Cyclosporin effect on sodium and potassium transport across erythrocytes in rheumatoid arthritis

R. A. Rabini, I. Testa, A. Corvetta, M. Lombardello, M. Polenta, G. Danieli, L. Mazzanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present work was to evaluate the action of cyclosporin (CsA) both in vivo and in vitro on the active sodium transport across the erythrocyte membrane of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The in vivo study was performed on 20 patients affected by refractory RA and treated with CsA (5 mg/kg/die) or with azathioprine (2 mg/kg/die) before and after 7 days' therapy. The control group was formed of 25 healthy subjects. RA patients before treatment showed increased intra-erythrocyte Na+ concentration and decreased Na+ K+ ATPase activity in comparison with normal subjects. A rise in the activity of the sodium pump and a reduction in the intra-erythrocyte Na+ concentration were observed after cyclosporin treatment, but not after azathioprine. The in vitro study was performed on intact RBCs and on erythrocyte membranes from 15 healthy subjects and from 12 patients affected by classical RA, in the presence or absence of CsA (0.5-1-2 μg/ml). CsA (0.5 μg/ml) increased the Na+ K+ ATPase activity in intact RBCs and in erythrocyte membranes from both groups of subjects. Intracellular Na+ was decreased only in erythrocytes from RA patients after addition of 0.5 μg/ml CsA. A direct action of CsA on the membrane hydrophobic environment of the Na+ K.+ ATPase is hypothesized on the basis of the present results

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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