Combined treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and an angiotensin II receptor antagonist fully protects from chronic rejection in a rat model of renal allograft

M. Noris, N. Azzollini, A. Pezzotta, M. Mister, A. Benigni, G. Marchetti, E. Gagliardini, N. Perico, G. Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Antigen-dependent and antigen-independent factors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of chronic allograft rejection, but their relative role is not well established. In the Fisher 344→Lewis rat kidney transplant model, we sought (1) to compare the relative efficacy of the novel immunosuppressant, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), with that of the AT1 receptor blocker, losartan, in preventing the development of chronic graft rejection when given for 52 wk; (2) to examine whether combining MMF with losartan affords better protection than each of the drugs alone. For comparison, the effect of cyclosporine (CsA) to control chronic graft rejection was also assessed. Administration of MMF alone or losartan alone to the kidney allografted rats resulted in a partial decrease in the amount of proteinuria, preservation of glomerular and tubulo-interstitial graft structure, limitation of intragraft cell infiltration, and improvement of graft survival compared with corresponding parameters in untreated, transplanted control rats. Combined treatment with MMF and losartan completely prevented the development of proteinuria, largely reduced glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury, and suppressed intragraft cell infiltration, and all animals survived at the end of the follow-up. Similarly, CsA treatment largely prevented graft injury but failed to achieve 100% animal survival. We have shown that MMF synergizes with the angiotensin II receptor antagonist, losartan, in simultaneously targeting complementary pathways of chronic allograft rejection. Combining MMF and angiotensin II receptor blocker offers superior long-term renoprotection as compared with CsA. Together, these findings provide the basis to prevent chronic injury and progressive dysfunction after renal transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1946
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Volume12
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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