunomide (20 mg/kg/day orally) or cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg/day orally) treatment initiated on day 0 was continued until complete graft rejection; the leflunomide dosage was reduced to 10 mg/kg/day after day 14 because of weight loss and leukopenia. Graft viability was assessed with chest radiography in conjunction with open lung biopsies. Toxicity was monitored with body weight measurements, complete blood counts, and serum chemistries. Flow cytometric analysis of serum samples taken from graft recipients on day 7 was used to measure donor-specific immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G antibody titers.Allograft and xenograft control animals receiving vehicle yielded graft survival times of 6.0 +/- 0.0 and 5.4 +/- 0.6 days, respectively. Although xenograft recipients treated with cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg/day orally) showed no significant graft prolongation, pulmonary allograft survival in recipients receiving cyclosporine alone was significantly prolonged to 28.2 +/- 0.7 days. Leflunomide-treated allograft (15 mg/kg/day orally) and xenograft (20 mg/kg/day orally) recipients displayed significant graft prolongation to 28.2 +/- 0.7 days and 15.8 +/- 3.3 days, respectively. Cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg/day orally) enhanced the effect of leflunomide (20 mg/kg/day orally) in xenograft recipients with a mean graft survival time of 36.0 +/- 3.0 days achieved when both drugs were administered concomitantly. Cyclosporine significantly suppressed donor-specific immunoglobulin G antibody titers in both pulmonary allograft and xenograft recipients while not affecting immunoglobulin M levels. Leflunomide markedly suppressed both immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M donor-specific antibody titers in allograft and xenograft recipients. Except for mild leukopenia and anemia, both cyclosporine- and leflunomide-treated allograft recipients showed no evidence of toxic side effects after 14 days of therapy. However, leflunomide-treated xenograft recipients displayed significant weight loss, anemia, and leukopenia after 14 days of treatment with one death in each treatment group.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TM55700018
View details for PubMedID 8719461
Leflunomide, a novel immunosuppressive drug, prolongs experimental graft survival effectively and has been well tolerated in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A77 1726, the active metabolite of leflunomide, inhibits lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. This study was conducted in Jurkat T cells to investigate the effects of A77 1726 on signal transduction pathways initiated by ligands of the T-cell receptor CD3 complex and to evaluate the effects of A77 1726 on nucleotide biosynthesis.Tritiated thymidine incorporation and cell counts quantitated cell proliferation. Spectrofluorescence of Indo/AM dye measured intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. A luciferase assay quantitated interleukin-2 gene promoter activity in stimulated cells transfected with an interleukin-2 promoter-luciferase gene construct. Pyrimidine and purine nucleosides were used to assess antagonism of the antiproliferative activity of A77 1726.(1) A77 1726 dose-dependently inhibited the proliferation of Jurkat T cells (inhibitory concentration of 50% = 6 mumol/L); (2) A77 1726 did not decrease mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stimulated by phytohemagglutinin or anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody; (3) A77 1726 did not inhibit interleukin-2 gene promoter activity in cells stimulated with ionomycin plus phorbol myristate acetate; (4) inhibition of cell proliferation by A77 1726 was antagonized by addition of uridine, cytidine, or 2(+)-deoxycytidine; (5) addition of uridine 24 hours after treatment with A77 1726 antagonized inhibition of proliferation; (6) A77 1726 was not antagonized by 2'-deoxyuridine, thymidine, adenosine, or guanosine.(1) A77 1726 inhibited Jurkat T-cell proliferation without inhibiting T-cell receptor-mediated signal transduction events, including tyrosine kinase-dependent intracellular Ca2+ mobilization and activation of the interleukin-2 gene promoter; (2) the antiproliferative effects of A77 1726 on Jurkat T cells are primarily due to interruption of de novo pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis. These data provide evidence for a novel in vitro mechanism of the antiproliferative action of this immunosuppressant.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TM55700002
View details for PubMedID 8719445
Chronic rejection in the form of graft vascular disease (GVD) continues to plague clinical transplantation of vascularized organs. The histopathology of this lesion is characterized by neointimal hyperplasia, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and obliterative arteriopathy. Due to the lack of effective medical therapy for preventing or reversing these chronic vascular changes, retransplantation remains the final resort in treatment. Some of the newer immunosuppressive agents, including the new isoxazole derivative leflunomide (LFM), have shown efficacy in preventing chronic rejection in animal models of transplantation. Although its mechanism of action remains incompletely elucidated, previous work using lymphocytes in vitro suggests that the drug might act as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, an inhibitor of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, or both. In order to elucidate whether the efficacy of LFM in vivo is attributable not only to anti-proliferative effects on the recipient immune system but also to direct effects on mesenchymal cells in the donor organ, we examined the effects of LFM on a transformed 9E11G murine smooth muscle cell (M-SMC) line in vitro. We demonstrate here that the active metabolite of LFM, A77 1726, dose-dependently inhibits the constitutive and growth-factor stimulated proliferation of M-SMC in vitro. Furthermore, the anti-proliferative effect of the drug can be reversed by the addition of uridine to the culture medium. These results suggest that inhibition of uridine biosythesis appears to be a mechanism by which LFM exerts anti-proliferative effects on both lymphocytes and smooth muscle cells, and this dual action may be responsible for its efficacy in preventing GVD in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TJ15900004
View details for PubMedID 8747714
Cytokines are short-acting protein modulators of many physiologic processes including graft rejection. An understanding of the production, action, and interaction of cytokines may lead to better appreciation of the complex mechanism of graft rejection. The potential would then exist for more selective and less-toxic means of modulating the immune response. A rat hind limb allograft model with major immunohistoincompatibility was used to study the local mRNA expression of IL-1 alpha, IL-2, IL-6, gamma interferon (gamma INF), platelet-derived growth factor-alpha (PDGF-alpha), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) during acute allograft rejection. A 14-day postoperative course of immunosuppressive therapy with FK506 or rapamycin was administered. In situ hybridization was performed on serial full-thickness skin punch biopsies of the untreated rejecting limb allograft and compared with tissue from treated allografts, isografts, and to normal limb tissue. A sequential pattern of cytokine mRNA expression was demonstrated which progressed in a time-dependent manner and paralleled observed clinical rejection. Maximal cytokine mRNA expression correlated with peak graft rejection. Cellular expression of IL-1 alpha, IL-2, IL-6, gamma-INF, FGF, and TGF-beta mRNA was suppressed with FK506 to below isograft levels, and clinical rejection was not observed with the doses, routes, and schedules used. Rapamycin was ineffective in suppressing cytokine expression, and allograft rejection was not prevented. Isografts demonstrated no evidence of rejection. The in situ hybridization technique demonstrates a time-dependent, selective expression of cytokines within rejecting allograft tissue, and the modification of this response with immunosuppressive therapy. Down-regulation of cytokine expression is associated with clinical allograft survival.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RB42900020
View details for PubMedID 7539555
Rapamycin (RPM) and mycophenolic acid (MPA) inhibit immune responses by antagonizing IL-stimulated lymphocyte activation. These 2 drugs, used alone or preferably in combination, also significantly reduced the response of vascular cells to balloon-catheter arterial injury in rats. When rats were treated for 2 weeks with both drugs starting the day of injury, intimal thickening was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) 14 days after injury; however, by 44 days after injury, intimal thickening had progressed to the extent measured in arteries of untreated control rats. When RPM and MPA were administered for 3 days before and 13 days after injury, arterial intimal thickening was significantly (P = 0.024) reduced and endothelium had regrown in vessels analyzed 44 days after injury. Compared with initiation of treatment on the day of injury, starting the administration of RPM plus MPA before injury appears to limit the activation of cells or actions of factors responsible for the progression of intimal thickening that occurred after the administration of the drugs was terminated. RPM and MPA prevented the development of arterial intimal thickening in a model not dependent upon a rejection response. This direct antiproliferative action on smooth muscle cells by RPM and MPA, in vivo, may prevent the development of arterial intimal thickening associated with chronic rejection.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QM65600002
View details for PubMedID 7533955
Rapamycin (RPM) is a potent and effective immunosuppressant which we have shown previously to inhibit intimal thickening in rat allograft and balloon-injured arteries. In this report, we have examined the effects of RPM on growth factor-induced vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) DNA synthesis. RPM potently inhibited platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) (IC50 = 5 x 10(-9) M) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) (IC50 = 8 x 10(-10) M)-induced VSMC DNA synthesis. In contrast, only the highest concentrations of FK506 and CsA significantly altered PDGF- or bFGF-induced VSMC DNA synthesis. Addition of RPM (10(-9) M) at as late as 46 hr after growth factor addition still effectively suppressed bFGF- or PDGF-induced DNA synthesis by 76% and 54%, respectively. The extent of the antagonism of RPM's inhibition of bFGF-induced VSMC DNA synthesis by FK506 was inversely proportional to RPM concentration and directly proportional to FK506 concentration.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QH83000015
View details for PubMedID 7532879
Graft rejection and the toxicity of current immunosuppressive regimens preclude the application of microsurgical advances to transplantation of limbs or other nonessential parts. If limb transplantation is to become a clinical reality, newer, safer, more effective immunosuppressive agents are needed.Rapamycin (RPM) and FK 506 are fungal macrolide antibiotics with effective immunosuppressive properties demonstrated in several animal models. RPM is more potent and effective than is FK 506 in rat cardiac allografts and has demonstrated synergy with cyclosporine (CsA) in limb allograft models.An orthotopic rat hind limb allograft model (Brown-Norway [RT-1n] to Lewis [RT-1(1)] rats was used. RPM (doses, 3.0, 4.5, and 6.0 mg/kg/day) was administered intraperitoneally on postoperative days 1 to 14. FK 506 (6 mg/kg/day) was administered orally on postoperative 1 to 14 and 1 to 90 and at rejection onset (10 mg/kg/day for salvage). CsA with RPM (postoperative days 1 to 14) was used to assess synergy, with CsA alone serving as the control. Other controls included untreated and placebo-treated allografted animals. The permutation test and Mann-Whitney test were applied to the data.The mean survival times were assessed as follows: (1) control (placebo, untreated), 5 days; (2) RPM groups, 9.5, 10.6, and 8.7 days; (3) 14-day FK 506, 28 days; (4) 90-day FK 506, > 90 days; (5) CsA, 17.3 days; and (6) CsA with RPM, 19.3 days. FK 506 significantly prolonged graft survival compared with RPM (Permutation Test, p < 0.001 and Mann-Whitney Test, p < 0.05). FK 506 salvage reversed early rejection. High-dose RPM produced significant toxicity. Synergy between CsA and RPM was not demonstrated.FK 506 prolongs allograft survival, reverses early rejection, and prevents rejection without clinical toxicity when given continually. RPM does not prevent rejection in this model and produces significant toxicity at high doses. FK 506 may be a first step in making limb transplantation a clinical reality in reconstructive surgery.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994MR31400014
View details for PubMedID 7507657
More immunosuppressive drugs than ever have recently graduated from the laboratory to extensive clinical trials of their safety and efficacy in patients undergoing transplantation. Although none of these drugs is perfect, they control different forms of rejection in stringent animal models more effectively than other immunosuppressants; yet these novel molecules suppress the immune system far more specifically than steroids and regimens that cause lymphopenia. Cyclosporin G and IMM 125 (analogues of cyclosporine) and FK506 are the only drugs that selectively inhibit T-cell proliferation by blocking cytokine synthesis. The primary action of rapamycin and leflunomide appears to be an inhibition of the actions of cytokines and growth factors on T, B, and some nonimmune cells. T and B cells are more sensitive than nonimmune cells to the depletion of purines and pyrimidines caused by mizoribine, mycophenolic acid, and brequinar sodium. Nucleotide depletion causes interruption of DNA synthesis and glycosylation of adhesion molecules in immune cells. Further differentiation of T and B cells after proliferation into fully functional immune cells is inhibited by unknown mechanisms by brequinar and deoxyspergualin. On the basis of preclinical studies, these drugs may effectively suppress clinical rejection that is (1) acute (all drugs), (2) chronic (rapamycin, leflunomide, and mycophenolic acid), or (3) antibody-mediated (brequinar, deoxyspergualin, mycophenolic acid, and rapamycin). Some drugs (FK506, deoxyspergualin, mycophenolic acid, rapamycin, and leflunomide) may reverse acute rejection refractory to conventional immunosuppression. These new drugs not only block different biochemical steps that normally lead to fully functional T and B cells after stimulation by alloantigen, but their toxicity profiles also differ. Results from preclinical studies predict that use of selected combinations of these drugs in patients will be more effective, less nephrotoxic, less myelotoxic, and less broadly immunosuppressive than current regimens based on cyclosporine, T-cell depletion, steroids, and azathioprine ... at least, that's the idea! Or as former Vice President Dan Quayle said, "It's a question of whether we're going to go forward into the future, or past to the back."
View details for Web of Science ID A1993MP74800023
View details for PubMedID 7508752
We have used two murine bioassays, a nonprimarily vascularized heart transplant model and a host-versus-graft (HvG) popliteal lymph node (PLN) hyperplasia assay, to study the novel immunosuppressant, 15-deoxyspergualin (DSG). Using these methods, we investigated DSG's immunosuppressive potency, efficacy, and mechanisms of action. Dose-response studies showed that prolongation of heart allograft survival by DSG was dose dependent with an ED50 +/- SD of 1.45 +/- 0.39 mg/kg/day and that DSG was nearly seven times more potent than cyclosporine. Low maintenance doses of 0.25 or 1.0 mg/kg/day of DSG that followed an initial 14-day course of 5.0 mg/kg/day DSG enabled heart allografts to survive for more than 200 days without recipient weight loss or other signs of overt toxicity. When used as treatment for ongoing acute rejection, DSG prolonged graft survival. Although a 30-day course of 5.0 mg/kg/day of DSG caused significant but reversible body-weight loss, no overt, gross, or histopathologic evidence of significant tissue toxicity was observed in mice treated with 5.0 mg/kg/day DSG for 13 consecutive days. Frequent, intermittent administration of DSG was more immunosuppressive than less frequently administered high doses of DSG, but continuous infusion did not augment drug efficacy or reduce its toxicity. Isobologram analysis of graft survival in recipients treated with both DSG and CsA showed that this drug combination produced synergistic immunosuppression. In contrast to DSG's efficacy when administered posttransplant, the survival of grafts in recipients that were treated with DSG for 30 days posttransplant was only minimally prolonged. When recipients were sensitized by primary grafts, administration of DSG only during the period of sensitization or only immediately after implantation of secondary grafts failed to prevent accelerated rejection. If, however, graft recipients were treated with DSG both before and after implantation of secondary grafts, accelerated graft rejection was prevented. DSG induced partial alloantigen-specific unresponsiveness, since in DSG-treated C3H recipients of primary BALB/c grafts, secondary BALB/c grafts survived longer than third-party C57BL/6 secondary grafts. A dose of DSG that prolonged graft survival maximally did not suppress the in vivo lymphoproliferative response to alloantigen in the PLN assay. In contrast, doses of CsA that prolonged graft survival minimally suppressed the HVG response significantly. Thus, these studies showed that DSG was a more potent and effective immunosuppressant than CsA, and that DSG treatment prolonged graft survival substantially without apparent toxicity. Furthermore, unlike CsA, a dose of DSG that prolonged heart allograft survival did not suppress alloantigen-stimulated lymphoproliferation in vivo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KT96100024
View details for PubMedID 7681226
Rapamycin (RPM) is a macrolide fermentation product that prolongs rodent allograft survival more potently and effectively than cyclosporin A (CsA) and FK506. Experiments in vitro have shown that RPM inhibits lymphoproliferation by mechanisms of action that are different from other immunosuppressants. Much less is known, however, about the effects of RPM on immune cells in vivo compared to other immunosuppressive drugs. Others have shown that in vivo treatment with CsA suppresses the responsiveness of cells in the mixed lymphocyte response (MLR). Therefore, to investigate the effects of RPM in vivo, rats were treated with RPM and their lymphoid cells used as responder cells in the MLR. We confirmed that the proliferation of cells in the MLR was decreased after treatment with CsA in vivo. In contrast, treatment with RPM in vivo greatly increased the proliferative response to alloantigen in the MLR. These findings show that the effects of RPM and CsA on immune cells in vivo differ. Perhaps the cells proliferating in the MLR after in vivo RPM treatment play a role in the regulation of the immune system that enables this immunosuppressant to prolong allograft survival so effectively in rodents.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992KE71900015
View details for PubMedID 1487312
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HT01200037
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GX06600010
Rapamycin (RPM) is the latest in a series of new bacterial-derived immunosuppressants. Here, Randall Morris compares and contrasts the mechanism of action and immune-modulating potential of RPM with the structurally-similar FK506.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FJ95800001
View details for PubMedID 1715165
The spleen plays an important role in the response of the recipient's immune system to a primarily vascularized graft and cyclosporine treatment is known to alter this response. To investigate the interaction between the splenic immune response and CsA's immunosuppressive actions more thoroughly, Lewis recipients of Brown-Norway heterotopic heart grafts were treated i.p. daily with normal saline or with CsA doses of 0.75, 1.5, or 3.0 mg/kg/day from day 1 through day 50 or until rejection. Rats treated with 3 mg/kg were splenectomized intraoperatively (i.o.) or not splenectomized. Rats in subgroups of the other treatment groups were splenectomized i.o., on day 5, not splenectomized, or the recipient's spleen cells were reinfused after i.o. splenectomy. In non-CsA-treated rats, i.o. splenectomy (median survival time, [MST] = 11 days) and day 5 splenectomy (MST = 11 days) prolonged graft survival minimally in comparison with nonsplenectomized animals (MST = 7 days). Reinfusion of the spleen cells reversed this effect (MST = 7 days). Most interestingly, the immunosuppressive efficacy of 1.5 mg/kg of CsA (MST = 91 days) was reduced by day 5 splenectomy (MST = 24 days) and completely abolished by i.o. splenectomy (MST = 11 days). Spleen cell reinfusion partially restored the effect of CsA treatment (MST = 88 days). Since splenectomy resulted in a complete abrogation of the immunosuppressive efficacy of 1.5 mg/kg CsA, our results support the hypothesis that certain spleen cells augment immunosuppression by CsA. These findings provide additional evidence that the immune system's own regulation of its antigraft response can be an important component of the overall suppression of rejection that is associated with the use of certain immunosuppressive drugs.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FC64900028
View details for PubMedID 2006527
Using recombinant DNA technology, we have generated Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines that synthesize latent transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) to study immune regulation by TGF-beta 1. In vitro, latent TGF-beta 1 synthesized by transfectants or added exogenously as a purified complex after activation inhibited CTL generation to a similar extent as seen with acid-activated recombinant human (rHu) TGF-beta 1. In vivo, serum from nu/nu mice bearing CHO/TGF-beta 1 tumors contained significant levels of latent TGF-beta 1 in addition to depressed natural killer (NK) activity in spleens which paralleled that seen in C3H/HeJ mice treated with acid-activated rHuTGF-beta 1. rHuTGF-beta 1 treatment of mice receiving heart allografts resulted in significant enhancement of organ graft survival. Because of possible regulated tissue-specific activation, administration of latent rather than active TGF-beta may provide a better route to deliver this powerful immunosuppressive agent in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990EL84900028
View details for PubMedID 2258706
View details for Web of Science ID A1990EH13900006
The dose-response and plasma concentration-response relationships of cyclosporine after both inducing and inhibiting its metabolism were studied in a mouse heart transplant model. The metabolism of cyclosporine was altered by coadministering phenobarbital and cimetidine as metabolism inducing and inhibiting agents, respectively. We found that phenobarbital depressed the immunosuppressive potency of cyclosporine by enhancing its metabolism resulting in lower cyclosporine blood levels. On the other hand, when cimetidine was administered concurrently with cyclosporine, the immunosuppressive effect was enhanced due to inhibition of the metabolism of cyclosporine which produced higher cyclosporine blood levels. When graft survival was evaluated relative to blood cyclosporine concentrations, however, it appeared that cimetidine had a direct negative effect on the survival of transplanted organs independent and contrary to its effect on the accumulation of cyclosporine. The immunosuppression produced by cyclosporine at these elevated blood levels was less than expected. The accrued data support the conclusion that cyclosporine and not its metabolites are primarily responsible for its immunosuppressive activity in the mouse.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989T885800001
View details for PubMedID 2649657
We have developed a 2-week bioassay that quantitates the effect of immunosuppressive drugs on organ allograft rejection. This assay is not only rapid and reliable, but also simple and relatively inexpensive and sparing of test substances. We refined the method by which neonatal mouse hearts are transplanted into pouches in the pinnae of ears of adult recipient mice and used cyclosporine treatment as an example of how this method might be generally applied to study the dose-response relationship of immunosuppressive drugs. Five- to 10-week-old C3H/km mice were used as cardiac recipients, and unsexed newborn BALB/c (allograft) or C3H/km (isograft) mice (24-48 hr old) were used as cardiac graft donors. The heart grafts were examined by two independent observers every other day at 10- to 20-fold magnification for up to 14 days. The immunosuppressive effect of cyclosporine was studied at doses of 3, 7.5, 15, 22.5 and 30 mg/kg per day administered i.p. The accrued data were analyzed by two methods: dose-response curves at days 12 and 14 and mean survival scores from day 8 to day 14. The dose-response curves on days 12 and 14 were similar, and the calculated ED50 values were 9.83 and 15 mg/kg/day, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the potential usefulness and the sensitivity of the ear-heart transplantation bioassay for relative potency evaluations of immunosuppressive drugs.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988L779600038
View details for PubMedID 3275773
View details for Web of Science ID A1984SG12800008
View details for Web of Science ID A1983QQ49400003
View details for Web of Science ID A1983QQ61100019
View details for PubMedID 4612777